Our item last time on Iomega Zip drives and the Click of Death generated several dozen replies. I am beginning to feel that this problem is akin to an inkblot test. Everyone sees something different in it. I have now read more theories as to what causes the Click and more suggestions as to what to do about it than I probably need to know. Still, here are a couple of the more promising tidbits:
Is it the disk or the drive? As to the question of whether the problem is due to a damaged disk or a damaged drive, the answer may well be: it's both! For example, Michael McGuire received this statement from Iomega: "A Zip disk can get out of alignment; if it does, it can damage a drive head and then of course all subsequent disks." Several readers confirm this. However, a damaged drive that does not mount disks, may still leave the disks undamaged - so that they mount in other drives.
Resetting your drive If your Zip drive appears to be trashed, Iomega suggests resetting the drive (a point we have also covered here before): To re-set the drive you must first "Shut Down" your Mac. Then right after you press the power-on key, press and hold in the Eject button on the Zip drive while the Mac boots. If your drive is not defective you should now have use of your Zip drive again.
Iomega also details how you can use Norton Disk Doctor to recover files from a damaged disk (although it requires putting up with minutes of clacking and then unerasing one file at a time).
Reformatting works? A couple of readers (Scott Kieffer and Winson Cheung) claimed that a disk that was reported as damaged on a drive connected to a Mac, mounted on a drive connected to a PC/Windows machine. After reformatting it on the PC, Scott took it back to his Mac-connected Zip drive and reformatted it again. It worked. Other readers did not find it necessary to seek out a PC. They found that these disks could sometimes be reformatted even on a Mac (especially if you use the Surface Verify option of Iomega Tools). Still, I would be wary of doing this, given Iomega's warning about a damaged disk possibly ruining a drive.
Be gentle David Crawford writes that Iomega tech support told him that the drive heads on Zip drives were more sensitive than those in conventional drives. To avoid damage, one has to insert the Zip disks "very gently."
Return it Several readers noted that Iomega has a web page for requesting a Return Authorization.