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Looking for information on connecting old ESDI Drive to IDE

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July 29, 2012 2:19:27 AM

I have an old drive (TYPE 35), that has my card collection on it.

I would like to read the data, and store it on my current machine.

Typing out all the data is not an option, as it was collected over several YEARS.

ANY help or pointing in the right direction or ideas would be appreciated.

(Shared if successful)

Thank you,
-Corvus
a c 85 G Storage
July 29, 2012 2:34:02 AM

The only way you're going to be able to do this is if you have a really old IBM PC with an ESDI controller on on it. ESDI wasn't as long lived as SCSI or IDE so they're hard to find. If you do find one, load up an old OS and copy the data over that way
July 29, 2012 11:43:35 AM

..That kina sucks.

I was hoping someone had a similar situation, and made some kind of cable to connect to serial or parallel or.. USB.. Seems USB has a connection of some kind or other for everything, even if they don't work.

I had a controller for my old pc that had an EISA bus. but that pc died years ago.
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a c 272 G Storage
July 30, 2012 1:50:34 AM

Look for an old IBM PS/2.
a c 85 G Storage
July 30, 2012 4:25:50 AM

c04vu5 said:
..That kina sucks.

I was hoping someone had a similar situation, and made some kind of cable to connect to serial or parallel or.. USB.. Seems USB has a connection of some kind or other for everything, even if they don't work.

I had a controller for my old pc that had an EISA bus. but that pc died years ago.


Yeah I can understand how frustrating it might be. ESDI was obsolete for at least a decade before USB was standardized much less improved to the 2.0 spec. There really isn't much motivation for USB to ESDI conversion considering that there are only a few ESDI drives around anymore.

Your best bet would be to find a hobbyist who still has that kind of stuff lying around. Even if you do though you have to accept the fact that the drive might not be operational anymore. You may be able to revive it by lubricating the rotor but there's a lot that can go wrong over the years, including complete data loss.

I had some ESDI ISA controller cards lying around but got rid of them a few months back. I only kept a few old 386 boards with integrated IDE controllers.
August 5, 2012 1:32:00 PM

Pinhedd said:
Yeah I can understand how frustrating it might be. ESDI was obsolete for at least a decade before USB was standardized much less improved to the 2.0 spec. There really isn't much motivation for USB to ESDI conversion considering that there are only a few ESDI drives around anymore.

Your best bet would be to find a hobbyist who still has that kind of stuff lying around. Even if you do though you have to accept the fact that the drive might not be operational anymore. You may be able to revive it by lubricating the rotor but there's a lot that can go wrong over the years, including complete data loss.

I had some ESDI ISA controller cards lying around but got rid of them a few months back. I only kept a few old 386 boards with integrated IDE controllers.


I had recently done the same, sending off some of my old gear to a local store who has a couple people (like myself) who are into the old tech for various hobbies.

Cheap parts. :) 

Instead of USB, maybe something that could be done through the parallel or serial port?
a c 85 G Storage
August 5, 2012 1:51:00 PM

c04vu5 said:
I had recently done the same, sending off some of my old gear to a local store who has a couple people (like myself) who are into the old tech for various hobbies.

Cheap parts. :) 

Instead of USB, maybe something that could be done through the parallel or serial port?


even more unlikely. The serial and parallel ports are designed for communication between devices, not accessing hard drives. I'm not aware of any controllers which can communicate over these ports
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