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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

(Another) Iomega Zip Drive for the Amigas

by intric8 Fri May 25, 2018 2:51 pm

The other day I got my Iomega Zip drive working with my Amiga 2000 after struggling and failing to get it working with my 1000's StarDrive.

At the time, I thought the drive was simply too old and failing. It seemed a stretch that all of my old Zip disks were bad, but seemed possible if not entirely probable.

So, in a fit of desperation I had ordered a pack of never used Zip disks as well as a shrink-wrapped refurbbed Zip drive. A drive that had been created in 1997 yet never sold/opened since. Twenty-one years ago; kind of amazing to consider, really.

And I got it for a very reasonable price (IMO) and even talked the seller down a bit.

In any case, while I had been waiting for things to arrive, I plugged my original Zip into my 2000 and - as usual - everything just works.

But. Then my new hardware arrived.

I'd already decided this was a win-win situation as I don't plan on unplugging the Zip from the 2000. I love it and have already started to install backup files and games to it. It's just another hard drive, really. And it's pretty quiet, too. It's not a scsi2sd, but the fact I can just pop in a new disk and get it up and running in less than 5 minutes truly rocks.

So. Check this out guys. I dropped this post in Retro Corner rather than Conquests because this is not a Commodore product. But it's technically retro in my book, and this is pretty danged cool. I hadn't opened up a new box for one of these since... well, it was either 1995 or 1996 when I got my original one (which still works GREAT) which I had purchased to put my 3D models/animations on when I was a crazy art student using 3D Studio r4. (3D Studio Max was shipping right before I graduated - it was a bummer as it was obvious how much better it was...).

Interestingly, since it was an official Iomega refurb, the outer box is completely in grayscale. It appears from some of the documentation I found that the refurb had been ordered by a customer with particular install disks added to the package per their request (Win NT) in addition to the normal batch.

Anyway, I present the Iomega Zip 100 unboxing.
Included: Zip Drive, SCSI cable, Power plug, Win NT install disk, "normal" consumer Win 95/Mac install disk, Zip Tools Zip disk, and some very cool stickers (that I plan on using) along with the instructions.

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Still in the shrink wrap. For a moment.
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Shrink wrap removed.
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Welcome packet.
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Zip tools! Oh man I had forgotten about that handy thing. (Handy drivers at the time.)
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This was a special install disk for some long lost previous owner. None of this has ever been opened before. All of the envelopes are still sealed.
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Remove the plastic?! Oh yes I will.
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Lovely thing. Always liked their unique color and rugged texture. Quite a refreshing change for the times. I especially love how its rubber feet allow you to use it horizontally or vertically depending on your setup.
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What are these?
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Why, they're little stickers you can slap on a Zip. Pretty cool. Don't recall ever having these before BITD.
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I am determined to get this new drive working with the A1000 this weekend. It's going to happen! I think. I hope.
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russcky

Re: (Another) Iomega Zip Drive for the Amigas

by russcky Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:46 am

Very Cool!

If you get it working with your A1000 please let us know, I will follow your lead!
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

Re: (Another) Iomega Zip Drive for the Amigas

by intric8 Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:55 am

I will indeed. I think I'm very close to the magical promised land.
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Bulletdust

Re: (Another) Iomega Zip Drive for the Amigas

by Bulletdust Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:10 pm

I remember a few years back there were literally tonnes of these at my local rubbish dump. I was so tempted to grab a few, but I kept thinking "what am I going to do with them?"

Then Incric8 works out what to do with them and now I wish I grabbed a few.... :(
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LambdaCalculus
New Jersey, USA

Re: (Another) Iomega Zip Drive for the Amigas

by LambdaCalculus Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:10 am

I'm glad I kept my working Zip drives, then! One will go to my Amiga 4000!
Own: Amiga 500 (NTSC), Amiga 4000, Amiga 600 (PAL), Mac Mini G4 & iBook G4 (MorphOS), ThinkPad T40 (AROS), R.Pi3 (Amibian)
After: Amiga 1200

https://nostalgiaroadtrip.com
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

Re: (Another) Iomega Zip Drive for the Amigas

by intric8 Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:43 am

@LC attaching the Zip to my A2000 took maybe 15 minutes max. I think the only thing you'd need for it to attach to the 4000 would be a SCSI card. Unless you happen to have an internal IDE version? I never had one of those, personally. There was also a Parallel port version, but I'd think data transfers would be slower (more for a backup).
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

Re: (Another) Iomega Zip Drive for the Amigas

by intric8 Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:29 pm

I finally got it working! OMG I can't believe it. I've been working on this project for weeks (well before I acquired this second Zip drive)! I finally took 2 weeks off out of frustration to clear my head and work on other things.

But tonight, after a few more hours I finally got it!

My stock 1000 boots off the Kickstart 1.3 disk, then I pop in a modified Workbench 1.3 disk (modded startup-sequence, mountlist and (for fun) devs so the clock also semi-works). The WB 1.3 disk then mounts the DH0: drive and passes Workbench over to it, which is fully installed on the Zip drive. At that stage the Zip is seen as a HDD. And you can pop the WB floppy out yet use WB off the Zip. No more WB disk swapping!

It's just so freaking glorious. I just love it. It's easily the craziest old-school retro setup in my 1000 pile. I'll do a proper post for it soon, before I forget anything. :)
<3
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As soon as I got everything working, I moved my custom Zip icon over so the HDD has its proper clothes on the Workbench desktop.
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The SCSI Zip 100 is finally being recognized as a hard drive during boot. I still have to use KS and WB 1.3 disks during the boot process, but who cares? This rocks. And the 1.3 disk is barely touched as it passes control to the Zip within a few seconds, where WB is also installed. Once you boot up, you can pop out the floppy disk and put it away.
IMG_5471.JPG
Now my A2000 and this A1000 are both equipped with Zip drives. Pretty slick IMO. If I could ever figure out the geometry that the 1000 wants to see for the SCSI2SD... that would be epic. I just haven't been able to glean the correct numbers, though. And from what I've seen - HDTools and HDInstTools report back the *wrong* geo, which surprised me.
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russcky

Re: (Another) Iomega Zip Drive for the Amigas

by russcky Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:53 pm

This is so freakin awesome... can't wait to read the details about how you have the A1000 configured, this is amazing!
Nice job, love the dedication to getting this worked out! Your my hero for this month!
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genenorton
Memphis, TN

Re: (Another) Iomega Zip Drive for the Amigas

by genenorton Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:06 pm

I'm stuck at mount/format. What is the correct geometry? Any help would be awesome!
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

Re: (Another) Iomega Zip Drive for the Amigas

by intric8 Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:57 pm

Hey there - I hope to be posting about this project in-depth with all of the details in the next week or so. It's kind of convoluted. Are you trying to do this with an A1000? Or a different machine? On a different machine, it's a ton easier. On the A1000 (and turning it into a semi-bootable drive with Workbench) there are a few steps involved.

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