[UFO Chicago] Old hard drive question

Carey Tyler Schug sqrfolkdnc at comcast.net
Tue Dec 20 07:56:25 PST 2011

As for backup, I think it is worth buying a NEW drive, instead of one 
that is old and could fail at any point.  if one is recovering several 
old hard disks (like the OP was doing), the enclosure is a lot more work 

A new drive will typically be a terabyte at this point, so you can 
backup more, or multiple points in time.  For instance, I have deleted 
files from a directory, or parts of a spreadsheet, either because I 
thought I would never need it again or not realized it, so the most 
recent backup was also missing something I desperately needed at some 
later point.

Hmmm, for point in time, is anybody doing backups to reiserfs or one of 
the other filesystems that lets you view the filesystem as it was at an 
earlier point in time?  Would that transparently handle the 
point-in-time backup issue?

I guess the price for complete cases has come down, though as a ratio, 
the cable only is still "much less".  The last time I looked for cases, 
they started at about $80, and the cable only was about $15.

Did anybody ever consider that one or more of the OP's computers might 
be old enough to not be IDE or at least not fully compliant IDE?  IIRC, 
many early "IDE" drives only worked that that vendor's (or some subset) 
of controllers.  If any of the computers was old enough that the disk 
connected to a card and not to the motherboard, that is a good 
possibility, in which case the board would have to be plugged into a 
working computer, probably an older one to hopefully have drivers for 
that card...

FYI, you can get SCSI cable converters too.

On 12/19/2011 08:26 AM, Neil R. Ormos wrote:
> Carey Tyler Schug wrote:
>> You don't need a complete enclosure for a one
>> time "recover the data".  You can get just a usb
>> to ide (pata or sata) adapter for much less than
>> a complete case, which might or might not fit
>> your drive, if you need a 4 pin molex for power,
>> a little more.  I've recovered numerous disks
>> this way.
> An advantage of the enclosure approach is that the
> drive can continue to be used, e.g., as a back-up
> drive. Also, it's reasonably portable. Of course,
> the drive could also continue to be used with the
> adapter Carey mentions, but that arrangement is an
> attractive nuisance if you have children or cats.
> Some price data points:
> Newegg is selling a "USB enclosure" for a 3.5 in
> drive (internal SATA interface) for $17 shipped
> (special deal, Monday 5 PM to 8 PM).
> Newegg has a similar enclosure with an IDE/PATA
> internal interface for $20 shipped.
> Overstock.com is offering a USB to SATA/PATA/IDE
> converter "cable" (including a power supply and
> several useful cables) for $5.49 shipped.  While
> these converters are sometimes available cheaper
> on Ebay, they don't always include the power
> supply and the useful cables, and the buyer may
> need to wait a while for the product to arrive
> from the Far East.

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