Retrieving data from old hard drive

August 30, 2005 at 10:35:45
Specs: Windows XP, n/a

Can anyone tell me how to plug an old-ish (about 3 yrs) hard drive into a new, fairly high-end Dell system, in order to transfer all of my old data onto my new machine? The problem is that the connectors (for both power and data) seem to have changed - to kind of flat pins in both cases). Both connectors, however, seem to have stayed the same for the two dvd drives. So, in other words, it seems as if I could plug my old drive in, temporarily, and set to "slave", if I disconnect both the power and data cables from one of the dvd drives. Would this be safe/effective? Or might there be some problem with voltages, etc. Or, indeed, might there be a problem with the fact that the old hard drive wouldn't be plugged in to the same ribbon cable as the new hard drive, but would be sharing a cable with the remaining dvd drive?? I hope this question makes sense, and I'd be grateful for any suggestions... (NB: Dell seem to have been very "efficienct" in their design of the system, and there are no spare power or data cables to use...)


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August 30, 2005 at 10:49:02

It may be easier to install the drive into a USB Cabby, as it will be cheaper than buying various cables, also you could void the DELL Warranty by changing the installed hardware.

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August 30, 2005 at 10:54:10

Thanks for that. But searching for "usb cabby" on google comes up with nothing! Could you tell me what such a device would be known as more generally?

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August 30, 2005 at 11:04:18

I have never seen the term "cabby" used in this context. .. He must be a Brit. LOL

Anyway, i believe that what he means in an external hard drive case. These have usb connectors and you just mount your old hard drive in the case and plug it in and it should be seen as an external drive in your MYCOMPUTER

best of luck Frank :

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August 30, 2005 at 11:32:08

I could be wrong but I doubt you will void your Dell warranty if you do what you propose. Dell IDEs use "cable select" meaning that the device on the end of the cable farthest from the connection to the MOBO is "Master" and the other device is "Slave". You wouldn't have to buy anything to do this and it is what I would do if all I wanted to do was get the data off the HDD.

If you want want to use this HDD between different computers, I would get an external USB 2.0 HDD enclosure for it. I've got three of them and they are convenient way to move files around.

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August 30, 2005 at 12:16:32

>> I have never seen the term "cabby" used in this context. .. He must be a Brit. LOL <<

The correct word in this context is caddy. A cabby is a taxi driver.


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August 30, 2005 at 12:26:48

I often disconnect a cdrom drive and temporarily connect an HD in its place in order to copy files or clone the drive. So you shouldn't have any problem.

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August 30, 2005 at 17:06:35

It sounds like your newer computer might have SATA hard drives and your old one is an IDE drive.

Your old connector is probably flat with many pins and the newer one is much smaller, has fewer pins, a different connector, and the cable is round.

External USB hard drive enclosures are fairly cheap and has a good selection and good prices. You will want to get one for the old drive type.

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August 30, 2005 at 19:01:10

Yeah, go ahead and order an external drive case, pay for it, wait a few weeks to get it, put the drive in it and finally get the files copied.

Or, I don't know, maybe just disconnect the cdroms and temporarily connect the old drive in their place and copy the files. For free. In just a few minutes.

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