Unknown Xserve interface + SATA hard drive = anything usable?
November 13, 2004 11:07 AM   Subscribe

We've got an empty drive cradle for our Xserve, and we've also got an extra SATA drive. I'd like to use the SATA in one of the Xserve slots. Problem is, it seems that Apple uses some kind of proprietary bridge to connect drives to the Xserve bus. I've posted pictures of the bridge attached to our current drives on flickr. Is there a bridge or similar product, Apple or third party, that we can use to mount our extra drive in the Xserve?
posted by djacobs to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Looks like a SCSI connector, which would mean you're out of luck with a SATA drive. About 85% confident in my answer.
posted by Flat Feet Pete at 11:58 AM on November 13, 2004

more specifically, it looks like a sca (80 pin scsi data + power) connector. which makes a lot of sense given that it's a server.
posted by dorian at 12:33 PM on November 13, 2004

Response by poster: The other two drives, that came from Apple, are both definitely IDE drives, which is why I had hope for the SATA.
posted by djacobs at 12:46 PM on November 13, 2004

Response by poster: And, for what it's worth, if there was a bridge that would allow us to fit an IDE or SCSI drive into that slot, that would be great too.
posted by djacobs at 1:07 PM on November 13, 2004

ah yes, I'd forgotten that apple gave up on scsi. from their site, this connector is called 'sca ii' and is indeed ide/pata on the drive side. it's certainly possible that there is a sata variant, but I fear that's just about as likely as the apple bridge dealie (which no doubt you will be able to buy from apple/ebay/etc.) itself being not-overpriced.

does your xserve have a free pci slot? could you put in some low-profile (or right-angle-ified) sata card and connect to the drive you have? that may prove to be much cheaper and practical... but of course at the cost of losing whatever hot-pluggability the 'apple drive module' gives you.
posted by dorian at 1:16 PM on November 13, 2004

Response by poster: That would be a good solution, but our PCI slots are filled. I'm also not sure we'd be able to snake the SATA cables into the bay.
posted by djacobs at 1:36 PM on November 13, 2004

sort of a meta answer but I've had lots of luck at the Ars Techinca mac forum for this sort of question. A lot of smart mac users and admins and it's very well kept.
posted by neustile at 4:09 PM on November 13, 2004

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