ARCHIVED: With Iomega Zip and Jaz drives, what is the Click of Death?

"Click of Death" is the colloquial term for the distinctive sound that a Zip drive's read head makes when it becomes misaligned and cannot read a Zip disk.

The sound is caused by the head repeatedly hitting the end of its range in an ineffectual attempt to find the first track of the disk. The motion can also ruin the disk, making it impossible to retrieve data from it without professional intervention. Additionally, trying to read the damaged disk elsewhere can ruin other drives; a destructive loop can be created between detecting a error and attempting to clean the head upon encountering an error.

This problem is rare, but if you experience it, you should contact Iomega, the manufacturer of Zip drives. A lawsuit settlement (the Rinaldi class action settlement) provides support to users who purchased Zip drives between January 1, 1995 and March 19, 2001. For more information, visit Iomega Support at:

  https://iomega-na-en.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/iomega_na_en.cfg/php/enduser/cci/product.php

To protect yourself from the Click of Death, use the Iomega Tools diagnostics on the CD that came with your drive. You may also download the tools from Iomega's web site:

  http://www.iomega.com/software/drivers.html 

This software will check the heads and media. To test your drive, you will need a formatted Zip disk, then follow the appropriate directions below.

Windows

  1. Click the My Computer icon, and right-click the Zip drive icon.
  2. From the menu that appears, choose Properties, then click the Diagnostics tab. If you do not see a Diagnostics tab, you have not installed the Iomega Tools software.
  3. Click the Diagnose Now... button to start the drive function test. You will see a result of either "Passed" or "Failed".

If the test gives you a "Failed" result, or if the test gives you a "Passed" result but your drive still experiences repetitive clicking, you should contact Iomega Technical Support. If you are in a departmental computing lab, call your computing support provider for assistance.

Mac OS

  1. In the IomegaWare folder, open the Tools folder.
  2. Double-click the Tools application. In the Tools window that appears, you will see a line of unnamed icons along the top of the window. Choose the icon that is second from the left. The icon will have a picture of a blue Zip drive above a green Zip drive.
  3. Click the Push to Diagnose button. Your computer will automatically scan the Zip disk and drive. If they pass the test, the diagnostic program will give you a green light. If they fail the test, the diagnostic program will give you a red light.

If the test gives you a red light, or if the test gives you a green light but your drive still experiences repetitive clicking, you should contact Iomega Technical Support. If you are in a departmental computing lab, call your local support provider for assistance.

Iomega's support pages are at:

  https://iomega-na-en.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/iomega_na_en.cfg/php/enduser/cci/product.php?

This is document ahhd in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2008-11-01 00:00:00.

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