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Iomega sued over Zip-zapping ‘click of death’

Zip maker denies allegations

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A group of Iomega customers are seeking unspecified damages from the company over the so-called 'click of death' fault, which destroys data stored on Zip cartridges, the group alleges. Members of the group claim the fault is endemic in all Zip drives constructed after January 1995. Particles of metal and lubricant accumulate on the drive's read head, a process that eventually ensures that "all data stored on the affected drive become irretrievable", according to the suit, filed with the Delaware Superior Court. The fault initially manifests itself as a continuous clicking noise while the drive is in operation. The fault "manifests itself without warning", so it's impossible to trust valuable data on Zip cartridges. Presumably, the damages that the suit fails to state in full will, if the group wins the case, include a court order forcing Iomega to re-engineer its drives to eliminate the problem and possible to supply users with 'safe' units. Iomega responded to the suit by denying the allegations and stating it will defend the suit vigorously. It claims less than half of one per cent of Zip users, of whom there are millions of around the globe, have complained about the problem. Regular Register readers will recall an Iomega Europe spokesman who blamed the problem on users spilling coffee on their drives -- and a source close to the company who claimed it was receiving and repairing a very large number of clicking units every week (see Iomega blames coffee for Zip failures). At the time, Iomega Europe refused to comment on the number of returns. Perhaps the new suit will bring that information out into the open. ®

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