Question Data recovery: Old HDD with Windows XP requires IDE controller to boot/clone. My mobo only has AHCI.

Nov 26, 2020
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I have looked around and there is no real way to add the IDE controller to the mobo. I need to get the data off this HDD but I can't even clone it because of this IDE issue. The HDD is actually SATA, but that doesn't matter, it still needs to use IDE setting because of its age.
Wondering if there is a simple hardware solution to this. Such as a SATA to USB external adapter. Would this have in built technology that bypasses my problem?

The only other solution I can think of is actually buying an old PC from somewhere just so I can boot the HDD from it and quickly get the data off it.

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

Edit: Managed to recover all data. Mostly by changing permissions and accessing the drive like an external. It was tedious and took a lot of fiddling. The drive is on its last legs.
Also used testdisk to find some deleted files as well.

Thank you all for the assistance.
 
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Maybe you should give us the model of the hard drive (or the controller) or at least a picture or something.

There are external usb to ide devices and they work fine with ide drives but from what you are saying it's not clear if it is an ide or a sata drive.
 
Nov 26, 2020
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Maybe you should give us the model of the hard drive (or the controller) or at least a picture or something.

There are external usb to ide devices and they work fine with ide drives but from what you are saying it's not clear if it is an ide or a sata drive.
Sure. Let me give a little more detail.

It is an old Seagate drive; 7200.11 500GB ST3500320AS. Sata connection. This HDD and its family had a notorious firmware bug that would cause them to stop being recognized by the computer.
I had it stowed away for years, with the intention of recovery when I had the time. I fixed the firmware bug today - it requires a serial connection and sending terminal commands to reset something. I followed instructions online. Success - HDD recognized.

I thought all I needed to do next was update the firmware then transfer my files off. But I could not boot from the HDD. Turns out this is not unusual at all, because everything is so out of date including the controllers, its a common problem people have when accessing old HDD's on different machines.
A quick fix is to use 'Hiren's boot CD' to fix the controllers and at least allow you to get a successful boot.
Except, the guide specifically says, 'Do note this method won’t help if you’re trying to use the XP drive on an AHCI enabled target system. You need to make sure the BIOS is set to IDE or standard SATA mode.'

This brings me to my current problem. My mobo BIOS only has 2 options: AHCI and RAID. Obviously because its new, and IDE is old.

Note: I was unable to clone the drive, I am assuming because of the same reason.

So now, is there a hardware adapter I could buy that would actually get past this? Something as simple as an external case? Or should I buy a scrap IDE computer from someone for the specific purpose of booting this HDD?
 
Why do you even need to boot from it? You can get data off it without booting from it

If you think you’re going to clone XP to your new machine and have it work well I have some bad news for you it probably won’t
 
Nov 26, 2020
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Why do you even need to boot from it? You can get data off it without booting from it

If you think you’re going to clone XP to your new machine and have it work well I have some bad news for you it probably won’t
How? I tried to clone it with ddrescue and basically all of it was unreadable. I think this is due to the same reason why I can't boot from it.
Before you say that the disk is ruined, its not. I know because I accessed it with File explorer in Windows and everything is there. I was able to access the files one by one, by changing permissions. Blanket permission for folder simply does not work.

SO, the files are there. And they are accessible. Its just the booting and the cloning that is prevented by this IDE issue.

If you know another way to get the data off I would love to hear it. Would have been nice if blanket permission change in Windows actually worked, I could just copy and paste them out.
 
You shouldn’t have to clone anything. You would boot up your current system and have an external connector for your Sata Drive and then copy off the data you need. There should be no need to boot in the XP for anything

Look up how two take ownership of the entire drive. It’s possible
 
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Nov 26, 2020
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I did today, and tried it but it did not work. I guess I will try again. I'm worried it might die because its so old, so I didn't want to have it powered on too much while I messed with folders, but its worth another shot.
I don't have an external connector though. It was simply plugged straight in to SATA port. Would that make a difference? Because I actually ordered an external connector just before and it will be here in a couple of weeks.
 
Nov 26, 2020
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Okay, I will look around and give it another shot. So far I'm seeing admin > command prompt, and then give permission through a command line. Is this the right direction?
 
I know because I accessed it with File explorer in Windows and everything is there. I was able to access the files one by one, by changing permissions. Blanket permission for folder simply does not work.
Yeah so your disk is fine and the connection you have is all you need.

Your issue is that booting from the disk would grant you permission to all the files automatically but XP will not boot on a modern system no matter what.

You could try and set up a VM with VMware give it access to the whole disk and see if it manages to boot up, since VMs use very basic and simple drivers the chances are very good.

ddrescue either didn't work because you did something wrong or the protection that file permission gives is good enough to carry over and make the files unreadable.
 
Nov 26, 2020
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Yeah so your disk is fine and the connection you have is all you need.

Your issue is that booting from the disk would grant you permission to all the files automatically but XP will not boot on a modern system no matter what.

You could try and set up a VM with VMware give it access to the whole disk and see if it manages to boot up, since VMs use very basic and simple drivers the chances are very good.

ddrescue either didn't work because you did something wrong or the protection that file permission gives is good enough to carry over and make the files unreadable.
Yep. I've now managed to give myself permission to most of the disk..I think. Except now when I try to access it in file explorer it is incredibly slow to open. So slow it gave me a black screen just before and I had to reboot. Always one thing after another with this type of project.
 
Nov 26, 2020
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Update.

After re-doing the firmware fix, and finally applying all permissions, I am now able to fluidly access the disk and move files off it.
However the two most important folders - pictures - along with 1 unimportant folder, are corrupted and can't be accessed.

What should I do here to have the best chance of recovering these folders?
 
You can stabilise the drive by executing the following ZOC script via your terminal adaptor.

ZOC Scripts - Seagate F3 Arch - Set Mode Page Parameters :
http://www.hddoracle.com/viewtopic.php?f=113&t=1867

... or you can enter the same commands manually.

The script disables certain aspects of the firmware in much the same way as professional tools. After you have done this, clone the drive with HDDSuperClone. This tool understands how to deal with a drive that has bad heads/media.

http://www.sdcomputingservice.com/hddsuperclone
 

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