Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

We've got a stack of SCSI HDDs from a very old server that recently bit the dust. There's some chance that there is salvageable and valuable data on the drives. Are there USB enclosures akin to the SATA and IDE enclosures that are so common today that accept SCSI drives? If such a device isn't available, what would be the best strategy for recovering the data from these drives?

share|improve this question
Welcome to Server Fault! Shopping questions are off-topic across the network, since they don't fit into the Q&A format as described in the faq. I suggest you take a read through the faq before you ask your next question. – MDMarra Jan 25 '12 at 20:39
Whilst shopping questions are off topic here, a point which I fully agree with BTW, I think it's a bit harsh to close this question, as Josh hasn't specifically asked for a recommendation, he's just asked if the devices are available! @Josh, maybe you could edit your question and rephrase it to ask 'How can I check the contents of the old disks when I no longer have the server they were installed in?', to make it absolutely clear that you aren't asking for a product recommendation. – Bryan Jan 25 '12 at 21:20
I didn't ask which one to buy, I asked if they exist. I've updated the question with Bryan's suggestion. – Josh Jan 25 '12 at 21:30
From the blog post that I linked to: "What’s the point of a bunch of labor intensive questions that provide only temporary benefit to a limited (some might say Too Localized) audience? There isn’t any. That’s what we concluded, and we explicitly disallowed shopping questions" - This certainly applies here. Shopping is more than just where/what do I purchase. Shopping is also "I need this, where can I find it." That's what Google is for. – MDMarra Jan 25 '12 at 21:40
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Such cables do exist, though I don't know of any enclosures.

The problem with server SCSI hard-drives is that nearly all of the time they were attached to a RAID card, and that makes them not universally mountable without the family of RAID card they were originally attached to. If they're old enough, finding the right hardware to get at the data can be quite hard (it's useful to keep a dinosaur or two in the parts closet for just this reason). And if you don't have the full disk-set you can be very much out of luck.

Really old SCSI drives were attaching to old, crotchety RAID cards that didn't have much in the way of forwards or backwards compatibility, so you may need the exact model of card they attached to. It really depends on what that old RAID card was, though.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the info. I didn't even ask for this project, it was dumped in my lap, nor did I particularly want to be on here getting chastised for rules violations. I think this answer is good enough that I can end my search now and let this thing RIP. – Josh Jan 25 '12 at 21:47

One of my "when there's time" projects is to get some data off a of old SCSI drives, but I've never looked into it until now. (I've been assuming I'd have to build up a PC with one of our old PCI SCSI cards...)

I tried Googling for "USB SCSI converters" and it looks like these used to be available. This one from Adaptec looks like it'd be perfect, but it's listed under obsolete products. You might be able to find one or one like it used somewhere.

It looks like Iomega made an adapter for Jaz drives, and although Jaz wasn't a huge hit, it might be easier to find a name-brand on eBay.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.