Saturday, 22 November 2014

Adding Iomega 100MB External Parallel Zip Drive Z100P2 ZIP100 onto Amstrad PC 1512

While I was researching on the Internet and trying to find out a solution with finding a suitable replacement for my faulty XEBEC 4000 10MB MFM 5.25" Hard drive with XEBEC SCSI controller FAB 104277 REV E-00 (pictured below) containing 50 pin IDC connector & cable for internal hard disk connection, 37 pin D- type connector for external connections as well 4 jumper positions for I/O configuration, 4 Jumpers for "OPTN", 1 jumper marked RD and 3 jumpers for ROM from my Amstrad PC 1512 HD10, due to water damage from moist / damp in my mum's huge unfurnished attic on Tuesday 7th February 2012.


I come across to these links: Sign 100MB ZIP DRIVE in AMSTRAD PC1512
Using Zip Disks to Transfer Files To/From Old/Modern PCs while going through my retro Computer Accessories collection to sort out my faulty 10MB hard drive and saw my old Iomega Z100P2 with power supply, parallel cable, software and few of Zip 100MB disks, etc with invoice dated Feb 19 2012 for £8.89. So I dig it out my Z100P2 - Malaysia version and giving it a try with using a free demo version of PalmZIP.sys - PALMDEMO.ZIP, connected to the back of my Amstrad PC 1512 as shown picture below.

In a result, it works ok with the demo version including formatting 3 x 32MB partitions using ZIPMAN 1.40 utility as well ejecting ZIP disk, etc except having a small problem with accessing one of 32MB partitions.

After I've send a email to Klaus Peichl for ordering full licensed copy of PalmZIP.sys driver with printed manual and paid a total of €14.00 EUR (£11.38) via PayPal on 20/12/14, while purchasing another 2 x Z100P2s from eBay, he says:

"Note that there are (at least two) different ZIP100P2 versions and only the older one is compatible with my driver. I'm not sure how to distinguish the driver version, but from my experience, it sems that the ones made in Philippines work well, whereas the ones made in Malaysia are incompatible."

Finally, Philippines version (DDXZ100P2) including the soft case and other accessories (pictured bottom right) for £25.60 from eBay - 10/12/14 has arrived, I tested it the same way as I did with my other Malaysia version.

And the Seller: mcjibba from eBay tried to ripped me off with selling me his dodgy Iomega Z100P2 with missing supplied complete power cable, no disks, software, nothing, even tried to refused sending me a full refund, but it didn't worked!! Lucky, both eBay and PayPal are on my side and offered me a full refund after I've returned back to him via Recorded delivery on 15/12/2014 16:47, even the Seller has send back his Iomega Z100P2 to me, this time with fully complete power cable.    

Unfortunately, it come up with the exactly same problem. So I checked the version of MS-DOS, it was running MS-DOS 3.20 from Western Digital FileCard 30 Perference ISA Card (30MB HardCard) fitted with Western Digital WD93038-X 30MB IDE XT Hard drive internally, supplied with my 2nd customized Amstrad PC 1512 DD (right hand side with PC-MM Monitor showing FastLynx software main screen and Malaysia version Z100P2 under the table) in one of the pics below - has seriously & heavily 'upgraded' to Amstrad PC 1640 spec, I finally realized the problem was from this link: Modern 8 bit IDE Controller for XT

I needed to use MS-DOS 3.30, NOT MS-DOS 3.20!! But I don't have a copy of MS-DOS 3.30 unless I try to use one of Amstrad PPC 640 System Disks (supplied with my Amstrad PPC 640 with built-in 20MB Hard drive) on Amstrad PC 1512. I'll give it a another try with both Malaysia & Philippines versions of Z100P2s using MS-DOS 3.30 on Amstrad PC 1512 this time and see what happens. I think Malaysia version will work with PalmZIP driver, same way as Philippines version, but will wait and see for the outcome after finished experimenting with both Z100P2s versions.

In the end, finally, I've got the Malaysia Z100P2 version working with PalmZIP driver, same way as Philippines version.

Works perfectly in both DOS 3.20 and GEM 2.0 desktop environments, recognized 3 x 32MB Partitions as follows:

Drive Letter
Volume Label
HDD Size Max
Partition 1
32MB - FAT12 / FAT16
Partition 2
32MB - FAT12 / FAT16
Partition 3
32MB - FAT12 / FAT16

To add the icons in Disk Drives: section on GEM desktop as shown on my 1st
Amstrad PC 1512 HD10 - upgraded to Amstrad PC 1640 spec (left hand side with PC-CM Monitor & Philippines version Z100P2 under the table) in one of the pics below, I had to add them manually via Install Disk Drive... from Options menu and then select Save Desktop from Options menu one more time. After that, I can access, copy, delete in any of 3 x 32MB Partitions as normal without any problems and no need to add icons manually ever again.

To be honest with you, from the start, I was very confused with Cauldron's pages about his Amstrad PC 1512 modifications and other linked pages why it didn't worked on my Amstrad PC 1512. 

Even Klaus Peichl replied via email dated 20/12/14 23:09:10:

"You are really digging out interesting information. I must admit I wasn't aware of the difference between MS-DOS 3.2 and 3.3. But I'm a bit confused. On the page you linked, it reads "No partitions supported" in MS-DOS 3.2. But if I understand you correctly, you *did* manage using 3 partitions with DOS 3.20 and GEM 2.0?"

