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Re: problems with Jaz partitioning

On 2 Nov 1997, David S. Zelinsky wrote:

> I recently had a problem with my Jaz drive, that Iomega, after giving me quite
> a run-around, eventually conceded was a bad drive (Jaz Tools couldn't even
> complete a format).

I have had similar problems.  I have gone through 5 Jaz drives and 7 disks
in less than a year.  The longest one lasted was 3 months.  Others have
failed out-of-the-box.  Iomega has replaced them all under warranty
(though the last replacement took over a month, and I have racked up a
fair amount of shipping costs). 

I have, at various times, tried to use the same Jaz drive with Windows NT,
Solaris_x86, Solaris_SPARC, and Debian (both stable and unstable)
distributions.  I have used three different motherboards/SCSI controllers,
several different cable sets, and two different active terminators.

I am convinced that the problems are with the Jaz disks and drive, not the
O.S. or computer.

> But in my conversations with Iomega's tech support, I was told not to use any
> formatting tools other than the one provided by Iomega (JazTools, for Win95).
> They claim that other formatting utilities can destroy the Jaz disk.  They
> said this is because the Jaz disks use "proprietary hidden tracks, called
> Z-tracks", and non-Jaz formatters won't handle these correctly.

> I don't know whether any of this is true, or whether it applies to fsck (they
> specifically said the Win95 ScanDisk, as well as the Adaptec 2940 BIOS
> utility, are a no-no's);  and if so, I don't understand how one could cause
> actual damage to the disk (as opposed to data on the disk).  But that's what
> they said.

Hmm.  Iomega support never told me that.  And, their FAX-back service
actually sends you instructions on how to use other formatting utilities.
Sounds like they need to get their act together.

> If anyone can shed any light on this issue, I'd be interested.  As
> things stand now, I'm a little afraid to put anything on the disk other
> than the vfat partition made by JazTools. 

I've also had problems with the Jaz Tools original disk where I didn't
touch the formatting at all.  In short, I have yet to find the recipe to
keep my Jaz drives going.

Keep good backups :-). 

    Andy Dougherty		doughera@lafcol.lafayette.edu
    Dept. of Physics
    Lafayette College, Easton PA 18042

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