The 2600 series server I’ve purchase only came with SCSI drives, 1 CDROM, and 1 Floppy drive. I don’t know about anyone else but 6 33GB SCSI drives don’t allow for a lot of room to breathe when media files are concerned.
So why not try add some SATA drives? Their cheap and faster, but there’s no room and not enough power cables. These problems can be fixed and I’ll show you how.
Step 1: Remove the SCSI drives, backplanes and cables to them.
Step 2: Remove the power cable from the motherboard to the Primary backplane.
Step 3: You’ll notice that the main power cable to the backplane has a few red, yellow, and black cables (plus an orange, but ignore that). By placing a mutlimeter onto the cables you’ll see the cables are the same color and voltage as molex cables. With this in mind you can cut them an solder a power rail from an old PSU in it’s place, now we have power. Depending on the cable you used you may need to get molex to SATA power splitters. I tested the cable on an old SCSI drive – All good.
Step 4: The Poweredge 2600 that I purchased doesn’t come with any generic SATA cable headers or controllers, yes it does come with 1 IDE for the CDROM but the time it would take to cut and work out which ones go where, wouldn’t be worth the effort. So you need a PCI or PCI-X HDD controller. Don’t go cheap, software driven controllers wont allow the PC to boot from any disk attached to it, although you can use them once an OS from another storage media has booted.
Step 5: Once the card is installed go into the BIOS and see if it recognises it and arrange the boot devices to suit. I tested this with an old SCSI card because the only SATA controller I had was software driven and the IDE controller seemed to be cactus – results where good with the SCSI card.
Step 6: Install the SATA/IDE HDD’s in the old SCSI caddies, without the backplane in place you can now install any 3.5inch HDD you need, as long as it’s compatible with your controller card.
Step 7: Install your preferred OS and enjoy.
* Note: At the time of writing, I didn’t have a spare SATA or IDE controller that met the requirements, although 2 SCSI controllers worked as expected. I’ll update this when I obtain one. Also when doing research I found that the BIOS version +A09 should allow you to boot VIA USB, so you can then use a USB DVD drive for your installation disks if required.
I’ve been generously given a FastTrak TX2300 for the Dell and can confirm it will boot:
All working! Just have to install the development server…