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Archived - Iomega Zip Drive: Troubleshooting FAQ

This article contains frequently asked questions about troubleshooting Iomega Zip drives and disks, with answers to those questions.
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
Questions answered in this article:
  1. Why does the Iomega driver appear crossed-out at system startup time?
  2. Why doesn't the Zip disk icon appear on the desktop?
  3. Why does a disk with flashing "?" appear at system startup time?
  4. Why would the startup process fail after the Iomega driver is loaded?
  5. How can I test for possible conflicts with my Zip drive?
  6. Why is my Zip disk ejected immediately when inserted?
  7. What would cause a Zip disk to fail to erase or format?
  8. Why won't the Zip disk eject when the disk icon is dragged to the Trash?
  9. What would cause the Zip drive to have intermittent read/write errors?
  10. When I attempt to use the iomega Tools applications an error message appears stating that "... Tools cannot load/run..." What is causing this?
  11. What does the light on the front of the Zip drive opening indicate?
  12. How can I verify that my Zip drive is properly connected?
  13. Zip disks do not appear on the desktop or eject, and the green status light is flashing. What can I do to remedy this?
  14. Writing to a Zip 100 disk in my Zip 250 drive seems very slow. Is this normal?


Question 1: Why does the Iomega driver appear crossed-out at system startup time?

Answer: After the Iomega Driver is installed on the computer's startup disk, it normally loads at system startup time. If the driver is installed in the startup disk's Extensions folder, but is unable to load successfully, a red X appears over the Iomega driver extension at system startup time.

If the Iomega driver does not load at system startup time, but you are still able to access your Zip drive, a non-Iomega driver may be loading before the Iomega driver and taking over control of the Zip drive.

To identify the driver that is controlling the Zip drive, select a Zip disk icon in the Finder, then choose Get Info from the File menu. The driver appears in parentheses at the end of the line titled Where.

If a non-Iomega driver is controlling the Zip drive, try the following steps to eliminate the conflict:

  • Make sure no disks other than the startup disk are inserted when you turn on the computer. A disk formatted using a non-Iomega driver could be loading that driver onto the system.
  • Try renaming the Iomega driver so that it loads earlier. (These types of files are loaded in alphabetical order.)

If you intend to use a non-Iomega driver to control the Zip drive, you should remove the 5.0.1 Iomega driver from the system.

Note: Non-Iomega drivers may not provide full functionality for the Zip drive. (For example, a non-Iomega driver may not support Zip disk protection.)

Question 2: Why doesn't the Zip disk icon appear on the desktop?

Answer: One of the following suggestions should solve this:

  • Shut down the entire system (the computer and everything connected to it). Restart the system, making sure the computer is the last device turned on.
  • Open the Iomega Guest program.
  • Make sure a Zip disk is fully inserted in the drive. A Zip disk icon can only appear on the Desktop when a disk is inserted.
  • If the Iomega driver is installed on your startup disk, make sure it is loading successfully. If the driver is correctly installed but does not load at system startup time, follow the steps in question 1.
  • A non-Iomega driver may be trying to control the Zip drive. Follow the steps in question 1.


Question 3: Why does a disk with flashing "?" appear at system startup time?

Answer: This indicates that the computer cannot find a startup disk and is often due to a hardware issue. Try the following:

If you are using a Zip disk as the startup disk, make sure it is fully inserted in the drive before turning on the computer, and that you hold down the Option key at system startup time. Also make sure there are no disks in the computer's floppy disk drive.

If this does not resolve the situation, test the computer by disconnecting all external SCSI devices and restarting from the hard drive or from the CD-ROM disc that came with the computer.

Question 4: Why would the startup process fail after the Iomega driver is loaded?

Answer: This can be caused by hardware conflicts or by conflicts with non-Apple or third-party control panels or system extensions.

  • If you identify a conflicting system extension, remove it from the system.
  • Make sure the Iomega driver is correctly installed on your startup disk.

If you cannot identify a conflicting system extension and the driver is correctly installed on your startup disk, test for a source of conflict by following the steps in question 5.

Question 5: How can I test for possible conflicts with my Zip drive?

Answer: Use the following steps to determine the source of a conflict that prevents successful startup:


    1. Turn off system extensions by pressing and holding down the Shift key while the computer starts up. (You should see the note "Extensions off" or "extensions disabled" if not, repeat step 1.)

    2. Load the Iomega driver manually by double-clicking on the Iomega Guest utility. If the Guest program installs the driver successfully, it suggests that there is a conflict with a non-Apple control panel or extension.


If you encounter conflicts between the Iomega driver and non-Apple control panels or system extensions, you must first try to identify the control panel or extension that is causing the conflict and then remove it from the system.

Question 6: Why is my Zip disk ejected immediately when inserted?

