I have a small collection of PATA hard drives: 4.3GB, 15GB, 20GB, 40GB, and 160GB. All still function fine, even the 4.3GB, but I want to use them collectively for backup or as a server.
Although your drives still work, finding a way to connect five PATA and one SATA drive together in a RAID or NAS is going to be more expensive than the drives are worth. You can get a 250GB SATA drive (with more capacity than all your PATA drives put together) for much less than the price of enough adapter cards to run a five-PATA-disk JBOD array. (JBOD, or Just a Bunch of Disks, is for creating large virtual volumes from a jumble of mismatched disks like you’re describing).
More to the point, an array of five or more hard drives, with the associated hardware, is not going to be low cost, low noise, or minimal heat. That’s five hard drives drawing power, spinning up, and spinning down constantly. You’ll be better off from a cost, noise, and heat perspective going with a single larger “green” drive like WD’s Caviar Green or Seagate’s Barracuda LP, in a one- or two-bay NAS box.
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