Vista and XP don't recognize an external AT Drive with USB connection


Jan 24, 2010

I have a few old HP Vectra machines that run Windows 3.1 and I want to move the files to my new laptop to save them before recycling the old PC's. I don't want to spend the hours to store the files on floppy disks, then move them to an old XP laptop that has a floppy drive, then burn to CD on the old laptop then move to the new laptop, etc.

I do have one of those external USB kits - a usb to IDE/SATA cable and a power supply for the drive. The USB kit appears to work fine. The drive spins when powered up, but neither XP nor Vista recognize the drive and can't see any folders or data.

Diskmanagement can see the disk, calls it "Disk 1" in Vists but says the disk is "unknown" "unreadable". In XP I can see it in USB devices but also can not find a way to recognize it or assign it a drive letter.

ComputerManagement/DeviceManager/DiskDrives appears to see the disk as a "USB Device" and the device properties say that it is working properly but it does not recognize any volume or any other details - not even the size of the disk.

Is there a driver that I can load or some other way that I can read these disk drives in XP of Vista so I can move the files I want to save to my laptop?

Thanks for any advice anyone can provide.


May 30, 2006
Simply its been formatted from what i can remember with FAT16 which is not supported by XP or Vista, i could be wrong on that, but i do know that it is not compatable with FAT 32 you might be able to use some Boot CD's out there like knopix etc to get your info off