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Flash Drive vs. Zip Drive

Monday, February 29th, 2016 by | Filed Under: Computer Terms, File & Disk Management, Quick Tips

I had a question recently about the difference between a flash drive and a Zip drive. Both are removable storage devices. The Zip drive was launched in the mid-1990s and used a Zip disc that was capable of holding between 100 and 750 MB. That was a huge drive back then.

zipdisk zipdrive

A zip drive required an external zip drive that plugged into the parallel port or it could be built into the PC.  Zip drives were fairly expensive and by 2003 had been pushed out of the way by recordable DVDs and USB Flash drives, like the one shown below.


Flash drives plug into the USB port of your PC and hold much more data than a Zip drive, typically between 4 and 128 GB at a fraction of the cost and no need for an external drive. Zip drives have been discontinued, but you can still occasionally pick up the disks online.

~ Cynthia

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2 Responses to “Flash Drive vs. Zip Drive”

  1. Greg says:

    Hi Cynthia
    I have a bunch of those zip disks that I used years back how ever I don’t have the zip drive any longer. Is there a way that I can get this imformation off of these zip disks some how at this time so that I can dispose of these disks all together now that they are discontuned.

    • cynthia says:

      You’ll need to find a ZIP drive that’s compatible with your PC or find a company that is able to transfer the data for you.

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