swapping platters on hard drives...

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doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
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just a random thought...

I have a couple of 6G IDE drives on hand. I also have a couple of 256MB SCSI drives on hand. Where I want to go with this is to convert the 256MB drive to a 6G drive by cracking it open and swapping out some internals. I recognize that this is not recommended at all, but I am just wanting to know if and how this could be done.

I am looking for a cheaper way than buying a bunch of $70 SCSI-IDE adapters.

Thanks!
--DDTM

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

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moosemanmoo's picture
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In most cases, the circuitry

In most cases, the circuitry that controls the inner workings of the drive varies wildly among even different sizes, much less completely different eras. If there isn't a physical problem getting the platter in the IDE drive, there will almost certainly be a problem getting the head to read anything. A cheaper and much more reliable solution is to go buy an older mac or sparc and transfer the drive contents over a network.

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Eudimorphodon's picture
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Without going into excessivel

Without going into excessively gruesome detail, as I'm too tired...

No, not happening. Swapping platters and innards would be completely wortheless. It's remotely possible you could swap controller boards between the SCSI and IDE versions of a given manufacturer's drives of the same generation, but even that's unlikely. Between drives so far apart it'd be utterly hopeless. There was a lot of technological water under the bridge between 250MB and 6GB drives.

I have a box of useless 4 and 9GB SCSI drives sitting in my closet gathering dust. You should be able to find some yourself for a lot less then $70 each.

--Peace

doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
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figures...

...I thought as much, but figured I would ask in case there was something I just did not know already. I am just looking for a good way to get some serious SCSI storage for my Quadra and thought I might be able to investigate an alternative. The SCSI-IDE adapters are not cheap and I have not had much luck finding inexpensive (50 pin or 68 pin) SCSI drives.

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

Eudimorphodon's picture
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Re: figures...

doug-doug the mighty wrote:

...I thought as much, but figured I would ask in case there was something I just did not know already. I am just looking for a good way to get some serious SCSI storage for my Quadra and thought I might be able to investigate an alternative. The SCSI-IDE adapters are not cheap and I have not had much luck finding inexpensive (50 pin or 68 pin) SCSI drives.

Just to play the "voice of reason", here: if you're looking for a "Macintosh File Server" a Beige G3 costs nothing these days ($50? $75 tops?). A single 120GB hard drive costs less then an Acard SCSI adapter, and holds more data then a Quadra 950 *stuffed* full of often still expensive 9GB native SCSI drives...

I can imagine you can see where I'm going with this. Is the point of your owning the Quadra 950 to experience "retrocomputing" on a Quadra 950, or to bankrupt yourself trying to force it to be something it isn't? It was a great file server for 1994. It's a lousy one for 2005. The data storage and bandwidth requirements that are baseline now are a bit above a machine who's CPU is less powerful then quite a few children's toys.

--Peace

doug-doug the mighty's picture
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true...

...but I plan on using this as a MP3 server (iTunes 2) in conjunction with playing MP3s off of a Newton device.

When I say file server, I do not mean something that will see tons of traffic, more of a depository for random objects that I do not need to use that often.

I may also use this to store MAME ROMS (hence the need for space) and run a MAME off of the Quadra directly.

I do confess, a good part of me wants to see how much I can put on this machine. I already have six 9G drive for this machine, but want to put larger drives on than this. Rest assured though that I have a 9600 coming my way soon and I will run AppleShareIP 6.2 off of that to satisfy my real 'server' needs.

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

The Czar's picture
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There has to be something sai

There has to be something said for the simple "ooh" and "ahh" factor of somethings.

It's like people restoring old cars that have much fewer features than newer cars which would cost a fraction of restoration costs.

Perhaps the car or computer was something that was drooled over for many years, and now it's finally within reach of that person. There's more than pure economics at work here. You've also got to factor in someone's enjoyment and pleasure into these situations. I have a feeling it's not the lack of newer machines, but simply the pleasure of a challenge to resurrect old technology for a new purpose.

But, isn't that why we're all here on AppleFritter? Smile

Cheers,

The Czar

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In response to the Beige G3 p

In response to the Beige G3 prices, I saw one selling on ebay with a Buy-It-Now of $25. To think, about 2 years and 3 months ago I got a beige G3 for $100, and it was a steal.

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Eudimorphodon's picture
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Re: There has to be something sai

The Czar wrote:

It's like people restoring old cars that have much fewer features than newer cars which would cost a fraction of restoration costs.

