troubleshooting Question

How to read data from an old DOS HDD

Avatar of fred hakim
fred hakimFlag for United States of America asked on
Microsoft DOSWindows XPWindows OSPCWindows 7
53 Comments1 Solution805 ViewsLast Modified:
My client asked me to get the programs and data from an old PC.   Its an old 386/486 that defines the tracks, sectors and cylinders in the bios.   (an IDE drive with no partition table).   I tried connecting its drive via USB to a newer PC, but none of the data is visible using windows 7, Windows XP, DOS 6.22, Hiren's boot disk, etc. on the newer PC,  probably because there is no partition table.  Its too much data (over 30gb) to try to copy with 750kb or 1.4mb diskettes and those PCs don't have CD drives.  

I was able to get a sector by sector image copy to a USB drive -- And plan to try to restore it to a newer drive, but I doubt that will solve anything -- since it will probably restore without a partition table.  

Many years ago I used to have all sorts of great DOS based tools for this sort of thing.  Some may still exist in my basement or one of the software archive sites, but at my age, I don't remember which to use or how they worked.   I'm guessing an old pre-Windows XP might be able to read this data and be able to write to a partitioned drive (I don't believe those old versions knew about USB).    

Any help would be much appreciated.
Join the community to see this answer!
Join our exclusive community to see this answer & millions of others.
Unlock 1 Answer and 53 Comments.
Join the Community
Learn from the best

Network and collaborate with thousands of CTOs, CISOs, and IT Pros rooting for you and your success.

Andrew Hancock - VMware vExpert
See if this solution works for you by signing up for a 7 day free trial.
Unlock 1 Answer and 53 Comments.
Try for 7 days

”The time we save is the biggest benefit of E-E to our team. What could take multiple guys 2 hours or more each to find is accessed in around 15 minutes on Experts Exchange.

-Mike Kapnisakis, Warner Bros