Zip Disk Data Recovery: Don’t Rule Out Drive Damage

by Rod Dunne on May 9, 2011

in Data Recovery

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Before launching into using zip disk data recovery software to retrieve lost files you should first consider the possibility of mechanical damage to the zip reader. In this post I’ll show you some of the checks I do whenever I need to locate files and old zip disks.

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Zip disks quickly went out of style as soon as USB flash memory sticks became popular. However, many people still use them, like me, for home backups of specific critical files. The simple fact was that the zip disk itself is quite sturdy and robust with a less open enclosure in comparison to the old floppy disks.

This robustness of the zip disks does mean that there less likely to be mechanically damaged, but does mean that if physical damage occurs then you have less flexibility about opening the disk and repairing the fault yourself.

Your first priority however when doing a zip disk data recovery should be to consider what condition your zip reader hardware is in. My device is now over 12 years old and will misbehave from time to time. This can be due to dust particles getting into device, power surges/spikes or problems with the read/write heads.

When issues like this arise you can attempt to clean out the device and check there are no damaged components inside. A power surge is more difficult to repair as many electronic components could be damaged. If the zip disk in the drive time then this may have also had some of its components fried.

One possibility you could consider when trying to find deleted files or doing a post format data recovery on a zip disk is to try using someone else’s zip reader. Try checking to see if your zip disk can be read by other devices. You should also check to see if your zip reader is capable of reading any of your disks (which may indicate the hardware itself is no longer usable).

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