Testing SCSI Hard Drive on home computer

Hello Community

I want to test out SCSI hard drive on my computer. I realize I'll need a SCSI controller or adapter. The couple of drives I have are either 68 pin or 80 pin. I'm confused about exactly what I will need. Can anyone recommend a good method in doing this and all the recommended parts that I will need. Please ask any other questions that is required.

This is my motherboard:
GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3P LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

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  1. SCSI comes in multiple revisions / levels that evolved over the years, gradually increasing throughput by increasing signal speed and / or pin count. Most SCSI levels are backwards compatible; you can attach a slower thing to a faster thing and they will communicate at the slower speed. However, there are two absolutely incompatible versions of signalling: differential and (whatever the name of the other one is).

    So, if you tell us what the drives are, we can look (or you can) for their SCSI version and signalling version ( look at http://www.paralan.com/sediff.html ) . Then we can find a SCSI controller that will work for them both. You will also need appropriate cables.

    Is there data on the drive that you need? I can't think of much of a reason to need to attach a SCSI drive to a home PC. Then again, I used to do backups to a SCSI DDS-3 tape drive, before I discovered removable SATA drives.

    If you have a friend who could pull an old controller out of storage for a while, it would be cheaper. I've got an Ultra320 controller with a PCIE x4 connection, and an old notebook-compatible controller. But you probably don't live near me.

    EDIT: Now that I think about it, the external cables tend to be more expensive than the controller cards. Cables cost so much that I bought my own crimper and connectors for internal SCSI cables, back in the day.
  2. The cost should not be that bad, really. You understand what needs to be done. Nothing wrong with SCSI, especially in sustained thru-put. If you have Ultra 160 and above, performance may be a touch better than most modern HDDs because of latency and access time.

    There are all kinds of internal SCSI cables -- pick the one (with termination!) that best suits your needs and controller card.

    The issue with the controller card is that the really fast ones will be PCI-X. Keep an eye out on the slot interface. Some cards will have both 50- and 68-pin connectors.

    Instead of two internal cables, though, you should probably purchase a single cable (based on highest spec drive). You may then use adapters/changers to connect other drives.

    You might get out for around $30-$40 with a controller, cable and a couple of adpaters.

    But you have to follow SCSI rules, which are actually not that daunting but can be confusing to newcomers. Most mistakes involve improper termination and messing-up SCSI ID #s.
  3. Thanks guys for your replies

    I have a couple of drives mostly 80 pins and 60 pins plus a SAS drive (not really concern about this now though). I recently obtained a 60 pin cable which I believe connects to the controller internally and then connects to the 60 pin SCSI drive. I also have a converter that makes the 60 pin into a 80 pin plus a molex connector.

    All i need is a controller/interface card which leads me to another question, they all seem to require Windows XP. Are there any cheap controller that is compatible with Windows 7? If not I'm guessing I will have to run a dual operating system. Also are there any controller that might run on linux ubuntu or another linux os?

    I'm not really planning to use them as storage, mainly connecting the drives to run test/diagnostic on them to see if they are in working order. My motherboard has space for either a PCI or PCI express option for the controller.
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