Omega Zip Drives on FreeBSD 8.*

Thomas Mueller mueller23 at
Mon Jun 25 02:58:30 UTC 2012

from Mike Jeays <mike.jeays at>:

> I am amazed anyone still has a working Zip drive! Both mine suffered from the click of death some years ago, round about when 4.11 was current. I would get any data off them and onto a CD/DVD as soon as possible. For me, they would make nice museum exhibits, but that's it.

I never suffered the click of death as such, but my Zip drives (100 and 250, both SCSI) died in other ways.

Zip 100 drive, and also SyQuest SyJet drive, got to where they would just eject the disk a few seconds after insertion.

Zip 250 disk remained semi-functional after July 2001, the "semi" being that the Zip drive would not recognize a change of cartridge except by rebooting the computer, old directories would be kept.  This happened with Linux, DOS and OS/2 Warp 4, so it was a hardware issue.

I installed FreeDOS to a Zip 250 disk on an old computer (1995): took a bit over five hours because Zip disks are slow: glorified floppies.

SCSI was Trantor T130B, apparently supported by NetBSD but not FreeBSD >= 3.0.

My last chance to try to install NetBSD 4.0.1 on a Zip 250 was stopped when that old computer wouldn't power up, and with other things going/gone bad, that computer was clearly not worth the time, effort and cost of repair.  So it went to the cyber waste recycling center, including the Zip drives and disks, and the SyJet drive and disks.

I haven't used USB sticks as long as floppies or Iomega Zip, but USB sticks and hard drives look much better so far than Iomega Zip or floppies.

If I ever tried to install FreeBSD 8.x by copying the distribution files to floppies, no way would I be able to get enough good floppy copies with no better than 20% probability of success on each diskette image.

I believe Iomega discontinued the parallel-port Zip drive, subsequently the SCSI Zip drive, and the USB and ATAPI Zip drives were the last to be discontinued.


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