Question Trying to recover data from a 12 yr old hard disk

Sep 5, 2020
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Hi,

I have a very old hard disk (around 12 yrs old now) that I got from our laptop that was last used maybe 8 yrs ago. I have plugged it into my current laptop using a usb adapter but the problem is it doesn't show up on explorer nor on disk management. It does however show up on device manager under disk drives named USB device. I tried updating the driver but windows says that the driver is already updated.

Is there anyway I can still get data from this hard drive? Please, any help would be appreciated.

If you need more information please just tell me. I am new to this setup so please tell me if I missed anything.


Thank you!
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

You could use TestDisk but your results and mileage can and will vary. If it shows up in Device Manager then it's possible that the HDD's controller is(somewhat) alive but the drive is physically dead. I would not suggest opening up the HDD if I were you(in case you were thinking of that).
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Hi,

I have a very old hard disk (around 12 yrs old now) that I got from our laptop that was last used maybe 8 yrs ago. I have plugged it into my current laptop using a usb adapter but the problem is it doesn't show up on explorer nor on disk management. It does however show up on device manager under disk drives named USB device. I tried updating the driver but windows says that the driver is already updated.

Is there anyway I can still get data from this hard drive? Please, any help would be appreciated.

If you need more information please just tell me. I am new to this setup so please tell me if I missed anything.


Thank you!
A disk that old, may require more power than a USB port can deliver. If the adapter you tried, doesn't have a separate power supply, that is one possible reason the drive doesn't show up.
 
Sep 5, 2020
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Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

You could use TestDisk but your results and mileage can and will vary. If it shows up in Device Manager then it's possible that the HDD's controller is(somewhat) alive but the drive is physically dead. I would not suggest opening up the HDD if I were you(in case you were thinking of that).
I downloaded TestDisk like you said. The program works fine when the hard disk is unplugged but when I plug the old hard disk in, it just doesn't seem to get past the part where it asks me whether I'd want to record logs or not. After asking me if I want to create logs, I'd get stuck on a message telling me to wait.

I haven't thought of opening up the hard drive by the way. I don't think I have the proper skill set for that haha

Can I still recover files from my hard disk? Is there still hope for it??
 
Sep 5, 2020
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A disk that old, may require more power than a USB port can deliver. If the adapter you tried, doesn't have a separate power supply, that is one possible reason the drive doesn't show up.
The adapter I bought comes with a power supply but I don't think my hard drive has a port for a power supply? I maybe wrong so here are images of the hard drive just in case hard disk image 1 & hard disk image 2

Is there any hope for my hard drive??
 
Sep 5, 2020
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"using a usb adapter "

What specific adapter? Unless it also plugs into the wall, it will not work with that HDD.
Those drives require 5v and 12v.
A USB port can only supply the 5v.
I bought the adapter online. It says on the label that its output is DC 12V/2A 5V/2A. I'm not sure what that means :sweatsmile:. I have used it on 2 of my other HDDs that I got from my desktop computer and it works just fine. Are old laptop HDDs not compatible with todays usb adapters?
 
the drive is listed under disk drives on device manager when I plug it in. Does that still mean it is dead and no longer working?
Device manager is just detecting USB adapter (not the drive).
So either drive is faulty, usb adapter is faulty or you have drive improperly connected.

BTW - we still don't know, what adapter you're using. May be it doesn't even support 2.5"pata drives.
 
Last edited:
Sep 5, 2020
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Those old 2.5" HDDs have a 44-pin IDE connector. The +5V power pins are on the end (pins 41 - 44). Make sure you don't install the 44-pin cable upside down, as you will most probably damage your drive.

Are you talking about those 4 pins separated from the rest? The connector I have don't have enough pin slots for those 4. Is that why it's not working?
 

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