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Trouble recovering data from an old pc

By Rick Bowers ·
Does anyone have any ideas on recovering data from an old 286 pc. The hard drive is pre IDE and has 2 cables connecting it to an I/O card. I'm pretty sure that it's connected properly but on booting I get a Hard Disk Failiure message.

In the BIOS setup I have input what I believe to be the correct data cyl:16 Hd:8 WPcom:128 Sec:17 gives a size of 41mb.

The Bios is American Megatrends ENET-1112-030389-K8.

It has a second setup screen which I have not altered as yet.

Any Ideas?

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Trouble recovering data from an old pc

by TheChas In reply to Trouble recovering data f ...

Go to the driver museum

http://www.drivermuseum.com/

There are a number of data and information files posted for older drives at this site.

I recommend it for anyone trying to support older hardware.

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Trouble recovering data from an old pc

by Rick Bowers In reply to Trouble recovering data f ...

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Trouble recovering data from an old pc

by Shanghai Sam In reply to Trouble recovering data f ...

Couple of basic troubleshooting steps.

Does the drive spin - older drives were fairly loud, with the case off you should be able to hear the drive spin up when you start the computer.

If the drive doesn't spin, check that the power connector works - swap it with the floppy and see if the floppy gets power. If the power is good and it still doesn't spin, try removing the drive, holding in your hand and giving it a quick 90 degree vertical twist. Some drives, Conner in particular, had a problem with heads sticking to platters.

You might want to confirm that your heads and cyclinders data is correct - is it on the drive? If not, then check the net with the model number and manufacturer of your drive. We used to keep a copy of the Hard Disk Bible which had tables for these things, but I no longer own a copy.

Of course after that you can swap cables and controller cards.

James

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Trouble recovering data from an old pc

by Rick Bowers In reply to Trouble recovering data f ...

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Trouble recovering data from an old pc

by bsimon In reply to Trouble recovering data f ...

After cleaning all the electrical contacts on your "MMF" HDD try booting from a floppy with early Norton rescue utilities. If you are able to read the hard disk then use LL3 from norton and a NULL modem (Parallel cable with one wire reversed) and port the data over to healthy machine. Good luck.

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Trouble recovering data from an old pc

by Rick Bowers In reply to Trouble recovering data f ...

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Trouble recovering data from an old pc

by jereg In reply to Trouble recovering data f ...

Wow. And I just threw out all my old pre 1989 stuff. The drive you have will be an MFM or RLL drive. They both used 2 cables. If it is a full size drive (5 1/4) it's an MFM. If it's a small size (3.5) it MIGHT be an RLL drive. Find the mfr. of the drive, probably Seagate. Go the their website and verify HD info, cyl,hds,sec. The 41 sounds like a funny number. The Seagate's were always 40.2 or something. The problem is The old drives don't hold up well. the drive could well be bad. Also, the controller card could be bad. If you can get a replacement controller card, you might be able to swap that out and make it work. Another thing you might try, if it doesn't sound like the drive is spinning up, open the case, pull the drive out(keeping the cables connected) and while the power is on, hit the case a couple of times. If it hasn't run for a while, the lubrcant on the spindle may get hard. Hitting it MAY break it loose. But be ready to copy the data quickly since it won't run much longer.
Good Luck.

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Trouble recovering data from an old pc

by Rick Bowers In reply to Trouble recovering data f ...

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Trouble recovering data from an old pc

by Rick Bowers In reply to Trouble recovering data f ...

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