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Using old hard drive in HD Enclosure

#1 User is offline   Itzme 

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 07:09 AM

Hi, how do I accomplish the following using a Mad Dog External USB Enclosure (model# MD-AEN350USB2): I want to keep all the data from my old drive, which was an old external USB Maxtor drive, and use it in my new Mad Dog Enclosure. The System Setup and Disk Management instructions would seem to have me reformat the old drive, and I want to KEEP all that data. How do I do that? Right now My computer sees the enclosure, assign it a drive letter, but not my data. Thanks!
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#2 User is offline   mphenterprises 

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 07:17 AM

Hi ItzMe and welcome to the PCWorld Communities. :D





I am not sure I am following your concern. You're trying to use an external enclosure to house an external hard drive. I really do not see the need for that. Now, if the drive you had in mind was an internal drive that would be different. However, external hard drives already come with their own enclosures. Can you please clarify your issue?
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#3 User is offline   Itzme 

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 07:31 AM

To clarify. My old External Hardrive (made by Maxtor) has failed. I have reason to believe that the HDD itself is OK, and that the housing failed. I removed the old Maxtor drive from its old housing. So I want to recover the data from that Maxtor using the new Mad Dog Enclosure. Does that make more sense? All the instuctions from Mad Dog seem to be written from the perspective that I'd be installing a new unformatted drive, instead of an existing formatted one that I want to use.
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#4 User is offline   mphenterprises 

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 07:51 AM

Honestly, short of getting a third party company or application to recover the files from that external hard drive, you will have no choice but to follow the instructions provided with the new external enclosure.

Granted, I have never actually cracked open an external hard drive...never any need to do so. However, the only other option I can see, if feasible, is to connect the formerly external drive to an available IDE or SATA connection inside your computer, and transfer the data from the old drive into an internal hard drive. Once that is done, you can simply follow the steps laid out by Mad Dog. I must stress, I have no idea as to whether or not that external hard drive disk is compatible with any internal connections.
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#5 User is offline   Itzme 

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 08:31 AM

I've read where others like the Mad Dog enclosures because they recovered data from drives that used to be in external drive housings (whre the housing failed), I just can't find how they did the System Setup to avoid reformatting. But if I were to try your other option, installing inside my computer on IDE , would it need to be set as a Slave? Master? Its a maxtor drive.

Thanks for you help!
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#6 User is offline   mphenterprises 

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 08:47 AM

No problem. I have several Maxtor external drives but unfortunately, I cannot part with any of them to test this out for you. However, in a normal circumstance, there are several different ways you can connect another drive to your computer. Here is what I do: (I have three internal hard drives. My example is based on one internal hard drive)

PLEASE NOTE

Before you begin, make sure you are completely grounded by either wearing a anti-static wrist guard or continuously touching some part of the metal casing

- Take off the jumper on the back of the hard drive (in your case, I am not sure there is a jumper). Depending on your current configuration, you will either need to put the jumper back in the slave configuration or leave it off completely.

- Connect the secondary hard drive to your computer's IDE cable. Make sure both the IDE cable and the Power Supply connections are secure. In a normal situation, the internal hard drive is connected to one IDE cable and the Optical drive is connected to another IDE cable. Make sure that you connect the hard drive to the IDE cable that connects your hard drive to the motherboard. The IDE cable should have three connections:

# one connection to connect to the motherboard
# one connection to connect the master internal hard drive (normally connected at the opposite end of the IDE cable)
# one connection to connect the slave internal hard drive (normally connected using the middle connector of the IDE cable)

- Turn on your computer. If the BIOS does not recognize the secondary drive, turn off the computer and switch the jumper configurations (if applicable)

- Once the BIOS recognizes the secondary drive and your computer boots up as normal, open Windows Explorer and verify that the secondary drive is recognized by Windows and has a drive letter. In a one hard drive, one optical drive configuration, the secondary drive would be labeled as Drive E (unless the hard drive is partitioned but that is a whole other story).

- Once you have confirmed that both the BIOS and Windows recognizes the secondary drive, you can transfer the files from that drive to the primary internal drive.

