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HoanN (TechnicalUser) (OP)
7 Apr 07 23:02
I had a 1995 Toshiba laptop that recently died. I remove the hard drive from the laptop to try to recover the data. The drive is the Seagate ST9235A. From the Seagate manual the interface is ATA.

I bought a IDE to USB adapter and connected to my Sony laptop and to several other computers but the drive did not show up in any of them.

I tried the 2.5 inches to 3.5 inches adapter and connected the laptop drive to several desktop computers but again with no luck. The setup was as follow:
 1- The laptop drive was set as master
 2- It was then connected to the Secondary IDE channel
 3- There was no other devices on the Secondary IDE channel
 4- The connecting cable was good

I guess the motherboard bioses do not support ATA ( AT or ATA 1) anymore. Even a 1998 motherboard would not recognize my laptop drive.

When connecting through the USB adapter the IDE/Busy green light was active, so I guess the drive is still ok. Can anyone suggest anything?
wolluf (TechnicalUser)
8 Apr 07 19:54
How did the laptop die?

There's no reason for the drive not to be recognised - unless its dead - so I'm suspecting it is dead.

One thing - you said laptop drive set as master - has it actually got a jumper setting for master? (the few older laptop drives I've recovered data from just plugged in as is - no master or slave jumper setting) If so, what happens if you remove it?
HoanN (TechnicalUser) (OP)
8 Apr 07 23:01
This is my friend machine. The laptop rightmost light would blink a few time and then was solid when we plug in the power cord. If we press the power button the leftmost light would be on for a second like the machine will be booting and then all the lights will be out. Nothing would happen. I suspected there is a short somewhere but it very hard to take off the motherboard so we thought the easiest way would be to take out the hard drive and save the data.

We tried the USB adapter approach first but the disk did not show up in Windows XP "My Computer".

There are 4 extra pins, apart from the 44 females pins. According to the Seagate manual found by searching they are the jumper setting. If they are not set then the drive is master. So I left it as is.

I do not know very much how the hard drive works. I am thinking inside the hardrive there is some kind of controller and the motherboard communicate with the hard drive through this controller. If the motherboard only support ATA 33 and up then how can the motherboard would know this drive which is only ATA.
wahnula (TechnicalUser)
9 Apr 07 1:36
My experience with 3.5 IDE to 2.5 IDE has not been good.  There are power pins included in the adapter (no keyway) and if the adapter is installed backwards there goes the drive.  

Tony
HoanN (TechnicalUser) (OP)
9 Apr 07 2:07
I double checked before plug in. The drive is only 200MB so I still have a little hope that it is not dead and just that newer motherboards (say post 97) cannot recognize it.
I hope there is somebody that dealt with drives this old that can give me some direction, like downloading ATA driver and using Linux etc...???
wolluf (TechnicalUser)
11 Apr 07 18:10
I've used 2.5 to 3.5 adapters often - with no problems. If you happen to connect wrong way (HoanN have you checked that), just need to reverse - it doesn't damage the drive. There's no reason either why the age of the drive should stop it being recognised in the bios - IDE connections are backwardly compatible (I've connected old 200mb 3.5 ich drive to a newer motherboard with no problems). Drives don't come into it - the bios doesn't use drivers, it either recognises it or not.

How many machines have you tried connecting it to?

Have you tried looking in disk management in XP (run diskmgmt.msc)? Sometimes XP will recognise a drive even when it doesn't appear in the bios. But it may not have assigned it a drive letter - so wouldn't appear in explorer. If XP does see it - you can probably run some data recovery app if the filestore isn't accessible directly.

HoanN (TechnicalUser) (OP)
11 Apr 07 19:54
Thank you for all the replies. It appeared that the drive is dead. My friend now told me that when he plugged in using the USB adapter, the drive was spinning like hell but it did not show up in My Computer of his Windows XP machine. He then plugged in the power for the adapter and this problably burned out the controller card in the drive. Beside using a professional recovery service, any suggestion to recover data in the drive is really appreciated (keep in mind that the drive is not recognize by any operating system i.e Dos, Windows 98, Windows XP and linux).
HoanN (TechnicalUser) (OP)
11 Apr 07 19:58
All the connection were correct, I did check where pin 1 is etc... As posted above, I think the drive is dead.

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