Re: making old drive second drive without formatting

Re: making old drive second drive without formatting

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Posted by Henry on March 26, 2002 at 23:34:05:

In Reply to: Re: making old drive second drive without formatting posted by Chip on March 26, 2002 at 13:40:02:

: Henry,

: Your comments couldn't have come at a better time. I have an old PC with two drives, both on primary channel (plus CD-ROM on secondary). Master is a Maxtor and I probably used MaxBlast with EZ-BIOS/EZDrive to format and partition it years ago (remember using it but not whether I also used FDISK/FORMAT, but it was partitioned into many logical drives). Slave is an old Western Digital and I probably used FDISK and FORMAT to set it up. Was running Win 95 with no problems, though.

: Copied all my data to the slave, then used MaxBlast to repartition/format the master and installed Win 98 clean. Now BIOS recognizes both drives accurately and Win 98 System Properties/Device Manager also shows both drives functioning properly except that the second, slave drive has no drive letter assigned and doesn't appear in Windows Explorer.

: I need the data off the slave drive. And it's probably too full to add an operating system to it. Oh, and I used FAT32 for the master drive when I installed Win 98 (slave is still FAT16).

: Now what? Erase everything on the master and use FDISK/FORMAT, then reinstall Win 98? With FAT16 or FAT32? Or go back to Win 95?

: Dumb question: Can I make the second drive the master and, without any O/S, network with another PC to copy the files onto another medium that way?

: Like Gloria, I REALLY need those files and didn't foolishly didn't anticipate any problem with this. Thanks.

: Chip

I think you are in a pretty tight corner - anything you need to do to the W-D HDD requires an OS that can access the files. You also need an intermediate transportation medium so you can move the files to the other drive. I don't think there is an easy solution and a lot will depend on how many GB of files you need to collect; this will likely be a significant effort for you.

First, you need to KNOW how your W-D HDD is addressed (BIOS or overlay?), here's how:
Make a DOS98 floppy system - make two (2) bootable floppies (format a:/s/u) and copy ALL of the files from c:\windows\command to them (all of the files won't fit on one disk, but get ALL of the files - just in case). Boot to either of the floppies and try to see files on the W-D Disk - if you can see and copy files then it uses BIOS based addressing, if NO, it is involved with a drive overlay (and you have a huge mess, post again if so - I sure hope not because there is no telling which one it is).

If your BIOS recognizes the full capacity of both HDDs AND the W-D drive is BIOS addressed then you will be way ahead of the game if you blow away MaxBlast and use BIOS addressing for BOTH HDDs.

If BIOS addressing isn't an option, you can probably find a good, working, used 1 or 2 GB HDD locally ($10 to $20); fdisk, format, scandisk (THOROUGH SURFACE SCAN) and install win95 or win98, either FAT system is OK. This will give you a means to access your files without messing up your installed OS and provides an OS to operate your backup medium.

STRONGLY suggest that you get a CD-RW drive and use it as your transportation (and future backup) medium. You don't need blazing speed - your computer may not be able to keep up with >4x anyway. Fry's Electronics in Houston has had CD-RWs for around $50 - and CD-R is about the ultimate backup medium.

Hope some of this helps.

Good Luck,

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