Retrieving data off old SCSI drive

Hey guys…bit of an outlier.

I need some help/assistance please.

A friend gave me a hard drive years ago and asked me if I could get some photos off it for his then girlfriend (now wife). It went into storage and they moved to the states. They are now coming back for her 40th birthday and so I thought it would be really nice if I could in some way get the photos off the drive and put it on a usb drive for her.

The problem is that it’s a SCSI drive and I’ve spend a good deal of time trying to work out what’s needed.

The drive in question is a Seagate Barracuda ST150176LW with a 68pin female connection. The power is molex. See attached photos for drive and connector:

My desktop is quite modern and there’s no ide socket on the motherboard and not sure what PCI socket it is but I’m pretty sure it’s too modern for any sort of PCI adapter. I do have an old dell dimension in storage which might have a compatible PCI socket.

So far, I’m thinking about getting the following controller card and internal lvd cable

Do any of you guys have experience of this and if so, do you think the above adapter and cable will work?

Any help or advice would be gratefully received.

Kind Regards,


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Obligatory “Back In My Day That was Cutting Edge”

The Adaptec controller cards were the gold standard for getting SCSI to work right. As for the cable, the one you have a link for appears to be an external cable and I believe you want a SCSI LVD 320 Internal cable with a terminator. It has been a long time since I have touched that hardware so you might want to do some reading on it. Here is a link to get you started


Thanks Tom!
Some bedtime reading for me :wink:
I think you are right about the cable being external. I spent forever on ebay last night and it was probably a cable too far…lol

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I have a stack of U320 HD’s, cards n cables in storage, ahh, the old days… As it seems you’re not in the US, me having them won’t help you, so…

Buy the Adaptec card you have linked, or any Adaptac U160/U320 card, and then grab this, or something like this from your current location. Your older Dell PC should work fine provided it has a free PCI slot and runs at least WinXP. :+1:

If you choose to buy another item, just remember you want a U320 LVD Internal Cable with at least 3 connectors on it, and a Terminator. (the black square thing at the cable end in the photo) A U160 cable would work, but I doubt you’d find any, so just stick with U320.

I’d suggest installing the card, plugging everything up, and booting into a Live Linux Distro (Ubuntu, PopOS, etc) and grabbing the data that way. It’s slightly more effort, but will ensure Windows choosing to randomly destroy something, won’t ruin your day or data, because it’s well, Windows…

Also, if when you get it all booted up, if the Adaptec Bios doesn’t list the card, here’s the manual for that drive.

Back when drives had real manuals… :stuck_out_tongue:


…And we all RTFMed, rii i i ight. There was a time SCSI was all that I specified server or desktop. Loved the Storage Dimensions Novell data store box all Maxtor drives. $ 2,000 for a 1GB drive full height. Don’t miss those days, but the stuff worked.

What’s RTFM? :crazy_face:

I dunno, I kinda miss the days of sitting on efnet, trying to help all the plebs with shiny new and expensive SCSI equipment that wouldn’t work. There’s just something about being able to control every aspect of your hardware that was satisfying.

Always did well with Adaptec and LSI stuff though.

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RTFM = Read The F^&*king Manuel or the the clean version Read The Fine Manuel.

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Thanks Faust!
I’m waiting on the parts. Should be arriving tomorrow or Monday.
I’ll let you know how it goes.


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I just did pretty much the same thing about 3 weeks ago. I’m pretty sure I used an Adaptec 2940. The problem I ran in to was that Adaptec and Microsoft never made a 64 bit driver for that card so no modern Windows version would work with it. I booted with a Linux CD and the driver was built in. I copied the hard drive to a SATA drive I had on the bench and all was well.

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Linux to the rescue.

Thanks Mike.
I got the cable this morning. Unfortunately the card didn’t come in from Germany which means it will get here on Monday (probably). I still have time! I run POP_OS on my main rig but have an older machine in storage that I can use a live boot disk on.
I’ll let you all know how it goes.
Thanks again.

The 2940 was a popular choice back in the day, however that adapter is overkill for the HD he’s dealing with. Anything with a lvd/se connector will do, especially for a one-off use.

If you’re running Pop!_OS as your main, just boot the usb on your Dell rig to recover the data. The HD is less than 60GB, so… you could throw the whole thing on a 64GB thumbdrive if you wanted… LoL

Just make sure you mount it correctly as fat32 or ntfs, you should be golden.

The answer is always, Linux and/or BSD :wink:

p.s. why is there no manual for women, it’s one book us guys ‘would’ read… lol

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Mia cuppa for forgetting BSD. Why no manual for women because no one has figured them our even Einstein was baffled.

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Card hopefully arrives on Monday. Got the cable yesterday. Anyone want to open a book on whether it works or not?
Will keep you posted.

The reason I had a 2940 is that it was from back in the day when it was popular. When we would replace a tape drive, we could archive the drive, the cable, and the SCSI controller when we decommissioned the server or the drive. That way if we ever needed to recover something from one of the drives we wouldn’t have to search for the one piece that made it all work.

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That’s actually pretty smart policy, that could get ungodly expensive depending, especially back then!

If you need to recover data after you have the hardware properly connected I use the following Open Source tools.


Best Practice:
Make an image file of the original hard drive and load it on a known good hard drive. If the recovery process does not work the first time reload the image and try again.


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I think you might be confusing Retrieving with Recovering. This is a case of Retrieving data, not Recovering from a corrupt drive. Also there are better recovery tools available than the two you listed, imho, and yes I’ve tried them both.

Hey @NiallCon did your setup ever work out? I just ran across this forum as I was looking for info to do the same thing. Please let me know if you can!

Thanks Mate!

Hey @PotterPerfect.
I’m afraid it didn’t work for me. I got the cable and the SCSI controller. It did recognize the drive but for some reason it wouldn’t recognise the file system and just showed up as a blank drive. I can’t remember what troubleshooting I tried but I did spend some time on it. In the end I just concede to the ‘it ain’t going to work’ Gods :frowning: