[SOLVED] Zip Disk 100 issues, Windows 10

May 26, 2019
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Good afternoon all,
I need to burn a 100mb Zip disk to update the software on one of our aircraft, and I have been having a hell of a time trying to figure out how to do it. I consider myself pretty tech-savvy, but this has me stumped and I've never been afraid to ask for help from those smarter than me.

I purchased an Iomega Zip100 external drive from Ebay (USB), and 10 discs from Amazon. The computer recognizes the drive, it shows as "USB Drive" in explorer, and is grayed out. Once a disc is inserted, it is not longer grayed out, but clicking on the drive results in a prompt to "Please Insert a Disc". I opened disk management, and it shows there is a 96MB unallocated drive there, however trying to format the drive leads to a cyclic redundancy check. Does anybody have any idea on next steps? I tried another Zip 250 drive we had on hand before this, and it also did not work. It would occasionally read the disks, but as soon as I tried writing on them they became corrupt and unreadable. Is it possible the first drive corrupted all the discs and I need to buy new ones?

Any help would be greatly appreciated, I am out of options and the only other way to update the software in the aircraft is to spend $15,000+ on a Solid State Data Transfer Unit.

Thanks in advance,
Patrick
 
The drive would normally still need formatting within admin tools/computer mngmt/storage/disk mngmt before being usable...

Not sure which systems are being modded with whatever firmware/software, but, there should be some pretty rigid procedures from quality control on where media comes from, as any media from e-bay could be merely 'bad' (best case) or root-kitted/malware-laden, not an optimal configuration when downloading new firmware into aircraft comm/nav systems, for example...,

All zip100-based drive media sets would likely be ~20 years old, even if 'new'....; one might be hard pressed these days finding some that are not physically corroded on the media.
 
Is the software in the form of a binary image which is to be cloned to the Zip disk, or is it in the form of an EXE or ZIP or something else?

You might like to examine the disk contents with a disc editor, eg DMDE (freeware).

Does the Zip drive require a special driver, or does it appear as a USB mass storage device?

Edit: Is this the correct guide?

https://secure.uasc.com/uninet/dealers/pdf/UASC_ZIP_DLinst.pdf
 
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May 26, 2019
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Good morning Gentlemen,
Looks like there's a few questions here I need to answer, let me start with a thank you to Ralston for moving this to the correct forum.

1. I am trying to update the Navigation Databases on the aircraft, the guide posted by fzabkar is indeed the correct guide from the manufacturer (I don't even want to know how you found that!). The data is supplied from the manufacturer as an EXE that will extract the data onto the disc. I do not believe the issue has anything to do with the manufacturer or their data, as I explorer won't even recognize the disk.

2. I have tried to do this on multiple computers, all 64 bit systems running Windows 10. The second drive we bought (Zip 100) did come with a CD to install the software, however it gives me an error at installation because the system is 64 bit, I may need to try a 32 bit computer (If i can find one!).

3. The computer recognizes the drive as a USB Mass storage device. In device manager, it recognizes the drive as "Iomega Zip 100 Drive". Disk manager shows its as a 96MB unallocated drive, but will not let me format it. File explorer shows the drive but will prompt me to "Please insert a disc" when the drive is selected.

I really appreciate you all taking the time to help us. The aircraft is going to get a full avionics upgrade in September to a newer system that will allow database updates through an SD card, but for now this is the only option. I'm constantly amazed that a multi-milllion dollar jet can be this hard to update a database on!

Thanks,
Patrick
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Is the interface on the aircraft specifically Zipdisk only?


For a 32bit OS to possibly manage this, I'd find any random cheap PC, and do a clean install of Win 7 32bit.
Wipe it again after, or keep it for doing this again.
 
May 26, 2019
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Good morning guys,
We are indeed working on finding an old XP machine today to try the ZIP drive on, I will report back once we have tried that. To address some other questions:
1. Fzabkar, the link you provided seem to be somebody with the same aircraft and avionics, however their issue is a bit different. Our aircraft can read the disks when I get them to write, however I can no longer write on any of them. I have tried booting with the disk already connected and was unable to read the disk at that time either.
2.USAFRet, the interface in the aircraft is just a ZIP drive on the pedestal (Between the two pilots seats) and is controlled through the Flight Management System. The manufacturer does offer a $14,000 upgrade to a USB or SD interface (Thats just for the unit, labor would also be expensive), however these old FMS systems are scheduled to be removed completely in September of this year, so I do not want to spend tons of money just as a hold-over until September. The rest of the community flying these aircraft has either upgraded their systems or gets Universal Avionics to send them pre-formatted Zip Disks. The disks sent by universal cost $250+ each month, we currently use this service but I would like to figure out how to burn our own disks to alleviate some costs.

Thanks all for the help, I will report back this afternoon or tomorrow once I have tried an older machine.
 

COLGeek

Titan
Moderator
Good morning guys,
We are indeed working on finding an old XP machine today to try the ZIP drive on, I will report back once we have tried that. To address some other questions:
1. Fzabkar, the link you provided seem to be somebody with the same aircraft and avionics, however their issue is a bit different. Our aircraft can read the disks when I get them to write, however I can no longer write on any of them. I have tried booting with the disk already connected and was unable to read the disk at that time either.
2.USAFRet, the interface in the aircraft is just a ZIP drive on the pedestal (Between the two pilots seats) and is controlled through the Flight Management System. The manufacturer does offer a $14,000 upgrade to a USB or SD interface (Thats just for the unit, labor would also be expensive), however these old FMS systems are scheduled to be removed completely in September of this year, so I do not want to spend tons of money just as a hold-over until September. The rest of the community flying these aircraft has either upgraded their systems or gets Universal Avionics to send them pre-formatted Zip Disks. The disks sent by universal cost $250+ each month, we currently use this service but I would like to figure out how to burn our own disks to alleviate some costs.

Thanks all for the help, I will report back this afternoon or tomorrow once I have tried an older machine.
Any update to this interesting issue?
 
May 26, 2019
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Good morning COLGeek,
I thought I had posted an update on this, just realized i forgot to! I was able to find an old Fulitsu laptop running 32bit XP. After creating an ISO from the Iomega Tool disk that came with the drive, I was able to mount it on the older laptop and get the software to install. Once the software was installed, it formatted the disk correctly and I was able to get the data to write! Now that the disk is properly formatted, I will be trying it on my 64 bit windows 10 machine next month when update time come just to see what happens. I really appreciate everyone's help on this issue, hopefully this post will stay up to provide anyone googling the same issue with some troubleshooting tips, how do I mark as solved?

Thanks,
Patrick
 
May 26, 2019
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Mandark,
Our drive came with a USB cable, and no drivers were installed on the XP machine that solved the issue. Both Windows 10 PC's recognized it as a USB mass storage device, and can read once the disks were properly formatted.
 

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