Hoping someone here can help / provide a missing piece of the puzzle for me. I have a lot of old IDE hard drives that I would like to copy the information off of (if there is any because TBH I have no idea what's on most of these drives any more). I purchased a Fideco USB3.0 to SATA or IDE adapter converter (because it comes with a powerful power supply and was highly rated) and have tried multiple drives with the jumper in Master, Slave, and Ribbon Select and they all do exactly the same thing, so I don't believe it is problem related to a drive. I also tried using a Vantec external USB - IDE adapter and got the same results so I don't think it's a problem with the adapter (just wanted to get the obvious issues out of the way first).
I can see the disk in the DIsk Management utility, but there isn't any volume information associated with the Disk (Disk 2 in the image below). There isn't a Disk Drive letter associated with the Disk, and every option I have available for the Disk other than "Convert to Dynamic Disk" is greyed out ... and "Convert to Dynamic Disk" lets you go through all the options but then errors out and says the volume doesn't support the operation. All of the options for the Volumes are greyed out except for "Delete Volume" and "Help" (which doesn't, I might add).
Appreciate any thoughts / ideas sent my way.
You need to assign the drive a letter before you can access it
I would love to do that, but there is no option (at least anywhere I can find) to assign a letter to this drive...
Use disk manager or command prompt (Use as administrator) to assign the letter if that doesn't work the only other option is data recovery software like Stellar, EaseUS, Minitool you will need to delete or format then recover the partition
What system did this drive come from originally?
@TSMikeW All of the drives came from various windows computers I've built over the years (either as a master or a slave drive). Some may have been wiped and reformatted when I upgraded to a larger system if I was feeling "efficient" while others sat in their disused tower on a shelf in my office for a few years until I eventually pulled them and trashed the shells. All of them ended up sitting on yet another shelf for a few more years until I decided to do this project, and here we are.
@melvo I read online where someone had to format and recover their data, but that seemed extreme and something I truly hope to avoid...especially since this is happening on every one of my 9 drives. It just seems like it has to be something a lot more obvious...like I'm missing a step or something. I'm going to save the extreme reformat-and-hope-you-can-recover-your-data process as a last resort. As you can see from the image above, the option within Disk Manager is greyed out. I'll give the command prompt as Admin a shot but I don't hold out too much hope.
UPDATE: Tried the powershell approach and received some different error messages that maybe will help someone here who has a lot more experience than I identify the underlying issue. I did some research, and will continue looking, but haven't found anything helpful yet (note: Drive 2 is the correct USB connected 20 GB IDE drive and there is no existing drive letter "T" on the system to conflict with as noted in the 2 images above):
You know looking at this reminded me you most pc's today are using GPT format so another thing you should know is you can't access a MBR Disk using a PC which is formatted for GPT this is one of the main incompatibility obstacle your facing if, your ready to go all out for the info on these disks i would use a spare Pc format it's drive to MBR try to install the version of windows that was accessing these disks not sure what your using to access the disks but you should definitely get some ide jumpers, ribbon cables and/or external ide cradle. You can also format a spare disk you may have lying around to MBR to use with the pc your trying to access those disks with and this will save you the trouble of getting the cables and the extra pc
IE: You would have to format spare disk to MBR then, completely remove your HDD you currently have win 10/11 on, install the spare HDD, Install windows on that disk You may need some updates before accessing the info but hopefully it'll work
You can mix GPT and MBR disks. You won't be able to boot to it UEFI, but you should be able to read from it as a data drive.
Lets address the first issue where it's staying it's already in use. Make sure "Test-Path -Path T:" returns false.
Also, specify the partition: Get-Partition -DiskNumber 2 -Partition 2 | Set-Partition -NewDriveLetter T
Alternatively use DiskPart from command line.
select vol #
Is there any chance this drive came out of a MAC?
@TSMikeW @melvo I have no interest in booting from any of these 9 drives and I just want to be able to mount them and read data from them...and even then, just for long enough to harvest whatever is on them (like old family pictures / documents / etc.) and then they can go become targets on the rifle range as someone else said in one of these threads :)
I tested T: and it does indeed return False and specifying the Partition number in the command gave the same results (see below). Finally, there is absolutely no way any of these drives came out of an Apple product...not to date myself, but I've only had two of those computers in my life: an Apple IIe and my Macbook Pro... every dollar in between went into the pockets of Gates & Noyce.
One new thought: Does anyone know anything about BIOS setting related to IDE drives...specifically if the BIOS settings that permit / restrict IDE drives apply to IDE drives that are converted and accessed through USB3.0 connections? I read something about this online in passing and my initial thought was "no" because how would the system even know what's on the other end of this multi-type converted but I am far from a BIOS guru...
Try the command a second time, change the drive letter as well.
As for BIOS settings there isn't really anything. Watch your jumpers on the drive, I'd be on cable select or master. Preferably the former, that could create an issue if it's on slave.
If the disk/data is corrupted (which i think is the case) your not going to get access through any typical means Only way to extract data from a corrupted drive is to format it and do a partition recovery, "Tedious Or No"
@TSMikeW Good thought...I tried changing the drive letters and it got past the duplicate error (once) but the partitions still do not show up with the drive letters for some reason, and the letters are permanently assigned and cause the error message I was seeing any time I try to use them in the future as you can see from the Powershell screen shot on the right. The Disk Manager screen shot on the left was refreshed after all of the commands were run and the drives / partitions (mapped as R: and S: now) still refuse to show up for some reason. I also checked the basic Windows Explorer window on my way out and there was nothing there (not surprising).
What error do you get when you try to assign a letter via diskpart instead of through powershell?
You guys are looking at this all wrong. Linux really is the solution here.
First I'd set up a USB with https://www.ventoy.net/en/index.html because it is amazing software. If you're using UEFI be sure to add the key in the BIOS.
Next, download https://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html and copy the ISO to the USB. You don't need to use this, you can use almost any other Linux with a "live ISO". But this one comes with all the tools needed already including TestDisk mentioned below.
After that you can boot from the drive and go into Parted Magic.
You can also try https://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Download if there are any other issues.
Note that all these tools are free and this is what I use to do data recovery (though I'm really not an expert on it.)
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