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How Can I Cure
Click Death?
How can you cure Click of Death?
To answer this question we need to separate the cause from the symptoms. Before reading this page you should at least have read "What IS the Click Of Death?" and "Is It Contagious?" so that you'll have sufficient background information about the true nature and cause of the Click Death problem.

Curing the Cause

Since the true cause of Click Death is a physically, electrically, or mechanically defective Zip or Jaz drive, the only possible "cure" is the replacement of that drive.

Iomega normally warrants their drives to be free from defects -- of exactly the Click Death variety -- for a period of one year from your date of purchase. But since the Click Death problem has become such a huge and controversial problem for them -- not to mention tricky from a public relations and stock-holder perspective -- Iomega has extended their warranty policy in cases of Click Death and has said that they will replace Click Dead drives even when they are out of warranty!

Here's the whole story:

Steve recently appeared on a cable television show on the Ziff-Davis Television Network (ZDTV (now TechTV)). "The Screen Savers" show had a segment devoted to understanding this Iomega Click Death phenomenon. During the last third of the show, David Hellier, Iomega's General Manager of the Zip Aftermarket Business joined the show by telephone to provide Iomega's official position on the topic. To everyone's surprise and delight, David Hellier publicly stated:

"If our customers have a problem specific to this issue, whether it's in or out of warranty, we're going to take care of and replace the product if necessary."

YOU CAN WITNESS David Hellier promising to take care of this problem for Iomega's customers in several ways. The following two Windows wave files can be played on any sound-equipped Windows system:

 David Hellier Introduces Himself  (80k .wav file)
 David Hellier's Promise to Replace Click Dead Drives! (71k .wav file)

Since those wave files are short excerpts from David's statement toward the end of the show's Click Death segment, you may want to listen to the entire segment to be sure that David's promise was not taken out of context. You can listen to the show with a version 5.0 or later of RealAudio player (FREE Download)

 The Screen Savers Click Death Segment.  (14 min. lower quality)
 The Screen Savers Click Death Segment.  (14 min. higher quality)

(NOTE: Since David Hellier joins the show at 8 minutes and 30 seconds (08:30) into the RealAudio stream, you can jump there by dragging the RealAudio playback slider once the stream has started playing.)

What does this mean to you?

It means that you're not stuck with defective Iomega drives which should clearly NOT have failed in this fashion. It means that Iomega has agreed to REPLACE Click Death drives even if they are out of warranty because they know that it's not your fault that this has happened, and that it should not have happened to you.

As you might imagine, Iomega is not particularly eager or excited about replacing out of warranty drives, so you may need to "nudge them a bit" with your knowledge of what David Hellier promised on live public television. Here are excerpts from three pieces of eMail we've received that illustrate the point:

Thank you very much for your efforts with regards to the Click of Death issue. I had a 2-1/2 year old Zip drive which was rendered useless about a year ago because of the "click" problem. Because it was out of warranty I was using it as a paper weight until reading of your efforts online.

With nothing to lose and everything to gain I called Iomega customer support. I initially was told that because my Zip drive was out of warranty a replacement would cost "seventy something" US$. I mentioned the David Hellier promise and, after 30 seconds on hold, I was told "no problem, well replace the drive".

The phone call with "return merchandise details" came the next day as promised. Two days later I was contacted by the Iomega service center in Toronto to confirm the shipping address and to get a credit card deposit to be held until I returned the defective unit. One and a half days after this I received the new drive with a prepaid courier slip for returning the defective one. Everyone I spoke with at Iomega was helpful and courteous beyond belief. I was especially shocked because of the rotten Iomega customer support I remember from 2 years ago. What a change!! Im impressed!!!

... I would send you the drives and disks, but thanks to your information on David Hellier, I got Iomega to agree to replace everything.

They were refusing to do so at first because they are out of warranty, but when I mentioned what David Hellier had said on TV, that they would replace the disks and drives, the rep checked with someone and then authorized it.

I am sending the drives and 2 of the disks off today. The other two I will send when I get back the first 2, to see if I can save the data. Thanks for all your work and for the info on David Hellier.

This instructional note was posted to one of the "Click Death" message boards:

I called Iomega one minute after their support lines opened today. Here's how I got A FREE REPLACEMENT FOR AN OUT OF WARRANTY DRIVE. They are replacing it with a NEW drive, not a reconditioned unit.

1.) Get the quotes by David Hellier, general manager of Zip aftermarket business. They can be found in .WAV form at:

(Steve Gibson, I can't thank you enough for those .WAV files!)

Mr. Hellier states "If customer's have a problem specific to this issue whether it's in or out of warranty we're going to take care of and replace the product if necessary."

2.) Call Iomega at 1-800-MYSTUFF. DO NOT select the tech support option! GO DIRECTLY TO CUSTOMER SERVICE. I believe it's the last option listed on the voice menu.

3.) Start the call by stating that you have a drive with click-death. Next read the quote by David Hellier and ask them if they are going to stand by Mr. Hellier's statement.

