back to article Zalman ZM-VE200 portable virtual Rom drive

Zalman's external hard drive case is a bit different from most. Yes, it works like a standard drive case - slip in a 2.5in hard drive or SSD, and hook up the extra storage to your computer over USB 2.0 or eSata - the ZM-VE200 supports both. It's a nice-looking unit too, though - again - that's not uncommon. Ditto the small LCD …

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Old News

i-odd have been making and selling these for ages...

http://www.i-odd.com/

Great bit of kit

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i-odd sold the design to Zalman

i-odd's are no longer available as the design was sold to Zalman. They have re-designed the enclosure for an easier installation of the HDD. Still a great bit of kit. I have one of each :-)

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Holmes

What about...

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/yumi-multiboot-usb-creator/

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Silver badge

Almost

But all that will do is boot linux type ISOs. Windows users are out of luck.

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Much more flexible

the USB Multiboot creator can work to some extent, this device is another step up..

I hold all my dev tool ISO images as well as OS install ISO's, the only limit is the size of HDD you fit in..

I've also run into some linunx live-cd's that have been poorly created such that they expect the files to be on a CD drive, something the USB creator doesn't fully emulate in the same hardware way.

Plus, having the dual mode is handy, all my drivers/support files are also available while the image is mounted, making it that little bit more flexible..

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Nope

It can and does let you put Windows 7 etc on as an iso as well

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FAIL

Incorrect Statement

"There are flaws: it doesn't remember your ISO choice after the power's cut. And there's no way to reverse your choice other than powering down and re-selecting."

I have owned one of these for 6-8 months. This statement is incorrect. With an image selected and loaded press the jog dial inwards, this unmounts the image and allows you to reselect by tweaking the dial up and down.

Secondly you can organise the images in folders within the _ISO directory, makes it easier to find things.

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Flaws aren't correct (for 1.00.00.61N firmware at least!)

I've just bought another VE200 (The first was stolen), and I've just double checked, but it seems you may be incorrect in its flaws.

"There are flaws: it doesn't remember your ISO choice after the power's cut. And there's no way to reverse your choice other than powering down and re-selecting."

I'm using the 1.00.00.61N Firmware (It's been around since the unit launched earlier in the year) and

1. I've just tested in Dual Mode, and it does remember the last mounted ISO which is remounted when the unit is powered up again.

2. You can select another ISO on the fly by just using the Jog Wheel, then pressing it..

3. You can change modes (Between ODD/HDD and DUAL) from the menu too..

It's a great little unit, there are some reported ISO's that don't work properly, but I've found it works amazingly well for the wide range of OS's and dev tool ISO's I've used mine for..

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Silver badge

Been using one for years

I have one of these, and I made my workplace buy me one. It's wonderfully practical for installing software on notebooks, to save you carrying driver disks everywhere, for booting Linux ISO's to repair machines, etc. and it just appears as a standard USB CDROM drive to even a vaguely modern BIOS.

I also have things like a Ghost boot disk (with ghost images stores in the non-_iso folders of the drive), Windows/Ubuntu install CD's, etc. loaded onto it. My one actually remembers the last ISO you used, too, so I don't know what's wrong with this new revision or whatever it is.

The only problem - large files being fragmented on the NTFS drive cause merry hell and sometimes it will just refuse to load a DVD image until you defragment the entire drive.

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This thing has changed my (working) life...

I would mark this closer to 95%.

There are few things that have made my professional life much easier in one swoop. There's this and Dropbox.

For years I have trundled around with huge wads of cd/dvd's, swearing each time somebody released a new revision of some software that requires a new DVD/CD to be burnt.

With a 300 gig drive this has made all of that go away. I now can carry everything I need in the space of a 3.5" caddy.

I can't think of one device that hasn't booted from this or one ISO that hasn't booted.

Contrary to the review, mine seems to remember the choice of ISO over a power down or reboot.

Also you can mount the HD and virtual DVD simultaneously making data migrations and rebuilds so easy.

