FAQABOSS: Hard Drives


With the exception of the Darwin platform (Ultra 5 and 10) and some other new offerings--which use IDE--and the UltraSPARC III-based systems--which use fibre channel--all of Sun's recent desktop systems use some form of SCSI. Most provide SCSI-2, Fast SCSI-2, or Fast Wide SCSI-2 with internal and external connectors. The external connector for the latter is an HD68 (high density 68-pin), while the others use an HD50.

Beyond performance issues, for internally mounted drives the physical connection is the most important matter affecting compatibility. Older systems use a standard 50-pin SCSI connector with separate power feed, while others use the single 80-pin SCA interface. In all cases I've seen, converting the latter to the former yields a package too large for the system enclosure.

No particular drive brand or firmware is required: if it implements one of the SCSI standards supported by the system's interface, it should work...not to say the old SCSI voodoo is unnecessary.


Last modified on April 12, 2001, by Brian L. Brush.