The Zip drive is a removable floppy disk storage system that was introduced by Iomega in late 1994. Considered medium-to-high-capacity at the time of its release, Zip disks were originally launched with capacities of 100 MB, then 250 MB, and finally 750 MB.
Parallel port external Zip drives are actually SCSI drives with an integrated Parallel-to-SCSI controller, meaning a true SCSI bus implementation but without the electrical buffering circuits necessary for connecting other external devices. Early Zip 100 drives use an AIC 7110 SCSI controller and later parallel drives (Zip Plus and Zip 250) used what was known as Iomega MatchMaker. The drives are identified by the operating system as "IMG VP0" and "IMG VP1" respectively.
Zip disks must be used in a drive with at least the same capacity ability. Higher-capacity drives can read lower-capacity media. The 250 MB drive writes much more slowly to 100 MB disks than the 100 MB drive, and the Iomega software is unable to perform a "long" (thorough) format on a 100 MB disk (They can be formatted in any version of Windows as normal; the advantage of the Iomega software is that the long format can format the 100 MB disks with a slightly higher capacity. 250 MB disks format to the same size either way). The 750 MB drive has read-only support for 100 MB disks.
Iomega also produced a line of internal and external recordable CD drives under the Zip brand in the late 1990s, called the ZipCD 650. It used regular CD-R media and had no format relation to the magnetic Zip drive. The external models were installed in a Zip-drive-style case, and used standard USB 1.1 connections.
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