Linotronic RIP 50 hard drive


Anyone have a solution to the problem of aging SCSI-1 hard drives for Lino RIP 50s? I have a box of drives which are all 20+ years old, of which only two still work and all my old sources that used to sell them to me have dried up. Before I'm forced buy new Eagle RIPs, I would like to find a fix, if possible.

They originally came formatted with Linotype's proprietary operating system and I've tried a working SCSI-1 drive I bought on eBay, but have learned I need to format the drive first. I thought my postscript version 01.08 floppy disks (set of 6) would have included a formatter, but it appears that it does not.


Is there a source that sells factory formatted hard drives? Or is there some tech-savvy person who knows how to format a drive for this particular application? Has anyone encountered this problem before? If so, how did you fix it?

Does anyone know if there is an adapter to connect a newer interface technology to replace the ancient SCSI-1 interface? They stopped manufacturing SCSI-1 type hard drives 20 years ago and it would be nice to upgrade these RIP 50s to SATA or IDE interface hard drives. The RIPs themselves are bulletproof as I've never seen one fail, but the hard drives are their only achilles heal.


Well-known member
Is this some kind of custom hardware, or is it a regular computer running a common operating system with the rip software running on top of that?


It is proprietary and they have long ago discontinued manufacturing and servicing them. They are a custom, stand-alone enclosure married to a Linotronic imagesetter like the picture I've included. I bought my first Lino in 1990 and just used it to image two jobs. They are incredibly reliable except for their vexing hard drives. I would like to find a way to swap them with an SSD or something called a "SCSI Flash", but the only thing holding me back is their proprietary format. I have lots of drives I've purchased over the years, but they are all dying due to old age.



Active member
I may be retiring my lino herc in the ext 90 days. I don't think it uses a HD. We have a spare we used for parts.


New member
I am a french-speaker.
Switch off you rip. After open the cover connect the new 500MB or 1GB or 2GB SCSI hard drive in the connection which go from the floppy disk reader to the motherboard.
Start up you rip after turn the control panel switch on F position.
When it display FOR turn the switch to 0 and when it display SEL press STOP and wait the formating occur. 500MB hd formatting can take 10mn. Put the second hd in the same connection and repeat the process.



Thank you very, very much! I have been looking for this information for a very long time.
The statue, Lafayette, the croissant, pauillac, etc. You have given us so much. I am eternally grateful.


After formatting the hard drive, the postscript software on floppy disk 2 of 6 errors out with "Err1" (Storage capacity of the hard disk is not sufficient). Suggestions?


I created a second floppy disk from a brand new box of Verbatim MF 2HD, yet Err1 persists. I will make a third to be absolutely sure that it is not floppy 2 of 6. If the error continues, I will likely buy a 50 pin SCSI-1 Flash Drive designed to emulate a Seagate ST34520N. If that doesn't work, Heidelberg has an $800 solution, which is a bargain compared to a new Harlequin-based RIP at $4,000+.

I hate the idea of abandoning my RIP 50s. I have collected six over the years and as many replacement motherboards along with sundries like power supplies and floppy drives. It seems like such a waste to upgrade.


I figured it out. My brand new floppy disks were the culprits. I just kept rewriting them over with my ".image" files on my old Macintosh G4, 1.25GHz mirrored door model (the last one they made which boots natively in OS 9). After several attempts, both my RIPs finally sprang to life. I saved a small fortune and can sleep again knowing I have two backup RIP 50s.
Sure glad I didn't place an order to the UK for new SCSI Flash drives, although that might be an option in the future depending on how long these old hard drives hold up. Thanks again, Linus N.

Happy holidays, everyone! :-D


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