It turns out that some of his info is incorrect, all thanks to my usually learning long and hard way of trial and error method with thinking, planning, researching, analyzing, comparing and experimenting which I loved the most when trying out with any Computers / Electronic goods. That's how I proved some people wrong, lol! Not just like only testing one item, it works and that's it or just assuming it works without any huge amount of experimenting involved.

As for my very first attempt, after reading the palmzip.txt file, I thought let's try with options, so I put the following line in Config.sys file using
simple screen editor RPED:


It didn't let me to access any of the partitions in DOS with Malaysia version after it has been formatted, spending whole day, trying to figure out the problem, then when Philippines version arrived from eBay, same problem. Back to the drawing board and couldn't access to 5.25" disks at all, as all 5.25" disks are damaged including original Amstrad PC 1512 System Disks or 5.25" drives are no longer working. 

In the end, I've managed replaced the 360k 5.25" Floppy Drive A with 1.44MB / 720k 3.5" drive as well adding a few lines in Config.sys file:


And created a copy of both Amstrad PPC 640 (containing MS-DOS 3.30) and Amstrad PC 1512 System Disks (for MS-DOS, NVR and GEM 2.0) in 3.5" format, trying both of them, still didn't solved the problem, until I give it a try with using only this line:

DEVICE=C:\PALMZIP\PALMZIP.SYS and it worked, just realized /B option (Force bidirectional mode) is what causing the problem the whole time, so in the end, I just modified the same line as follows:

DEVICE=C:\PALMZIP\PALMZIP.SYS /LPT1 /T /C to make it as default setting for selection of parallel port where the drive is connected and playing around with GEM 2.0 Desktop as well reading Amstrad PC1512 User Instructions Book 1 to get the additional Disk Drive Icons for 3 x 32MB partitions from Iomega Z100P2 Drive.

As a bonus, I've managed to install separate Internal Iomega Zip 100MB Drive - IDE ATAPI version and got it working for my Daewoo CT5810 PC (
Windows 98SE) with TEAC TEAC FD-505 3.5" and 5.25" combination Drive.

So, in a summary as follows:
  • Can be used any Iomega Z100P2 versions - either Malaysia or Philippines (DDXZ100P2) on Amstrad PC 1512
  • Works with either MS-DOS 3.20 (supplied with Amstrad PC 1512) or MS-DOS 3.30 (supplied with Amstrad PPC 640)
  • Must own a licensed copy of Palmzip.sys Driver with or without printed manual from Klaus Peichl
  • Add this line in C:\Config.sys file: DEVICE=C:\PALMZIP\PALMZIP.SYS /LPT1 /T /C
  • Had to add 3 x Disk Drives section icons manually on GEM desktop via Install Disk Drive... from Options menu, as well Save Desktop from Options menu AFTER booting DOS.SYS (F2) first, load up file and then loading GEM from DOS Prompt.
After all that, you can access, copy, delete in any of 3 x 32MB Partitions as normal without any problems.

My next Amstrad PC 1512 project will be adding XT-IDE rev.2 ISA 8-bit IBM XT PC AT CF adapter with separate 40-pin IDE Connector (male) CF to IDE Compact Flash Card Adapter - fixed on the case by screw, so that I can insert or remove any 32MB, 256MB, 512MB or 1GB CF Cards easily from the side of Amstrad PC 1512 without opening the whole computer case and covering up the remaining empty slots with one of PCI Metal Blank Plates / PC expansion slot covers.

And Amstrad PC 1512 to Windows based PC communication for transferring data between two computers, using both Internal & External Iomega Zip 100MB Drives as data storage. 

Update on Monday 7th March 2016 01:11:

I've successfully tested the same Iomega Z100P2 (Malaysia) on my Amstrad PPC 640 with SPRINT Hard Disk Expansion: Conner Peripherals 20MB - CP3024 with Stratum Technology Sprint Model 3 Controller & Broomsleigh Disc BIOS version 1.6.3 installed and it works perfectly!!! Even, I've got FastLynx software loaded from the E: drive on Z100P2 - previously copied all the contents from Western Digital FileCard 30 (Hardcard) supplied with my Amstrad PC 1512DD.

All I did was copy the 'Palmzip' folder from C: drive to the A: drive and as well add this line in A:\Config.sys file: DEVICE=A:\PALMZIP\PALMZIP.SYS /LPT1 /T /C

See following pictures below:

Update on Wednesday 9th March 2016 00:00:

I've successfully tested the same Iomega Z100P2 (Malaysia) on my Amstrad Mega PC with MS-DOS Shell Version 5.0 installed on 40MB HDD and it works perfectly except /T /C are invalid switch and 3 x 32MB Partitions are not recognized, instead only Drive D: recognized and can be used in MS-DOS 5.0!! FastLynx software loads up smoothly from D: drive on Z100P2 - previously copied all the contents from Western Digital FileCard 30 (Hardcard) supplied with my Amstrad PC 1512DD
Update on Thursday 25th February 2021 02:14:

Iomega Z100P2 works very
successfully on RM Nimbus PC-386/20 without any problems after having an idea in my mind for testing. See both 12th Feb 01:48 & 25th Feb 03:02 posts from RM Nimbus User Group on Facebook.

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