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I have an Old HDD Seagate Model ST4350N. I want to access the data on the Hard disk. Seaget ST4350N The Hard disk have 50 pin connector Hard Disk Interface I am hoping for guidance on how to even begin the process. What kind of controller and equipment do i need for reading the drive.

  • Quick googling finds that the interface is SCSI 1. So you need a SCSI 1 controller, or some way to emulate one on modern hardware (e.g. some embedded controller), if such a thing exists. Pinout is here (single ended). – dirkt Sep 18 '18 at 10:22
  • Adaptec used to produce an interface called "USB2XChange", an SCSI controller on a USB cable (no longer made, unfortunately) - It might be worth looking out for such an adapter on the second-hand market – tofro Sep 18 '18 at 14:17
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This is a SCSI device, so it shouldn’t be too hard to get the data off the device. You need the following pieces of equipment:

  • a SCSI controller, known as a host bus adapter (HBA); these are available for most buses, including USB (getting rare though), PCI and PCI Express (the last two are still easy enough to find, especially second-hand; expect to pay a premium for new controllers);
  • a SCSI cable, with appropriate connectors (we’ll get to that);
  • depending on the cable, perhaps an adapter;
  • depending on the cable and the drive specifics, perhaps a terminator (although since this would be the only drive on the bus, you should be able to get away without one).

The simplest option would be to find a computer with a PCI (not PCI Express) slot, and install a PCI SCSI HBA. Most of those still have 50-pin SCSI SE ports; you can then use a 50-pin internal SCSI cable to connect the drive directly. Set the jumpers for drive-provided termination (see the settings here), and it should “just work”.

If it doesn’t work, the drive might be a bit too old and not support the identification protocol. In that case, you’ll need to find an older HBA which doesn’t care too much about this; I have an old Adaptec 2940 for exactly this kind of situation.

If you don’t have a system with old PCI connectors, but with PCI Express connectors, then you’ll only find HBAs with Ultra320 buses and 68-pin connectors. In that case, you’ll need a 68-pin internal cable; these include terminators in most cases, but again that shouldn’t cause problems if you have a short cable and only one drive on the bus. You’ll also need a 68- to 50-pin female-to-female adapter such as this one. Set the drive jumpers for bus-powered termination.

Once all that’s done, a Linux setup should see the drive immediately; on Windows, you’ll need to install the drivers for the HBA, but if it’s old enough (and most of them are) there’s a decent chance the drivers will be built in. I’m not sure about macOS.

There are other possibilities, e.g. placing the drive in an external enclosure and connecting that to the SCSI HBA; that opens even more possibilities for mis-matched cables and terminators. The above should get you going though...

  • If I would have to guess about MacOS, it should also see the drive immediately, like Linux does. Can't say for sure though... – Wilson Sep 18 '18 at 12:21
  • Thank You for your guidance, Stephen. I was able to access the Hard drive. – MK Ashraf Oct 23 '18 at 6:49

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