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sometimes you get this problem if you have changed software version what software was you using before and are these zip disks off your comp originally or from another sourse you could try reinstalling the software that came with it or if dont have software you should be able to get it off the net hope this is some help ...............................................
If the disk is unreadable this means that the format or the files extensions on it are not readable in the operation system you use..either are damaged or the disk itself is damaged or it wasn't finalized like it should ...If other disks inserted run ok than the disk it is damaged and it is nothing wrong with the drive itself..When it says to insert a disk this means that it is not seeing the disk at all and it sounds like a drive problem ..but if other disks are ok ..than it is just a damaged disk or in a format unreadable ..beware if it a cd unit ..will not read dvd-es..or if it a dvd kind will not read large dvd-es (dual layer) or blue-ray disks..
The fact that this happened while using Time Machine is almost assuredly nothing but coincidence. You have significant file system damage, to the point that Disk Utility can't fix it. I'd recommend that you purchase and run DiskWarrior on the drive. DiskWarrior is an industrial-strength filesystem repair program that will fix things that Disk Utility cannot.
1. Insert a blank disk into the zip drive 2. Give this disk a password (it can be any password, as long as you remember it) 3. Using the Ioega toolset, set the zip drive's sleep time to a large value (such as 1 minute) 4. Wait a while until the drive "spins down". You will hear the drive stop spinning. 5. Take a pin or a straighten paper clip and stick it into a hole in the back of the Zip drive. This will manually eject the blank disk. 6. Insert the disk you want to access (the one you don't know the password to) 7. now use the IoMega toolset to remove the password. When prompted for the password use the password from step (2). This is just a word of warning in case you store any important information like I used to on zip disks. Perhaps move to a more secure medium.