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How to install old hard drive

  • Hard Drives
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
May 11, 2007 6:35:43 PM

I have an old Miniscribe 6053 hard drive that I would like to install in a modern PC. I think it's an IDE drive from the late 1980s -- it's so old I've forgotten, although I still have the original controller card and cable.

What sort of adapter should I buy to install the hard drive in a modern PC?

More about : install hard drive

May 11, 2007 7:06:13 PM

Wow! That's an antique that belongs in a museum!

The 6053 is a 45 meg MFM drive (pre-RLL, pre-ESDI, pre-IDE). You will never find a controller that will allow you to install that in a modern system. IIRC, an MFM controller was never manufactured for the PCI platform. In fact, I don't recall a 16 bit MFM card.
May 11, 2007 7:23:08 PM

Thanks for the info. I stlil have the original controller card that came with it. Now that I look at it, it had separate data and control cables. I think I had this controller plugged into an AT-compatible motherboard that took a 33 MHz CPU.

There must be some way to retrieve the data from this drive. Any suggestions?
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May 11, 2007 7:50:13 PM

Either grab a computer from that era or go to a data recovery place.
May 11, 2007 8:29:43 PM

Check local thrift stores for a Pentium 2 or earlier computer, as these should have ISA slots for the controller card, and will support modern hard drives so that you can copy your data onto one and then transfer it to another computer.

This is assuming you don't have an older computer of any sort that can access the drive. If you do, you could maybe transfer files via the serial port, or buy a 5" floppy drive for your modern machine.
May 11, 2007 11:37:21 PM

Check local thrift stores for a Pentium 2 or earlier computer, as these should have ISA slots for the controller card...

That sounds like a good idea, but I'm wondering whether the controller requires an MS-DOS device driver written by the manufacturer. Anybody know?
May 11, 2007 11:50:50 PM

I've used a few old computers with hard drives like this (maybe not exact same model, but same type of drive and connected to a similar two cable controller card) and they never needed any special software.

Not a guarantee it will work, but it works for the one in my closet.

If you can't find anything locally you could get some junk parts off ebay. Just enough to put together a machine for this one task. Since you wouldn't need a case, it probably wouldn't cost a fortune to ship it.
May 12, 2007 1:23:14 AM

Thanks a lot for the advice. I have an original IBM PC which hasn't been plugged in for years. I'll stick it in there and give it a try.