Downsides?

• Wish it was USB3 – although I suspect that’s coming.

• Wish they had included a USB Y cable as sometimes the device struggles for power (50p off of eBay)

• The jog dial is a tad fragile – I wonder if it’s going to put up with the massive amount of use its getting.

Mind you for £30, I would happily buy a spare.

If you do IT for a living – buy one.

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Facepalm

Damn!

we just bought an external dvd drive here, to get round this problem of most machines not having optical drives now.

I'm pretty sure the dvd drive cost about £35 as well.

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Facepalm

Don't forget

to add the cost of the HDD.

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Cost of HDD

Usually outweighed by the cost of blank DVDs (to say nothing of lost hours re-writing those, and finding all currently-in-use-somewhere-in-the-company versions thereof).

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Cost of HDD

I've got a selection of 2.5" hard drives sat here, the legacy of swapping out old laptop drives for SSDs :)

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DVD-R

Is there a CD-R or DVD-R capable version of these? The wife's netbook wants to create its restore media on an actual DVD-R and won't simply create an ISO, which would have been the sensible alternative. One of these to create an ISO would be really convenient.

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Silver badge

Probably not

But Phantom Burner installs a virtual DVD/CD burner in your system that tricks any software into thinking it's a regular burner but in fact creates an image file. Not free though:

http://www.phantombility.com/en/prod/phantomburner/

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Bronze badge
Meh

As does Alcohol120%

I see this as a useful tool for power tech users, but for most of us a software based virtual drive is all we need. I use 120% on my netbook, and never felt I needed more.

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Silver badge

Try this...

"You can't really do it on the fly - selecting the right ISO from a long list will take you longer than the average Bios bootloader allows you"

Press the PAUSE button then.

This stops pretty much any BIOS in its tracks and lets you get on with things. Then press the infamous "ANY KEY" and the BIOS will continue.

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Anonymous Coward

LOLZ!

Oh dear, I just decided to look at the website... Have a look at the Engwish, especially point 14 in the FAQ...

http://www.zalman.com/eng/product/Product_Read.asp?idx=431

Up until then I was thinking "What a nice product", now I'm starting to fear quality/support might not be as good as I'd hoped.

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Stop

How good is your Korean ??

Just because they have made a simple mistake when translating something into English for all of us people who are too lazy to learn another language, does not mean that the product quality is poor.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How good is your Korean ??

My Korean is non existent, but then as I am not selling a product in the Korean market place, nor writing in their language, this is not an issue.

The example I posted was not the only one, just the one that amused me the most. The rest of the FAQ is scattered in grammatical errors which make some sentences almost meaningless.

It looks like the output from Google translate... How confident are you that a support request you send would survive the return journey through that process and still convey the problem you are experiencing?

As for the Lazy English, I speak French, Polish and a bit of Hungarian, which has me pretty much sorted in all of London bar the East End!

Now cut the political correctness and go laugh at the foreigner's funny English!

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Agree

I've never had a positive experience with a company that hasn't put in the effort to make sure the support and documentation are adapted to the local market.

It's not a question of pride or anything silly like that, it's just that if the company can't be arsed to do it, they're very likely not to give a damn about you when you need them.

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ldm

Fantastic bit of kit

Anybody doing support in the field needs one of these. Unfortuantely I only discovered them in January this year, after leaving my previous network support role which I'd been in for five years. This would have made my life SO much easier! It's still helpful for what I'm doing now though, and has saved me hours of time already.

If you do any kind of support that involves going to customer sites, get one of these and pre-load it with the Ultimate Boot CD, and an array of OS ISOs.

As mentioned in the previous comments, you can select a different ISO by pressing the jogdial button in again and then scrolling, though doing this whilst booted from it is not recommended.

You can also have subdirectories within the _iso dir, which are easy enough to navigate through, each containing 32 or 64 ISOs (can't quite remember).

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Happy

Loved the bit about burning a CD at a slower speed.

Suddenly thought I was back in 1999 again.

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