HDD Dock and WD HDD Question!

Is there ANY docking station that will access Western digital 3.5" IDE disks ? I've seen many, many threads detailing problems people experience not being able to access WD on their docking station because of connector differences on WD disks.

It seems weird because motherboard sockets don't have a problem with WD disks of course.
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  1. Hi Bob, & Welcome to Tom's Hardware!

    There are a couple SATA / IDE docking stations with a USB connection to your computer. The one's I've seen have have an 80 pin cable attaching to the HDD, into the back of the docking station, rather than just plugging one in vertically.


    There are also IDE / SATA to USB adapters, like this Vantec unit:


    which is not really a permanent solution.

    Might consider, instead of this type of adapter, putting that money toward an inexpensive SATA 3G or 6G HDD, which gives you many more connection options going forward.

    But, the options are available.
  2. Thank you for the welcome John, and for the info & advice.

    I agree re putting the money into SATA technology. However I'm attempting to rescue data from the 2 x Western Digital 3.5" IDEs.

    The docking station I purchased for this purpose was able to successfully access a 2.5" laptop disk, and 2 x Maxtor 3.5" IDE disks.

    But I cannot access either of my 2 Western Digital IDE disks. Not sure if it is this forum or elsewhere, but it had been noted WD are wired differently to other IDE disks, preventing them from working on many docking stations. (i.e even device manager doesn't see either of the 2 disks, let alone disk manager)

    I could buy an awful lot of docking stations and still not find one that reads Western Digital disks. (maybe even including the one you kindly recommend)

    That's why I'm confused because every m/board will successfully connect to and read those WD disks. Why not so many docking stations ? Perplexing eh ? At least to me.
  3. Hi Bob,

    The WD IDE drives are standard, with 40 pins for an 80 pin ribbon connector.

    However, when you connect an IDE drive to a USB adapter, you have to set them as a Master, with the jumper pins.

    Look on the back of the drive for a diagram of the jumper pins, and make them a Master, and try again. Some require a jumber between two pins, others are a Master with no jumper needed.

    List the model number of these 3 1/2" WD drives and we can check for any connector differences.
  4. Thank you again John, this sounds promising ! I'll be so pleased if this works.

    The WD Caviar model number for both disks is : WD800BB-00BSA0

    On my disks there are 39 pins + smaller 10 pin block where the jumper is situated.

    The master C disk jumper is in the 2nd position from the right of th 10 pin block as you look with pwr connector on the right hand side.

    The D disk jumper is also in the same position.

    Neither disks as yet can be seen by the docking station.

    I checked the jumper setting diagram on the back of the disk.

    a) Slave = 2nd postn from right
    b) Master w/slave present = 3rd postn from right
    c) Single or Master = no jumper

    And so I tried the c) setting with no jumper. Disk not seen

    To be thorough, then tried the b) setting. Again, disk not seen.

    This seems consistent with what other people have reported about Western Digital disks. But I'm still perplexed why the disks worked when connected to a PC normally, but not a USB docking station.
  6. Hi Bob,

    Here are the pinouts I find for the IDE drive.

    You are right the master is without any jumpers. Try it again, with the WD connected to the USB adapter, then power on the WD and USB adapter. Then with the USB connected to your computer, power up the computer.

    If that doesn't work, try the Cable Select, jumper pins 1 & 2. Also make sure the 40 pin USB connector absent pin in the center matches the IDE connector. Some of those 40 pin connectors you can plug in either way!

    Also what USB adapter system are you using?

    I do see multiple complaints about the older IDE WD drives not being recognized. And no solution to any of them. If nothing works, do you have access to the standard IDE ribbon connector you could temporarily use to copy off the data?

    One other option would be to purchase a small IDE to SATA adapter board, and connect it temporarily to a SATA cable for data recovery. In researching these small boards, the come both IDE to SATA, and SATA to IDE, so be careful you choose the correct one!
  7. Assuming that the drives spin up, it could be a compatibility problem with the bridge IC in the docking station, in which case you may just need to find a docking station with a different, compatible bridge IC.

    You may be able to identify the bridge IC by examining the Product ID and Vendor ID in a UVCView report:
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