500GB Internal HDs

Hi all,

I have access to around 100 x 500GB HDs from clients that we have upgraded to SSDs and they are just sat on a shelf. I am thinking about putting a K34 plot on each of them.

Question is, what is the easiest way to get all of these drives connected to a PC? I understand that USB-C can have up to 127 devices but I don’t see any hubs anywhere near that capacity.

Thanks for any input!

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If you want to attach that many drives to one PC, I’d go for a sata hba ( one without port multipliers) , and some separate sata 1 to 5 port multipliers.
Best prices I’ve seen to be had on Ali express.

It’s not worth it. 100x 500G gets you only 50TB, not counting the wasted space that won’t fit a plot.

To buy hardware to use them will probably cost more than 3x 16TB drives.

Older drives are also not as energy efficient. You’ll run at least 33 times more power than 3 drives.


You can try buying external HDD cases in bulk, or go the sata route (more expensive), or find a deal for an old server/jbod to put them all in.

If I was you, I would try to flip them and buy newer drives : old drives are not efficient and the cost of running one drive (the actual connection to the PC + the energy needed) will not be justified for just half a tb of space.

I wouldn’t bother. I’m getting rid of all of my drives that are less than 5TB because of low energy efficiency.


My last ebay purchase was $275 for 18tb drives. They require maybe 5 watts/each running cost. If u can house/feed 100 x 500gb drives at a cheaper running cost/tb, you may be on to something, otherwise sell/buy bigger.

I faced a similar situation on my end, but ultimately decided that it won’t be worth the hassle as you scale out. Let’s say conservatively each of those older, less efficient drives draw 5W each, that’s 500W minimum right there for only ~49TB worth of plots if you optimize them as neatly as possible.

Free electricity? Well, in that situation you might be on to something.

Thanks for all the input. It has confirmed my thoughts that I’d be wasting my time.

They are all 2.5” drives and the electricity is free but I agree, it’s not worth the hassle.

Anyone wanna buy 100 2.5” 500GB HDs? :rofl:


Depending on what hardware you have they might work great as plotting drives in a raid configuration. A 4x raid 0 on those should be great, assuming the drives themselves are in good health.

Buying up SSDs the past few weeks has been a huge pain. Delays, out of stock, Online shopping limits etc

You can flip 2.5" drives by adding a case on them, they sell pretty well.

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I have an identical situation. 100x 2.5" 500-750gb drives.

The best option I came up with was a used IBM v7000 store wiz (approx £75/$100) that can take and power 24 drives and aggregate them into a SAS connector.

You’d need a hba card in a spare pc to see the disks but second hand cards are pretty cheap.

Another option is to purchase 100x sata to usb adapters from China / AliExpress at about £1.90 each… But £200 gets you close to a 16tb hard drive on black Friday… So worth it…hmm. Then you have to deal with the 100x usb cables, get some usb hubs and hope that all ports can power the 5v / 0.6A disks simultaneously.

Selling the drives might be your best best but to sell them I’m guessing you have to zero and test all the drives… That’s 4 hours per disk (ish) for the zeroing and more if your company wants psudorandom bits written to the old drives. Then deal with ebay fees, then deal with the noobs that return drives cos they couldn’t figure out that it wasnt the correct (connector type/size/colour/whatever) for them while ebay takes their side on all return matters. Then you gotta buy loads of suitable cardboard boxes and bubblewrap to package them all in for delivery… That IBM storewize is looking good again right?

The best idea unfortunately is to pretend they don’t exist on that shelf and continue to look for 2tb plus alternatives :grin:

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