Question about SCSI drives from a newbie

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by TAB, Oct 21, 2003.

  1. TAB

    TAB Guest

    My title is misleading, I'm not a newbie. I've had computers for
    years. I've even built the one I'm using now.

    I am extremely poor though (it is tight). My current system is a PIII
    450 with a 4.3 gig harddrive. All in all I am pretty satisfied since
    I'm not a big gamer (well with the exception of the 1000 hours I have
    in Nethack), but that could run on dang near any system.

    I digress. I'm looking for more storage. And I'm looking to do it
    cheaply. Very Cheaply. I've noticed at one retailer they are offering
    18 gig SCSI drives for 18.00. Now, I've never messed with a SCSI drive
    as in setting it up.

    I do have a Pentium Pro 200 with an adaptec scsi controller hooked to
    an old 2 gig SCSI drive.

    Here is what I was thinking (you guys correct me as needed). If I take
    the PCI controller out of the Pentium Pro system, and buy this 18 gig
    scsi drive, since that card was already configured to boot, it should
    just start right up?

    Don't get me wrong, I went to adaptec's site looking for information,
    but most of the scsi stuff was written for someone with a clear head
    and ample time to digest it. It really can't be as hard as the docs
    make it out to be.

    If this card in the Pentium Pro is too old (it is circa 1996), then I
    can get a scsi card off of EBAY for a song. The problem is I don't
    understand the lingo in SCSI. With IDE you pretty much plugged it up,
    and it ran.

    Can someone either tell me exactly in simple steps whats involved in
    using SCSI harddrives (setting them up). A website with large pretty
    pictures would help haha. . .

    I'll be reading . . .
    TAB, Oct 21, 2003
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  2. Well, it's not that simple, you have to have a driver for the card & all
    that ... although it's likely to be available even for an older SCSI card.

    My suggestion would be to buy a used IDE drive in the 10-20GB range;
    seem to be some available for about $25-30 if you look around. That
    *will* work with little more effort (OK, you have to put the jumpers in
    the right place & cable it up, but no special drivers etc.)

    I'm fixing up systems for lower-income people, using cheap & donated
    parts, and drives are something that I always look for, but I haven't
    had too many problems with used drives as most of them come from systems
    where the owner just wanted to upgrade to a BIG drive and doesn't care
    to keep the original.

    -- DE
    Tergiversative, Oct 21, 2003
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  3. TAB

    CyBorg 0091 Guest

    SCSI is better than IDE,however more expensive generally.
    SCSI drives run with more speed and bandwidth are multithreading normally
    which basically means they can handle doing more than one thing at
    once,allot better than IDE.
    SCSI are known or proven to be allot more reliable than IDE.

    Small computer system interface = SCSI

    Provided you bye the correct SCSI drive for you SCSI PCI card you will have
    no problems.
    SCSI drives come with a range of pin laylouts, SCA(80pin) Hotswap,50 pin is
    very popular and there are 68pin too I think.
    Just make sure it have the right amount of Pins for the cable you wish to
    plug it into,which obviously comes off your SCSI PCI card.
    Count the pin holes in the cable if unsure.

    Remember also second hand SCSI drives are normally sold because a large
    company for instance which has critical data like banks etc,got scared that
    their harddrives were almost on the way out,and decided to replace
    them,people don't normally bye SCSI drives in the first place unless data is
    critical and only sell them when they get new drives to make sure they don't
    loose the data when a drive dies.
    Touchy,but true....
    However 98% of SCSI drives sold second hand have years of life left in
    them,just the odd one fails,which I say again is why companies get rid of
    SCSI drives normally always have a hard life working nearly 24 hours a day
    Quiet a bit different as to why and what you will see a second hand IDE

    Have fun
    CyBorg 0091, Oct 21, 2003
  4. Adaptec cards (generally speaking) have "built in" driver support from
    MS for Windows. This shouldn't be a problem for you at all.
    Adding IDE is fine.. Until you run outta IDE ribbon....

    SCSI in a nutshell time.....
    SCSI supports 7 devices - controller is Dev #7 normally
    Easiest setup is to set the drive for: ID - 1 or 2 / Termination - ON
    (If the drive is to be a bootable drive, typicaly set it for 0 instead)
    Run the ribbon from the card at one end to the drive at the other
    Set the card for AutoTermination or "ON" if jumpered
    When the system starts, the card should poll the device ID's and find
    the drive automatically... as well as any other SCSI devices plugged in.

    Now, if you get more cheap HDD / CD-R / DVD / TAPE / SCANNER.... you
    simply plug them into the ribbon / back of the card, set the ID and
    termination... DONE! It's only ONE step "harder" than IDE.

    Couple rules of thumb:
    Faster devices (HDD, FAST CD-ROM) should connect closer to the card.
    Slower devices (scanners, ZIP drives) should connect further away.
    Both ENDS of data flow need to be terminated - So if your only data path
    goes from card to HDD, the card & HDD get terminated. if your data goes
    from inside HDD to Outside scanner, term the HDD then term the scanner.

    --and yes, if you find CHEAP drives, you can mix-n-match scsi versions
    with only a slight bit of messing - usually 50 pin vs 68 pin vs 80 pin.
    All will work together.

    Good Luck!
    BuffNET Tech Support - MichaelJ, Oct 21, 2003
  5. TAB

    Greg M Guest

    I've got a couple of old Compaq servers, dumpster diving, that have
    Seagate 4.3 Gb Barracuda's in 'em. They want an external cooling fan
    blowing over them.

    (TAB) wrote in
    Greg M, Oct 25, 2003
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