Possible solution to old/small SCSI/IDE hard drives failing left and right; your thoughts?

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AG-Wolf's picture
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Possible solution to old/small SCSI/IDE hard drives failing left and right; your thoughts?

I've had countless old hard drives in numerous different old macs start dying on me over the course of the last 8 years or so. It's due to age, amount of use, etc etc... the standard things that will make a drive fail in time.

Up until the other day, I accepted this fact and acknowledged that slowly, one by one, all the extra random drives I have laying around from my older Macs will eventually crap out on me. THis wasn't a problem until the 1gig SCSI drive in the Quadra 605 I have, which was hosting my mother's website, failed. I didn't notice until the little timer program (appropriately named "Timer") which keeps track of the computer's up-time, was frozen on 23 days since my last restart. I tried force quitting the finder but that didn't do anything... it then gave me some error, so I used the keyboard programmer's command combo but neither "G O" or "G Finder" did anything, so I restarted. THe hard drive spun-up, clicked loudly then spun down. It's sitting in the freezer right now, waiting for me to put it in an external enclosure in hopes to resurrect it long enough to copy everything off of it.

The fact that I had painstakingly setup that machine with OS 8 from another computer (because I did the 33mhz mod and therefore couldn't install directly) and configured filesharing and netpresenz and everything wasn't what pissed me off... it was the fact that this may very well happen again, since all I have at my disposal are old SCSI drives. The Quadra 605 is the least power-hungry machine I own (that's good since it's on 24/7), and works absolutely fine for hosting, but with drives dying on me here and there, it won't be worth the effort.
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Solution (?):

I know there are adaptors/converters to use Compact Flash cards on an IDE bus... and I know there are SCSI50/IDE bridges as well. Has anyone tried a combination of the both of these? If it would work, it would be an awesome solution because you have a nice moderate-size storage range for these older machines (512meg - 2gig is perfect for them), and the CF cards are solid-state so there are no mechanical parts to break!

To me, it seems like it would work... but then again, there are many things that work in theory and not in application. It seems almost too simple... What does anyone think? Have any of you tried this already?

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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Um, what about a $5 50 to 68p

Um, what about a $5 50 to 68pin SCSI adapter instead and a SCSI-3 harddrive? Those SCSI/IDE bridges are quite expensive. And sorry to have to ask an obvious question, but with relying on all those old harddrives, aren't you backing up with copies of data to other harddrives or CD-R's?

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funny you should ask this . . .

Your idea is not practical, as HC points out the cost of the ATA-SCSI bridge-board makes it not cost effective.

However, just for testing purposes I recently acquired a laptop-sized CF-ATA adapter which I intend to combine with a lappy-sized ATA-SCSI bridge and install in a SCSI-based PowerBook as a lowpowered and quiet boot drive. Just for giggles and err, stuff.

dan k

AG-Wolf's picture
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oh trust me, I'm aware it's n

oh trust me, I'm aware it's neither practical nor cost-effective...

ANd I believe I even have both a 50-68 and 50-sca80 scsi converter somewhere around here.

My ultimate goal, though, is to have the CF card replace a mechanical hard drive... that way, since the CF card doesn't have any moving parts, it will be less likely to crap out on me anytime in the reasonable future. I was willing to spend a fair amount of money on the whole thing in the first place, so that's not as much of a factor... in-fact if it were to work at all, just the amusement I'd garner from it all (let alone the actual functionality) would be worth it Blum 3

dankephoto; lemme know if it works out, because if it does, then I'm gonna go ahead and get the things I need myself Blum 3

HC: also, as far as backups go, I don't have any kind of burner for any mac in the house, but all my important stuff (things of mine up to 10 years old, and other stuff over 17 years) is on my main Mac's hard drive, which gets replaced every couple years or so...or whenever the drive I'm using almost entirely dies and I have to work a miracle to retrieve everything like with the 15gig I had before my 40gig I've got now...I've done this countless times, enough that it doesn't even faze me anymore.

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