We have previously reported on the debate as to whether drive formatting utilities other than Iomega Tools can safely be used to format Zip and/Jaz cartridges. In this regard, a reader reports a recent correspondence with Iomega Tech Support that suggests that the Click of Death may result by using other drivers. Others have disagreed. While we have covered this general territory before, it seems worth a new look in light of recent coverage of the Click of Death:
"Any other driver that talks to the drive doesn't know about the Zero Track Directory; this is where the drive stores bad track info. For example, if you pop in a Zip disk and get the "Can't read disk, initialize?" notice, and you let it initialize, this erases the ZTrack and leaves you open to problems down the road. If you do this by mistake, you should use the Iomega Tools utility to reinitialize the disk.
A Click of Death can be caused by a Zip Drive not finding the Zero Track Directory on the Zip disk; it is caused by the head banging against the headstop in the drive. If this is allowed to continue, the banging will knock the head out of alignment, destroying the drive. If you get the Click of Death, immediately eject the disk if you can; otherwise yank the power plug to stop the action. Then eject the disk manually."
To ensure that no other driver besides Iomega is used to mount your cartridge, make sure that the Iomega Driver extension loads prior to other drivers at startup. You can use Norton Utilities to try to fix a damaged disk. We have listed the recommended procedure in a previous positing. Apparently, the advice not to check for or fix bad blocks is designed to make sure that the ZTrack information remains intact.