Cartridge-Based Removable Hard Disk Drives

Cartridge-based removable hard disk drives such as the Iomega Jaz Drive, the Iomega Peerless, and the Castlewood ORB Drive are an odd product category. They provide the capacity and performance of an older-generation hard disk, but in removable form. The availability of cheap, huge, fast hard disks and such technologies as CD writers and DVD writers has made cartridge-based removable hard drives a niche product. Cartridge-based drives still find limited use for such tasks as transferring large image files and other pre-press materials to service bureaus, booting a computer to multiple operating systems, and making instantly accessible (and bootable) backups. Although cartridge-based drives remain useful for such specialized purposes, most people are better served by standard hard drives—in either internal or frame/carrier-based removable form—and by such writable technologies as CD-RW and tape.

Numerous companies, such as SyQuest, have entered and then departed this market. That makes the ongoing availability of media a concern, because it is always proprietary. The three remaining mainstream products in this niche are the Iomega Jaz, the Iomega Peerless, and the Castlewood ORB, which are described in the following sections.

Iomega Jaz Drive

The recently discontinued Iomega Jaz Drive is a cartridge-based removable hard disk drive. When it was introduced several years ago, the Jaz Drive was quickly adopted by pre-press graphics houses, service ...

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