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Reading old DOS hard drives in Windows

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October 28, 2011 5:42:25 PM

I would like to recover the files from a DOS-era Compaq 286 computer. I removed its Conner Peripherals 40MB hard drive, and connected it to a power supply and a USB-to-PATA interface cable.

I plugged the USB cable into a Windows XP computer, and Windows detects the drive and says it is ready to use. However, the drive does not appear in the "My Computer" panel in Windows Explorer.

In the Device Manager, if I click on Disk Drives, it correctly displays "Conner Peripherals 40MB USB device" in the list of drives. If I select "Properties", it says the device is working properly and it is enabled. But if I click the "Volumes" tab and then "Populate", I get this:
Disk: Disk 3
Type: Unknown
Status: Unreadable
Partition Style: Not Applicable
Capacity, Unallocated space, and Reserved space all show as 0 MB.

Under DOS in the Compaq machine, the drive was partitioned into C: and D: drives (the latter compressed).

Is there a driver or something I can get to read this disk? Maybe FreeDOS or something?
a b \ Driver
October 28, 2011 7:15:14 PM



An old Conner drive.. yea, that's old. Did you make sure it is pinned as master? if it is slave, may ignore your USB-PATA device.
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October 28, 2011 8:32:47 PM

tigsounds said:
An old Conner drive.. yea, that's old. Did you make sure it is pinned as master? if it is slave, may ignore your USB-PATA device.


Hmm. There is a jumper block on the drive, but it's unlabeled and currently has no jumpers installed. Since it came out of a Compaq portable with a single hard drive (plus floppy), I'm guessing it's set as Master. Interestingly, the drive has 2 power connectors: the standard 4-pin Molex and a considerably smaller 3-pin connector that's used in the Compaq installation.

And the USB-PATA adapter was at least able to read the text description of the drive out of it (Windows Device Manager displays it as "Conner Peripherals 40MB USB device").
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a b \ Driver
October 28, 2011 8:56:56 PM

My records only go back as far as 100MB drives. I did notice similarities in various sizes that have the pins set the same way, if there are only 3 of them. Got a model number?

Conner drives are pinned Single, Master, or Slave and must be set correctly. A single drive can't be pinned as Master.


Here is a picture of one such drive..

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October 28, 2011 11:15:49 PM

tigsounds said:
My records only go back as far as 100MB drives. I did notice similarities in various sizes that have the pins set the same way, if there are only 3 of them. Got a model number?

Conner drives are pinned Single, Master, or Slave and must be set correctly. A single drive can't be pinned as Master.


Here is a picture of one such drive..

http://i805.photobucket.com/albums/yy336/tigsounds/Conner-STD.jpg


This drive doesn't look like your photo. What looks like a jumper header on this drive is at the opposite end of the PCB from the power and PATA connectors. It's a 14-pin (2 rows of 7) right-angle header with 3 pins missing. Like this:

O X O O O O X
O X O O O O O
-------------------------------(PCB)

It's labeled J4. As noted, there are no jumpers installed. Heck, it could even be a place to attach a test cable or something. There's also an 18-pin (2 x 9) female socket on the PCB.
The model no. is CP-3041. It also says "TYPE 22" on the label, and there's a separate sticker with this on it:
8851
CQS-03
AB8113

Hope this helps. Thanks for trying to help!
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a b \ Driver
October 29, 2011 2:44:38 AM

Found this..

Poor, txt file using typewriter graphics
HERE

Click: Specs>Conner>CP3044 (which is supposed to be the same drive, just 42MB)

To their credit, they do show a grid for the possible jumper positions and explain what the jumpers are doing. The jumper pad is on the PCB itself, close to the power connector.

If the final link tries to "Open With" select Firefox or whatever browser you are using. Notepad makes a mess of things.

That plug/socket at opposite end of drive from power/IDE connectors is a factory low level format/diagnostic test socket.

The jumper labels on the drive are printed as part of the PCB etch, look closely.

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November 5, 2011 6:50:42 PM

I inquired of Seagate support (apparently they took over Conner), and they replied that modern PCs might simply be too fast to tolerate this old drive; suggested trying it with a 486 or older PC.

I would have thought the USB-to-PATA adapter would have perhaps solved this issue, but who knows? I haven't yet tried cabling the drive directly to the PATA bus.
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a b \ Driver
November 5, 2011 10:56:41 PM

I don't buy it that the drive is too old to be read by modern machines.

In the BIOS, set transfer mode to "Auto" and disable LBA if it is there as a choice to disable.

The IDE controller will "handshake" with the computer as the drive will have "wait-states" the computer is OK with waiting for.
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November 29, 2012 10:43:20 PM

RobLewis said:
I inquired of Seagate support (apparently they took over Conner), and they replied that modern PCs might simply be too fast to tolerate this old drive; suggested trying it with a 486 or older PC.

I would have thought the USB-to-PATA adapter would have perhaps solved this issue, but who knows? I haven't yet tried cabling the drive directly to the PATA bus.


You shouldn't need to. Try jumpering it as cable select. I did this with a Conner drive, USB-to-IDE adapter, and Win 7 and it worked. The original configuration (master/single) did not.
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November 30, 2012 12:08:32 AM

Just curious: did you fire up the 286, before you scavanged the drive, to check it?
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December 9, 2012 11:08:19 PM

electronian said:
Just curious: did you fire up the 286, before you scavanged the drive, to check it?


Tried to, but the clock battery has long since died and the computer won't get through POST without it. (Apparently the battery is inside the IC package of the clock chip. I looked into replacing the whole part but that's a little more involved than I want to get.)
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December 9, 2012 11:09:55 PM

shiggity123 said:
You shouldn't need to. Try jumpering it as cable select. I did this with a Conner drive, USB-to-IDE adapter, and Win 7 and it worked. The original configuration (master/single) did not.


