Iomega Jaz Drive Still a Viable Backup Solution – Part 2 – Installation

Last week I was finally able to install the Jaz 2Gb drive at our office. The installation went without a hitch. I installed the Adaptec 2930 SCSI card in the PC, and at startup Windows recognized it and loaded a driver for it. Next I shutdown, connected the Jaz drive and booted up. Sure I could have hot plugged the Jaz drive in, but I’m a little nervous about such things since I damaged a PC by plugging a serial cable in while it was running (static electricity? who knows). The Jaz came up fine; I had Iomega Tools installed from the Zip 250 drive that I removed so the software even put a nice Jaz icon next to the drive in My Computer.

One thing I’ve always hated about the Jaz is that Iomega formatted the disks as FAT. Now granted the Jaz came out either before or right when FAT32 had just debuted, so this is not a surprise. Unfortunately, Iomega Tools replaces the normal format right-click menu command with its own which does not give you a choice as to which file system to use when formatting a disk. So I popped in the first disk, fired up the Disk Management console, verified the file system was FAT, then formatted it as FAT32. I formatted 2 more disks this way, but on the fourth disk I noticed it was already FAT32. The next two were the same. I looked at the disk cases and their model number was 10597. The other disks that were FAT formatted were model 10599. The first batch I acquired in a 3-pack, the others as part of a group of 10. Anyway, I thought this was interesting – maybe Iomega finally decided to format the disks as FAT32.

The only other problem I ran across was while inserting the Jaz disks. The disks need to be fully inserted to work properly. While testing my batch of 10 disks previously and while checking the current disks, I did not fully insert 1 disk at each time. When this happens, you can here the drive trying to spin up the disk but it cannot. The only thing I could do was turn off the drive then turn it back on. I was then able to eject the disk and reinsert it without further troubles. When the disks are fully inserted into the original green Jaz 2 GB drive (which I am using here), the disks actually go in farther than the lip off the insertion area. They are not flush with the front like the 1 GB Jaz disks are in the 1 GB Jaz drive.

So with the drive fully installed, I preceded to do a test backup. The batch file I use to copy the files from particular folders needed no changes and worked perfectly. So with that, I consider this a successful project with cost savings over the Rev solution mentioned in part 1, even with the extra disks and drives I purchased. With the amount of data currently being backed up, I figure I have at least 3 years until the Jaz 2 GB disks approach full. This is perfectly acceptable, giving me one less headache for a few years.

Leave a Reply