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68kAlex

Booting from a Zip drive

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As insurance against the day when my LC475's hard disk inevitably fails, I'm investigating the idea of booting from an external SCSI Zip drive. Zip drives seem to be fairly obtainable through Ebay and at face value it would seem to be as simple as installing the driver, formatting a disk, installing Mac OS onto the disk, then booting from the drive.

 

Any pitfalls I should be aware of? I will be running Mac OS 7.1. Also, which version of the Iomega driver should I be using for a 100MB Zip drive? I've heard there are problems with the Iomega drivers related to putting the disks into different computers, but I won't be doing that.

 

Thanks in advance!

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Should be as simple as just installing the os onto the disk, if I rember correctly, if you leave the Zip disk in it can be accessed as a hdd without any additional drivers (in fact some people install them internally and use them as a hdd)

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That's good to know - thank you. I'm not sure an external Zip drive would fit inside the case of my LC475, but it's a nice idea! I'm still toying with the idea of getting a PowerMonster CF card adapter, but they aren't cheap...

 

Fortunately (for now) my internal HD seems to be working fine, but I'm sure it won't last forever.

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If you wanted to put one in your case you would need to find a internal one, shouldn't be too hard to find if you wanted too though.

 

Why not just get a SCA Server grade drive, there easy to get and very cheap, brought a 36GB drive for my 8600 for £8 + the £2 adapter.

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I had this working before. Both my Quadra 700 and 950 were booting of Zip.

Stopped working for both one day and could never find out what happened. :/

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CC_333 got me on to using the Patched HD Setup utility to format the zip disks. It treats it just like a scsi hard drive, formats it... and boots up and stops ejecting the disk at shutdown.

 

I think the zip drive makes a decent boot drive. little slow, but works!

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So it sounds like you can use a Zip disk more or less like an external SCSI hard disk without any drivers ... brilliant!

 

I've thought about getting an SCA hard disk, but I don't think I'd have any way of partitioning a large one correctly outside my Mac (and as far as I can tell you can't do it using the System 7.1 installation disks ... am I right?). Also, to be honest I'm looking for something a little longer-lasting than a hard drive. I know zip disks can be fragile but at least they're easily replaceable. If money was no object I'd go for a PowerMonster and an industrial CF card.

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The 2.5" 10k scsi drives that i sell are partitioned already, ready to drop in and use.

my price is 25 bucks ea. and that comes with the adaptor.

 

keep in mind most SCA hard drives do not work.

Something you would get from me, would absolutely work.

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Very interesting!

 

If you don't mind me asking, are the SCA drives you sell new, or new/old stock? Or have they seen some use already? Basically I'm looking for a drive solution that will last me 5+ years at least without worrying about it conking out at any point.

 

How much would you charge for delivery to the UK?

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its about 12 - 13 bucks to the UK.

 

They are used.

Even with a new hard drive you can't really guess how long its going to last.

So far out of the 25-26 hard drives i have sold, only one of them went bad.

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just rember you will need to find a terminator for it aswell if you use a sca drive, there are some on ebay for ~£3 or you can use 18 110 ohm resistors

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Not a bad idea, but keep in mind that Zip drives are known for been unreliable on the long run (look for "Click Of Death") i have got several and some are useless.

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Thanks for your replies, everyone. I mist admit I hadn't heard about the click of death, but this has somewhat put me off the idea of using zip disks long term.

 

Uniserver, one of your SCA drives is looking like an attractive idea! What capacities are they available in, and do they require SCSI termination?

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Basically I'm looking for a drive solution that will last me 5+ years at least without worrying about it conking out at any point.

You never really been able to count on a brand new drive manufactured in whatever current year lasting 5+ years.

Buy two drives, install the OS on both, put one in a safe place and back up regularly! ;)

 

Setting up an extra SCA drive in an external case with bootable partitions for all your OS choices for all your Macs is probably your best bet. ;)

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what happens with zip drives is you get a chipped or bad disk. from a bad drive… and then if you put that same bad disk in a good zip drive, it will destroy that good zip drive.

 

When in doubt you can always flip open the door on the disk, and try to spin it around if you see any chipping toss that mofo in in the garbage can.

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