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I have a need to retrieve some data from a zip drive, but I cannot remember what I need to get everything working.

What I have:

Old PC with IDE controller running fresh install of WinXP SP3 ZIP drive with IDE interface

The CD-ROM in the PC was working, so I unplugged that cable and plugged it into the zip drive. I also set the jumper to "Master".

However, the BIOS does not see the zip drive, and neither does windows. I've tried both connectors on the IDE cable (I vaguely remember the days where A/B drives needed a twisted cable for the 2nd drive) but it didn't seem to make a difference.

What do I need to do to get this working? And will I need drivers, or will WinXP recognize the zip drive once I get the BIOS to see it?

(I can't even find tags to describe this problem :)

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Lots of alcohol, the drinking kind ;-> – Moab Aug 10 '11 at 0:57
Load defaults in the bios, if it is an older Dell, reset the nvram, post the dell model and I can turn loose some instructions. – Moab Aug 10 '11 at 0:59
Real men use Jaz drives. – Keltari Jun 10 '14 at 19:10
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Windows XP (at least with Service Pack 3 installed, and possibly also only with older levels of Servce Packs) should have no trouble recognizing a 100 MB Zip drive for you. Even without a disk inserted, the drive should still be detected by Windows XP. The fact that your BIOS doesn't detect it points more to hardware though...

If your computer is really old, you could be experiencing a lack of support from the hardware. Sometimes a BIOS update can resolve these sorts of issues. Also, try different power connectors (in case you got a bad one), or replace the IDE cable. If all that fails, you could try using an IDE add-in card (assuming you have one) -- are you certain that it's IDE?

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Sigh. It looks like the IDE cable to the CDROM went bad the moment I touched it - the machine no longer recognizes the CDROM, even though it was working fine this morning. Plugging the Zip drive into the cable going to the HDD and it showed up in XP as a removable drive. – chris Aug 10 '11 at 1:10
I wonder whats on all those zip disks you have? ancient secrets? – Moab Aug 10 '11 at 1:35
@Doc: they have a great sense of humor. I came back to my main system, and it looks like the KVM switch hung - no keyboard or mouse, even when I switched manually. Had to power off both systems to get them working again. So I obviously should have listened to Moab and just had a drink. Rectifying that oversight now :) – chris Aug 10 '11 at 1:56
OMG, Mother-in-law data, the most dangerous and fragile data known to man! Better make it a double-double shot tonight. – Moab Aug 10 '11 at 3:14
And indeed, I wager once you get the data off, she'll then recall she already backed it up on CD or something and had reformatted the zip disk with her notes for an "explicit" novel she was going to do – Doc Aug 10 '11 at 15:29

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