Iomega Zip (1995 – 2003)

Zip was a high-capacity floppy disk format introduced in 1995 by Iomega.

It was initially available with 100 MB capacity, with 250 MB and 750 MB versions becoming available later. Higher-capacity drives can read lower-capacity disks. The disks had a retroreflective spot that allowed that drive to recognise the capacity of the disk, and eject it if it was of a higher capacity than the drive.

The drives were available as internal or external drives, with a variety of interfaces.

Zip drives sold well initially due to the low price and high capacity for the time, and were a cheaper alternative to SyQuest disks. In 1998, a class action lawsuit was filed against Iomega over a type of Zip drive failure dubbed the ‘click of death’.

After 1999 sales declined due to the falling cost of CD-R and CD-RW disks, followed by USB memory sticks.

The entire Zip range was discontinued in 2003.

The Zip brand was also used for recordable CD drives.

Preservation / Migration