The "old car" analogy when applied to computers falls flat on its face when you consider one simple fact: The performance requirements for functional and usable automobile haven't changed significantly for over seventy years. A 1932 Ford V8 coupe, in *stock condition*, could negotiate modern traffic. (Extended freeway use might be a bit much for it, and safety and reliability would both be valid concerns, but the car is *capable* of performing adequately to the task.) The same cannot be said of network servers over a *much* shorter time span.

Compared to a modern server, a Quadra 950 is a 1902 tiller-steer Oldsmobile. Pimp it out all you want, but it's not going to compare with the atomic-turbine powered flying dump truck of today. (Which oddly enough, costs less then pimping out the Olds. And less to run, strangely enough. You do know how much electricity it wastes running a dozen SCSI drives, right?)

--Peace

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Eudi...

I LOVE that last analogy there. Really made my day. Laughing out loud

doug-doug the mighty's picture
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pimpin' 'ma ride, yo...

You can alway stake that '32 and bore the cylinders and swap out the tranny, and drop a couple inches and put in a slap-shifter and a flamin' paint job.

You can also take that '02 and trick it out a number of ways. I will spare that fantasy to recognize your point in practicality.

A Quadra 950 is an excellent machine for hacking on. It is a blank canvas. And yes, I know it sucks electrons like they are going out of style (and I may just try to tack two PSUs together for what I will do to this thing), but just like those folks driving those big 3-ton SUVs (more like mini-transfer trucks) that suck gas like crazy, I am not building a machine to be green, just mean.

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

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Re: pimpin' 'ma ride, yo...

doug-doug the mighty wrote:

You can alway stake that '32 and bore the cylinders and swap out the tranny, and drop a couple inches and put in a slap-shifter and a flamin' paint job.

You're saying this sort of shows you missed the point. ;^> The point was essentially was that with cars, unlike computers, even a *stock model* from seventy years ago can still function on a modern roadway. You don't even *need* to modernize it. And yes, if you want to get into that, the technology is compatable enough that you *can* bring its performance up to relatively modern levels without completely replacing every functional component on the machine.

Now, I don't know how you would intend to make this vehicle:

http://www.ohtm.org/02olds.html

go freeway speeds. Although if you really insist there are autos of close to this vintage that still almost qualify as "modern". Take machines like the 1907 Thomas Flyer, winner of the 1908 "Around the World" race:

http://www.automuseum.org/NAM_collections_thomas2.shtml

It wasn't particularly comfortable or safe doing it, but this machine was capable of sustained operation at sixty miles an hour.

Which all goes to emphasize the fact that cars are *nothing* like computers. Let us arbitrarily say that cars as consumer products were born in 1895, when the first patent in the US was issued to Charles E. Duryea. (There were examples before then, but work with me here.) It's been 110 years since then, and arguably your average consumer-model car became "modern", i.e., functionally interchangable with a currently-sold item, somewhere in the 1930s. So in other words, cars have been "modern" for 2/3rds of their existance. (There were cars in 1905 that could perform well enough to be called "modern", but they would be expensive.)

A "modern" computer on the other hand, is, staggeringly enough, somewhere between two hundred and a thousand times faster then a model sold in 1985. (20 years ago. Which would be roughly 2/3rds of the time that computrs have existed as consumer items.) A prosaic 120GB hard disk is *six thousand times* larger then the 20MB model you'd pay through the nose for in 1985. Get the idea? The technological differences are staggering. Hop forward to your Quadra, and things improve by an order of magnitude or two, but they're still several orders behind. (Your CPU is only 25 to 50 times as slow as an average consumer model. The hard disks you're working with are almost 1/20th the size. etc, etc.)

Anyway. If an old computer will still do the job you want it to do, then I'm all for sticking with it. I just get the impression your plans for this Quadra involve things it *doesn't* realistically have the capacity of doing. Short of gutting out the original innards and replacing them with more modern bits. Which frankly, I think you should consider.

(You *really* intend to run MAME on a Quadra 950? Have you tried it? I
suppose it'll play "Pong...")

--Peace

doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
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no, I caught the point.

... and you are right, but that does not change the fact that I would totaly trick out the '32 (and I have actually looked hard into that one). No doubt it would need some work, like frame stiffeners to handle the stroked and bored 8 I would drop in, but I digress.

