Using (xp) hard drive as external drive with Vista

By mandy.thomas ·
I have a new Dell home pc with Vista HP 32 bit. I am attempting to connect my old xp drive (in a NewLink IDE/SATA drive USB 2.o enclosure) to it - secondly to access some old data files, and firstly so that I can use it as a back up.
I think (!) I have extracted and inserted the drive correctly into the NewLink enclosure, attaching the 3 cables (IDE/SATA/power?). The LED lights are showing blue anyway.
However when I connect to the Vista pc, the device is shown as Drive 1 (USB Mass Storage Device), but the LED lights on the enclosure go red (?) and it is showing as not initialised - and when I try to do so via Disk Management, it says the device 'is not ready'.
I have researched this (good old google!) and there seems to a fair few people who have experienced this - but I don't seem able to pin down an actual answer.
Logic dictates either the old drive is dead / not connected to the enclosure correctly, or I need to do something to the vista pc to get it to format/convert/initialise the xp device.

The NewLink manual and website are less than helpful. The Microsoft site doesn't seem to be very enlightening either.
Can anyone help?

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All Answers

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Is this what you have?

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Using (xp) hard drive as ...


Newlink External Combo Serial ATA (SATA) and 3.5 IDE USB 2.0 Hard Drive Enclosure (Includes SyncQuick Software)
[The NL-HD07]

Or do you have something like this?


NewLink SATA to IDE Adapter


If you have the first one, there should be no way you can connect "the 3 cables (IDE/SATA/power)" to a single drive. Your drive is either SATA or it is IDE, but not both.

In addition, nothing that I have found indicates there are even Windows Vista drivers available for the device. What does the device manager show when this device is plugged in?

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This is what I have...

by mandy.thomas In reply to Is this what you have?

Hi -
Newlink HDD enclosure is....

The box states it is compatible with xp & vista (but the enclosed booklet makes no reference to vista)

The hard drive in the xp tower had 2 cables connecting it to the motherboard so apologies if I am using the wrong terminology. So in the HDD enclosure I attached the same 2 cables to the relevant connectors plus what looks like the power connector. The reason I am querying why this is correct is the fact that the LED lights go from blue to red when I connect to the vista pc.
My instinct tells me this isn't right?
As I said Newlink - manual and website - is less than helpful which makes me wonder whether I have been sold the wrong product.
Or, the original hard drive is just corrupted.

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In normal computers...

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to This is what I have...

In all the computers I've ever looked at, the hard drive is connected to just two cables. One is the data cable and the other is the power cable.

A SATA hard drive has a slim data cable maybe 1/2 inch wide and a very thin power cable, neither with any pins. They're just very slim connectors that slide into a slot. The plug end of a SATA hard drive looks like this:


An IDE hard drive has perhaps a wide ribbon data cable with a plug that has lots and lots of holes in it and a large 4 pin molex power cable. If yours does not look similar to the above, you may have an older IDE hard drive which looks like this:


So, if you have connected this drive to three cables in the enclosure, you've got one too many cables connected. If this is a SATA hard drive, perhaps you have connected too many power cables. Looking at the drive from the end with the plugs, you should have a power cable plugged into the left slot, then a data cable plugged into the one next to that. If there's a large 4-pin hole on the right, you plug nothing into it.

If this is an IDE type of drive, you may need to either remove the jumper completely (little tiny plastic thingy which covers two pins which sits between the large data plugin and the 4 pin power plugin) or set it to Master or Cable Select, depending on what brand/model of hard drive this is.

Can you provide the hard drive make/model details so we can advise you further?


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Well depending on your old HDD

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Using (xp) hard drive as ...

There should be 4 connections in this USB Enclosure though it is possible that the Power Plug for the SATA Drive is an adapter that plugs onto a Standard Molex Connector and converts the 4 wires from a white plug to Black Plug with several more connectors in it.

But here it depends on what you actually have as the OLD HDD. The Mass Storage Device that is shown is the Interface between the USB Lead and the HDD there is a Circuit Board in there that converts one tot he other and when the drive is not properly setup you will only see this being shown.

Now if you have a IDE HDD it needs to be set to Master not Cable Select CS or slave it has to be Master or it will not work.

A IDE HDD has a wide 40 pin Data Lead though only 39 Pins may be used and a 4 Wire Power Plug that is a sort of White D Shaped plug. This Power Plug plugs into the right hand side of the Data Lead as you look at the drive from the connections end.

A SATA HDD has a narrow Data Lead with 5 internal Connect ore but it has a slot in the shape of a L turned on it's side to give the right way to plug in the plug and a much wider power connector to the left of the Data Connector when you look at the Drive from the Connector end.

A SATA Drive is just plug and forget with USB Enclosures so I think you have a IDE HDD here not set to the correct setting. There are at least 6 pins with a piece of plastic covered copper between the Data & Power Sockets on the HDD if it is a new type HDD and moving this piece of plastic covered coper to the different pins sets the drive to either Master, Slave or Cable Select, CS. For the correct way to set the drive you need to look at the sticker on the HDD for these settings.

Older IDE HDD can have this Jumper on the Circuit Board on the Bottom of the HDD at either the other end of the circuit board on the HDD or pointing away from the HDD on the bottom of it. But again this information will be on the sticker with the location of the Jumper Pins and the correct way to set them to get the drive set to Master.

I would say here that your HDD is set to CS Cable Select and that is why it is not working. But depending on what was used to format the drive it is possible that Vista may be unable to read it.

Even if the drive has a NTFS Partition it depends on how it was formatted and what was used to format it. Here the Original Version of XP if used to format a HDD can not be read with a Vista OS. You need to have formatted the drive with XP SP2 or newer to be guaranteed the ability to read on a Vista System and then there is a Suck & See it approach when it comes to XP SP1 some will be readable under Vista and other drives will not be able to be read by Vista it all depends on the actual drive and the Interface Boards Circuity.

Also generally speaking FAT 32 Partitions converted to NTFS can not be read by Vista.


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Shucks! You beat me to it....

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Well depending on your ol ...

But, I got pictures!

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Success - sort of!!

by mandy.thomas In reply to Shucks! You beat me to i ...

Hey guys - thanks for explaining about the cables etc. You are right - I was connecting everything in sight when I quite clearly shouldn't have been!
The HDD is Maxtor D740x 6l.
By removing the SATA cable (doh!) plus putting the jumper settings to slave (not sure if was actually required, but I did it anyway) I have indeed managed to get the Vista pc to recognise the device.
Success - I can see all the profiles & files etc from my beloved xp machine.
Only problem now is that Vista is saying that I don't have permissions to view the files.
So a new problem to solve - I'll get there eventually!
Thanks for your help ? very worthwhile forum this.

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