Pulling block data from SCSI drives

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Pulling block data from SCSI drives

Looking online for PC SCSI adapters it looks like I may have waited too long at this point, but it's been my plan for many years now to one day fire up my old Apple //e SCSI hard drives and rip all the content off to run on PC emulators (not to mention get to old college papers, etc.). While chances are slim there's anyone here who would remember, I ran Wunderland BBS until the mid 90s on what I would suspect was the most souped up Apple //e ever to exist. With 1 MB RAM, 8 MHz ZIP CPU, and 1.3 GB!!! of hard drive space, at the time it was a monster. I'd written all the code for the BBS myself, and had written assembly language ProDOS extensions that would map all of that space on demand into multiple 32 MB partitions across the available slot/drive combinations.

At this point I have no idea if I'll even be able to spin the drives up without opening them up, or what shape the bits are in on the drives, but the last time i tried firing up the //e, my Apple SCSI card (the one that supported the custom mapping I did) wouldn't work. I'm assuming that the EPROMs are shot at this point and that potentially a new set of firmware might get that running again, but then I'd have to spend months transferring everything serially using ZModem and even then it wouldn't be in disk image format, it'd just be unusable files for the most part. I also have several drives that went through the RamFAST? controller (whatever the other SCSI controller was) that I'd like to recover as well.

So any suggestions on a viable approach to get this going? I really don't even have the space (or time) to pull out all my //e's and //gs's and try to fire them up, but I'd love to get to the data.

Thanks,

Beo

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I don't know much about PC

I don't know much about PC hardware, so the suggestion that I'm about to recommend is going to be Macintosh-based. I would look into acquiring a desktop Power Macintosh G3, shown at left in that photo.

With this, you have internal and external SCSI, you have a machine that can run Mac OS 9 and OS X and has Ethernet. So you will be able to attach the SCSI hard disk, and you will have several options of copying data off of it. It also runs several Apple II or IIgs emulators. Then you will have several options in addition to getting the data from the Mac G3 onto any other computer that you want.

These computers can be had rather inexpensively.

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Thanks Dog Cow,

Thanks Dog Cow,

My biggest fear for any "other computer" option is that the first thing the other OS will want to do is format the drive to something it would recognize. The trick will be finding a utility that will let me read off at the low level SCSI block size. I don't know that anything like that exists on the PC, but learning a different OS on top of that could make matters worse. While I'm always loath to spend money, in this case if I could find a data recovery service that could read it all off for me at a reasonable price, it might be worth it.

Thanks,

Beo

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Under Mac OS X, you can use

Under Mac OS X, you can use the Unix command-line utility dd to read all data from the hard drive without needing to mount it in the operating system. It performs a raw, block-level read, and will record the data in a file on the Macintosh hard drive. From there you can manipulate the file in any way that suits you.

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