Small Computer System Interface hard drives are generally considered faster, more reliable storage media than IDEs or SATAs. Because they are designed to be capable of running for extended periods of 24 hours a day, seven days a week operation, Dell recommends their use in network servers and in their more sophisticated work stations. There are two different kinds of SCSI drives used in Dell systems: standard and hot swap. Replacing the latter consists of lifting the door catch while the machine continues to run, popping out the old drive with the push of a button and sliding the new drive into the slot until it seats with a click. Installing a standard SCSI in a Dell PC is slightly more complex.
Open the computer case and install an SCSI controller card in the first available Peripheral Component Interconnect slot, if one is not already present.
Secure the SCSI drive into the first available drive bay. If this drive is the first or last SCSI drive to be installed in the computer, terminate the SCSI "daisy chain" with a SCSI bus terminator made for the particular drive's specifications.
Connect the SCSI drive to the controller slot on the SCSI controller board. Close the computer case and load the CD-ROM with the SCSI drivers that came with the new SCSI drive. If no software came with the drive, use the drive product number to locate and download the appropriate SCSI driver software.
Run the SCSI driver software to format the drive and prepare it to store data.
- Formatting an SCSI drive takes a long time. For the sake of convenience, begin formatting at the end of the work day and let the formatting continue overnight. For very large SCSI drives, begin formatting on Friday afternoon.
- SCSI drives run hot. Make certain proper cooling is made available to keep the drives from overheating. When working with an open chassis, ground yourself and ensure that all power cables are disconnected from the mains.
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