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Tech: Zip disks & XP

Gurney 26 Oct 08 - 12:14 AM
Rabbi-Sol 26 Oct 08 - 12:35 AM
JohnInKansas 26 Oct 08 - 06:21 AM
Gurney 26 Oct 08 - 03:52 PM
Amos 26 Oct 08 - 04:07 PM
Acme 26 Oct 08 - 04:29 PM
Gurney 26 Oct 08 - 06:08 PM
JohnInKansas 26 Oct 08 - 06:35 PM
Gurney 26 Oct 08 - 11:21 PM
pavane 27 Oct 08 - 03:58 AM
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Subject: Tech: Zip drives & XP
From: Gurney
Date: 26 Oct 08 - 12:14 AM

OK, I know they are old, but I've been using them for my business ledgers for 10 years. Today I tried to write to it, and it froze the computer, every time. It would read OK, move files from it OK, but not send them back.
This is the first trouble for a long time, and the first time I've tried to use it since installing SP3 on my XP computer. Which may be significant.
Is anyone else still using Zip drives? Are you having problems?

Not a big problem, I just went out and bought a thumb drive, but I would like to wear the Zip out. And maybe I have.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Zip disks & XP
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 26 Oct 08 - 12:35 AM

I have photos that are stored on zip discs that were originally put there with Windows 98. Now that I upgraded to XP my computer will not read those discs and show them as blank.

SOL


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Subject: RE: Tech: Zip disks & XP
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 26 Oct 08 - 06:21 AM

The last time I had a "floppy" drive, about ten years ago, I made an attempt at an inventory of the old floppys I had stored for (at that time) five to ten years. Virtually NONE of them were readable. I have, rarely, recovered data from 7 or 8 year old "flexible magnetic disks" - including ancient "floppy floppies" and 100 MB Zip disks, but our experience has been that it's rare for them to have anything readable on them after a very few years. The oldest of them actually seemed more likely to last than newer (with higher density and tiny bits) versions.

Although for a time we mailed ZIP disks back and forth with customers for data exchange - when dial-up email was too slow to send hundred page documents - we gave up on them due to poor reliability. We, and several of our trading partners, ran into a high percentage of poor quality disks that literally "ate the drives" when a disk failed.

After replacing five drives in one year, in two computers, we just took them out (and/or just quit trying to use them) and went to CDs - even though CD burners at that time were pretty clunky.

I do NOT TRUST flexible magnetic media of any kind - including ZIP disks, for data storage/archiving. During the latter part of the time when we still had some drives for them, we used them occasionally to "sneaker net" data from one machine to another, but we learned not to use them for storing data. The media just "fades" after a time.

(And the problem we found was that "three tries at reading" a "difficult" ZIP disk usually destroyed the drive, by "bending" the heads.)

IOmega, incidentally, is the source of one of my "classic stupidity" examples. The last couple of new drives that we bought came with all of the installation and setup instructions to get the machine capable of reading a ZIP disk - on a ZIP disk. (If you don't get the irony, just think about it for a bit.)

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Zip disks & XP
From: Gurney
Date: 26 Oct 08 - 03:52 PM

I have one of those 'Iomega Zip Tools' disks too, John. I classed it with Microsoft's putting the Startup Disk floppy on the CD, and then not telling the user to make it, even in the instal instructions.

Rabbi-Sol, I've never had a problem reading Zip-drives with 98, 98SE, Me (for a very short time,) or XP. Just, as I said, suddenly not being able to write TO them. But, I write to them from Works or some other Microsoft program. I did have a graphics-file program once in W98 days that stopped being updated after a while. It was called Hijack, and that's what it did, hijacked all the graphics on the computer, went out of date, and became unreadable. Full reinstall of evert graphic on the computer! Might something like this be your problem, a nowadays non-supported program?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Zip disks & XP
From: Amos
Date: 26 Oct 08 - 04:07 PM

Get all those files that are valuable to you onto thumb drives, and burn them to CD for back up, as soon as you can. The ZIP drives are old enough, and their interfaces dated enough that you could run into problems at any time. Migrate to thumb drives with regular back up to an external hard disk AND/OR CDs -- if these are business ledgers you probably don't want to entrust them to last generations technology anymore than you would want to keep them on floppy disks.


A


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Subject: RE: Tech: Zip disks & XP
From: Acme
Date: 26 Oct 08 - 04:29 PM

I still use zip disks, though not as much as I used to. I have a 250meg drive and disks that are both 250 and 100 meg. I haven't gone back to check out their viability, but I suppose I should back them up onto CDRs.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Zip disks & XP
From: Gurney
Date: 26 Oct 08 - 06:08 PM

Amos, it isn't all that important to me. I keep hard copies -paper- but occasionally I have to regenerate an invoice, or change a ledger, and Zip files are nicely arranged for the finding of, unlike thumb drives.
Maybe this generates another question.

With Zip, my invoice/ledger page template names start with 0(nil) so that they stay at the front of the drive. So, how do I keep certain files at the front of a thumb drive? They seem to migrate. I'll have to play with possibilities.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Zip disks & XP
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 26 Oct 08 - 06:35 PM

Gurney -

I usually just put a "!" at the beginning of the filename for the folder where I keep the stuff I want up front. Win Explorer sorts sort of alphabetically, and ! is before both "a" and "1." You can use folders on a thumb drive just like on a hard drive.

I recently found 4GB thumb drives selling for what half-GB ones were half a year ago (~$20 US), the equivalent of 16 250 MB ZIPs?

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Zip disks & XP
From: Gurney
Date: 26 Oct 08 - 11:21 PM

Yes, John. The 2Gb drive I just bought was NZ$19, and the one I bought for my son when he started university was 128Mb and $99!

I never thought of putting a folder in a thumb-drive. Must be used to small drives, eh? Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Zip disks & XP
From: pavane
Date: 27 Oct 08 - 03:58 AM

I bought an 8gb USB stick in Trier, Germany for Eu17, about $13, on Saturday.

But I also found they had systems on sale (for only Eu299) which include a copy of WIN XP home!!!! I thought this was no longer available.

(BTW my first HDD, a 32mb File Card for my old PC, cost me over £200 in the 1980's)


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