Tell them how many disks you inserted in the drive that were clicked on before you discovered what the problem was via the internet. Tell them you DID NOT discover how serious the problem was at the Iomega web site. Tell them that neither Iomega's web site or their automated help line tells you to stop using the drive immediately if it begins clicking and that the omission is a serious oversight and a disservice to their customers.

4.) That's it!

They took the usual info - serial number, how many disks were trashed and a credit card number to do express shipping. The credit card IS NOT necessary if you are willing to ship the bad drive first and then wait for the replacement to show up afterward. I didn't want to wait but you bet I am going to keep an eye on my charge statement anyway. I specifically asked the rep to state, before giving the credit card info, that there was a clear understanding that I was not being charged for the replacement drive. The rep verified that there was no charge for replacing the out of warranty drive.

They are also shipping out three replacement disks separately. Although it would not have been unreasonable the rep did not ask for proof of purchase for the drive or disks.

The rep at no time questioned wether the drive was defective. No stupid questions. You may not have to state as many of the points as I did but keep them in mind.

Unfortunately, I didn't take down the guy's name, probably because I was overwhelmed by the lack of resistance to replacing the drive for nothing. I suspect, if you mention click-death and Mr. Hellier to a customer support rep they will now quickly and quietly replace the drives to keep the uproar to a minimum.

For what it's worth, the customer support rep said I could attempt to recover data from the clicked-on cartridges in the new drive. Just have those cartridges replaced after the recovery attempt.


(Note: Rick has continued his valuable research into how to best deal with Iomega. His latest Guide to Click Death Drive Replacement is available through this link!)

Click Here for Additional Iomega Return Reports

So, as you can see, you may need to stand up for your rights, as authorized by David Hellier. But many people have reported success in having their old out of warranty Click of Death drives replaced after doing so.

Once You Have Replaced Your Drive(s) ...

The first thing to do is to absolutely verify that your replacement drive is now working perfectly. To do this you'll need to have a known good cartridge. You might consider purchasing a new one just for this purpose, or have Iomega also exchange a questionable cartridge for a brand new one since all cartridges have a lifetime guarantee. Once you have a new cartridge and a new drive, run our freeware "Trouble In Paradise" (TIP) program on them several times. Follow the diagnostic instructions provided by TIP to make sure that everything is now working correctly.

Now that you are equipped with a perfectly working drive, it will be possible for you to proceed to . . .

Curing the Symptoms

Since the symptoms of Click Death are the result of cartridge damage induced by malfunctioning drives, you must be absolutely certain that your new Iomega drive is working correctly before you attempt to clean up whatever damage which was done by the previous Click Death drive. To verify that your drive is capable of doing more good than harm see the "Once You Have Replaced Your Drive(s)" paragraph just above this section.

Our findings, and those of many happy users, have shown that just running our freeware "Trouble In Paradise" (TIP) utility with a healthy drive on a troubled cartridge will often completely remove all signs of damage and restore the cartridge's sectors to full health! In other words, when used on a healthy drive, TIP is very effective at keeping cartridges in good health. During this process some previously damaged areas may be relocated by the drive, but this is to be expected and is completely normal behavior the first time through. After a full TIP pass over the cartridge, the cartridge should function without any further trouble.

In cases of severe previous damage, and especially when the data stored on the cartridge is important and must be recovered for use, a true data recovery tool should be used instead of TIP (since TIP does not work to recover unreadable data and can not prevent a sector's spontaneous relocation before all possible data has been retrieved). Our own commercial SpinRite 5.0 mass storage data recovery and maintenance utility is the best tool available for this purpose.

PLEASE NOTE that the Microsoft ScanDisk program MUST NOT be used under any circumstances since it performs NO data recovery at all!

PLEASE KNOW WHAT YOU'RE USING! ScanDisk and other "hard disk utilities" complain a lot about the condition of your drive, but they do nothing to help recover your data from unreadable sectors -- They merely block them out from future use and tell you that all of your data has been lost!  If you use some utility software other than SpinRite 5.0, please be certain about what it does and how it handles the recovery of unreadable data, otherwise your data will be lost forever when it could have been recovered. After that, it will be too late to use SpinRite since the data in those sectors will already have been completely discarded. SpinRite is highly adept at recovering data that is completely unreadable by conventional methods. That's one of SpinRite's primary benefits.

So, once you have run TIP, SpinRite 5.0, or another data recovery utility (other than ScanDisk) on all of your data cartridges with the brand new healthy drive, all trace of the previous damage done by the Click Death drive will be eliminated and you'll be ready to use your Iomega mass storage products with complete confidence once again.

And finally, re-run TIP from time to time to keep a watchful eye on your drive and to be alerted immediately if it, too, begins heading into Click Death oblivion!

What IS the
Click Of Death?
How can I tell if
I have Click Death?
What can I do
Is it contagious? How can I cure it? How does SpinRite
figure into this?
What else has been
written about this?
The anatomy
of a Zip drive
Steve Gibson's
Click Death Q&A
Can you notify me of important news? So what's next?

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Last Edit: May 04, 2013 at 18:12 (4,057.70 days ago)Viewed 7 times per day