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Iomega 250 MByte Parallel Zip Drive Review
Last updated: 4/26/99

My distributor mistakenly sent me one of these drives; so, I decided to take it for a spin.

This drive  was the easiest to install of any Iomega drive I have ever installed:

Configure your printer port for ECP (Bi-directional. The drive will still work if it is set for SPP), plug your printer into the Zip, the Zip into your printer port, plug the power converter into the Zip and into a power receptacle, fire-up your computer, insert the Iomega CD, and watch Windows 98 install the drive.

It was really that simple...  Unlike some other Zip drives, this one didn't insist on making my CD-ROM the E: drive.  In fact, it displays a window during the installation which allows one to reassign drive letters for the CD-ROM and Zip drive.  Older models of Zip drives would often grab drive D: from the CD-ROM and require going into the Windows Device Manager to steal it back.

After rebooting, the drive was up and running.  I had no problems printing to my shop printer (Epson Stylus 800) off the Zip drive.

I normally do not sell the parallel version of "Zippies" because they are slower than the SCSI and IDE/ATAPI versions; however, I surprised to find that the 250 Parallel Zip was as fast as it was.   I transferred 32 Mbytes from a Western Digital 6.4 MByte hard disk, in a 350 Mhz Pentium II computer, in 3 minutes and 10 seconds.  Although, this is about 1/3 the speed of a 100 MByte IDE Zip drive, it is still quite respectable and certainly much much faster than a tape drive.

Included with this well-packaged drive is a clearly-written and amply illustrated user manual. a CD with the Iomega drivers and Tools, another CD with Norton's Zip Recovery and System Doctor CE, parallel cable, 250 MByte Zip disk, and power converter.

BOTTOM LINE.  This drive is sleek-looking and appears quite well-made and solidly constructed.  It has enough capacity and speed for many small business accounting data back-ups.  It is well-suited for backing-up and moving data between multiple, stand-alone PCs without the extra hassle and cost of installing SCSI boards or IDE Zip drives in each one of them.  The ease of installation makes it a good candidate for moving software and data from the shop to PC's in the field.  It provides a good means for backing-up and installing software on notebook computers without a network interface.

The price should drop from the current ~$200 as the 250 Mbyte drives supplant the 100 MByte drives. 

The 250 MByte drives can read and write 100 MByte Zip disks.  The "high-density" Zip drive has arrived.


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