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Last weekend, I got an old, but very high-end, SCSI slide scanner.

  • My "real" computer is a laptop running Windows 10. AFAIK, there's no cheap/good way to directly give it a "real" SCSI port.

  • I have an old desktop computer running Windows 7, and several old PCI SCSI cards that might conceivably work with it.

  • I have software (Hamrick VueScan) that's capable of working with the scanner... IF I can come up with some reasonable way for the laptop to communicate with the scanner.

I've never used it directly, but I know that lurking somewhere in Windows, there's a protocol called "iSCSI" that (as I understand it) tunnels SCSI over TCP/IP.

If I get a SCSI card, scanner, and VueScan to work on the old desktop computer, can I then use iSCSI to share that computer's port/scanner over the network, so I can then create a virtual SCSI port (with attached scanner) on the laptop & use the old desktop computer headless like a big, glorified port adapter hosting the SCSI port and scanner?

If so... how do you configure it at both ends?

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  • I don't know but maybe there are SCSI to USB adapters.
    – zomega
    Feb 15, 2023 at 17:09
  • If you can get the scanner working on the Win7 with the old SCSI cards, I don't see why you wouldn't be able to share it the network. VueScan FAQ clearly suggests that it can work with network scanners as well. And yes, USB/SCSI adapters do exist. Feb 15, 2023 at 17:48
  • The problem with SCSI to USB adapters is, nobody makes new ones... and the few old ones that make their way to eBay are ABSURDLY expensive. I've been sniffing around to see whether anyone has ever successfully managed to come up with a way to build a new one using something like a RasPi or ESP32, but so far the only projects I've found involve using a Pi or ESP32 to emulate a SCSI hard drive (to replace the failed drive in an old Mac or Amiga), and not the other way around (use the Pi/32 to bitbang SCSI to a connected slave & share it via iSCSI)
    – Bitbang3r
    Feb 15, 2023 at 19:02
  • ISCSI is exclusively a storage protocol. It has no provisions for accessing anything other than block storage (LUNs).
    – StarCat
    Feb 15, 2023 at 21:00
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    I guess someone got it working. sprocketfox.io/xssfox/2024/05/08/jbos Found on HN.
    – Panki
    May 8 at 15:50

1 Answer 1

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I don't expect you'd be able to make it work. iSCSI isn't a complete encapsulation of the SCSI protocol over TCP/IP. It was specifically created as a way to transmit SCSI block storage commands in Ethernet frames to use commonly-available network infrastructure to connect shared SCSI storage. It requires both the initiator and target to understand and support iSCSI specifically.

Your scanner is using SCSI as a data access protocol to talk to the SCSI controller in your PC, but it is not a block storage device. There would be no way to define it as an iSCSI initiator or target.

Source: 15 years of managing iSCSI storage networks.

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    – Community Bot
    Feb 15, 2023 at 18:12
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    "iSCSI isn't so much an encapsulation of the SCSI protocol over TCP/IP as it is simply a way to transmit SCSI block storage commands in Ethernet frames" – isn't that practically the same thing? Is there a deliberate restriction that it cannot transmit other SCSI commands than block-storage? Feb 16, 2023 at 15:30
  • @user1686 That's just the thing though. Is a scanner a block storage device? It uses SCSI data link protocols for device addressing, etc., but it is not a disk and the O/S doesn't use it like one, regardless of how it is connected to the machine.
    – Chris O
    Feb 16, 2023 at 15:49

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