How do I connect old ide hard drives externally with Windows 7

I would like to search my old hard disks (ide) to find missing images. What is the best way to connect old hard drives externally to my present computer? What pitfalls are there? How should I set the master/slave jumpers? Problems with NTFS and FAT 32?
Recommendations are welcome.
Lennart EricsonAmateurAsked:
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
I use a USB drive enclosure to do that although the one I have supports both old IDE / PATA drives and the newer SATA drives.  Normally you set the jumpers to master or cable-select.  There should be instructions in the package with the USB drive enclosure.

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Basically exactly what DaveBaldwin said, but I usually keep an IDE->USB adapter kicking around in my toolbox for this kind of thing.

E.g. this:

It's exactly the same as a USB drive enclosure, but without the big plastic box that the hard disk actually goes in, and has several different interfaces so you can quickly connect it to virtually any hard drive - desktop, laptop, ssd, SATA, IDE, mini-IDE (laptop IDE) etc.

Pitfalls... my only suggestion is to connect the AC power and data cable to the hard drive FIRST. Then, after it has spun up... connect the USB port to your computer. Sometimes older hard disks don't get recognized by the computer if I put the USB port in first.
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
My adapter might as well be like that because I don't think I've ever put the top back on the case.
Emmanuel AdebayoGlobal Windows Infrastructure Engineer - ConsultantCommented:

Do you have working CD connected to your PC on different IDE Connector? If this is the case, just disconnect the CD and connect your HDD. You will not need to set any jumper in this case.

Also, there is no worries about ntfs or fat32 as long as system sees/recognise the hard disk.

there several possibilities, but i want to say first that i avoid a disk connection over USB if possible, it adds an usb interface hardware and software wise, and does not do correct error reporting + that it reduces the transfer speed to about 1/3 of a normal IDE connection

internal possibilities :
-if you have an IDE connector in the pc, use it, and remember you can connect 2 devices to an iDE cable, if set to M and S, or both C/S
-you can install an IDE controller card (PCI :

if you want it external, you can use the usb adapter, as said above, but i would look for an USB 3 model then, which handles higher speeds :
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