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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    I have been asked to try to recover the contents of an old, failed HDD for a all volunteer, non-profit company. The drive is a 212 MB WD Caviar, 1995 vintage, that had either DOS or Windows 3.1 as the OS (no one recalls, and it hadn't booted for several years).

    I've removed and mounted the drive into an Acomdata Samba 3.5" external enclosure with USB 2.0 and eSata.

    When I plug in the external unit into any of 4 different computers (running XP, Vista 32 or Win7) it is properly detected as a USB mass storage device every time, the external case light comes on, and I can feel the disk spin up. The drive is seen in Device Manager, and in Disk Administrator (OFFLINE), but does not appear in Windows Explorer or Computer/My Computer. When I right-click on Disk 1 in Disk Administrator, I get a box that says "Incorrect Function".

    When I run DISKPART, it does not see the HDD. I have downloaded and used 4 utilities, including TestDisk and Partition Wizard, and the HDD isn't detected by any of them.

    I hate to tell them the drive is toast (it contains their library catalog) but I've run out of options. Suggestions?

    Thanks in advance,

    Dawn

  2. #2
    Gold Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawn Bingaman View Post
    I have been asked to try to recover the contents of an old, failed HDD for a all volunteer, non-profit company. The drive is a 212 MB WD Caviar, 1995 vintage, that had either DOS or Windows 3.1 as the OS (no one recalls, and it hadn't booted for several years).

    I've removed and mounted the drive into an Acomdata Samba 3.5" external enclosure with USB 2.0 and eSata.

    When I plug in the external unit into any of 4 different computers (running XP, Vista 32 or Win7) it is properly detected as a USB mass storage device every time, the external case light comes on, and I can feel the disk spin up. The drive is seen in Device Manager, and in Disk Administrator (OFFLINE), but does not appear in Windows Explorer or Computer/My Computer. When I right-click on Disk 1 in Disk Administrator, I get a box that says "Incorrect Function".

    When I run DISKPART, it does not see the HDD. I have downloaded and used 4 utilities, including TestDisk and Partition Wizard, and the HDD isn't detected by any of them.

    I hate to tell them the drive is toast (it contains their library catalog) but I've run out of options. Suggestions?

    Thanks in advance,

    Dawn
    Dawn,
    Hello...(and welcome to the lounge) If this was a problem that i was having, i would try this as a last effort.Try plugging the drive directly into your PC mother board (or whatever PC is available) If it can be "seen" by the PC you might be able to boot from the "BIOS" ( the screen that is shown at boot time) on my PC i Hit "Esc" for boot menu, or F-10 to enter "BIOS" set up. If you see the drive click on it and hit enter... its worth a try. Regards Fred
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Hi Fred - Thanks for your response. The drive hadn't been working in the computer it came out of, so I didn't consider trying it as a solo drive in another machine. But, I can try that as a last ditch effort.

    Thanks!

    Dawn

  4. #4
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Try running or recovering the drive from a machine as close to the hardware specs as the drive.
    It sounds like the drive may be of FAT 16 or 32 vintage. From your comments it doesn't seem like there are any
    physical problems with it other than antiquation.

    A few more questions:
    What is the drives interface standard; Parallel ATA?
    What is the drives file system; FAT 16 or FAT 32?
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    Hi Clint - Thank you for responding. Yes, it is a PATA drive, and used to run DOS 6x or Windows 3.1 (no one can remember). But, the 486 machine it had been in would not boot, and hadn't been bootable for 2-3 years before they asked me to take a look at it. Message that came up then was a "keyboard error", and it would accept no keyboard input from several keyboards, so I pulled the drive.

    I guess it would have been FAT16.

    The Acomdata enclosure does support PATA, so that's why I chose it.

    Thanks,

    Dawn

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