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Two old hard drives - can't tell what's on them

 3:18 pm on Jul 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have to internal hard drives from a prev. computer and want to see what's on them. I thought this would be as easy as creating a slave. However as my luck would have it, when I do that the PC doesn't boot up. I tried to tinker with the jump but to no avail.

Would an USB encasement help? Any ideas would help. Thanks so much



 3:43 pm on Jul 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yes, an external hard drive enclosure should allow you to connect the drive via USB, just like any other external hard drive.


 4:26 pm on Jul 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

One of my favourite pieces of kit is a USB-SATA/IDE adaptor - it works with any desktop (3.5) or laptop (2.5) drive and is great for retrieving data. See your favourite auction site for details.

For drives that are good and big enough to bother with I then buy a USB/Firewire enclosure.



 5:54 pm on Jul 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

You could try checking the jumper on the drive to make sure it's set correctly. If it's set to SLAVE and your other drive is set to CS (cable select) it won't work. From the sound of it, that's probably what's going on.

I also have a universal connector for USB, but it's not as fast as IDE / SATA. I've had problems with the USB connector before. Perfectly good drives started throwing "delay write failures" when transferring large amounts of data via USB. I was doing a pretty hardcore diagnostic on a drive via USB overnight and in the morning it was a paperweight. Had to start over. :) Probably an extreme case though.


 6:42 pm on Jul 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the help everyone, I'll look to get a USB-SATA/IDE adaptor. How should I "test" the jump settings? I'm a newbie trying to do this.
Appreciate your help


 7:29 pm on Jul 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

If your drive is IDE, take a look at the end where you plug it in. There should be a little section with 4 pairs of pins. The jumper is a little white or black thing that bridges two of the pins to change the mode of the drive. Some drives have two jumpers. Most times the jumper settings will be printed in tiny little white letters on the underside of the drive, or even on the drive label. You'll see CS (cable select) MA (master) or SLA (slave). If the drive in your computer is set to CS, set the drive you are installing to CS. If your computer's drive is set to MA, set your other drive to SLA. If the setting you need is CS, make sure that the main drive in your computer is plugged in to the very end of the cable and the new drive goes in the plug in the middle of the ribbon.

Some drives have other settings too. I'd try running a google search for the jumper settings specific to your drive for a detailed explanation.

good luck!


 7:37 pm on Jul 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

If you really want to install the drive as a slave it should be possible, but there are different types of IDE cables and quite how you do the jumper setup may vary accordingly.

If the machine still won't boot you may also need to adjust the BIOS settings. In most cases the BIOS will have a drive detection feature that may help, and you can set the boot order as required.



 9:45 pm on Jul 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

For no boot condition, you might have the IDE cable plug installed backwards.

That can happen if the plug isn't keyed to allow it to only install one way round.

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