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Recover Files from a DOS ver 4.01 pc that is formated FAT32

Posted on 2012-04-12
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Last Modified: 2012-04-13
I have a customer that was using a DOS version 4.01 PC formatted FAT32, the system crashed and I need to be able to recover the two files.  I have the HDD connected to my Windows 7 ultimate laptop via a USB connection.  The system won't recognize the drive and I have the same issue on a Windows XP machine.  Any suggestions?
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Question by:revrice
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 37839125
If it really is DOS version 4.01, it will be FAT16.  FAT32 didn't exist until Windows 95.  What kind of drive is it?  What model?
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Author Comment

by:revrice
ID: 37839327
it's a western digital caviar 280.  85.3 mb.  I haven't been dealing in the DOS world for well over 20 years so I'm rusty.  I have the drive powered up and attached to my windows 7 ultimate laptop and it see's the drive but I can't initialize the drive and I can't access the drive or assign it a drive letter.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 37839590
This page has tech info on that drive:  http://stason.org/TULARC/pc/hard-drives-hdd/western-digital/AC-280-85MB-3-5-SL-IDE-AT.html  At least it's an IDE drive and not one of the other versions that came before.  You may have to find an old computer to hook that one up to.  It doesn't support 'Cable Select' like modern drives but you can make sure that it is jumpered for 'single'.  Drives from that era did not support auto-configuration like modern drives either so you may have to find a controller where you can set the translation parameters.
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Author Comment

by:revrice
ID: 37841944
I tried all the settings but it still won't recognize the drive in windows so I can copy the files I need off the computer.  The only way I can get to the drive is if it is the master and then it won't recognize the other drives in the system and I'm in DOS mode.  The files I need are huge and won't compress enough to copy them off.  Still looking for a solution.
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Accepted Solution

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Dave Baldwin earned 500 total points
ID: 37843960
Try putting it on the CD-ROM cable instead of the main drive cable.  Just don't let Windows write anything to the drive.
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