View Full Version : 80 pin drives not compatable with Mac?

07-05-2001, 09:34 PM
Seagate told me today that 80 pin drives are not compatable with Mac.
That using the 80 to 68 pin adaptor causes some sort of interferance, and
it is hit or miss to get a drive to work. Seagate also said FWB was needed to
format the drive.
Any suggestions.

I have tried a 80 to 68 hot swap enclosure, and an 80 to 68 adaptor non hot
swap, no luck.

07-05-2001, 11:48 PM
80 PIN SCA drives are evil http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/crossbones.gif
The should ONLY be used with the correct SCA/80pin SCSI card and/or backplate. These are server drives. You may save a bit of money, but chances are you will be wasting a lot of time and money trying to get the damn things to work. Penny wise, pound foolish is not the way to go.

I do not think this is a Mac issue. Its a SCSI issue. The LVD drives of today are fast, large and relatively cheap vs. the old days of SCSI. Get some quality 68pin Seagate LVD drives, you'll be happy! http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

If you really have to tinker with this - your best bet would be to get GRANITE cabling, termination and adaptors, or at the least GRANITE adaptors and make sure the SCSI chain is SHORT - 3 drives or less, 4' of cable or less.

New Granite cabling & termination would probably cost more than the drive though http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif I go with GRANITE when possibe, but also go with 68pin drives.


Life in the fast lane leads to:
The Resteraunt At The End Of The Universe

07-06-2001, 06:41 PM
Quote from Granite:

The most common reason that the 80 pin drives dont work with the
Mac OS is that the Eprom on the drive may not be recongnized by the Mac.
It has to be either a Mac compatible Eprom or a Generic Eprom. If the
drive has an OEM Eprom then that may be the reason for the difficulty.

07-08-2001, 01:59 AM
maybe one of these days vendors will stop selling this garbage to customers who really ought to know better.

07-08-2001, 10:39 AM
Mac OS is that the Eprom on the drive may not be recongnized by the Mac. It has to be either a Mac compatible Eprom or a Generic Eprom. If the
drive has an OEM Eprom then that may be the reason for the difficulty.

I have tried drives that were not OEM drives. They still have issues. I've seen people try to use OEM drives (but no SCA OEMs) and those barely work, if at all.

Here is what happens in my view. A vendor makes several thousand SCA drives. Then either a contract falls through or maybe the market is too small to support the sales of the drives. They then unload the drives to hapless consumers. They think they are getting a great deal, until they try to hook them up and actually use them.

You can go ahead with your SCA experiment. They could work great. You may need a lot of time. Good luck.

07-09-2001, 01:59 PM

Experiences can vary...
I have two Atlas IIs (w/SCA connectors) running off a 2940uw card in a PowerCenter Pro 240 for over two years now without a single hiccup. Os is 8.0. Using FWB HD Toolkit from day one. The adapters were included with the drives.

I have an Atlas 10k II, 36Gig, with SCA and three more with the 68pin connector. NO difference in performance or behavior. Using FWB again for them in, currently, a PTP 210 off a 2940u2w card. These are Dell oem units. Brand new. The adapters I'm using here ARE spec'd for LVD drives (or U160); not all are.
Only the label says something about Dell. SCSI Probe says they are your standard Atlas 10k II drives with a standard Quantum (now Maxtor BTW) firmware rev number.

I hung an 18gig 'cuda (LVD & SCA) from one of our NT servers at the office (12 SCA 'cudas on SCA backplanes in various RAID configs) here off one of MY SCA adapters & LVD cables connected to the LVD internal port of a Gateway oem U2 scsi card for testing purposes under Win98. I ran Seagate's testing utility (won't run under NT...what a feature) with no problems at all. ONLY one error showed up...Seagate replaced it since it was on a mirrored array where both drives have to be absolutely identical; or so the DBA said.

I have no problems with SCA scenarios as a rule. If the price is the same, get a 68pin version as adapters will run ten to 20 bucks each.

You don't mention details about your SCA problems, but SCSI, at times, seems to be just as close to an 'art' as it is to a 'science'. SCSI generally only works well config'd one way; and 'sort of works' config'd dozens of different ways.

