Sourcing vintage hard disk drives

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Sourcing vintage hard disk drives

Postby Carcenomy on Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:49 pm

So after my dead CD32s returned home I promptly set to using the CD32 power supply to fire up my Amiga A590 external drive. The problem is, like the Commodore PCs of the time, the A590 uses a Western Digital XT-IDE 8-bit 20MB hard disk drive. Both my PC10-III and A590 had these drives, neither are functional.

The 590 however has a SCSI controller. Yippee I thought, easy peasy to get a drive for and I should have some in my stash. First drive I found was a Seagate 2GB unit. After a little persuasion it spun up and the 590 detected it, and formatted it. But it immediately threw a write failure when the Amiga attempted to install Workbench on it. D'oh! Then I went for my only other spare SCSI drives - a pair of Compaq C2244 500MBs from an old Prosignia server. Both gave a tiny thump of the main motors then started pouring out their magic smoke. D'oh!

The question now remains, and it's one pertinent to users of early Macs as well - where the heck do you get old SCSI drives now, let alone old XT-IDE units. Even Alan Gilchrist only had more modern 16-bit IDE drives in his stash :(
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Re: Sourcing vintage hard disk drives

Postby tezza on Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:16 pm

Good point. People on the Vintage Computer Forums were discussing this very problem and planning a SCSI to IDE adaptor.
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Re: Sourcing vintage hard disk drives

Postby Carcenomy on Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:24 pm

I've seen such a device in the flesh - Akai did one for a SCSI based recording desk... I'll see if I can find some details. Wouldn't have the clearance to run such a device in an A590 though :(
Just the local Commodore hobo and middle-aged PC hoarder.
eisa on Trademe. A lasting reminder of a Compaq fetish when I was younger.
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Re: Sourcing vintage hard disk drives

Postby Carcenomy on Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:45 pm

Hmmmm... this Acard adapter looks promising, perhaps put an IDE to CF adapter or something in front of it instead of a real drive as real drives in the smaller sizes old machines are looking for aren't exactly common either any more.
Just the local Commodore hobo and middle-aged PC hoarder.
eisa on Trademe. A lasting reminder of a Compaq fetish when I was younger.
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Re: Sourcing vintage hard disk drives

Postby Antiphrasis on Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:55 pm

For my older macs I ended up getting an SCSI SCA to SCSI 50pin adapter, assuming you have the room in the device for the adapter older SCSI SCA drives (9GB+) are still fairly easy to source and for the most part I've found them fairly reliable. Noise might be a problem though as server SCSI drives were never the quietest in my opinion.
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