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Move MSDos Hard drive to new computer

Posted on 2006-04-24
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Hi All,
I have a 9 year old computer that is running MS Dos.  There are some files on the computer that I need to move (about 100 MB).  The computer does not have a NIC, USB, or cd drive.  I need to move the data to a new XP Computer.  My concern is that my new computer has ATA hard drives and I do not know what the old computer has.  Was ATA around back then?  Will it just use IDE?

I would like to connect the hard drive into the new computer chassis as a slave disk and then copy all the data to the new drive?  Any thoughts about the best way to do that?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Scott
 
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Question by:smpross
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by:rid
ID: 16526739
ATA and IDE are not "the same" but usually those acronyms connotate the same type of drives. I think you can safely try to connect the old HD to a channel of the IDE controller. For sake of ease, use the secondary channel or remove an optical unit temporarily and connect the pld HD there. Make sure you jumper it as "slave".

If you feel unsure about drive type, take a look at www.pc-disk.de and search for the drive type there. Probably you'll find all the info you need there.
/RID
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by:garycase
ID: 16526762
9 years ago the drives were probably IDE, but may have been MFM or RLL drives.   Take a look at the drive and you can probably tell.  If not, post the make/model of the drive or the make/model of the computer and we can tell you.

However, there are other options for moving the data.   One simple way, although a bit time consuming, is to just use "sneaker-net" => copy the data to floppies.   Not as bad as it sounds -- you can be reading one floppy onto your new computer while the old one's writing the next one.  It would probably take 65 or 60 iterations, but you'd only need a few actually floppies.

If you don't want to mess with floppies and sneaker-net, you might want to get a copy of LapLink for DOS and just send it via a serial cable to another machine.  I've seen old copies (v3) available for as little as $5.   Of course you'd need another machine that could run DOS to "receive" the data -- but that could be a more modern system that you just booted an MSDOS disk on.  Or you could also get a copy of LapLink that would work on Windows for the other end.   Another alternative would be a well-thought of shareware program, FileVan for DOS:
http://www.topshareware.com/FileVan-For-DOS-download-1183.htm   (Caveat:  I've not used this)

You actually don't need LapLink to manage a serial connection -- you can just send the files via the serial cable with a terminal program on each end to send/receive.   Not quite as automated, but free.
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by:Callandor
ID: 16526763
Computers in 1996-1997 should have IDE hard drives, and these are compatible with today's machines.  Hooking it up as a slave after changing the jumper should work.
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by:smpross
ID: 16526794
Thanks Guys,
One more question...
The Drive in the MSDOS machine is currently the C drive.  When I install it into the new computer, what will the drive letter be... Will Windows have a problem that this drive use to be the c drive in the old computer, or will it just assign a different letter?  If it assigns a different letter, I will not loose my data will I?

Thanks.

Scott
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by:victornegri
ID: 16526846
Windows will assign the next available drive letter to the new disk drive. There should be no conflict. Now, when you say "ATA" you don't mean "Serial-ATA" right? IDE drives were DEFINITELY around and in all computers built in that time (remember, right after Windows 95 was released?). Just unplug your CD-Rom and plug the drive into that cable. Transfer the data. You're done.
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by:Callandor
ID: 16526853
If you hook it up as a slave, the drive should pick up the next drive letter available.  Just don't try to boot from it - it likely won't work.
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by:victornegri
ID: 16526855
Whoops... sorry rid... was not trying to copy-post on the CD-Rom thing. Didn't see you mentioned that until now.
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by:garycase
ID: 16526884
... typo alert:  end of 2nd paragraph should read "... buy you'd actually only need a few floppies"   (don't know how I managed to type it the way I did !!)

The floppy/sneaker-net technique may sound like it would take "forever" -- but as long as the system has high-density floppies (I'd assume that's true), then at 2 minutes/floppy and 65 floppies you'll get everything transferred in about 2 hours.   For a one-off transfer that's not all that bad.  Of course just slaving the drive is a quicker and easier technique -- and as long as it's an IDE drive that should work with no problem ==>  just look at the drive's connector and see if it's a 40-pin IDE connector (MFM drives used a different connector).

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by:smpross
ID: 16527169
Is it safe to assume that new HP Computers (specifically the dx5150) use an IDE cdrom / dvd drive?

Scott
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by:garycase
ID: 16527201
Yes, that's a safe assumption.
In fact I looked up that specific computer just to be sure :-)
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garycase earned 2000 total points
ID: 16527309
victornegri -- unless I missed it, the specifications don't mention a thing about an IDE controller;  in fact, they specifically note that it uses SATA disk drives (and are silent about whether the optical connectors are SATA or IDE).

I confirmed that it uses IDE by lookin in the hardware reference guide (http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c00304713/c00304713.pdf),  where the picture of the motherboard on page 2-7 clearly shows an IDE connector; and the cabling for the optical drives shown on page 2-18 is clear IDE.
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by:smpross
ID: 16527342
Will the Sata drive make a difference?  Can I still connect the MS dos IDE drive, make it a slave and copy the data to the sata drive?

Scott
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by:garycase
ID: 16527381
You can mix SATA and IDE drives with no problem.   Just connect your old drive to the same channel as your optical drive -- in fact, I'd just disconnect the optical drive; connect the old hard drive; boot up and do the copy; shut down and reconnect the optical drive -- and you're done :-)
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by:garycase
ID: 16527400
... that sounds simple -- and it is !!   As long as you disconnect the optical drive so your drive is the only thing on that IDE channel you don't even have to worry about how it's jumpered :-)
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by:willcomp
ID: 16527408
To summarize and try to make it simple:

Old drive should be already be jumpered as master (or possibly CS) since it is boot drive.

Connect it as only drive to cable used for optical drives in new PC.  Use connector on end of cable.

Insert molex power connector.

Bootup and you should be ready to go.

Drive can be placed on top of PC or a box beside PC for temporary use.  Best to slightly elevate bottom of drive using non-conductive material such as wood or plastic (2 wood pencils will work or, as I do, old blank case faceplates).
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by:willcomp
ID: 16527603
Gary, great minds think alike.
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by:victornegri
ID: 16527652
Sorry, linked the wrong page.
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