The easyRAID EX disk array system sold by our sales manager Bernd Widmaier in 1999 is still running with the original 13 GB hard disks on an Adaptec 2940UW PCI SCSI controller.
The easyRAID EX disk array system sold by our sales manager Bernd Widmaier in 1999 is still running with the original 13 GB hard disks on an Adaptec 2940UW PCI SCSI controller.

Connected to an Adaptec RAID Controller

Our easyRAID runs and runs and runs…

An unusual request fluttered into our support team’s inbox in November 2020. It was about a RAID system that we had sold over 20 years ago. The 6-bay easyRAID with 65 GB is actually still in use and should even be upgraded now. A special case in a nostalgic context.

  • Successful support almost 21 years after purchase of the system
  • easyRAID and HDDs still work
  • Technical data archived
  • Upgrade still possible

Still executable on an old Adaptec RAID controller:

RAID support still successful over 20 years after purchase

1999 was a special year: Total solar eclipse over Germany, the Nebra Sky Disk is found and Starline sells the first easyRAID disk systems with then gigantic 13 GB Maxtor IDE hard disks.

One of those systems has now resurfaced: tech blogger Sven Hannich had bought the aged 6-bay system at an auction in the mid-2000s and used it for backups ever since. But he didn’t contact me because he needed spare parts or even to replace defective hard disks (by the way, the Maxtor hard disks from 1999 still run perfectly) – he simply wanted to upgrade it further.

The full 65 gigabytes of total capacity that come together under RAID5 with the six HDDs were no longer sufficient. The fact that this amount of data can now also be made available via a USB stick is of secondary importance to Hannich. He is enthusiastic about the technology and is therefore at exactly the right address with our technical manager, Dipl.-Ing. Konrad Beyer.

Our technical luminary had archived all the technical data – just like for all our other storage systems: The easyRAID EX disk system with 33 MHz Intel I960 CPU, 32 MB cache and redundant 250 Watt power supplies “supported disk capacities up to 137 GB at that time”. However, he qualified that it might not be possible to create a RAID set with all six disks at this size, because the maximum RAID set capacity is 300 GB and he should rather use six 60 GB HDDs to be on the safe side.

For the nostalgic Hannich, however, this information was already quite sufficient. He intends to look for used hard disks in order to be able to continue operating the easyRAID system, which originally cost a little over 4,000 German Marks. I’m sure he’ll keep us updated via his blog.

We’re looking forward to it.

Update

Mr. Hannich has now written a report of his easyRAID system. Under the title Oldest NAS on the block he describes the installation, operation and even a rebuild in the solid storage tower. Many thanks for that!

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Retro EasyRAID

Sven Hannich has a soft spot for technical antiques such as computers, games consoles, mobile phones or ingenious conversions. Under his web presence, interested people can find all kinds of helpful posts and articles on how to reuse old hardware.

Starline contact

Any questions? Please contact us.

Konrad Beyer has been with us since 2006 and has made a name for himself as an expert for network and IT security. He has expertise to almost all topics: from operating systems- Windows, Linux, macOS and VMware- to special fields- FC, iSCSI, Tape and NAS- to the product lines of Infortrend and Tiger Technology. As a human firewall, he is committed to ensuring that our internal systems run securely and that no malware infects our intranet. The hobby sailor also has the Starline telephone system firmly under control.

Konrad Beyer
Technical Support