I don't see any indication in the admittedly sketchy info I have that there is a Cable Select jumper option.
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December 9, 2012 11:26:46 PM

Got out my magnifying glass and examined the jumpers. They matched the description for the CP3044 here http://www.4drives.com/DRIVESPECS/CONNER/578.txt: from left to right, HSP, C/D, DSP, and ACT. HSP has no jumper (for systems without a slave drive), C/D is jumpered (indicating a C, or Master drive), DSP has no jumper (single-drive system, no slave), and ACT is jumpered (for driving an LED apparently).

This all looks right to me, but as I thought, there's no option for Cable Select.
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March 18, 2013 3:12:36 AM

RobLewis said:
Got out my magnifying glass and examined the jumpers. They matched the description for the CP3044 here http://www.4drives.com/DRIVESPECS/CONNER/578.txt: from left to right, HSP, C/D, DSP, and ACT. HSP has no jumper (for systems without a slave drive), C/D is jumpered (indicating a C, or Master drive), DSP has no jumper (single-drive system, no slave), and ACT is jumpered (for driving an LED apparently).

This all looks right to me, but as I thought, there's no option for Cable Select.


It was worth a shot. The drive I have is a CFA1275A, with the spec listed at http://www.computerhope.com/hdd/hdd0002.htm, which doesn't list a "CS" pin set but the drive has one. But if there is no CS pin set, I got nothing, because none of the other combinations (single drive, master, slave) worked via IDE-USB connection.

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a b \ Driver
March 19, 2013 12:50:11 AM

Try the no jumper option and see if Cable Select works the way it should - first drive top of cable - second next connection down.
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March 27, 2013 11:50:11 AM

RobLewis said:
I would like to recover the files from a DOS-era Compaq 286 computer. I removed its Conner Peripherals 40MB hard drive, and connected it to a power supply and a USB-to-PATA interface cable.

I plugged the USB cable into a Windows XP computer, and Windows detects the drive and says it is ready to use. However, the drive does not appear in the "My Computer" panel in Windows Explorer.

In the Device Manager, if I click on Disk Drives, it correctly displays "Conner Peripherals 40MB USB device" in the list of drives. If I select "Properties", it says the device is working properly and it is enabled. But if I click the "Volumes" tab and then "Populate", I get this:
Disk: Disk 3
Type: Unknown
Status: Unreadable
Partition Style: Not Applicable
Capacity, Unallocated space, and Reserved space all show as 0 MB.

Under DOS in the Compaq machine, the drive was partitioned into C: and D: drives (the latter compressed).

Is there a driver or something I can get to read this disk? Maybe FreeDOS or something?


More information: I connected the drive to the ATA bus in a Dell PC, and it is recognized but the listing of "files" on it is a bizarre bunch of words separated by periods, as if it came out of some document on the drive.

Brief recap: when I was using the drive in the Compaq, I was running DR-DOS 6. The first half of the 40MB drive was drive C:, uncompressed, and the second half was drive D:, compressed on the fly with a "SuperStore" driver called SSTORDRV.SYS, loaded via the DOS CONFIG.SYS file.

Interestingly, when the drive is examined with a modern partition manager, the second, compressed D: partition is listed as "unallocated". The first partition shows up as FAT, but its files don't seem to be readable.

Perhaps foolishly, I allowed Windows to "repair" the C: partition and now it may be scrambled worse than ever. But that may be OK since it's the files on the "unallocated" D: partition that I care about.

I'm wondering if I could somehow get some kind of DOS with the SuperStore driver running on the PC, it might be able to see and decompress the "unallocated" D: drive. I did a bit of research on SuperStore, and apparently it's specific to DR-DOS and can't be expected to run under other versions of DOS.

Any genius out there got any suggestions? Thanks.
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a b \ Driver
March 27, 2013 11:56:29 AM

A times like this, your best friend may be a LiveCD version of a Linux operating system. It an run the system without impacting on your hard disk but it can allow access to it. It won't make matters any worse and could give you the chance to see and capture those files to a flash drive. My personal preference is PCLinuxOS from http://www.pclinuxos.com - burn it to a CD using ImgBurn and it becomes bootable so pop the disk in, select CD as the first boot option and off you go.
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August 25, 2013 4:39:13 PM

Here is information of jumper settings:
http://www.a1usedcomputers.com.au/shop/prodView.asp?idp...

RobLewis said:
tigsounds said:
An old Conner drive.. yea, that's old. Did you make sure it is pinned as master? if it is slave, may ignore your USB-PATA device.


Hmm. There is a jumper block on the drive, but it's unlabeled and currently has no jumpers installed. Since it came out of a Compaq portable with a single



hard drive (plus floppy), I'm guessing it's set as Master. Interestingly, the drive has 2 power connectors: the standard 4-pin Molex and a considerably smaller 3-pin connector that's used in the Compaq installation.

And the USB-PATA adapter was at least able to read the text description of the drive out of it (Windows Device Manager displays it as "Conner Peripherals 40MB USB device").

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a b \ Driver
August 25, 2013 11:34:29 PM

Assuming you have the same problem ab the original poster, it seems that your drive works via USB but fails in the system and that's because of the jumpering. If you're sure it isn't marked in any way and you can't find any information on the Net, assume the Master connection is at one end of the other and Slave is in the middle. If it's not to be a system disk, Slave will do but it should be the default if no jumpers are set.

So - what we don't know is what you want to do wit this drive. A 40Gb is pretty small for a system drive so Slave jumpering will allow access to it in the system as a data store. You could find a jumper on an old hard disk.

What are you trying to achieve?
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