Nicolet 660

Mr Ian Primus ian_primus at
Wed Feb 11 11:27:56 CST 2009

--- On Wed, 2/11/09, John Floren <slawmaster at> wrote:
> A kind list member in my area has offered me a Nicolet 660
> computer
> free if I can haul it off, so I'm hoping to see if
> anyone else has any
> information about it.

Hmm. Yeah, I've never heard of Nicolet either. Interesting find!

> The Nicolet is a hip-high (3'?) cabinet that acts like
> a mini rack
> (units slide in and out on rails). The disk unit sits on
> top and has
> two SCSI 3.5" floppy drives and an SMD hard disk.

> Apparently the hard drive has died. Is it easy to get
> replacement SMD
> disks, or are there adapters that would let me plug in a
> SCSI drive or
> something more common? This seems to be a very unique piece
> of
> equipment that I would like to try to get working.

I don't know of any available adapters, but SMD drives shouldn't be too hard to find. What type of drives is in there currently? What's the form factor? SMD drives exist in many sizes and types, and you need to find one that's compatible. Most SMD drives use 8" or 9" platters, although 5 1/4" drives were made, they're pretty rare. 14" platter drives were also common.

Ideally, you'd want to find another drive of the same type as the dead one. SMD controllers need to know all the specs of a drive, it's not automatic like SCSI, so you need to find a drive that's compatible.

If it's something like a Seagate/CDC Sabre, then it shouldn't be hard at all to find another one.

What's wrong with the drive? SMD drives are repairable, provided the HDA (head disk assembly) has not crashed. Many SMD drives contain their own power supply - it may have failed. I've repaired several drives that didn't work, but the disk mechanism itself was fine.


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