sgi 300 server ?

Thread Starter


Joined Jul 21, 2008
The school I live buy was throwing out an old sgi server 300 model.
They let me have it.
Plugged it in an it booted fine.
I found that their was no harddrives in the server (i.e both HD racks where empty )

I am just wondering what harddrives I could get for this machine. They don't look like their sata, ata , pata , or ide. My thoughts where they are probably scsi.

But since I am not sure and never worked with scis harddrives maybe somebody here knows for sure.

Question 2)
Is their away to plug a monitor into this server as well.
Because I am wondering if I can use this with a linux distro or something.
I see that their is an RJ45 port and a serial port but no VGA port or any other display port of any kind?


Joined Jul 7, 2009
Can't help you with any real knowledge, as I never used an SGI machine. But I would guess it dates from the late 80's or early 90's and probably uses a SCSI hard drive, as they were common on HP workstations around that time and I used to do firmware testing of HP SCSI hard drives on a variety of different computers. I can't even help you with cable stuff anymore, as I threw out all the SCSI cables/adapters and terminators I had in my desk years ago (I'd have given it all to you if you paid the shipping).

It was probably a decent machine in its day, but would probably be put to shame by a modern cheap PC running Linux. However, some of that older industrial hardware is quite reliable (just two years ago I sold an HP 9817 computer I bought in the early 80's and it fired up and started working after sitting unused in a cabinet for 20 years).

Typical for those era machines was to connect to them using a serial connection (once they were booted on the network, you could telnet or rlogin to them). HP machines had HIL (human interface link) connections for keyboards and mice; the connector looked like an RJ-45 connector. Perhaps SGI used something similar. Of course, finding a PC today with a serial interface is difficult, although USB-to-serial adapters can be used.

If it were mine, I'd donate the thing to an SGI museum somewhere... :p

Thread Starter


Joined Jul 21, 2008
Yes, you got it.

Don't worry about an MIPS os. I am sure I can find something.

My many concern is how do you get a regular computer crt or lcd screen connected to it.

And where/what type of HDD do I have to get ?

Maybe the only way to get a monitor hooked up to it is to install a PCI graphics card in it. I do have a few old cards lying around.

So if these machines didn't come with a vga or some type of graphicial user interface thing. Then was the only way thru RJ45 or serial and opening a dump terminal /issuing commands.

That would make it a pain to run a web based server on it you would have to do it manually with out any gui interface.
Seems if you are doing alot of things with this server then you would need sometype of gui enviroment.

curious what these servers where mostly meant for doing in their day.
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Joined Sep 20, 2005
As for the drives, you need SCSI disks with VHDCI connectors.
I don´t see any problem installing a web server without gui, assuming you use some linux based OS. The graphics card in the PCI slot will probably work as well.

It seems to me that this machine was meant for some graphics rendering or something like that, because of that graphics pipeline expansion port.

Anyway, it seems to me that the system already has some kind of OS inside.