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Using Zip Disks to Transfer Files To/From Old/Modern PCs



Modern PC

If your 'modern' PC lacks a Zip drive, such a drive can be provided by way of an external USB Zip disk drive.




Old PC


80286 CPU, or better

If your old PC contains an 80286 CPU, or better, then attach a suitable Zip drive and use the GUEST software that is supplied with that drive. Click here to see some GUEST requirements/issues.


V20 CPU

You can think of a V20 as a faster version of the 8088 CPU, and with additional instructions.
Some people replace the 8088 CPU on their motherboard with a V20 in order to get a small improvement in speed, however, problems can result.

Iomega's GUEST software will run on a V20 CPU, and so if your old PC contains a V20 CPU, then attach a suitable Zip drive and use the GUEST software that is supplied with that drive. Click here to see some GUEST requirements/issues.


8088 CPU

Examples of old PCs containing an 8088 CPU are the IBM 5150 (IBM PC) and IBM 5160 (IBM XT).

Iomega's GUEST software will not run on an 8088 CPU, however Klause at http://leute.server.de/peichl/palmzipe.htm has written 8088 compatible software, named palmZIP, that allows the use of a parallel port Zip100 drive.

Parallel port Zip100 drives have the model numbers of Z100P and Z100P2. The Z100P2 is the later version of the Z100P. The model number is on a sticker at the base of the drive. Apparently, late model Z100P2 drives may not work with palmZIP (source: ftp://ftp.oldskool.org/pub/tvdog/tandy1000/documents/zipnotes.txt)

PalmZIP can be purchased for small cost from Klaus. Before you purchase palmZIP, it is recommended that you first download the trial version of palmZIP, then test that using the parallel port Zip100 drive you've acquired.

A reference to the palmZIP driver is placed in CONFIG.SYS (e.g. device=c:\palmzip\palmzip.sys)

I strongly advise you to partition/format the Zip100 disks using palmZIP's ZIPMAN tool, on the old PC.

Pictured below is a Zip drive model Z100P2 (power supply and data cable not shown).

zip100_drive_parallel.jpg