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Using old win 3.1 hard drive as an external device on WinXP SP2 -- help!

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Using old win 3.1 hard drive as an external device on WinXP SP2 -- help!

Old 08-17-05, 08:13 PM
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Using old win 3.1 hard drive as an external device on WinXP SP2 -- help!

Hey all,

Ok, on my AMD 3000 64bit Compaq laptop, I use an usb 2.0 external drive enclosure with a 40 gig HD, and it works perfect..... Now, i have someone who has an old computer (486, with a 168 meg HD running win. 3.1). Anyway, their computer works, but they wanted to get some old docs from the computer, and put them on a disk so they could trash the old computer. Well, the floppy drive in that computer is shot -- So i figured I would just take the HD and put it in my external enclosure. The old HD is an IBM-H3171-A2. When i hook it up to my laptop (with master or slave jumper settings) the computer recognizes it as an external mass storage device, and even lists the correct model number in the hardware icon in the taskbar.

HOWEVER, the drive will NOT show up in windows explorer. it won't even show up in disk manager. reformatting it to make it work is not an option, obviously, because the whole point is to salvage what's on there now....

Any help is RREEAALLYY appreciated....

Thanks,

Matt!
Old 08-17-05, 09:09 PM
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wouldnt matter if it did see the drive, you couldnt see the contents
Im assuming your running 2k or xp

pretty sure 3.1 ran fat16 or lower.. definitly not fat32
so 2k and xp wouldnt read the file system
Old 08-17-05, 09:10 PM
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guess i dont have to assume.. you listed your os in the title

no chance of getting xp to read lower than fat32

edit... since i wasnt sure.. i did a quick look.. and i guess xp can read fat16
cant imagine it would do a very good job reading it through

Last edited by twikoff; 08-17-05 at 09:17 PM.
Old 08-17-05, 09:54 PM
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Try a live Linux distro. Try booting with Knoppix or one of the other live cd's and see if you can copy the contents from the drive. You could use Captive NTFS to write it to your internal HD. Or, a safer way would be to have your laptop hooked to ethernet and then email the files as attachments to yourself.

Or, if you have access to a desktop with with two optical drives, you can run Knoppix off of one and burn with the other. (Attach enclosure to desktop, of course.)

I don't know for certain that Knoppix reads FAT16, but it can do a multitude of things.


How much memory does your laptop have?

Last edited by Alvis; 08-17-05 at 09:59 PM.
Old 08-18-05, 07:16 AM
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Hey all,

Thanks for the responses. My laptop has 512mb of memory. Ya know, i would rather not install/emulate/alter anything on my laptop.... this is annoying -- haha... I think i may just put the HD back in the old computer and replace the 3.5" floppy....which was where this all started... see, i couldn't save anything to the b: drive on the old computer (a: is a 5.25" [email protected]!). It would tell me that any disk i tried wasn't formatted, and it wouldn't allow me to format any new ones -- i kept getting a "cannot format" error -- even with disks that were used on it years ago. I don't even think the activity light came on for the drive, which leads me to believe that it was bad.... what a hassle!

maybe it was a bad floppy connection...i'll have to see.....

Later,

Matt
Old 08-18-05, 10:01 AM
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probably the easiest thing to do would be to replace the floppy. I have been in that situation a number of times.
Old 08-18-05, 11:44 PM
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try to go under manage from the right-click menu on my computer. then goto disk management on the left tree list.

look for the drive in the list on the right. make sure the drive letter assigned is not in use by another program. if so, right click and change the drive letter.
Old 08-19-05, 07:26 AM
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Hello....

I tried Disk Management -- the only thing that showed up was my C: drive. the other one never showed up. I found an old win98 computer, threw the HD in there, went into the BIOS, and assigned the drive as master -- it worked! I was running win 3.1 on a pentium II chip! Haha... Anyway, i got the most important doc off of the HD -- the rest, for some reason, took forever to transfer to floppy -- so i gave up. I told them that I may just come over and replace their floppy drive one day...that way they can xfer docs to floppy at their own leisure....

But, real quick, should the drive have worked when hooked to my new laptop? It's kind of annoying that it wouldn't....

Later,

Matt
Old 08-19-05, 10:23 AM
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To be honest, it should have worked in your external hd enclosure. I grabbed some work documents off an old 1G WD hard drive I have had since 1995 when I bought my first Gateway computer. Clearly the 168M hard drive you have is older but I don't think that should matter.

It may be one of those computer things you never figure out.

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