How to create a 80MB ZIP Disk with OSX (Roland W-30)


Roland W-30 and other gear
Roland W-30 and other gear

Hi all,

First I start with a big compliment on all the work done by llamamusic. On their site I came across some links to download ZIP-archives for the S-550 and the W-30. As an owner of the W-30 I thought it would be interesting to have those archives. But there was no explanation of getting it to work with OSX. Only Windows and Linux are described.

But before putting my hands on the job. What is the point of connecting a ZIP Drive to your W-30? Well….you will have access to 80MB sounds (equal to 64 floppies!!) with every ZIP Disk and also the loading time is 2x faster.

Okay…cool…Although I installed the Gotek USB, somehow I was tempted to connect also a ZIP Drive so I visited the llama music website because there is well explained how to connect ZIP to your W-30.

Llamamusic logo

Let me start with mentioning that you’re about to make changes through ‘Terminal’. If you’re not used to ‘Terminal’ be aware that you can harm your computer when you make mistakes.

*** WARNING *** – NEVER CHOOSE OR MAKE CHANGES ON YOUR INTERNAL DISK (/DEV/DISK0 (internal, physical). This is the core area of your computer and can cause serious issues to the system with losing all data. (thanks to Ray Bellis to make you aware about this!)

But also…if you follow the steps you can enjoy real these zip disks created by Keith from Llamamusic. 😀

Before you start some important things you need to have:

  1. Installed SCSI-chip in your W-30. No chip? Buy it HERE. (around 7$ only)
  2. Correct System Files for your W-30. Download them HERE.
  3. External SCSI Zip Drive for your W-30. (See picture below)

    SCSI External Zip Drive
    SCSI External Zip Drive
  4. External ZIP Drive for your Mac. I bought a 2nd hand internal IDE Zip Drive and a cheap enclosure to connect it through USB. Works like a charm! (something like THIS.)
  5. Downloaded archives from llamamusic.  (ZIP1, ZIP2, ZIP3)


Fine! All complete? Let’s start. I’ll give you a step by step explanation to get it done. ‘Getting it done’ means installing the available archives on a ZIP Disk using Mac OSX. Just to be clear 😉

Roland W-30 HD-utility screen
Roland W-30 HD-utility screen
  • Format a ZIP Disk with your W-30.
  • Put the formatted ZIP Disk in the ZIP Drive connected to your Mac.
  • IGNORE the error given by your Mac.
  • Start ‘Terminal’
  • Mount the image file by entering this command into ‘Terminal’.
sudo hdid -nomount "/volumes/etc/etc/etc/zipdisk1.img"

etc/etc are the subdirectories to reach to the downloaded .IMG file. If you don’t know all the subdirectories, check in Finder. On the bottom you see the directories.

NOTE: In the command line ALWAYS START WITH “/VOLUMES/ and then the rest of your directories. In my case: “/volumes/macbookhdd/users/rpjmoes/downloads/zipdisk1.img”

The computer will ask for your password and after entering your PW the computer will give you the device number of the IMG. file.

  • Now get an overview of all the mounted disks by using the following command:
diskutil list

This gives you a result like this:

You see the following information about your drives: /dev/disk0 and /dev/disk1 are the internal disks,  /dev/disk3 is my external, physical Zip Drive and /dev/disk4 is the mounted IMG-file.

  • The next step is to unmount the physical drive ZIP drive by using the following command.
sudo diskutil unmountDisk /dev/diskX

Note: X = the number of your EXTERNAL physical drive. In my case it’s /dev/disk3

Enter your password again and your computer will tell you:

Unmount of all volumes on diskX was successful
  • Now we will copy the IMG-file to the physical drive. Use the following command.
sudo dd if=/dev/diskY of=/dev/diskX bs=131072

Note: DiskY is where the .IMG file is and DiskX is your physical ZIP disk. In my case /dev/disk4 and /dev/disk3.

There is no status bar so you will have to wait some minutes until you receive the following information to inform you that the copying has been done.

768+0 records in

768+0 records out

100663296 bytes transferred in 223.614830 secs (450164 bytes/sec)
  • Eject the ZIP disk by using this command
diskutil eject /dev/diskX

Down below the last steps done with my computer.

And there you have it….64 sound floppies on 1 ZIP Disk. 🙂

  • Put it in your SCSI ZIP Drive of your W-30 and check if it works.

Hope you could have done it yourself also.

Have a nice day!

Grtzz, Roger Mooze

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