Blonde Guy

Iomega Zip Drive (ATAPI) and OS/2

When I wrote this article in May 2000, this was current hardware. In Dec 2008, I think I still have hardware like this somewhere. If you need to use zip disks, get a USB Zip drive. The final version of USB support from IBM supports IOMega USB Zip drives.

Zip Disk
The Iomega Zip Drive (ATAPI) is an internal 3.5 inch removable disk drive. A Zip 100 Disk holds 100,646,912 bytes, and is available in quantities of 10 for less than $10 per disk. The Iomega Zip Drive (ATAPI) is available in stores, by mail order and on the web for less than $100. The Zip Drive is a little slower than my hard drive, but much faster than a floppy.

The documentation that comes with the Iomega Zip Drive (ATAPI) does not mention support for OS/2, however IBM provides OS/2 support for Iomega Zip Drive (ATAPI). This support is included for OS/2 Warp 4 in FixPak 6 or later. You must ensure that your system is up to date.

Before installing the Zip Drive in your system, you must ensure that one line is included in the CONFIG.SYS file. Don't install anything from the CD. Edit your own CONFIG.SYS. Add the line


after the IDE support driver


and before the ATAPI CD-ROM driver


Install the zip drive according to the instructions. My best results were obtained with my hard drive on IDE #0, and the Zip Drive (slave) and the CD Rom (master) on IDE #1. This is the default setup in the manual. I tried the Zip Drive and a hard drive on IDE #0, and while it worked, the system was sluggish whenever the Zip Drive was in use.

When the computer is restarted, OS/2 should recognize the Zip Drive. Open the drives object, and check that the removable drive icon is present. If so, you have correctly installed the Zip Drive.

Zip 100 Disk's come formatted for DOS with the FAT file system. You may reformat the ZIP 100 Disk for HPFS.

OS/2 will disable the eject button on the Zip Drive, so use eject.exe (added by the FixPak) to eject the zip cartridge. In the workplace shell, use the right button on the removable drive icon to bring up the context menu, and select "Eject disk"

Last Modified: 2 Dec 2008
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Copyright 2008 by Blonde Guy