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


  • Roland

    Thx! Great explanation, especially all instructions for command line on the Mac. Good work!
    But there is one little thingy (the hardware part) wich I dont get. You wrote that you took an internal IDE SCSI ZIP, and perhaps(?) put it into an USB Enclosure? (sorry link to ebay is broken) But Photo shows the back of a SCSI ZIP Drive?
    Perhaps I am wrong… Last time I fumbled around with SCSI Zip drive… was 2001? If I remember right, there were late Zip drives (2003?) with USB Ports…. perhaps you’re using both?
    I am asking because recently I bought a Roland W 30. Love at first sight!

    • Roger, TMM

      Thanks for dropping a question!
      Perhaps my explanation was not clear enough.
      For the W-30 (beautiful machine!) you need an external scsi Zip drive. Therefore the picture which shows the back of a Zip Drive with the specific scsi sliders.
      Then you need a Zip drive with usb for your computer. Two years ago I used an internal IDE Zip drive with an USB adapter to got it working. Nowadays I have an external Zip Drive with usb all-in-one.

      I hope this clears it up.

      Good luck!

      Grtzzz, Roge

  • Roland

    Hi Roger,
    thx again. It is all clearly written down. My fault. I rushed through your blog, collecting, infos about viable Roland W30 SCSI configurations. Sorry.

    Maybe this is the right moment to report about my experiences with a SCSI2SD Card.
    I own three samplers A Kurzweil K2000 and two Roland S 760 Samplers.
    The Floppy drive of the K2000 was failing anyway, So I took it out. Replaced it with the SCSI2SD, attached it to the SCSI Bus internally. Now the K2000 can read, write, format all virtual drives on the SCSI2SD whenever I turn it on.
    Wich is a smart solution, because no external Cables or enclosures are needed, The SCSI2SD is absolutely silent, no moving parts, just a SD Card. The K2000 got two SCSI Ports on its back, Here I attached both Roland Samplers with SCSI Cables. By incident I gave both Rolands the same SCSI ID…. I expected that would cause crashes. But it didn’t. I suppose samplers with SCSI1 are ” absolutely quiet” in the SCSI chain until they start to read or write. As long I dont let them load, write or boot at the same time…. all is well!
    Now my SCSI2SD is connected to THREE samplers with TWO different IDs. I added five “vitrual” HDs in the SCSI chain.
    This configuration is absolutely stable, no crashes, no corrupted data. All is well. I feed the SCSI2SD from my Mac by command line, in a very similar way as you described it.
    As soon I’ve got the SCSI update chip for the W30 I’ll test it with the SCSI2SD – and – hopefully with a ZIP. Thank you for your great tutorial….

  • Leonard Oliver

    Roger, I am trying to put a library of samples on a usb fob, then put the fob in my Roland dj-70mkii, a relative of the w-30-takes s-550 sound library. How do I even test my HxC drive. I got zip files of s-550 sample libraries but don’t know how to load the usb stick. The guy who created the gotek sent me a usb with 27 .hfe slots/empty saves. I guess I need an old xp computer. I wanted to know if translator, or cdxtreme could get the samples into the usb in my computer without bulk dumping, without patching midi cables and without an interface. Or is that the onlyway?

    • Roger

      Hi Leonard,
      Thank you for asking.
      I have to dig deep in my memory because I sold the W-30 and the S-330 with the installed goteks.
      It was indeed quite some work to get files on a stick and to load them in your machines, I remember.
      I’ve never used translator or cdextreme though. Always I used my Macbook.
      Perhaps this link gives more answer on your questions.
      Hope it helps.
      Sorry I can’t do more…
      Good luck!

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