Need files from Legacy HD

Hello, this appears to be a common problem with many variations! Hopefully, someone can offer suggestions for this one. Many years ago I removed the WD AC2250 internal hard drive from a computer I had at the time (win 3.1? '95?), simply storing the files on it. I have the following problem also with a Maxtor drive of the same era. I would now like to access the files on them, but neither my XP SP3 desktop, nor my Win7 laptop will recognize it in drive management. They can see it in Device Manager. In Drive Management, it comes up as "Disk 1" on the Win7 laptop, saying it is not initialized, and I cannot do anything with it when I right -click on the drive there, so cannot give it a new drive letter or anything. As I understand it, I can't initialize it either, as that process leads to formatting which defeats my goal. It does not come up in Disk Management at all on the XP machine.

I have attached the old hard drive to the (newer) computers using a usb 2.0 drive adapter (backward compatible) that has its own power supply. So I don't think it's needing more power.
What about drivers? I am not sure about that possibility. Would an old win98 disk have the driver I would need? WD does not seem to have one for this drive on their website, and I have looked in vain for one online.

Any help is appreciated! Thanks!
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  1. I should say that I have been able to "see" other formerly internal hard drives using this set up to make them "external", so I don't think it's the usb adapter. I suspect it has something to do with the vintage (pre 1999?).
  2. If you still have the IDE cable and power cord try plugging one of the drives into your desktop.
  3. Maybe the capacitor in HDD dried out....
    (if the drive becoming to long in the rack and not regularly recharge them)
  4. fantastik250 said:
    If you still have the IDE cable and power cord try plugging one of the drives into your desktop.

    So sorry for the delay! :pfff: My elderly mom is ailing...

    So this was a great help, sometimes we just don't think of the obvious! :o

    Just plugged it in directly and it worked, but not well because of the advances in technology. So I dug out of the garage an old jalopy of a machine and voila! Now, to relearn the vintage financial software!

    I have been able to get some of what I need, but the financial software converted from dos to windows just about the time I abandoned the drive, so I have dos 6? and Windows 3.1 on the drive, and databases in dos and windows. I need windows 3.1 to run the windows version of the software. I'd like to use the Windows 3.1 on the drive, but it really wants an old driver that had something to do with the number of cylinders on the drive.....not booting up on the motherboard I found in the garage without it. I am just too swamped to go on a search for the driver or an appropriate motherboard. Any help would be appreciated!
  5. What motherboard are you using? What BIOS options do you have for setting up the drive?

    One web site shows the CHS values to be 1010/9/55. If you can show us the contents of sector 0 then we could confirm these CHS values.

    If you're using Win XP or later, then you could use Microsoft's Sector Inspector to dump the partition table and boot sector:

    Extract the above archive to the one folder and execute the SIrun.bat file. The procedure will generate a report file named SIout.txt.

    Alternatively, either of these free disc editors should be able to dump sector 0:

    HxD - Freeware Hex Editor and Disk Editor:

    DMDE (DM Disk Editor and Data Recovery):
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