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Saving Data on Old Hard Drives


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#1
GregMiller

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I have two different hard drives that have information that I would prefer not to lose.
I have tried adding them as the second drive on two or three systems that work and each time BIOS recognizes the drive but Windows will not. I was trying with ME and 2000 but havenít tried it with XP. When the system boots, I go into the Bios and the second drive is recognized. Then the system opens up and I go to Windows Explorer and itís not there. Device Manager lists it but Windows canít see it.
In other instances, when I put the drives in as the primary drive , the system wonít get past the windows screen saying that windows wasnít shut down properly and would I select from the 4 different methods- SAFE mode, last good windows setting, etc. Nothing I select works and itís in an endless loop restarting and showing that black selection screen. I think in this instance it means that information from the Bios doesnít jibe with the boot settings on the hard drive because the hard drive has other motherboard settings than the current computer it now finds itself in. I heard there was some work around I could use to get the new settings loaded onto the hard drive. I have no idea how to do that.
I think that I can put any hard drive as a secondary and using the software tools like Maxblaster for Maxtor drives and Datalife Tools for Western Digital they can be easily formatted but then the data is lost.
There must be a workable way to add these drives as a secondary drive and then just copy the data you want to save off the drive and then reformat the drive for increased secondary storage. Otherwise, every time a motherboard dies it makes the hard drive and its data a huge paperweight or you have to reformat it for it to be useful.
So, are there any ways to save the data from these drives? [without going to the expensive recovery firms who obviously know how to do this already.]
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#2
Troy

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I'm pretty sure if you tried doing this with Windows XP it will be able to see it, as the older systems won't be able to see the NTFS formatting. Try adding as a secondary drive to a computer with XP.
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#3
123Runner

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Did you try setting the jumpers as master/ slave or cable select?
I believe that NTFS format will not be seen bt 98/me. as stated.
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#4
GregMiller

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I've used multiple jumper setting. I used the settings on the drives themselves as well as consulting the manufacturers' sites to make sure.

Plus as other possible connections.

I'm going to try this with XP. If it works by simply putting the old hard drives as the secondary drives I'll be exstatic, having spent hours (mo days) trying to get these drives to be read.

I'll report back.
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#5
dsenette

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2000

NTFS is recognized on 2000 though

with the drive in the machine (jumpered as slave and connected to the center connector of the cable if it's an IDE drive) boot the PC. once you're in windows right click my comoputer then choose manage then choose disk manager

do you see the new drive listed there? is it showing as unpartitioned or unallocated? or is it there but without a drive letter? (screenshot wouldn't hurt)
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#6
Kemasa

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If the filesystem has a problem, it might not mount it, but the first thing is to determine the filesystem type. If XP does not work, then there are other things that you can try, such as using a Linux Live CD, such as Knoppix, and checking to see if it can access the data. Linux tends to be better behaved as dealing with such things.

You might also see if you can run scandisk/chkdisk on the filesystem.
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#7
Troy

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2000

NTFS is recognized on 2000 though

with the drive in the machine (jumpered as slave and connected to the center connector of the cable if it's an IDE drive) boot the PC. once you're in windows right click my comoputer then choose manage then choose disk manager

do you see the new drive listed there? is it showing as unpartitioned or unallocated? or is it there but without a drive letter? (screenshot wouldn't hurt)

Yes, sorry, you are right dsenette, Windows 2000 should recognise the NTFS file system. And another linux distribution that works well is puppy, it's a much smaller download.
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#8
GregMiller

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I took my existing desktop which is running XP and configured the primary hard drive (a Western Digital) setting it as the Master and took the first of the two drives, which was also a Western Digital Drive and set the jumpers for Slave.

When I rebooted and went into the system, the IDE configuration section did not show the second drive.

But Windows XP saw it in Windows Explorer.

I burned off everything that I needed from that drive.

I am assuming that I could now reformat that drive, and either use it for a secondary storage drive or load an operating system on it when it's the primary HD of a different motherboard. That HD came from a motherboard that died.

I was surprised that BIOS didn't see it but Windows Explorer worked.

The second hard drive is a Seagate. I put that one in and used cable select because I didn't see what the setting for slave was. I'll have to dig that setting up. Anyway, this time neither BIOS nor Windows Explorer recognized the drive.

I don't get it.

Any thoughts? I plan to check for the Seagate settings but I also heard that mixing two brand HDs doesn't always bode well. Is that it? (I wouldn't think so) So now, hopefully, I'm praying it's just that I don't have the Seagate jumper right.
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