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Windows 7: Trying to read an old Windows 3.1 Hard Drive

21 Jan 2017   #11

Windows 7 32bit

I guess I don't know of another way to change the bios so the netbook will boot from the usb stick I just made.

I tried both reboot and shutdown - when the system comes back up it goes right into Windows.

{edit} I got it. Held down F2 during power up and the setup screen appeared.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2017   #12

Windows 7 32bit

Ok I'm in ubunto. I see my system files but I don't see the hard drive - or the usb stick either. Maybe I'm not looking in the right place?

Here is what I'm seeing:

Attached Thumbnails
Trying to read an old Windows 3.1 Hard Drive-ubunto.jpeg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2017   #13

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10

Ok mate now have a look at my pic that is where drives are usually at. Now I am thinking because you are using Ubuntu on the machine itself it may be different to what I have done in the past and that is to hook a drive up to a machine running Ubuntu via an adaptor.

In your pic can you click on Computer in the Ubuntu and let us know what comes up and I am thinking it should show you any drives as it does in Windows.

Now you should be able to open Documents and Settings and then retrieve data but lets just find the drives first..

Attached Thumbnails
Trying to read an old Windows 3.1 Hard Drive-driver-search.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Jan 2017   #14

Windows 7 32bit

Yes that's exactly where I looked. There are 2 separate icons for my netbook, one for trash and one for system settings. In my photo I have clicked on one of the netbook icons (contents seem to be identical).

I see no drives.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2017   #15

Windows 7 32bit

Ok I did a system search for .iso and it came up with an icon "Disks". And at that point the icon I think you are referring to appears in the sidebar.

I see the Toshiba hard drive, thumb drive, and the drive I'm trying to extract from. But I see no way to view the contents. The options I have are Format partition, Create partition image, Restore partition image, and Benchmark Partition.

Attached Thumbnails
Trying to read an old Windows 3.1 Hard Drive-ubunto_2.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2017   #16
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 10 Pro x64 dual boot

Well, I see one thing that is wrong. Ubuntu is seeing that disk as a 2.2 TB drive, not 425 MB like it is supposed to be. Something is either wrong with your drive, adapter, or the OS.

At this point, I would connect the drive to a desktop, not a laptop, to a real SATA or IDE port (if you can find a PC that has an IDE port) and try to copy the files from that configuration. A lot of IDE to SATA/USB adapters do not read the drive properly. In my experience, they often have to reformat the drive with the adapter attached before they will read as initialized (which is counter-intuitive, and very annoying). Obviously, that will destroy your data, so you don't want to do that.

But right now, the disk is reading as a larger device than it really is. You'll have to solve that problem before you are able to retrieve the files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2017   #17

Windows 7 32bit

Yeah I noticed that also. I thought maybe it was because it was such an old drive and formatted with the old OS.

Someone else mentioned the idea of installing Windows Virtual PC on my netbook and make an XP VM. The thinking being that XP would recognize the drive.

Or maybe I could stop at a computer shop. They must have old machines on hand for things like this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2017   #18

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by scoostraw View Post
.......Or maybe I could stop at a computer shop. They must have old machines on hand for things like this.
Yep, that is good idea to try.If you are unable to find such a shop, please comeback. And then we can try to change the Disk Geometry and check whether your drive can be read.

For your drive: Cylinders 989 Heads 15 Sectors 56 We can change all this with TestDisk and see whether your disk can be read. The only grey area is the file format. Was it FAT32 or FAT16 and what is the cluster size? It could be 4KB if FAT32 and 8KB for FAT16. Changing the cluster size to a wrong value will destroy the data. So I will hesitate to change the cluster size without knowing it for sure. But for that we can change the other values and check.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Trying to read an old Windows 3.1 Hard Drive

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