can i read an ms dos 6 hard drive using windo

June 1, 2011 at 13:00:32
Specs: Windows Vista
can I remove the hard drive from my very old compaq deskpro386,a 40mb conner type 22,
and plug it into the cd connections of my more modern computer running windows vista home basic. As you would a second or slave hard drive. If only to see what is on there and re-live windows 6.22 or even 3.11,(cant remember now) or would it blow-up?

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#1
June 1, 2011 at 13:09:07
If it's an IDE disk then it'll be fine. But on a computer that old it could be an MFM or RLL one. That won't work, but I'm pretty sure the cables are different anyway.

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#2
June 1, 2011 at 13:24:28
Ijack is correct; you'd have to have an IDE disk (and a IDE cable on your new machine) for that to possibly work. If you find you do have the correct interface, you may be able to read it---but there's still a couple things you need to consider:

1. The disk geometry (Cylinders,Heads,Sectors/Track) may not be read exactly the same as in the Compaq machine. This would possibly cause files to be misread and even possibly corrupt some already on the drive if you try to write to it.

2. Even if the geometry was correct, you won't be able to run DOS/Win3.1 unless you make it the "bootable" drive by disconnecting the primary, or possibly hacking around with the WinVista boot.ini files (as if there were two OS's installed).

If there's something there you want to salvage, you may be better off leaving it in the Compaq and trying to backup to floppies (not very fun) or to something like an external (parallel port) Zip drive. Or remove the drive and connect it to a USB adapter such as:

http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?in...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#3
June 1, 2011 at 13:28:33
I believe their is a conflict with the address of MFM and IDE drives. Tried it years ago.

Correction: IDE and MFM drive controllers.


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#4
June 1, 2011 at 19:36:23
It would not blow up.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.


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#5
June 1, 2011 at 22:18:20
As already mentioned, the drive geometry could be a problem. You say it's type 22. But drive types aren't universal so you need to check the bios setup for the compaq or its manual to get the exact cylinders/heads/sectors for that drive type.

Then set up the drive with that configuration in the new computer. You'll probably have to use a 'user definable drive type' to get the same numbers. If necessary, check the manual for the system you plan on connecting the drive to.

Caramel--the devil's chocolate.


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#6
June 2, 2011 at 13:34:46
Thanks jefro,
Thats the spirit great answer

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#7
June 2, 2011 at 13:45:44
Many thanks to all those who answered, I tried it anyway. The connections to the cd fitted, the computer found new hardware and configured it, it even knew the make of "mass storage device" but sadly although it showed the folders the writing was martian and nothing could be opened. But it was much more fun than playing silly games. this is'nt the end. any further suggestions greatly appreciated. the usb cable idea was perhaps the best. stonesy

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#8
June 2, 2011 at 14:42:24
"...but sadly although it showed the folders the writing was martian and nothing could be opened."

Likely due to the "incorrect disk geometry" mentioned before. Don't attempt to write anything to the drive and manually setup the BIOS (don't auto-detect) to see the following type (Even though it's a Conner, the drive type at the bottom shows Compaq type 22):

http://theref.mfarris.com/hard_driv...

# Cylinders: 524
# Heads: 4
# Sectors/Track: 40

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#9
June 2, 2011 at 19:26:29
Yeah, you can't configure its geometry if you put it in an external enclosure. You gotta hook it up internally and configure it in the bios.

Caramel--the devil's chocolate.


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