A Removable IDE Drive!

I found an amazing external hard drive solution for computers that lack USB or FireWire: IDE drives in SCSI cases! ACARD makes several SCSI-to-IDE adapters, but I wasn't sure what other parts I needed (the ARS-2000UB cabinet reviewed on Accelerate Your Mac has been discontinued; the rest of the products are just bridges). Luckily I found, a website that sells custom-built external and removable SCSI-IDE hard drives. These drives seem to be made for an audio workstation, but I was assured that they'd work with PCs or Macs. I ordered Package #1 (ACARD Removable Drive System, Second Drive Bay/Tray, and SCSI Cable) for $184.95 and received it today. (The website has changed -- I bought what's now called the VS Song-Vault Pro without the hard drive.) I installed a Western Digital 120 GB IDE drive in the tray, locked it in place, hooked up the case, turned it on, and it showed up on my Macintosh's SCSI chain. I had to hack Drive Setup in order to initialize it, but then it worked just like a normal drive! (After updating the firmware to 3.7m on the ACARD AEC-7720UB inside, non-hacked Drive Setup can recognize it -- and apparently it can then support 160 GB hard drives. However, in order for the SCSIDE Update utility to see the new firmware, I discovered that you have to manually change the creator code on sibg37m.bin to Scid, since it downloads as a generic binary file.) As for drawbacks, the drive bay sticks out about an inch, you can hear the fan running, and if you ever have to restart your computer while it's on, you'll probably have to shut it down and then turn it back on. These are minor complaints, however -- if you're still blessed with SCSI but want to take advantage of less expensive IDE drives, this is an ideal way to do it.

posted at 08:36:00 PM on 03/05/04 by nullibicity - Category: Macintosh


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