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Running 2o Hard Drives On 1 Computer


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#1 pike33

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 03:43 PM

I have a newer PC which needs to be sent out for repairs (3-4 Weeks under warranty). The power supply is good, but it won't even try to boot up. When it is sent out they may have to restore the original settings and therefore possibly erase a lot of information I don't want to lose. They will back up my stuff for $90....how nice. Anyway, I want to use my old computer to access the hard drvie on the computer that won't boot up. That way I can backup the files I need. Can anyone guide me with this process?

The old computer runs Windows 98. The new one uses Windows XP.

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#2 Herk

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 04:13 PM

You're going to have a bit of a problem. Typically, newer computers with XP run the NTFS (New Technology File System) file format, and Windows 98 uses the FAT 32 file system format. NTFS can read Fat 32, but Fat 32 cannot read NTFS.

In addition, it may be the hard drive that's keeping the newer system from booting up. To test this, find (or make) a Windows 98 boot floppy and put it in the floppy drive (if the new machine has a floppy drive), and unplug the hard drive, then see if the system will boot to DOS. Also try doing the same thing with the hard drive plugged in. If it won't boot with the hard drive plugged in, that might be your problem, and it's conceivable that the drive cannot be recovered without sending it to specialists and spending beaucoups of bucks.

If it will boot with the hard drive in place, there is another option - you can possibly boot the machine with something like Knoppix, which is a Linux operating system that runs from the CD. The Ultimate Boot Disk will also work, but either way, it takes some experience with Linux to get this to work. Then, if you have a thumb drive, you can copy the files onto it, and then to the other machine. (The files themselves aren't subject to the NTFS/FAT32 rule)

Recently, I tried to repair a computer in which the machine would not boot at all as long as the hard drive was plugged in. It's toast - the hard drive died. This is why the rule of thumb is: there are two types of hard drives, those that have failed, and those that will. Backup - backup - backup!

#3 pike33

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 09:07 AM

Thanks for the information. If I am able to use another computer running XP to read my hard drive, how would I accomplish my goal of backing up information from the hard drive? I will be testing the hard drive as you suggested in your earlier response.

#4 bgardner

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 11:09 AM

You may be better off going to another XP machine, however I have heard or problems that connecting it as a slave hard drive after its been used as a master already sometimes involves conflicts

How is your experience with setting jumpers on a hard drive??

#5 pike33

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 11:31 AM

I don't have any experience with it, but I've been inside several computers before. I figure worse case I'll take it to a local computer shop and have them do it for less than $90. However, if it isn't too involved I can probably do it myself. Any help would be appreciated.

#6 acklan

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 01:05 PM

What are the specs on the '98 machine? RAM, Harddrive space free/uesd. Do you have a burner? Do you have an old hard drive laying around that is big enough to hold all the data?
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#7 bgardner

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 01:07 PM

Well its rather simple to add a 2nd hard drive, just when your dealing with someone else's data you have the tendency to hold back certain opinions.... see if anyone else has other ideas before we go the route of moving this hard drive into another PC

#8 acklan

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 01:15 PM

If the computer used has 26mb of RAM nad a burner use a Live Linux distro to burner the info to CD\DVD. That way you do not impact the system on the host system.
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#9 Enthusiast

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 02:57 PM

Doing what acklan suggests also avoids the possibility of voiding the warranty by removing the HD, opening the case, etc.




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