Storage forum


old hard drive from 93-99 not reading

by astonishingaries / February 22, 2016 8:09 AM PST

I have a windows 10 laptop, i have been connecting hard drives to it thru an adapter, and it has been working fine. i have 3 old hard drives ranging from 1993-99, plugged in thru an adaptor, turning the power on, green light flashing as it should, then stops as the hard drive is plugged in and isnt recognized by my windows 10 computer. same thing happening to all 3 hard drives. wondering what the problem could be? i wouldnt assume theres an issue with all 3. they all turn on and seem to be running fine. as soon as i turn off/unplug the power from the hard drive, the light goes back on. im stuck.

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All Answers

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First, let's hear what adapter.
by Oldartq / February 22, 2016 8:23 AM PST

Not much info to go on here.

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(NT) Are you seeing same on other OSes?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 22, 2016 8:37 AM PST
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I dont see anything.
by astonishingaries / February 23, 2016 1:23 PM PST

nothing is showing up, I have used the same USB adapter for other hard drives (newer) and it seems to be working fine. I have tried on Windows 7 and 10. I have a vista computer that barely works, but is available if needed.

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Now try it from another OS.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 23, 2016 1:36 PM PST
In reply to: I dont see anything.

I noted one years ago at

Today there are newer releases just as easy to use and no learning required. Once you gain access then you copy it out then. Do not reboot or try other ways.

I can't tell if the drive is showing in device manager or more about your story but when I see old drives we have ways.

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by astonishingaries / February 23, 2016 3:48 PM PST

I didn't see anything. I tried on a Mac, and thats all I have.

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OK, time for old gear.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 23, 2016 4:22 PM PST
In reply to: Tried.

Find some 386 to Pentium class machine and plug them into the IDE primary channel and boot a DOS diskette. You may have to get the CHS values for the BIOS as well. If that fails, there's likely nothing on the drives or the drive is dead.

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Did you jumper them?
by Jared Palmer / February 22, 2016 8:39 AM PST

I'm assuming these are IDE drives and you're using some sort of USB adapter correct??? Did you remember to jumper them all to Master, otherwise they won't work over USB.

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Great answer.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 22, 2016 9:34 AM PST
In reply to: Did you jumper them?

Let me add that some very old drives also have a SP (Slave Present) jumper. Wild West days? Sometimes you found the drive would not work if the slave was missing and the SP jumper was on. There is no hard and fast rule on this. Go with documentation and "what works."

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by astonishingaries / February 23, 2016 1:21 PM PST
In reply to: Did you jumper them?

I tried jumpering them, both ways, not showing up. i tried on my windows 10 computer and later tried the same thing on my windows 7- i dont have an older computer available right now. it is a WD Caviar 24200 4.2 gb, assuming it was bought around 98. this is just one of three, the other two are seagate ST3660A, ST3550A.
im not too much of a techy, so i apologize if my info is vague. but yes, we are trying with a USB adapter.

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Probably are CHS drives..
by Jared Palmer / February 23, 2016 4:05 PM PST
In reply to: yes.

I didn't realize you're dealing with drives quite that old. Those drives are probably all CHS (cynlinder-head-sector) addressed drives in that they don't use the current LBA (logical-block-address) sector addressing system that all modern drives use. In such case you won't be able to access them using any adapter. Rather you'll need an old computer motherboard that can support them, and you'll have to configure the CHS settings from the drive labels in the BIOS. Total pain, so unless the data is worthwhile it's probably not worth it.

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