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Super Mash TV's picture
Joined: 2017 Mar 21
New 50/68/80pin SCSI Converter and/or used HD not recognized by Mac 8600

I just bought a Used SCSI hard drive and a new SCSI converter off of ebay and when i plugged it all in nothing was recognized by my macintosh 8600/300. I'm questioning whether it's the HD or the converter. Any ideas?


Bolkonskij's picture
Joined: 2009 Aug 3

Never owned a 8600 but whenever I read about SCSI hard disks (or external SCSI CD ROM drives for that matter) not working I automatically think about "are they properly terminated?". So naturally that would be my first question for you, just to rule this one out Smile

Troyd's picture
Joined: 2014 Nov 14

Pre-OSX Macs wlll only recognise Apple's own hard drives. You will need to use a third party disk utility to create volumes that your 8600 can see.

There are a few, such as Hard Drive Toolki, Anubis, Lido and a patched version of the MacOS drive utility. Not every third party hard drive will work even so.

Also, the comment about termination is important. Nothing will work if your SCSI chain is not correctly terminated. Most of the adapters do not include termination and many hard drives lack that on the drive itself so you will need to check to see whether you need to attach a terminator dongle to the SCSI cable.

sstaylor's picture
Joined: 2016 Aug 26

Take a look over at 68kMLA:

Briefly, you need to configure the jumpers on the drive to enable auto-spin, single-ended, and a proper SCSI ID. And yes, it needs proper termination. One of the disk utilities listed by Troyd above will work great. I've had good luck recently with Lido, but I used Anubis a lot way back when the 8600 was new.

Edit: Also have a look at

WhosIt.There's picture
Joined: 2014 Aug 23

Another issue could be the capacity of the drive. Older versions of the Mac OS had a limit on how big the drive could be. You can often get around that by re-partitioning the drive (will require erasing it on older Macs) into multiple smaller volumes. The drive will then appear on the desktop as multiple "drives", any one of which can be ejected, except the boot one of course, when not needed.

sfp1954's picture
Joined: 2013 Dec 29

What kind of SCSI drive? SCSI 1, SCSI II, Fast? Wide? How many pins?
SCA? (Single Channel Adapter)

My personal experience is that generic adapters will not usually work with drives that are not 50 pin.
I do have one adapter that works with a 68 pin 7200 rpm drive.

If I were restoring a machine I would either use SCSI2SD or find a Sonnet 100 or 133 ATA PCI card.

The other option would be an internal PCI SCSI card with the right connectors for your drive.
Those are very cheap at this point in time.

soudesune's picture
Joined: 2009 Dec 19

I use many modern drives in old Macs. the comments made above are correct. Check that it is terminated. The control panel SCSI Probe 4.3 will let you know that. There will either be a termination block on the drive or, more likely, on the adapter (probably top right hand corner — TPR).

If you have a 15-year old ex-server drive, say a U320 with a 80-pin port, the drive must support SE (single-ended) connections. It is, by default, an LVD (low voltage differential) drive although it may also support LVD/SE. Look for that on the sticker on the drive itself. If it's not there, check your search engine of choice.

I use 2 tools to format drives — Lido and Silverlining. If the drive is big (say 72Gb), formatting can take a looooooong time. You may waynt to leave it over night. Alternatively, if you can fir a PCIe SCSI card (ATTO UL5D, Adaptec 39320) into your modern machine, then it will be a lot quicker to format.