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Thread: Using an IOMEGA Zip Drive to connect to an XT Clone

  1. #1
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    Default Using an IOMEGA Zip Drive to connect to an XT Clone

    I have two IOMEGA drives, one is connected to the parallel port of an XT clone and is using the proper drivers and setup. It is capable of reading a zip disk. The other is a USB drive, for connecting to a Macbook Pro so I can transfer software.

    I have tried numerous approaches to partitioning and formatting a Zip disk on the mac, and none have produced something that has readable content on the XT machine.

    Here are the commands I've tried:

    (Create two partitions, one that is FAT16 and 6 MB, another that is FAT32 using the rest of the disk capacity.)

    Code:
    diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk2
    Code:
    diskutil partitiondisk /dev/disk2 2 MBRFormat "MS-DOS FAT16" "FIRST" 6M "MS-DOS FAT32" "SECOND" 0b
    OR

    Code:
    sudo newfs_msdos -F 16 /dev/disk2s1
    I then copy a few files (from SpinRite 2.0) to the disk. When I try to access them on the parallel driven Zip, it can't determine a volume name or find any files.

    So my question is:
    How do I properly format the zip disk so I can read it on the XT?
    Last edited by knightserrand; May 30th, 2017 at 09:25 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by knightserrand View Post
    I have tried numerous approaches to partitioning and formatting a Zip disk on the mac, and none have produced something that has readable content on the XT machine.
    Have you tried the opposite; partitioning and formatting on the XT clone ?
    For example, if you are using Klause's palmZIP software, then try the partition/format using palmZIP's ZIPMAN tool.

  3. #3
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    That's what I eventually did. I am hoping to find a solution where it is possible to format on either computer. After reading the docs by Klause, it does seem that he recommends ZIPMAN and nothing else for this task.

    Thanks.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by knightserrand View Post
    How do I properly format the zip disk so I can read it on the XT?
    Format it on the XT.
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  5. #5

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    What specific drivers are you using on the XT? My recollection is that the standard Iomega Guest drivers do not run on an 8088/8086, but they will run with a NEC V20 or an 80286 (or better).

    The XT is clearly limited as to what filesystems it can handle. Do the partitioning and formatting of the Zip on the XT, and then let the Mac deal with the results.

    If you using DOS 5 or greater than the standard single large partition should work, but it will be slow to work with. PalmZip works well with lower versions of DOS, but it requires partitioning the Zip into three partitions.

  6. #6
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    I'm using the palmzip.sys driver. You can find it here. The registered version is 1.24 and doesn't have a time limit. It also plays well with an 8088 processor.

    You said that the Zip drive access is slower with a single large partition. What if I just do a 20MB partition? Would that be faster access via a parallel port than using the Hard Drive?

  7. #7
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    I've had absolutely zero luck formatting zip disks for DOS on any OSX or Linux machine I've tried. It should work in theory but it doesn't. Hell, FreeDOS's FORMAT doesn't even handle them either. The last time I needed to format one I had to copy MS's FORMAT from a (Win98 ) DOS 7.1 boot CD onto my FreeDOS machine; then I just ran guest.exe and 'format D:' and it worked fine.

    TL;DR format them on the DOS machine.

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