on vtools/68kmla

Quicksilver G4 gets a Zip drive

This is something that happened simply because I found a supplier online whilst buying a spare PSU for my PowerBook 1400 laptop. I found this supplier had a selection of NOS facia panels for various different machines, and out of sheer curiosity I went looking for the G4 Zip drive bezel, and they had one for a very reasonable price. So I bought one.

I should go back a stage. The G4 for most of it's iterations was available with an optional Iomega Zip drive fitted, as was the G3 before it. Occasionally you see these models on eBay that have the drives fitted, however whilst my 'Beige' G3 tower had one, my 'Quicksilver' G4, being a lowly spec, didn't. As I'm using the G4 regularly and the G3 is in storage, I got the idea of adding the drive into the G4.

G4 Zip bezel

First thing's first, time to install the bezel onto the machine. This isn't very difficult, just a case of removing the DVD drive bay (four screws), and unclipping/removing the blank bezel. Replace with the Zip drive slot bezel, and that's done.

G4 front G4 bezels G4 front

All good so far. Next I went to attach the SCSI cable (also raided from the G3) into the G4, and this is where the wheels fell off the idea. In my enthusiasm to install the SCSI Zip drive into the G4, I completely overlooked one important fact: the G4 doesn't have internal, or even any sort of onboard SCSI. Whilst I do have a SCSI card fitted to facilitate an external port for my scanners, it doesn't have any sort of internal option.

So what to do? I've got the bezel installed in the machine and a box of 10 new-old-stock 100MB Zip disks ready to play with.

Some time later:

Zip drives

Now there's two Zip drives. On the left is the SCSI drive from the G3 (Z100Si), and on the right is a Z100ATAPI (IDE) internal drive fresh from eBay. Usefully, it turns out that the internal drives are a quarter of the price of their external counterparts, so it wasn't too excessive of an outlay. So let's carry on.

The drive fits into a slot underneath the CD/DVD drive (which requires removal of the chassis to get the drive in), and secures with four screws. Handily Apple prepared for the eventuality of this drive being added, so there's a spare Molex power connector and the IDE cable is routed in place already. Refit the drive chassis and plug in the connections, and it's ready to go.

Zip drive carrier G4 IDE cables

The thing I was worried about was whether this IDE Zip drive worked. I knew the SCSI drive worked as it had previously been tested by a friend for me, but the IDE version was an unknown quantity.

So firing the G4 up, the drive showed up in the system report, and inserting a disk made it show up in the Finder, as it should. So that's a success. I then ran some read and writes for a while just to make sure the drive worked reliably, which was also fine. So looks like I got a good drive!

System report Finder

I now have the Zip drive option in my lowly-spec G4. The irony being that this is the only Zip drive I own, and I have no real use for it. But now at least I have one, so if I need it in the future, it's there. That sounds like incredibly flimsy reasoning but that's what I'm going with!

Macbench graph