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ScottyMcGeester's avatar

How can I read this old hard drive?

Asked by ScottyMcGeester (1897points) May 5th, 2019
4 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

This laptop is very old. Compaq Armada. I have the power cord and I know it works but I don’t know the password to login. It’s been well over a decade. Not sure what to do. I know there’s really old data I’d like to get out of here.

Here are pictures of it.

I don’t know if there’s a device compatible with reading this.

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ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

You can easily hack old windows passwords using a linux live disk. I won’t post a link but Google will tell you how to do it.

elbanditoroso's avatar

That old drive has an IDE interface. The current generation of hard drives have a SATA interface – totally different technologies.

How much effort do you want to put into this? You can find IDE adapters and cards that will go into your PC (and also external IDE drive enclosures) but they are becoming increasingly rare. Once you have the right interface and cables, the drive should just spin up.

How long has it been since this was used? It’s possible – if it hasn’t been plugged in for 10 years – that the disks are frozen in place and won’t spin.

Step one is getting the IDE interface working; then you can deal with the data. This is theoretically possible with available parts.

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