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Accessing old ide hard drive to get data off

Alan Silverman
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Last Modified: 2018-02-06
I'm trying to access a customer's old IDE drive.  I've attached it to another computer via a USB connections.  It will show a drive letter but any time I try to access it the system hangs.  The fact that I can see a drive letter is confusing.  If it wouldn't mount the drive at all I'd say that the drive was just shot.  Without sending it to someone that does extensive data recovery,  is there anything else I might try to be able to get the data off that drive?
Thanks,
Alan
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Dean ChafeeIT/InfoSec Manager
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noxchoIT Product Manager
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How did you connect it? What does Windows Disk Management say?
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist
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It's a laptop drive, which makes it a bit more complicated.  I tried GETDATABACK with no luck.
Thanks,
Alan
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There are adapters to go from a 2.5" IDE drive to the standard IDE interface.  This is an example from Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Kinamax-ADP-IDE23-2-5-Inch-3-5-Inch-Converter/dp/B000HJBEUY/ref=sr_1_40?ie=UTF8&qid=1517542192&sr=8-40&keywords=2.5+to+3.5+ide
Sandeep KumarAssociate Consultant
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noxchoIT Product Manager
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Alan, could you please answer my questions above? Before you get advised to jump three times over the table, turn off tv set, clean dust off the drive, put it into fridge etc etc and many other suggestions it would be nice to know how, with which device the drive is connected to the machine. Is it in original laptop?

I don't understand how one can suggest to use some software without having enough information.
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist
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@noxcho
You might want to read the original question.

I've attached it to another computer via a USB connections.
noxchoIT Product Manager
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@Andrew
I did read it. But I would like to have more information what kind of USB connector is it. And plus if Windows Disk Management shows that drive as formatted or unformatted or just a drive letter of that "usb connector devices" like card reader.

A bit offtop:
If go to a doctor and he prescribes me some bag full of medicines without asking me - what kind of complaints and where exactly I have them and with words "try this then that and then that - one of them can help...." - I would leave the bag by doc and go to another one. This is what is happening in EE last time.

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Commented:
noxcho, I'm not sure what you are asking,
which device the drive is connected to the machine. Is it in original laptop?
I've tried to connect it to a couple of desktop computers, one running Win7 and the other Win10, using two different types of usb converters.  I also put it back into an old Dell Inspiron with ide connection but it wouldn't boot.
Thanks,
Alan
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"but it wouldn't boot"
To which drive were you trying to boot?  The questionable one or a known working one?

The key here is take the drive you are trying to recover and to connect it to an IDE port (not through a USB adapter) when booting from a different drive.  Once you get that far, you can look at what Windows sees and what the recovery software can see.
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>>  I also put it back into an old Dell Inspiron with ide connection but it wouldn't boot.  << probably you need to select the proper drive in the boot order only - use the F12 key for boot order

Author

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The customer gave me four old laptops.  I got data off the other three, but I think she’s going to have to live with that.  I came closest with PARTS MAGIC  2017.  (Thanks noxcho). It saw the 60GB Toshiba drive, but every attempt to get data off it failed.  Then I tried the CHKDSK function on it, but that didn’t work either. Made a GETDATABACK recovery disk, but that couldn’t even mount the disk. Thanks to all.  You were a great help and I’ll use all your ideas next time out.
Alan
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist
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No worries Alan, glad to have been of some help.  Thanks for finalizing your question.
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