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Discussion Starter #1
I want to junk my wife's old Compaq Series Series 500 486 PC that's been sitting in the corner for several years. However, she wants to know if I can get some of her old files off the HDD before I junk the machine!

Any advice from anyone about how best to proceed?

The machine still works OK, is running Win 95. Only has a dial-up modem. No USB. No CD-burner (just a CD-ROM and a floppy drive).

I thought I'd remove the old HDD, put it in an external enclosure and transfer the files to another PC. However, her PC is one of those with the monitor attached to the top of the box, which is designed to sit on the desk. I easily pulled the back off, which extricates the motherboard. But then I'm a little stymied about how to get the HDD out. It's bolted to a frame, and I can't get to the screws. I hope I don't have to dismantle the entire PC to get to it!

Then, I notice that the HDD is on the slave of the IDE cable (the CD-ROM is on the master end). So even if I get it out, I will have to figure out how to set it to master for the external enclosure. Not sure how to find out how to set a jumper to do this. Not even sure there is a jumper!

Any suggestions about the above, or any alternative suggestions to transfer the files?

... and if you want to laugh at all this, feel free, and I will just junk it!!! :grin:
 

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Well the method you described will be your best option. You just have to figure out how to get the drive out. You're going to need it jumpered as slave anyway, so you don't need to worry about that.

Once you do, all you'll need to do is put it on an IDE cable of the host computer, and it should show up as a drive letter when you boot.

And on a side note, why not donate this computer after you recover the files? I'm sure there's some organization somewhere that'll take it. You might even be able to use it as a tax deductible based on its purchase price.

If nobody else will take it, I'm sure there's a kid somewhere who would love to have an old computer to tinker with.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was able to remove the HDD from the old PC -- it took some figuring, but it wasn't too bad after all. It's a Quantum Maverick ProDrive. I've been trying to put it in an external USB enclosure and hook it up to another PC, but I can't get the host PC to recognize the HDD. It doesn't show up on My Computer, or in Disk Management; it shows up in the Device Manager as a USB under disks. Incidentally, sometimes when I turn the enclosure on, the Control Panel won't appear until I disconnect the enclosure from the USB port.

I'm not sure how to set the jumper (which, BTW, is on the circuit board of the HDD). I think I've tried everything, but nothing seems to work.

Here are the settings that are printed on the HDD case:

AT Only JP11:

1 2 3 4 5
CS 0 0 0 0 1
DS 0 0 1 1 0
SP 0 1 0 1 x

Jumper Configuration Table
1 = Slave
2 = Slave w/o DSP
3 = Default/Master w/ DASP
4 = Master w/o DASP
5 = Cable Select

On the old PC, the HDD was a secondary to the CD-ROM, and the jumper was the #1 pins (Cable Select).

Any suggestions of how to proceed? If this doesn't work, I will hook it up to and IDE cable on the PC and try that.
 

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Disconnect the devices on your secondary IDE channel, normally optical drives, and connect this drive as the only drive on the end of the cable. Leave the jumpers as they were in the old machine. It should be detected.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
OK, It looks like the USB external enclosure is not being recommended here. I will try the IDE approach. Probably can't get to it until tomorrow at this point -- but will let you know after I give it a try.

(I do wonder why the USB external enclosure method won't work! :4-dontkno ).
 

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Yeah, and how terrible and buggy it all was? :smile:

Besides, not a lot of people have a parallel to parallel connector lying around. I don't anymore, my only one now leads to a printer connector.
 

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It's not uncommon to have those things lying around somewhere. They are still shipped with most printers today and you can easily purchase them just about anywhere that sells computer supplies. They might have been buggy, but it would get the job done in this situation. To me, it just seems like the obvious solution considering he has a 486 with Windows 95, but what do I know... :4-dontkno
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Mission accomplished ... I hooked up the old HDD to the secondary IDE on the host PC. I connected it as a slave (CD burner is Master), and left the jumper on the old HDD just as it was on the old PC (Cable Select). The hook-up on the host PC was exactly as it was on the old PC (except there was no secondary IDE on the old PC).

... and it worked just great.

Resolution: I didn't try the parallel cable idea you suggested because (a) I didn't know the details of how to do this (a google didn't make things very clear); and (b) I didn't want to spend a lot of time on this project. But thanks for trying to help. I will keep your idea in mind for another day, another project.

Thanks again to TSF for helping out. This is a great forum.
 

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Resolution said:
Hey. I didn't say "use a parallel cable" for no reason. Have we all forgot the days of direct cable connection? :sayno:

i remember coming in here, and asking for help with a parallel cable connection, and everyone told me to do it different ways.

and then, once people started actually helping me with a parallel cable, i downloaded about 30 different utilities for it, and bought about 15 cables, and i never did get it to do anything at all.

that might be why noone even tries it anymore.
 

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Hey, it doesn't work in every situation, but it does work. There is even an option for direct cable connection in the "Network Connection Wizard". There are also a number of articles on connecting <insert Windows version> to <insert different Windows version>.
 
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