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Randy The Tech Professor

September 10, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Computer Repair Tools That I Can’t Live Without (Part 11: Zalman ZM-VE200 HDD Case)

Hello everyone,

In the past year and a half or so I’ve repaired over 350 computers. In this series I’m describing the very repair tools that I use daily. If you would like, you can see the entire series (up to this point) by following these links: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9, part 10, part 10.1, part 10.2, part 10.3, part 10.4 and part 10.5. Today, part 11.

Part 11: The incredibly awesome Zalman ZM-VE200!

Every once in a while a product comes out that is really a game changer. If you do any kind of computer repair, the Zalman ZM-VE200 (there is also a newer ZM-VE300) will absolutely change/improve the way that you do things. It is that cool!

The Zalman ZM-VE200/300 at first glance looks like any other Hard Drive Enclosure, but don’t be fooled! This incredible device allows you to boot your machine from an .iso file. The built in Zalman circuitry allows you to select any .iso which you have previously put on the drive, and load it just as if it were a DVD or CD-ROM optical drive (your computer sees the Zalman as a virtual CD/DVD drive). This means that instead of carrying around discs to install operating systems, you simply put the .isos on the drive and then select the .iso which you want to boot. Bye, bye optical drive, the Zalman is now the virtual optical drive!

Just think about it! Do you know how many .iso files that I have burned to CD/DVD! Right now I have a CD/DVD case full of discs such as: Puppy Linux, Ultimate Boot CD For Windows, Hiren’s Boot CD, Kaspersky Rescue Disk, Trinity Rescue Kit, Clonezilla Live, Ubuntu, GParted Live CD, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Knoppix, and many more. Now I can just put all of those .iso files on the Zalman and boot from the .iso of choice. Access times are USB fast (the Zalman ZM-VE200 is USB 2.0 capable and the Zalman ZM-VE300 is USB 3.0 capable), and believe you me, the .iso will mount and boot much much faster than a spinning CD/DVD platter.

The Zalman has so many more cool features that I could go on and on, but I’ll let you check out this video by the great computer repair tech Tim Kelly. It’s the best review that I have seen. Enjoy!

Professor Randy says: After trying the Zalman, you may never go back to burning an .iso file to disc again!!

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  • Guido Cruz
    12:15 am on July 6th, 2014 1

    Dear Mr. Knowles:
    This zalman interface is interesting and it is innovative. It is clear it works as a HD and a virtual Optical drive. What caught my curiosity is that if GParted live CD (ISO file ) can be installed on this zalman drive, I assume that generally it boots from the Zalman, the GParted program can Partition and Format a new PC’s Hard Disk. If I am not mistaken GParted is Microsoft’s.
    This is a unique feature that can be very helpful.
    Also, ZM-VE300 is USB 3.00 Capable but I wonder if it has legacy for USB 2.0.
    Plenty of users still use USB 2.0 and the rest USB 3.0. In either case, this is a nifty tool to have towards computer building or repair. I’m happily impressed with your video and its contents


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