Recovering Map Databases from a Zip Disk

July 29, 2013
Michael G Olson

The Forensics / Born-Digital lab recently received a request from the Earth Sciences Library to recover the data off of a Zip disk.  The Zip disk format was created by Iomega corporation in 1994 and was a large floppy disk like format with a capacity of 100 MB.  The drives are no longer commercially available but the Forensics / Born-Digital lab has a Zip disk drive to recover data from this format.

The data on the Zip disk was successfully recovered and contained four very early FileMaker version 2.0 databases listing a map collection that Stanford Libraries is considering digitizing for a donor.  Once the data was recovered it became necessary to upgrade the database through three versions of FileMaker in order to make the databases readable.