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new motherboard for use with old SCSI RAID array

Posted on 2016-08-02
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Last Modified: 2016-12-08
I have a 12 year old home built computer running winXP sp3 and a 1+0 Adaptec software RAID card Adaptec 39320a PCI-X. Replaced Power supply with PC Cooling unit a couple of years ago. Have replaced several of the Seagate Cheetah drives as the machine runs 24x7.

 I want to get a new motherboard, but want to continue to use the SCSI RAID array. I know there are better hard drive options, but I have considerable $ invested in the SCSI drives, plus I am just p[lain stubborn and want to make this old hard drive system work with a new mohterborad and other components.

Is there any way I can use the old Adaptec 39320a PCI-X SCSI software RAID card?

Suggestions for new motherboard??

PCIE to PCI-X adapter, possibly PCI Express to PCI Adapter Card:
https://www.startech.com/Cards-Adapters/Slot-Extension/PCI-Express-to-PCI-Adapter-Card~PEX1PCI1

Any other SCSI RAID card that I could use on a modern motherboard?

Suggestions for new motherboard?? Mid priced.

Thanks.
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Question by:rwalker1
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 41739935
If you are planning on taking your drives and data AS IS across to  a new SCSI card I believe you will have problems.  Other experts will correct me if I'm wrong and you should wait for other experts to comment.

My reasoning:  Your RAID array AS IS may NOT be supported on a different SCSCI card.

The card itself seems to be supported up to Windows 7 and possibly may still be supported in Windows 10 (but can't prove this).

But wait for other experts to comment.
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rindi earned 300 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41740223
Get an older 2nd hand server or server board that still has PCI-X sockets. For example an HP DL385G1 or similar would fit those needs.

Besides that, PCI-X is downward compatible with PCI, so you should also be able to insert that card into a normal PCI slot and it should work. I for example use a PCI-X ethernet card in a normal PC that only has PCI slots (the onboard ethernet of that PC failed), and it works fine. It may just be a little slower as you get less bandwidth.

So any mainboard with PCI slots should work with that card. It may be harder to get XP working on it, as modern chipsets and CPU's aren't supported by that OS, so you would still need a board that isn't too new.
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Assisted Solution

by:Gerald Connolly
Gerald Connolly earned 200 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41740247
Hopefully you are upgrading your OS as well as your MB.

The easiest way to upgrade your disk subsystem is to BACKUP all the data, and install a plain SCSI HBA in your new system and then use Windows Native RAID Software to create a RAID10 Raidset using your existing disks as it will probably be faster and give you more features than your old h/w RAID controller.

PS the use of "RAID 1+0" terminology has now been deprecated due to and we now use RAID10 to describe MIRRORsets that are STRIPEd
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Author Comment

by:rwalker1
ID: 41741631
To clarify:
1. I do not need to transfer the drive image that currently exists. I will do a clean install
2. I am not wed to the adaptec controller, but do want to use the drives
3. I plan to upgrade to windows 7 and then probably windows 10
4. I do want to run a RAID 10 array, either hardware or software, but it has to be SCSI, not SAS or SATA
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 41741676
Ah, makes sense now.

Your card appears to be full height.  So plugging it into the Startech will make it exceed the height inside a standard case.  A very interesting piece of equipment though.

Can't really recommend a board or new SCSCI though (if you go that way).  I'll let others do that.
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Expert Comment

by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 41741719
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