I have a 9gig Cheetah (uw, 68pin) sitting on the shelf that was pronounced 'bad' by one of our NT whizznerds <sic>...right after he installed another drive on the same cable...checks out perfectly with Seagate's testing utility. I ran it for a week as the boot drive on my NetWatcher Win98 box with no problems at all. Does it sound like the drive is 'bad'?

I would expect an external SCA-backplane equipped case to work with a Mac if properly configured to scsi rules AND with drivers conpatible with the drives and version of Mac OS in use. External LVD/U160 scsi setups seem to be few and far between from what I've seen, however. Most servers use them INTERNALLY, however.

Look at all the variables: id, termination, specific scsi card, multiple connectors on the scsi card, OS version, driver software, cables, several connections that can work loose while trying to make a cable connection (data or power).

The closest thing I've seen to a 'roomy' Mac box is the PT Pro. Is it any wonder that do-it-yourselfers have problems with scsi? IDE is idiot proof...and maybe...maybe user-proof. http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/eek.gif Heck, I have ide cables pull loose while finishing up the install of a drive on the other ide connector.

Some things to be aware of:
Apparently, from what I've read elsewhere, the early SCA adapters were marginal at best...perhaps establishing a bad rep for SCA adapters in general.

Virtually every SCA adapter I've seen has solder points on the back of the card that could easily ground/short out on the drive's metal frame if the card adapter is 'pressed' against the drive by, say, jammed-in scsi cables, power cables, etc. I put a strip of good electrical tape across the back of each adapter when I install it.

Most hardware vendors (eg. Seagate, Quantum)would just like the Macintosh to go away. Pesky little fruits http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif!

Granite sells VERY good stuff but their post is outdated. Drive Setup from older revs of the Mac OS would ONLY format/work with drives (hard and cd-roms) that had Apple roms in them. PROPRIETARY. The path to the cliff-of-no-return. That is why ALL Power Computing Corp Mac clones came with FWB drivers for the cd-roms and hard drives. Apple is no longer headed in that direction, or so it seems.

I have seen where it was difficult to remove other Mac-specific drivers but deleting the partitions in the driver area and rebooting usually made it possible to install a new driver and proceed as expected. This occurs with ALL kinds of connectors; not just SCAs.

There may be problems with using server-specific back-planes for SCA drives under the Mac OS. I've never tried nor had the opportunity to do so. If a LVD drive works off the LVD scsi card's internal connector (with a proper LVD cable and LVD terminator) then I'd check the external cable's suitability and the external termination. BOTH MUST BE designed for LVD use. TERMINATION IS A VERY BIG DEAL WITH LVD/U160.

07-09-2001, 09:31 PM
[i]I hung an 18gig 'cuda (LVD & SCA) from one of our NT servers at the office (12 SCA 'cudas on SCA backplanes in various RAID configs) here off one of MY SCA adapters & LVD cables connected to the LVD internal port of a Gateway oem U2 scsi card for testing purposes under Win98.[i]

Ok, I assume you mean you hooked up several LVD-SCA drives to an LVD-SCA card/backplate for a server & testing purposes. In this case SCA is NOT EVIL http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/crossbones.gif It is WICKED COOL! http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/cool.gif

I would never try to stick a good SCA drive on a good expensive 68PIN card with a 'good' adaptor since the REAL 68pin drives are cheap by comparison, esp if you value your time. SCA can work... you are not the only one to report this, but YMMV.

07-11-2001, 08:45 PM

Your testimonial stands as a monument to the accomplishments of one man, but in no way should serve as a beacon to the vast masses of thrifty mac users looking for current deals on hard drives. Home users should simply not EVER consider using an SCA drive in their mac. The added expense of a superb adapter and the added complexity of setting proper jumper configurations on separate devices make this choice uneconomical and complicated at best for the casual user.


07-11-2001, 11:19 PM
Guess what?
I finally got my 80 pin drives to work on my system. I do not know
if it was worth the hassle.
Had to hot plug the drives to fool Atto card to cooperate.
Also had to convert my internal LVD drive that someone had
single ended terminated and used a non-LVD internal cable on
which was conflicting with the external channel one LVD RAID.
I don't know how stable this whole deal is. But the Atto card sure
seems touchy compaired to Adaptec. Pricing on 80 pin Ebay drives sure
remains tempting.