Question Computer won't boot with old IDE hard drive

Dec 10, 2020
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I connected an old IDE hard drive, set it as slave. It gets recognized in BIOS, but computer won't boot any further. When I disconnect, the computer boots. The drive is making clicking noises and is active. It is the only drive on the ribbon. All the rest of my HD's are SATA. Not sure what else to try. Just want to get some files off of it before trashing.
 
It is the only drive on the ribbon. All the rest of my HD's are SATA.
First off, if it's the only one on the cable then the IDE drive should be master or cable select and not slave.

Second are you really sure the drive was ever bootable?! ON THAT SYSTEM?

third boot from your normal sata drive by changing the boot order in bios and copy the files from your normal windows.
 
Dec 10, 2020
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I did try switch to cable select and same thing - no boot. This drive was in my sister's computer and was the bootable drive. The computer died and I'm just trying to hook it up to mine to download some photos from it. I even tried to boot my system from this drive by disconnecting my other drives and making the IDE drive the bootable drive, but it wouldn't boot. Not sure what you're trying to say on #3 as I can't boot into my system with the IDE drive attached. Also can't boot into my system and then connect said IDE drive. Maybe you can clarify?
 
I did try switch to cable select and same thing - no boot. This drive was in my sister's computer and was the bootable drive. The computer died and I'm just trying to hook it up to mine to download some photos from it. I even tried to boot my system from this drive by disconnecting my other drives and making the IDE drive the bootable drive, but it wouldn't boot. Not sure what you're trying to say on #3 as I can't boot into my system with the IDE drive attached. Also can't boot into my system and then connect said IDE drive. Maybe you can clarify?
Your bios is set up in such a way that it starts from ide first and then from sata.
Now you hooked up an ide drive so your system is trying to start from there.

The first thing your mobo shows you when it starts is a few keys that do different things, DEL or escape for setup, F12 or some other key for boot order.
If yours gives you a key for boot order press that and select your normal sata drive.
 
Dec 10, 2020
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Your bios is set up in such a way that it starts from ide first and then from sata.
Now you hooked up an ide drive so your system is trying to start from there.

The first thing your mobo shows you when it starts is a few keys that do different things, DEL or escape for setup, F12 or some other key for boot order.
If yours gives you a key for boot order press that and select your normal sata drive.
I did do that. I gave up on it and have taken it to my local Staples. I don't want to pay for an IDE to USB connector just to find out that maybe the HD is dead. He's going to check it for me next week and let me know if he can access files.
 

ttower2020

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Nov 5, 2018
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Yea, it is very possible that the IDE drive is dead. HDDs should not make a clicking sound, and the IDE failing is not unlikely to be the reason your sisters PC stopped working. Out of curiosity, you could try to boot your sisters PC using a new(er) IDE or a SATA drive to see if the rest of her PC is still working, and confirm the old drive is dead.
 

need4speeds

Distinguished
? It changed the boot order and now its trying to boot from the IDE drive instead of your normal boot drive? Maybe?
-Make sure it's booting the OS from the correct drive.

Most IDE drives have a Jumper, it must be set correctly to Slave\Master or Cable select. The cable select sometimes doesn't work. Also try using the ribbon's other connector.

Try changing the board to IDE compatibility mode.

It's running the HDD in ATA-133 mode when it's really a slower one like 66 or 33? Maybe? A way to force the board to drop to the slower speed is to use a IDE cable for a CD-rom. If you look at the cables some have more fine wires and some have less wires that are thicker. The older slower cable has the thicker wires. Using that cable will force all IDE hdd's to the older slower speed. The bios might have a setting so you can change between the IDE bus speeds but many do not.

Maybe it's formatted with something else that Windows can't read like Linux, Apple\Mac. Try a bootable Linux stick or CD. Most let you start the OS without installing it. I had luck with putting the drive on it's side and turning it quickly when i started the computer. Putting the drive in the freezer is known to sometimes work. I had luck with just getting mad at it and throwing it on my bed, it bounced and then after when i tried it and it worked. HDD's are only supposed to be opened in a special clean room, many have a sticker you can peel back and manually unstick the drive head. Then put the sticker back on. This will ruin the drive because now you have dust in it. Even a few seconds is enough. The dust is massive to the drive head clearances. They are not supposed to be thrown or dropped either. IDE drives and older SATA ones are pretty delicate and finicky.

If the HDD is really old and smaller than 2.1gigs, many of these early drives had to be manually set up. Most of these list the cylinders\heads\sectors on the drive. These early drives were extremely fragile, if it got dropped enough to break a egg, then it's likely damaged.

The Drive maybe was used in Raid-0, so it's 1/2 of a complete drive pair. IDE drives were about as slow as a cheap USB stick so it was common to run two of them together in raid-0 to double the speed.

I dunno it's about all i think of. It made me appreciate modern SATA HDD's, USB sticks,Micro sd cards and SSD's. I forgot how unreliable and buggy those old IDE and early SATA drives really were. And Noisy and shook your computer too.
 
Dec 10, 2020
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Thanks for all the replies, but everyone can stop replying further as I've taken the drive to my local Staples to see if they can recover the files on it. I'm not trying to access it myself anymore - it's not worth my time.
 

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