I am truly impresses with the depth of your knowledge on automotive history. I did recognize your parallels you were drawing and understand the evolutionary divergence in the examples. I work on mainframes so I do appreciate the retrospective in the rapid changes. My whole point was that an old machine can be pushed to its design limits (and maybe a little beyond) and satisfy needs in todays world. The machine would be purpose-built of course. It all depends on what the purpose is as to how well the given machine will perform.

For example, I have an SE that is in need of a hard drive. I am thinking of dropping in either an 80MB or a 256MB drive. I plan to use it for simple text editing. It may end up hosting my business plan and related text based stuff. Of course if I get a good deal on a 9" LCD with touch screen and a couple FCW drives, I may drop a Mac Mini in the case instead and then run Classic on the mini just because I can.

My Quadra 950 is another deal however. I plan to add a 601 card and see how many hard drives I can put in the case before the PSU can't take any more (I have two FWB Jackhammers, so the theoretical limit is 42 drives (15+15+6+6)). Of course I only have 9 drives, so I will not be able to really push that envelope (practical limits of the PSU and OS aside - not to mention that I can only find space for 12 one inch drives internally). Now I could run AppleShareIP on this, or I could do some other things, I am unsure of exactly what I want to do. I would like to have a place to run iTunes and store MP3s. The machine has a ProAudio Spectrum card, so it could interface nicely with my stereo system. I have some Focus Enhancements stuff, so I could interface video out as well. Yeah, a new machine would do it all better, but this was free and could be pushed to the task if I tried (and I do not want to do fancy stuff like iMovie). I would like to run MAME off of it, but have not really checked the specs. My ASSumption is that with the 601 upgrade, end the interface to my TV, it would turn out pretty good (or at least good enough for an old machine that needed a new life). If I can do it without gutting the innards, all the better.

And as far as the '02, I would put some better rubber on the wheels and put some BMX accessories on it as well. If I can lower the center of gravity a bit, I could improve the handling quite a bit. I could also upgrade the engine a little, I am thinking something like a Honda '61 cycle. (http://powersports.honda.com/the_story/heritage/heritage_milestone.asp?Decade=1960&TargetUrl=Milestone/Milestone_Model_0081.asp&PrevPageTitle=Milestone+Archive). With something so close to a motorized bicycle, I can make the '02 into a BMX-meets-Honda's-CB77-meets-Oldsmobile's-1902-car. you are only ever limited by your imagination and your wallet (and the former may compensate for the latter).

Smile
--doug

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

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MAME is dog slow on the mac..

MAME is dog slow on the mac.. and on the PC, for that matter. A G3 is pretty much a prerequisite for most MAME games. This is on OS X, though, I don't know about 8 or 9.

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doug-doug the mighty's picture
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MAME

My latest experience with MAME was on a 233 iMac running 8.6 (might have been 8.1, but I cannot remember). It ran the ROMS I had just fine.

I will try it on the Quadra once I have everything set up (may take a month or three), but if it does not work, no biggee. The point is to try and hope for the best on that one.

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

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Back on subject

I have a recollection that due to HDD manufacturers being lazy and tight they now store major part of the controller's firmware on the disk itself. Oversized flash chips are still expensive and SCSI firmware got very sophisticated to fit on a cheap flash chip.

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Jon
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I've got a dead Maxtor 20GB d

I've got a dead Maxtor 20GB drive that had that design. I think it may have died off, as flash of decent sizes seems to be getting fairly cheap. I mean, I can buy a 32MB USB flash drive for $10 or less. THat cost includes the chip, USB controller interface, PCB, USB plug, casing AND everybodys profits.

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I too bought a Beige G3 on eb

I too bought a Beige G3 on ebay for $25, the machine's firmware is damn picky, but it was a great deal for basic psuedo-modern mac.

As for SCSI drives, I often find the for cheap on ebay. You just need to be patient for good deals. A few weeks ago I was seeing the Seagate 20 GB drives for like $25ea. Those are 80-pin drives, so you'd also need a 50-pin>80-pin converter. Excellent drives those are, too. They are out there, the supply outstrips the demand these days.
M

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Just a caution - watch out fo

Just a caution - watch out for power requirements of those SCA (80-pin) drives. They mostly come from upgraded server RAIDs and can be up to 15000RPM! Being great performers, they may consume huge amount of power and might need extra cooling. I have seen quite a few needing 1.2A@12v and 1.1A@5v, that's about twice more than normal ATA. I also burnt myself when touched one of them while it was running without cooling on a bench.