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What do I need to install an SCSI hdd in my computer

By RobFnk ยท 11 replies
Jan 17, 2008
  1. I have a couple of SCSI 80pin hard drives that I would love to use in my computer.
    It has both SATA and IDE interface or if my only option is a pci card I have a spare slot.
    Can any one tell me what I need to do to use them and what problems I will run into.
  2. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 872   +12

    You'll probably need a SCSI card. I've seen IDE to SATA converters and SATA to IDE converters, but I've never seen a SATA to SCSI converter or a IDE to SCSI converter. Course I haven't looked for them either.

    SCSI cards tend to be expensive, more expensive than your motherboard, and the drives are LOUD and tend to run hot.
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,872   +903

    you can get a USB->SCSI converter, but it ONLY allows ID=0 so only one HD at a time :(
    [kind of brain dead as scsi supports a minimum of 7 devices]
  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    You need a SCSI card and SCSI cable(s).

    If your drives really are hotplug, then you also need an enclosure for the drives or 68-pin SCSI to SCA adapters. If you are going to use adapters, then you need a SCSI terminator too, since hotplug drives usually lack internal termination capabilities.
  5. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    Just to clarify - SCSI devices have a switchable terminator as the last drive has to 'terminate' unless it is the last of the 7 on the cable.
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,872   +903

    I think the poster said these were the 80-pin (is SCSI-I) and none of these are
    hotplugable :)
  7. RobFnk

    RobFnk TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I appreciate all the advice but not having a lot of technical experience I could use more help.
    When you talk about a switchable terminator is this something you have to program into the drive when you install it? There are no visible switches or jumpers on the hard drives.
    Adaptec carries several SCSI controllers but they are 68 pin and my drives are 80 pin. Is there a better place to find the controllers & cables?
    I would like to install them in my computer and use one of them as my main drive if that is possible.
    Also will I need software to format the drives or are SCSI drives plug & play in Vista?
    Thanks again for all your help.
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,872   +903

    Many would recommend you not go down this path -- especially if your motivation
    is the fact 'you already have them and therefore it's cheap'. The SCSI control will not be!
    Actually, there are two sets of terminators; one on the controller end and another on
    the last device on the chain. If you look at the drive,
    there are two identical connectors; one from the control and the other to the next drive.
    The last (or only) device gets a special 'termination' device in place of another cable.
    btw; a terminator is just (3) 300 ohm resisters.
    should be available online. At last resort you can use a converter
    from scsi-I to scsi-II (80pin to 68pin)
    Your bios will need an update, but that usually comes with the controller card.
    The last time I did this, the bios update was on a floppy so make sure you can
    load the software however it is delivered. Scsi will need formatting,
    but you can do that (once the device is seen) during the Vista Install.
  9. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,264   +454

    From the sounds of what has been discussed here so far I seriously recommend against you going down this path. Chances are those are tiny drives anyway - unless you're just doing it to learn more about SCSI.
  10. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    I think that you have (yet again) no clue what you are talking about and you will refuse to look up things and correct your statements no matter what I say :(

    As I already said, you need an enclosure or adapters for your hotplug SCSI hard drives. No SCSI controller has 80-pin connectors.

    If you say that you have two SCA hard drives, then you need:
    - A modern SCSI controller (wide SCSI - 68-pin connector)
    - A cable with connectors for at least three devices and a terminator. This is a nice all-in-one -
    - Two adapters to connect your drives to the cable -
  11. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    Nodsu - this guy has PATA drives - let him sort the mess out by himself if he will not listen to you. Some people treat free advice as if they are paying for it......
  12. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,872   +903

    Thanks for the refresher info Nodsu -- yea, it's been about 8 years since I last used SCSI devices. It must be a major sin to forget which connector is which.
    "Let he that has no sin cast the first stone." :)
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