Answer: There are two likely possibilities:

A Zip disk may be immediately ejected if the format on the disk is bad and PC Exchange is running on the Macintosh computer. You may or may not see a dialog box indicating that disk initialization failed. If you can see the dialog box, click on the default button. If you cannot see the dialog box, just press the Return key and your system returns to normal. To fix the format on the Zip disk, first turn off the PC Exchange control panel. Then reformat the disk using Erase Disk with Surface Verify in the Tools program. You can also perform an Erase Disk with Surface Verify from the Finder by holding down the Option key when you start the format. Make sure you hold down the Option key until the format begins.

A Zip disk may be immediately ejected if the capacity of the disk being inserted is higher than the drive can support. For example, if your computer is equipped with a 100 MB Zip drive, the highest capacity Zip disk it would be able to read is 100 MB. If you insert a 250 MB Zip disk, the Zip drive would eject it because it is unable to read it. Internal Zip drives that come with Macintosh computers (as of 1999-10) are 100 MB drives.

Question 7: What would cause a Zip disk to fail to erase or format?

Answer: Difficulties with formatting Zip disks are usually due to a conflict caused by a non-Apple control panel or system extension.

If you cannot identify or resolve the conflict, try turning off system extensions while formatting Zip disks, and follow these steps:


    1. Hold down the Shift key and restart your computer. Make sure you hold down the Shift key until you see the message saying extensions are disabled or off.

    2. Open Iomega Guest to load the Iomega driver.

    3. Openb the Iomega Tools program.

    4. Insert a Zip disk and click the Erase or Initialize Disk button. Select the options you want to use and click OK.


If this procedure works, you should use it whenever you erase or format Zip disks. If the disk still does not format, try formatting a different disk. If you are able to format the second disk, it indicates that the first disk may be bad.

Question 8: Why won't the Zip disk eject when the disk icon is dragged to the Trash?

Answer: Try the following suggestions:

  • If the disk icon is still on the desktop, drag it to the Trash again.
  • Try restarting the computer. The disk may lock in the drive if the system has stopped responding or "crashed."


Question 9: What would cause the Zip drive to have intermittent read/write errors?

Answer: If read/write errors occur only with a specific Zip disk, reformat the disk using Erase Disk with Surface Verify.

Question 10: When I attempt to use the iomega Tools applications an error message appears stating that "... Tools cannot load/run..." What is causing this?

Answer: The Tools program is unable to run if:

  • you try to run Tools and the Iomega driver is not loaded on the system.
  • you try to run a version of Tools different from the version of the driver currently loaded on the system.
  • you try to run Tools and the Iomega driver is unable to find any supported Zip drives.


Question 11: What does the light on the front of the Zip drive opening indicate?

Answer: The light provides information that may be helpful when troubleshooting.

After inserting a Zip disk, look for an amber light in the lower right corner of the Zip drive opening. There should be some initial blinking, but after the disk has become available on the desktop, the light should not blink. If the light continues to blink, it could suggest:

Slow blinking amber light

  • check installation of software
  • check SCSI connection of hardware
  • hardware malfunction (communication)

Fast blinking amber light

  • check Zip disk for mis-alignment
  • check Zip disk for damage
  • hardware malfunction (media detection)


Question 12: How can I verify that my Zip drive is properly connected?

Answer: Here is a procedure to verify that the Zip drive is properly connected and getting power:


    1. Shut down the computer.

    2. Disconnect all external SCSI devices from the computer.

    3. Start up from the CD-ROM disc that came with your computer. (Hold down the 'c' key on the keyboard to start up from the disc)

    4. Once the system has started up, open the Drive Setup application.

    5. After scanning the SCSI bus, Drive Setup should list the hard drive, the CD-ROM drive and the Zip drive. The Zip drive should be listed as "<not supported>" at SCSI ID 5.


Question 13: Zip disks do not appear on the desktop or eject, and the green status light is flashing. What can I do to remedy this?

Answer:

Try the following:


    1. Choose Shut Down from the Special menu.

    2. Reset the Parameter RAM (PRAM) described in article 2238: "Macintosh: How to Reset PRAM and NVRAM".

    3. After resetting the PRAM, use the Startup Disk control panel to reselect your startup disk.

    4. You should now see the Zip disk on the desktop, and you should be able to eject it.

    5. If the situation persists, try the suggestions listed in the answer to Question 2.


Question 14: Writing to a Zip 100 disk in my Zip 250 drive seems very slow. Is this normal?

Answer: According to Iomega technical document #30146 "Why does my Zip® 250 drive slow down when I write large files to a 100MB Zip disk?" this is normal. See the Iomega document for complete details.

Last Modified: Feb 20, 2012
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  • Last Modified: Feb 20, 2012
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