Retrieving data from a Win98 hard drive

  Brian-336451 15:19 17 Jan 2005

This one has got me a bit stumped.

My brother in law has scrapped his dinosaur old IBM computer that ran Win98 on a Caviar 2.5Gb hard drive (ie not the original). He's bought a fabulous HP set up :-)

A few years ago I upgraded his OS to Win98SE. I am presuming that his disk is therefore FAT32 (that presumption came later).

I took out the hard drive and popped it into a USB2 caddy and plugged it into my laptop to retrieve the data.

WRONG. Of course my laptop is WinXP Pro SP2 and therefore NTFS. Hmmm (it was then I remembered his disk was probably FAT32).

So being a bright spark (sparks are rarely bright for long), I used Partition Magic to convert my OS partition to FAT32 and confidently plugged in the caddy once more.

ONce more the laptop recognised the drive, whirred and clicked then once more reported a hardware fault and the inability to mount the disk again.

Firstly any ideas?

Secondly would a FAT32 OS still recognise the drive if it had on a FAT format (ie not upgraded to FAT32).

My confident assertion of 'oh I'll get your data off your hard drive for you' is sounding a little hollow now.

I tried the jumpers on the old hard drive in both the default 'Master' position and 'Slave' just in case.

In every case the laptop has recognised WHAT has been plugged in but will not mount it.

I'm fresh out of ideas.


  PA28 15:26 17 Jan 2005

Hmmm. Have you got an old computer (with 95 or 98 on) laying around that you could plug the Caviar into as a slave and then access and retrieve his files using good old fashioned DOS?

Of course it could be that the reason he bought his super new outfit was that the old hard drive had just packed up - he just forgot to tell you that.....

  mattyc_92 15:33 17 Jan 2005

A FAT16 and FAT32 system formats are reconised by ALL windows!!!! WinXP should of reconised the drive and allowed you to access it.... WinXP can be installed on a FAT system, that is why it reconises the FAT format family!!! YOUR system may have something wrong with it or the drive you aare trying to access may be corrupt or damaged in some other way (you are aware that hard-disks can be destried by "static" charges don't you???)

  Giant68 15:37 17 Jan 2005

Yours is a method I have tried quite a few times to recover data. Mounting the drive in my Belkin USB2 enclosure and plugging it into my Win XP Pro tower (NTFS) and just dragging the files off of it. I have never had a problem with FAT32 and NTFS. The drive i usually leave in the enclosure (40GB WD Protege) is left as FAT32 as i can load it up with diagnostic software and take it around with me to sort out other peoples PC's. I have never had a problem with that one either and NTFS. I would have said that there is a problem with the hard drive itself. I would be interested to know how this one works out.


  Brian-336451 09:27 18 Jan 2005

Thanks everyone.

I spent some more time thinking and realised that the format (FAT32/NTFS) was a red herring because when I migrated to the laptop from desktop computer, I had exactly the same.

I caddied my 'old' hard drives and use them as backup devices with no problems at all.

I tried connecting to my wife's and my own laptop again, having changed caddies - just to achieve renewing all the connections again.

When I looked at the event log on both laptops, they've returned a controller error on the hard drive itself.

Basically, the data on it is not critical in any way, just inconvenient and my brother in law has hard copy of the important stuff (and a scanner).

So I reckon I'll give up. The other thing is on boot, this Caviar makes some horrible noises (I only used Maxtors and have no experience of Western Digital, but I bet they're not supposed to sound like this).

Thanks for your help, this is consigned to the 'no can do' box.



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