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What can I do about the Zip drive click of death?

Posted By : of Data Doctors on July 9, 1999

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What can one do about the "Click of Death" problem that is attributed to Iomega's Zip Disks/Zip Drive?

This question was answered on July 9, 1999. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

This is from the Iomega home page regarding the click of death:

Like the predictable snap of a camera, a "click" from a Zip drive is normal when a Zip user inserts or ejects a Zip disk, or when a file on a Zip disk is saved or accessed However, repetitive clicking is a symptom of a damaged drive or disk If you believe your drive or disk has been damaged, please call Technical Support (1-888-4 IOMEGA) Our technicians will assist you in troubleshooting your system, and if the drive or disk is found to be defective and in warranty, Iomega will repair or replace the affected product free of charge ********

Although built to be rugged and durable, Zip drives (like most other electro- mechanical equipment) contain intricate internal structures We encourage all customers to take the following sensible precautions in caring for their Iomega system:

Eject disks prior to transporting any Iomega drive This allows the drive heads (which read and write to the disks) to park in a natural position

Avoid dropping your drive; it may damage internal structures

Be especially careful to transport and store Jaz disks only in the Jaz disk cases -

The following is taken from a click of death web page formed by users with click of death issues and their resolutions! Good luck!

How can you cure Click of Death?

To answer this question we need to separate the cause from the symptoms Before reading this page you should at least have read "What IS the Click Of Death?" and "Is It Contagious?" so that you'll have sufficient background information about the true nature and cause of the Click Death problem


Curing the Cause

Since the true cause of Click Death is a physically, electrically, or mechanically defective Zip or Jaz drive, the only possible "cure" is the replacement of that drive

Iomega normally warrants their drives to be free from defects -- of exactly the Click Death variety -- for a period of one year from your date of purchase But since the Click Death problem has become such a huge and controversial problem for them -- not to mention tricky from a public relations and stock-holder perspective -- Iomega has extended their warranty policy in cases of Click Death and has said that they will replace Click Dead drives even when they are out of warranty!

Here's the whole story:

Steve recently appeared on a cable television show on the Ziff-Davis Television Network (ZDTV) "The Screen Savers" show had a segment devoted to understanding this Iomega Click Death phenomenon During the last third of the show, David Hellier, Iomega's General Manager of the Zip Aftermarket Business joined the show by telephone to provide Iomega's official position on the topic To everyone's surprise and delight, David Hellier publicly stated:

"If our customers have a problem specific to this issue, whether it's in or out of warranty, we're going to take care of and replace the product if necessary."

What does this mean to you?

It means that you're not stuck with defective Iomega drives which should clearly NOT have failed in this fashion It means that Iomega has agreed to REPLACE Click Death drives even if they are out of warranty because they know that it's not your fault that this has happened, and that it should not have happened to you

As you might imagine, Iomega is not particularly eager or excited about replacing out of warranty drives, so you may need to "nudge them a bit" with your knowledge of what David Hellier promised on live public television Here are excerpts from three pieces of eMail we've received that illustrate the point:

Thank you very much for your efforts with regards to the Click of Death issue I had a 2-1/2 year old Zip drive which was rendered useless about a year ago because of the "click" problem Because it was out of warranty I was using it as a paper weight until reading of your efforts online

With nothing to lose and everything to gain I called Iomega customer support I initially was told that because my Zip drive was out of warranty a replacement would cost "seventy something" US$ I mentioned the David Hellier promise and, after 30 seconds on hold, I was told "no problem, we’ll replace the drive"

The phone call with "return merchandise details" came the next day as promised Two days later I was contacted by the Iomega service center in Toronto to confirm the shipping address and to get a credit card deposit to be held until I returned the defective unit One and a half days after this I received the new drive with a prepaid courier slip for returning the defective one Everyone I spoke with at Iomega was helpful and courteous beyond belief I was especially shocked because of the rotten Iomega customer support I remember from 2 years ago What a change!! I’m impressed!!!

.. I would send you the drives and disks, but thanks to your information on David Hellier, I got Iomega to agree to replace everything

They were refusing to do so at first because they are out of warranty, but when I mentioned what David Hellier had said on TV, that they would replace the disks and drives, the rep checked with someone and then authorized it

I am sending the drives and 2 of the disks off today The other two I will send when I get back the first 2, to see if I can save the data Thanks for all your work and for the info on David Hellier

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Posted by of Data Doctors on July 9, 1999

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