|It is common to un-intentionally damage IDE data cables, especially while removing them - the 80 wire ones are more likely to be damaged. What usually happens is the cable is ripped at either edge and the wires there are either damaged or severed, often right at a connector or under it's cable clamp there, where it's hard to see - if a wire is severed but it's ends are touching, the connection is intermittent, rather than being reliable. |
Another common thing is for the data cable to be separated from the connector contacts a bit after you have removed a cable - there should be no gap between the data cable and the connector - if there is press the cable against the connector to eliminate the gap.
80 wire data cables are also easily damaged at either edge if the cable is sharply creased at a fold in the cable.
Try another data cable if in doubt.
80 wire data cables must have the proper end connector connected to the mboard IDE header - usually that's blue, but in any case it's the one farther from the middle connector on a 3 connector data cable.
If you're using a typical laptop IDE to desktop IDE adapter that plugs into the pins on the laptop drive and into the female connector on the desktop computer IDE cable...
- you must connect a 2 "pin" (or possibly a 4 "pin") connector from the adapter's wiring to a power connector from the desktop PS - the laptop drive requires 5v power - connect to the red and black wires on the power connector from the PS.
- you must plug in the pins on the adapter into a female connector on the desktop data cable in the proper direction - one way works, the other does not.
"The jumpers are set to cable select"
- the laptop drive has 4 pins on it's header on one end, that don't plug into the adapter, that can designate it as jumpered Cable Select, or Slave, if a jumper is installed on two of certain pins - when there is no jumper on those pins, which is the usual case, the drive is set to Master - in that case, if you connect the adapter to an IDE cable on the desktop computer that has another IDE drive connected to the same cable, the other drive must be designated as Slave (NOT Cable Select or Master). Since the tiny jumper needed for setting the drive to Cable Select or Slave is hard to come by if you don't already have it, that's usually the easiest thing to do.
In case you're wondering, I have never encountered an IDE 3 connector data cable that cannot have either both drives being set to Cable Select, or one drive being set to Master, the other to Slave .
You can eliminate the error messages you get while booting when the drives connected to the computer have changed if you can set all connections drives are connected to, to be Auto detected in the bios Setup. If you can't do that, just go into the bios and Save bios settings when you get the error message - you then won't get that message again when you boot after that, until the next time the drives connected have changed, assuming all drives are detected properly.
If the laptop drive has (a) NTFS partition(s), and if the old Dell desktop computer has ME or below as an operating system on it's hard drive, the operating system cannot recognize NTFS partitions and the data on them. In that case, you need to make yourself a bootable disk that has something on it that can read NTFS partitions so that you can boot the old Dell computer with it and then copy data - e.g. a bootable floppy disk with something on it meant for that purpose, or a bootable Linux CD.