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zip drive in place of 3.5 floppy

By ewalsh ·
I have an old machine that requires me to place a file on a floppy disk. I want to install a zip drive onto the motherboard in place of the 3.5 floppy and want to know if this can be done. Is there some sort of cable conversion that will allow me to plug an internal zip onto the 3.5 floppy's port on the motherboard so that I can use a zip instead of a floppy?

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by gsquared In reply to zip drive in place of 3.5 ...

I used to have such a Zip drive, way back in the '90s. I don't know if such still exists.

At the time, it plugged in as a floppy drive, was bootable, etc.

I looked at www.iomega.com and the closest I see to that now is an IDE drive. That means it would go in place of a hard drive, not a floppy drive. So, unless you can find a still working copy from the early '90s, I don't think you can do what you're looking for.

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by spidershrek In reply to zip drive in place of 3.5 ...

Well it all depends on your zid drive. Usually internal zip drives can be plugged using your IDE cables coming from the hard drive or the CDROM. Another way would be using an external zip drive which can be use via USB.

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by spidershrek In reply to

You should not have a problem because the IDE cables come with and extra female connector.

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by XT John In reply to zip drive in place of 3.5 ...

How old a machine are we talking? if it doesn't have usb connections for an external ZIP, you may be able to find an old Parallel port ZIP drive. I have an old iomega 100meg parallel floating around...

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by TheChas In reply to zip drive in place of 3.5 ...

While a ZIP drive is the same form factor as a 3 1/2" floppy drive, you cannot use the floppy drive interface for a ZIP drive. Nor, can you use floppy disks in a ZIP drive.

An Internal ZIP drive uses either IDE or SCSI connections.

I recommend connecting the ZIP drive as Master or Slave on the same cable as your CD-ROM drive. The lowest drive letter that DOS or Windows will assign to the ZIP drive is

If the software you are using is hard coded to write to the A: drive, a floppy disk is your only option. Even the old "Super-Disk", that would read floppy disks, was an IDE device for the large disk.

As far as I know, there is no way to assign the A: or B: drive letters reserved for floppy drives to an IDE drive.


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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to zip drive in place of 3.5 ...

Well everyone is correct the current crop of Zip Drives are IDE so you'll at the very least need a Spare IDE Connection which may be a problem if you have 2 HDD's and 2 Optical's you would need a PCI/ISA depending on the age of the unit to IDE converter and you couldn't run the Zip off that it would have to be connected to one of the On Board IDE Channels.

As for booting you are unable to use either the A or B option but you could change the boot option in BIOS to Zip, CD, HDD and that may work if the boot disk isn't required in the A Drive and BIOS will support this option quite a few of the older BIOS's don't. This is something that you'll need to look at yourself on that particular machine.

In answer to your second question the answer is No there is no converter that you can use you need a IDE port available and it would be better if it was a primary one. Even then it may not work as the M'Board may not support a Zip Drive as a device to read a bot file from. The only thing that I can think of here is the Old Amstrad running DOS which had Dual Floppies that you had to boot from a Floppy to get started but I'm supposing that this is some form of security feature that is preventing some form of Windows from Booting as I really don't think that you'll see to many of those old Amstrad Dos units still around working.


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by Exp In reply to zip drive in place of 3.5 ...

if your PC got USB ports and your OS support USB I would rather use USB RAM drive they are cheaper and more reliable.

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by andy_kepler29 In reply to zip drive in place of 3.5 ...

Well Well, both would fit the bay, but it depends on the cabling on the drive and whether it's supported by the motherboard. You may be able to find adapters for some types. Here's a useful buyers guide: http://pickyguide.com/computers_and_software/disk_drives_guide.html

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