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Learn to properly Sort, Sell, and Profit from your electronic scrap material.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2022 7:32 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2022 7:10 am
Posts: 3
I'm new here login-wise and found this thread of particular interest due to having a good many old drives, due to working on them for many years. I spent more time on drives than any other component, that's for sure! I'll in the not too distant future be scrapping quite a bit of it but hate to see good drives go to scrap, most especially the old SCSI. I have no desire going to ebay, although years ago I was a power seller there, but maybe I can work here with someone somehow to save some of those drives :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2022 11:11 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:42 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Troy, NY
Josh, welcome. I have been here since the beginning of Boardsort, and there are still a good many active users that can be very helpful if you're thinking of scrapping vs. refurbing particular drives, the moderator included.
To wit, I have a business here in NY that specializes in restoring older microcomputers, 386/486 and generally vintage and even older equipment. I'm always on the lookout for MFM, older scsi, sas drives if you have any of those, they would be of particular interest for me. Also, older peripherals and controllers, if you had any of those.
Feel free to email me at my user name within gmail. Otherwise, happy scrapping.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2022 2:22 pm 
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SCSI I and II disks remain very popular to this day. There’s a very healthy retro market Borgnine the US and in Europe. CBM, Acorn, BBC, and Tandy/RS

All use some variation or RS440 or I3E 480 serial from buffered parallel I/O Or SCSI. No doubt there are buyers.

The good thing about the old, big, small storage drives is you don’t actually need a “clean room”, just a clean room! Tolerances are much higher.
There’s plenty of people here interested.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2022 2:45 pm 

Joined: Wed May 25, 2022 11:17 am
Posts: 3
I am also new to this, but would like to start trying to resale some of the hard drives that come through my warehouse. I am trying to follow this topic but most of the information goes well over my head. How would you recommended learning to identify different types of hard drives? All these types are new to me.
I can Identify sata and ssd's. I know what 2.5 and 3.5's are, but the rest of it might as well be a foreign language to me.

Also what are these three considered? I probably have half a gaylord of similar drives I am trying to figure out what I can do with.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2022 5:07 pm 
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Ohh! Fun stuff!!!

The shiny ibm is a “high speed” scsi drive. These will work for most old Macs, MC IBM PCs, just about any 90s workstations.

The middle ibm is an early 90s workstation drive. Probably from a 300 or 600 series WS. Or a competing unit.

The cheetah, if it works, is a popular choice in 16bit, 20bit, and 32but retro systems outside of the win/Mac/Unix world. The drives have a dead lead in that is writable and are under-provisioned. This means they can support trac 0 file systems, not just track 1. AND have more space than they claim. A minor firmware patch allows both non-standard FSs and full disk access, as much as 25%+ over the stated site. But this reduces speed because it removes the multi-point read method these drives use.

The left one is scsi (uSCSI)
The middle one is probably MC (and a dozen other names) and requires an adapter to connect to a scsi interface.

The right on is probably SCSI2
—-
The first test is to hold the disk vertically and gently rotate it and listen for any clinking or rattling.

If none, second test is a power on. You’ll need a system with the right interface. Preferring one that isn’t important incase of on-load viri. Dos/CPM boot disk or a classic Unix or linux boot disk. If the drive spins up you have a good board and a good drive.

Final test is to load an OS or live disk and run a disk test. Gparted works on most systems, and Open-DSK on older ones. ODT is also available.
Again use a system you don’t care about.

I’ve seen rapid payloads installed on even really old disks by (bad word names) people. Everything from bios busters to CS attacks. mem loops. Micro basic boots to divide by 0. There’s nasty stuff out there.

Final step, after the final test, is a secure wipe, and no format. Buyers of this era and earlier prefer unformatted since the OS or rom will run an LLF.

The cheetah with mod firmware can replace any proprietary drive if the host OS supports the disk size.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2022 11:26 am 

Joined: Wed May 25, 2022 11:17 am
Posts: 3
Thank you for the help and information, I really Appreciate your help!

All of this stuff is quite interesting, but also very overwhelming. I have no experience in software or stuff like this an any capacity (? If that is the correct way to label what we are discussing) and am struggling to understand the majority of what I m reading online.

I am straggling to find a system with the right interface aspect. From what I am reading it seems I either need to find an older computer that uses an 8080, 8086, or Z80 processors, or I need to find /create an adapter system that allows me to connect stuff together? There is so much information concerning this, but I am not comprehending it. Can you offer any advice?

After trying to look around for a bit, I am having difficulty understanding how I should actually approach those a few of these steps.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2022 3:34 pm 
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Actually, what you posted is probably easiest to match up to a early-to-mid 90s workstation.
Say a Compaq or DEC Pentium-based ‘workstation server’ or a Sun Sparc system.

But you’re taking the harder route to do this. All you really need is an external dock or adaptor. SCSI to USB.
You’ll want one that supports SCSI II and wide scsi.
sabrent And Cable UL make suitable ones. I use both companies.

OWC used to make some good ones that pop up online from time to time. They’re expensive though and intended for Macs but work with any era-matched server or workstation. Usually with a Thunderbolt or FireWire port rather than USB.

BackupWorks and StorageSolutions both sell (mid-high-end) hot swap docks compatible with modern systems for old drives.

In all honesty I found using horizontal docks and hotswap bays safer, easier, and more reliable, than the original computers.
The benefit of going external is you could boot a liveCD or liveUSB OS. Gparted is a very basic but reliable tool. Others like FileMaster are more useful.

Ultimate Boot CD Is an old toolkit but supports USB, serial, and parallel interface external drives.

Using a live boot and external dock/adapter is the easiest way to safely test drives.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2022 7:57 am 

Joined: Wed May 25, 2022 11:17 am
Posts: 3
That helps a lot. Thank you!!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2022 7:52 pm 
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My suggestion if you intend to do this a lot is to grab a P4 era low end workstation with 512MB-1GB of ram at most. And an internal CD/DVD rom. USB 2

An old working tube monitor. People will give these away for free. Or even pay you to take one.

Multiple matched usb-Drive docks. Adaptors work, but make sure they let the drive sit flat and flush to the desk. I’ve seen many that keep the back of the drive lifted slightly. This puts pressure on the port. Scsi has a LOT of pins and that’s a lot of points that could be damaged.



Resources
https://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html?=mtu4
Good for testing

https://www.livecd.com/killdisk.html
Good for killing

You can also try https://distrowatch.com/search.php#advanced for a live cd OS.
Chose live medium in the Distribution category
My personal suggestion is to use BSD based systems for things like this because they don’t purge older support anywhere near what Linux does. And modern BSD systems will boot just fine on relatively older equipment.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2022 9:13 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:42 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Troy, NY
I agree with the adapter route.
I'm assuming you no longer have the system that you pulled the drive from originally (that would probably be the easiest route).
But scsi adapter to usb, then you can check the drive with the proper tools, I like UltimateBoot also for legacy stuff.
A tested drive will fetch more money than an untested one, although you could do the latter if the drive is in demand, much like how there's always somebody looking to buy EDO memory for older ATM's and things you don't think about.
Always in demand and they ceased production ages ago.


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