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Thread: Zip and Syquest Quality Concerns

  1. #1

    Default Zip and Syquest Quality Concerns

    I recently purchased some Zip drives and cartridges, as well as a couple Syquest Sparq drives and cartridges. After reading some information on both of these devices, I see there have been quality issues with them in the past. Bad on me I did not do my research before buying these devices but now that I have them, does anyone have experience with either of them in terms of their quality?

    Thanks...Joe

  2. #2
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    Zip issues are well-documented on the web.

    I have a still-in-blister-pack Sparq drive. Although mine worked the last time I tried it, the issue to me is that it was made as a low-cost entry item, which makes me distrust it about as much as a Iomega Jaz drive.

  3. #3
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    I've had pretty good luck with Zip drives over the years. Except for the one time I dropped a drive on a concrete floor and it forever stopped working with the "click of death". The main thing is to be gentle with the drive, and keep the disks in a clean dry place. Ideally, test any newly acquired disks in a less important drive just in case something goes wrong. Periodically spin up the drive by reading a disk. That helps keep things from getting stuck. Don't leave a disk in the drive when it is powered down. At least the SCSI versions can do a "low level format" although I don't really know if it really low-levels or just re-maps, but it often eliminates bad sectors.

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    Unless you got a Zip drive manufactured during the approximately 6 months of very high failure rate, it is no worse than any other removable disk drive. I have Zips from the very early days of production and bunch of very cheap ones from the clearance sales at the end. All worked fine. If you have translucent Zip disks, you might want to rotate the disk and see if the disk is torn. Iomega used to recommend opening the disk shutter and rotating the disk to see if there is a tear on the media but I suspect that the risks of getting dust in the disk exceed the chances of having a bad disk removed from its wrapping. Note: probably a good idea to do the check if the disk was previously used.

    Sparq: Good luck. There was a web site devoted to correcting one of the more common failure modes. IIRC, the Sparq used a number of pins to detect that the disk was entered correctly but failing to properly insert the disk would leave a pin unable to reset and the drive would never detect a disk. The web page showed how to open the drive and reset the pin. Saved them 50 cents over the classic SyQuest tray though.

    For maximum success, use both hands to insert the disk smoothly so it doesn't twist.

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    Couldn't find it two hours ago but the following link is to an archived version of the Sparq repair. The problem I was thinking of is described in the paragraph following the section on how to fix the eject button.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20020214...samoyed/sparq/

  6. #6
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    I have several different SyQuest drives that I no longer need and would like to pass on to other users.

  7. #7
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    Got one of the old 44MB ones? If so, let's talk.

  8. #8

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    I must have been unlucky. I bought half a dozen Zip 100 drives when the SCSI ones first came on the market. All but one failed just outside the warranty. As far as I knew from asking round at the time, everyone was having trouble with the SCSI ones, and few people were having trouble with the printer port ones.

  9. #9
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    I've got a SCSI one and it works fine. It goes back to the early 90s.

    But then, I don't trust Zip drives in general. If a customer sends me a disk to get the data, I'll use it.

    It could be that the IDE/ATAPI ones were better because they went into some of the Apple G3s and Iomega couldn't afford the hit to their reputation.

  10. #10

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    I hope I didn't get bad ones. I recently purchased 5 new/sealed Syquest drives and a dozen new internal Zip 100 IDE drives. That's in addition to a few new external Zip 100 and 250, along with the Zip 750 I haven't received yet.

    They were all fairly inexpensive so I won't go to the poor house if a couple don't work.

    Thanks...Joe

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