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Thread: MiniScribe 8450 for sale

  1. #1

    Default MiniScribe 8450 for sale

    Images here (sorry for poor quality better photos available upon request)

    I happened to chance upon this old HDD while going through my father's old computer parts. I knew there was a niche for vintage computing so I decided to look and see if it was still needed by anyone. I was really surprised to see one for sale on Ebay for $191, which I thought was probably outrageous. Then I was even more surprised to see one of these refurbishment sites selling them for almost $400.

    I haven't tested this HDD yet, but if anyone expresses interest in it I will figure out how to do that. No sense wasting my time if no one even wants it. Or if you want to buy it from me without being tested, you can take that risk it's your money.

    I don't know what a proper amount to ask for this is, but I'm just concerned about being reimbursed for my time and effort if I have to test this thing (my time isn't worth much I can assure you of that).

    If interested, please post a reply or send me a private message. I'd be interested in learning more about it and how to test it even if you're not interested in buying it. This is a pretty interesting piece of history to me since it was made around the same time I was born.

  2. #2
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    Welcome and good on you for not just throwing it out lol

    The drive on ebay is a rarer XT-IDE drive. I still don't imagine it selling for that much though.
    Refurb prices are high, partially because they provide a warranty, but also rely on a company coming along who urgently needs a working replacement part and wants to deal with a business rather than a private seller.

    To test the drive, you'll need an RLL controller and cables, as well as an older machine to suit. If you have access to gear like this, we can step you through it. If you don't have access then the difference in price wont be worth your effort.

    Generally I find if they spin up and sound good, chances are they are. I've bought a few MFM/RLL drives recently and prices for me have usually been in the 20-50 range + shippping costs, but that's private not ebay.

  3. #3
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    To amplify on what SpidersWeb said, your drive is not the same as what's being advertised for $400 on eBay.

    8450 drives came in several flavors. One is the vanilla 8450 MFM/RLL drive (which depends primarily on the controller) which is what you have. There was also the 8450XT, which is what's called an XTA drive--a very early special flavor of IDE. These are desirable for those having equipment that requires this drive.

    There is also the 8450AT, which is a more-or-less standard IDE drive. And then there's the 8450C which is an MFM/RLL drive with somewhat larger capacity than the plain 8450.

    One problem you'll have getting top dollar is that a large proportion of these old drives no longer work, old age having taken its toll, particularly in the then-new 3.5" form factor. The only way you're going to get a premium price is if you have the equipment to format and surface-test the drive--and that won't be anywhere near $400 if the drive is in perfect condition because MFM/RLL drives are uncommon, but by no means rare.

    Absent that, given the unknowns, you've got a nice paperweight.

    I hope this helps a bit.

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