Data recovery from a 10 yr old HDD

My dad has an old PC with Win95 Plus loaded on it, and he wants me to recover his old files. The problem is, it is in his basement. So if I wanted to recover the files I would have to pack his 12 yr old monitor, case, keyboard, mouse...etc. That thing is mad heavy, yo.

Since that's a total hassle, I was wondering if it was possible to just take the case, remove the HDD and just plug it into my modern system and see it if will at least boot. It looks like the standard IDE data transfer interface. I highly doubt it would be compatible on the software end, but it would obviously be the easiest way to do it, if I am successful. I'm just concerned that I would screw up my mobo or something (However, the HDD uses the same 4-pin molex power interface that modern HDD's do).

Anyone else have any experience with data recovery from old ass machines from 1994?
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  1. If the drive is a ata drive then shouldnt be a problem. I wouldnt boot the drive, I would set the drive as a slave and just read the drive from file explorer. I would also copy the contents to a cd or jump drive since most hard drives from the mid 80's barely exceeded 500MB. GL
  2. You won't be able to boot from the drive. Why would you have to use the old monitor? Keyboard and mouse I could see because they may be the older connectors but I would think the monitor would be VGA.
  3. As long as its an ATA hard drive your will have no problems.

    Unlike XP, earlier versions of Windows would actually attempt to adapt when trying to boot in a new system. You could install 95, 98 or ME on one PC then ghost the OS to another, install a few device drivers and you had a fully functional system.

    So its possible that 95 may boot on the new system, buy why would you want to do that?


    Just pull the drive and pop it in the new computer then enter the CMOS setup and make sure the drive with 95 on it isn't set to boot.

    Or pay $30 for an external enclosure or a simply IDE to USB 2.0 adapter and molex power brick.

    Or pop in a CD/DVD+RW into the old system and use Ghost or True Image to backup the hard drive unto discs.

    You can even set up virutal PC software and restore the backup image to the virtual PC and then you can run the old computer in a window on the new computer.
  4. had to do it to an old 93 gateway witha 512MB HDD had Win 95 and everything

    just set the HDD to slave (theres a little clip in the back you can pull out and move to change if its MASTER or SLAVE the location of which pin is which should be on the back of the HDD also) and boot up and get the files

    had no problems
  5. Quote:
    I would also copy the contents to a cd or jump drive since most hard drives from the mid 80's barely exceeded 500MB. GL

    DAMnN i thought i had bad math skills... lets see.. 2006 minus 10 years ... equals the mid 80's... gotcha :D
  6. You can solve this problem easily with any Linux live CD or DVD: Plug that old HDD into a compatible interface in your computer, and boot the live CD or DVD from your computer's optical drive; that will give you a complete Unix operating system onto which you can then mount the VFAT files from that old hard drive. Once mounted, they can then be read or even written to as any other VFAT files would be. If you don't already have a live CD then get one - they're free. Knoppix would probably be your best choice, but even a 50 MB distribution such as Damn Small Linux or Austrumi should work.
  7. Cool, thanks for all the advice. I think the first method I'll try is hooking it up as a slave, then extracting the files via windows explorer like sykotic mentioned.

    Thanks to all for the advice.

    And as far as techtre2003's question about the monitor, I compared the video input interface on the old case with a spare VGA cable I brought with me, and the pin-set did not match.
  8. Cool, thanks guys.

    I set the jumper to slave, and just booted normally. I was able to access the files---as well as the W97M.Marker virus that had infected his Word docs. I guess that explains why my dad was having such a hard time with his PC.

    Anyway, saved the relevant files to CD, thanks again for the help.
  9. Avast 4 Home is free for home users, install it for your Dad :)
  10. Solve this problem with full successful manner, but just need to try best tool which is QuickData hard drive recovery software that can easily solve this entire problem with user friendly without any data loss. Just visit this link -
  11. You can use an external hard drive enclosure and then put the old hard drive enclosure, then you can connect the old hard drive to modern computer as external hard drive. You can see the guide here

    The hard drive enclosure normally is quite cheap. You can get one from amazon or ebay. After you connect the old hard drive to computer, you can copy the data from the old hard drive. If needed, you can run a data recovery software on the old hard drive. see this guide

    Another good habit is to scan the old hard drive with anti-virus software as it may be infected by virus. You will never know. So to prevent that, you may scan the old drive with antivirus software. use Microsoft Security Essential

    hope that you can get back all your data.
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