How To Recover Data From An IDE Drive

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As some may recall, I suffered a hardware failure of a 10 yr old IBM
Netvista back in January. I was backing up my personal data, ‘My Documents’, to my CentOS server but I apparently didn’t get my emails.

It was a main board failure and I believe the data is still good on the hard drive. Only problem, its an IDE drive and my server and new PC have SATA

Is it possible to install the old drive as a secondary drive into a newer PC
with SATA drives? If so, how do I do this? I need to access the emails.

This was a Windows XP machine using Outlook as the mail client.


8 thoughts on - How To Recover Data From An IDE Drive

  • It can be mounted as an external or secondary drive. However, it is more likely not to work.

    If you really have to recover data from the drive, it will have to betaken to a data recover company.

    They look at the drive, find out its geometries and hardware configuration.

    Then the data surfaces, platters, or whatever are removed delicately will have to be removed and mounted in a drive that exactly matches the original drive electronic configuration and geometries.

    And its not cheap or guaranteed to work.

    I have numerous old drives that quite working.

    You just say goodbye to those bits and bytes.

  • WOW!! Thanks!!

    Didn’t know there was something like that!

    Thought I was going to have to buy an older PC on eBay or something.

    I have tons of stuff over the years that I would like to retrieve off old hard drives. I junked the old PCs but not the HDs.

    You guys are awesome!!


  • While IDE-to-USB is probably the easier option to use, I got an IDE-to-Sata adapter on eBay for almost nothing (of course, you have to wait for it to arrive directly from China). If you go this route, the thing I learned from the experience was to set the IDE drive to master (there won’t be a slave unless you get a one-to-two converter – I didn’t see one of the latter). Also, unless the converter goes both ways, pay attention to which is the controller side and which is the drive side.

    —– Original Message —

  • I got one of those from, er, either amazon or newegg a few years ago, and while it works for a PATA drive, no matter what I did it wouldn’t work with an optical drive. despite the customer support people insisting it does work. following their configuration settings didn’t help.

    So, YMMV.

  • likely because optical IDE drives use a completely different command set known as ATAPI, which is scsi based. the adapter I linked is strictly for hard drives