Best Uses for Zip and SyQuest Disks

1998 – Whether you’re using a 44 MB, 88 MB, or 200 MB SyQuest cartridge, a 100 MB, 250 MB or 750 MB Zip drive, or some other removable media drive of similar or greater capacity – or even have spare low-capacity hard drives sitting about – here are some practical things you can do.

A Clean, Bootable System Disk

Do a fresh install to the disk of whatever version of the Mac OS you prefer. Optionally add the few extensions and control panels you can’t live without. Mark the disk clearly and set it aside for the next time your System, Finder, or some other crucial file gets damaged. Not only can you boot from this disk, but you can replace the damaged file with a good one from the Zip or SyQuest. (I used to do this on a 44 MB SyQuest, but Zip is much more convenient. Besides, I doubt you could run Mac OS 8.0 or later on a 44 MB cartridge.)

Emergency Disk

Copy the System Folder from the above disk. Install Norton, TechTool, Virex, Hard Disk Toolkit, and whatever else might be helpful in troubleshooting. Keep this in a safe place next to the above disk. This is the disk you boot from to reinstall drivers, check for damaged files, and optimize your hard drive. Note that it could become damaged or infected; that’s why you keep a separate bootable system disk.

Backup, Backup, Backup

Unless you have more than 1-2 GB of data, Zip makes a reasonable (albeit not inexpensive) backup medium. Buy a copy of Retrospect Express, which will compress files by about 30% on average. Install Retrospect Express on your Emergency Disk and it on your hard drive. Then do backup. Then copy the backup catalog to your Emergency Disk.

Sure, CD-R, CD-RW, Jaz, SyJet, and others don’t require as much disk shuffling, but burning CDs is slow and Zip isn’t too tedious. Besides, if you already have the Zip drive, a dozen disks won’t break the bank.

Backup religiously. Daily is best, weekly is minimum, monthly is criminal.

Keywords: #zipdisk #systemdisk #emergencydisk #backup

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