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Accessing a Harddrive

By Steve Gunn
Feb 27, 2008
Topic Status:
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  1. Hey guys...

    I found this old hardrive of mine.
    And so I was going to jacking it in my computer.
    But the problem is, is that, I was wondering..If I could access the files and programs that were on that hardrive, while using the Windows that is on my current hardrive.
    Like, use the internal hardrive like a external hardrive.


    Thanks....
    Give me as much feedback as possible.
    Ciao.
  2. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,060   +84 Staff Member

    Assuming Windows actually detects the drive, yes. You'll be able to access it and browse any data that's on the HDD.
  3. Steve Gunn

    Steve Gunn TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 92

    what if Windows is on the old drive?
  4. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,060   +84 Staff Member

    Doesn't matter, you aren't booting from it. You'll be able to explore all the data on the drive.
  5. Steve Gunn

    Steve Gunn TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 92

    So I just plug it on like a normal drive or I don't plug in all the plugs required.
  6. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,060   +84 Staff Member

    What interface does it use?

    If it's an ATA drive and you're going to be sharing a cable, you'll need to slave the old HDD to the one currently in your system.

    If it's a SATA drive just plug it in on the next available SATA port on your motherboard.

    You'll need to plug it into the PSU of course.

    Everything is plugged in the same exact way, you just won't be booting off that device.
  7. Steve Gunn

    Steve Gunn TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 92

    Its a IDE Hardrive...Like I said its an Old Hardrive.
  8. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,060   +84 Staff Member

    Yep, which I assumed.

    ATA is the official name of the interface. IDE is a marketing term originated by some of the drive manufacturers to describe the drive/controller combination used in drives with the ATA interface. Integrated Drive Electronics refers to the fact that the interface electronics or controller is built in to the drive and is not a separate board, as with earlier drive interfaces. Although the correct name for the particular IDE interface we most commonly use today is ATA, many persist in using the IDE designation. If you're being picky, you could say that the IDE refers generically to any drive interface in which the controller is built into the drive whereas ATA refers to the specific implementation of IDE that is used in most PCs.

    Call it what you will.
  9. Steve Gunn

    Steve Gunn TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 92

    What do you mean by that?
  10. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,060   +84 Staff Member

    I mean if your current HDD is an ATA drive there should be another ATA connector on the cable which it is using. You want to attach your old drive to this connector and set your current drive as Master and the old one as Slave.
  11. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,582

    don't forget
    if xp was OS on the old drive
    you will need to take ownership before you can access
    I don't know how vista behaves
     
  12. Steve Gunn

    Steve Gunn TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 92

    How would I set the Master Drive and the Slave Drive?
  13. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,060   +84 Staff Member

    Assuming your current drive is of the ATA interface and you are indeed going to share a cable, look at the back of the drives and you ought to see a small removable jumper. Your current drive is likely set to Master already (probably abbreviated to MS or something similar). If it isn't, set it so it is. The old drive should be set up as the Slave (probably abbreviated to SL or something similar).

    After you've configured the jumpers, physically install the drives, plug the Master drive in at the end of the ATA cable, the Slave drive in at second connector, plug the ATA cable into the motherboard and then run a Molex connector from the PSU to each of the drives.

    You don't have to do this if your current drive conforms to the SATA interface.
  14. Steve Gunn

    Steve Gunn TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 92

    where would I find these jumpers?
  15. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,060   +84 Staff Member

    It will look like a small piece of plastic/metal on some pins. You can't miss it.

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  16. Steve Gunn

    Steve Gunn TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 92

    On the old drive its already removed
  17. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,060   +84 Staff Member

    Eh, well if you haven't got a shunt for that drive as far as I know you'll either need to buy one or head to an electronics store and beg :). Something like a PC repair shop would probably have tons just laying around. They'd probably give you one for free.

    You could try completing the circuit by other means but someone else will have to help you with that (help you here that is, I don't know what you could put on there).
  18. Steve Gunn

    Steve Gunn TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 92

    Shunt? whats a Shunt?
  19. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,060   +84 Staff Member

    The small piece of plastic/metal that you haven't got.
  20. Steve Gunn

    Steve Gunn TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 92

    Do I need that for the Slave Drive?
  21. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,060   +84 Staff Member

    It's only set to Slave if you complete the proper circuit, so, technically yes. Unless you want to do it with some other piece of metal but I'm not going to start recommending anything I'm not sure of. I don't know what you could use as a safe alternative.
  22. Steve Gunn

    Steve Gunn TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 92

  23. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,582

    Steve Gunn
    between the 2 large connectors are small rows of pins
    if you look at the labels on the drives it will show how to set jumpers
    some drives don't need jumpers for slave set
    I would not worry about that right now
    since the 1st drive is your master it was set cable select or as master (jumper) just install the 2nd drive in the middle ribbon connector
    see if on boot it shows up in disk manager

    if you don't understand any of this get someone to do it for you
  24. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,060   +84 Staff Member

    It has nothing to do with connecting anything to that "jack". It's not a "jack". The shunt on those pins either complete or break a circuit to run the HDD in a certain mode (such as a Master/Slave).

    I'm not making this stuff up :rolleyes:.
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