I assume this is impossible, but I thought I'd ask:

I have an PowerComputing PowerCenter 150, running some version of Mac OS 8. I don't have a mouse, keyboard, or monitor for the computer. I do have an ethernet cable, but not a crosslink cable.

Is there a way to use my current MacBook Air (running the latest OS) to get the files off of the PowerCenter? I assume I can try to find a shop to pull the SCSI drive and transfer it to USB, but I'd rather not do that if possible.

  • It doesn’t matter that your Ethernet cable isn’t a crossover. Your MacBook Air’s Ethernet adapter will be auto sensing MDI/MDIX and won’t need a crossover to talk to another computer. But I’m afraid that probably won’t help you. – Mike Scott Jan 24 '18 at 16:33
  • @MikeScott - the MBA never had an Ethernet adapter. You could get a USB Ethernet dongle, but that's about it. – Allan Jan 24 '18 at 17:58
  • I misread "files" as "flies". I am disappointed. – John Dvorak Jan 24 '18 at 22:06
  • too funny!!!!!! – Natsfan Jan 25 '18 at 3:04
  • I had a PowerWave 604/132 (everymac.com/systems/powercc/powerwave/powerwave604_132.html) when I was a kid. Gooooood times. – Harv Jan 31 '18 at 2:12

The best course of action is to pull the data off the drive via USB with a USB to SCSI adapter like the Adaptec USBXchange.

You can do this without spending a lot of money (definitely less than having a shop or a tech do this). Though the hardware is obsolete, you are in luck because macOS (OS X) supports USB Attached SCSI meaning your drive will show up as a mounted volume.

To do this, you will need the following

Probably the most daunting task is getting access to the drive, but in actuality, it isn't all that difficult. The PowerCenter 150 is a Mac clone and is put together more like a PC than a Mac in that respect. Opening the case and accessing the drive is no different than the procedure for opening a PC case. Basically, a few phillips screws on the back hold the side panels on and after removing them, the panels will slide off giving you access to the internals.

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  • Remove the hard disk mounting screws (yellow circle; both sides) so you can access the drive
  • Remove the grey cable from the main board; leave the power cable (red circle) attached
  • Connect the grey cable to the 50 pin IDC port (square) and the USB Adapter to the HD50 port (port in the shape of an elongated "D")
  • Connect USB adapter to MacBook Air, and power on the PowerCenter computer

The drive should appear on your MBA and you should be able to pull of your data.


If you don't have the right control panels installed then the Ethernet port won't be active.

The cheapest way to access it would be to buy an old keyboard and mouse or take it to a computer shop that has them. Or you could send it to a data recovery service.

SCSI drives have not been used for so long that getting an adapter and mounting the drive to a newer Mac will probably cost more than the used keyboard and mouse.



The problem here is current versions of macOS do not support the version of Appleshare available on MacOS 8. So yes you could turn it on, plug an ethernet cable between the two but it is unlikely that the MacBook Air will be able to see anything on the old clone.

There are (were?) versions of Appleshare for OS X but I don't know if they are still available and/or compatible with current versions of macOS. A little google-fu for Appleshare, netatalk and the like might find you something that might work.

Of course all of this assumes that sharing is turned on, on your clone and everything is accessible. If sharing is off or password protected and you don't know the username/password you may be out of luck.

Honestly the simplest way would be to find someone with an old Mac that can attach your SCSI drive and burn a CD with the files you need, or transfer it to a thumb drive. Just depends on how much it is worth to you to have it done.

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