- Once all the transferring is complete, shut off your computer, disconnect the secondary drive, and connect it to the Mad Dog external enclosure and follow its instructions.
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#7 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 09:25 AM

Itzme said:

To clarify. My old External Hardrive (made by Maxtor) has failed. I have reason to believe that the HDD itself is OK, and that the housing failed. I removed the old Maxtor drive from its old housing. So I want to recover the data from that Maxtor using the new Mad Dog Enclosure. Does that make more sense? All the instuctions from Mad Dog seem to be written from the perspective that I'd be installing a new unformatted drive, instead of an existing formatted one that I want to use.

If there is nothing wrong with the drive itself AND assuming Maxtor does not use some sort of proprietary formatting process for the drive (which I don't believe to be the case...I am pretty sure it is just regular formatting and "universal" drivers), you should in theory be able take the internal mechanism out of the Maxtor enclosure and put it in the Mad Dog enclosure (or any other for that matter) and plug in the external drive and have it mount and work just fine. If it is NOT working that way, then that could be an indication that there might be a problem with more than the Maxtor enclosure...which would mean that installing it as an internal drive will likely fail as well. The enclosure should just be a method to be able to connect the drive...i.e. provide a data and power hook up.
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#8 User is offline   Itzme 

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 07:44 PM

I think I'll try smax13's method first, since its the easiest. I do wonder about the "proprietary formatting process for the drive" you mentioned. And I hoped there was a step in the Mad Dog setup (which I thinks is just the Windows XP Disk Management) that would let me sort of 'mount it' or "set it up" in a way that didn't involve formatting. I did find an old hard drive in the basement, I IFRC it was a good one, and I installed it in the Mad Dog enclosure. My computer found the USB device, assigned it a drive, but I was unable to double click on the drive and open it. The instructions then have me using Disk Management to format it.... that's what lead to my original post. I'll let you know. I'm waiting for a new IOMEGA external HD to come in the mail first. If I'm lucky and can get into the failed Maxtor, I want to transfer the files to the IOMEGA.
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#9 User is offline   mphenterprises 

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 02:40 AM

No problem. Please keep us posted.
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#10 User is offline   rgreen4 

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 07:34 AM

I'm not sure why the Mad Dog enclosure instruction want's you to format the drive, unless as you say, it is expecting a new non-formatted drive to be installed. I have used several various external enclosures, and with one exception they all came up immediately with the drive showing as an external drive. That is assuming it connected as a USB drive.

Most external drives are formatted as Fat32, because all versions of Windows recognize Fat32. They also come with an instruction sheet on formatting the drive for use on a Mac. I would expect the Maxtor to be formatted as Fat32 as the Iomega will be.

I would go back to mph's suggestion and attemp to install the drive as an internal drive, and if that fails, then it was the drive that failed not the enclosure. I have many times connected a drive temporarily as in internal drive, and one of the things I like about the newer SATA drives is that the process is now easier. If you have an IDE drive, then you can disconnect the CD/DVD drive temporarily and lay the drive on an insulating pad and hook up the drive. When you turn on the computer, note to see if the BIOS recognized the drive from the outset, and then if it shows up in MyComputer. If it shows up in the listing of drives when the computer first starts, but not MyComputer, then the basic electrical part of the drive is ok, but it is not readable.

Never ever trust critical or important data to only one storage device. If this was a back up drive, then the master copy should be on the computer hard drive. If there was not room on the computer, burning data DVD's would be an option.
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#11 User is offline   Itzme 

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 03:51 PM

UPDATE: All of you gave me great info, thanks! Success! My new Iomega ext hard drive arrived today, so it was time to try this thing. I've been keeping the HD in the freezer, the one that I took out of the old Maxtor Ext HD. I plugged in the Iomega USB Ext HD, it was assigned drive D. I plugged the chilly HD into the Mad Dog Enclosure, Viola! It was assigned drive H and all my data was there. I transferred that data to the Iomega. All is good with the world. BTW, on a side note, while I can't proove it, I suspect the freezer had nothing to do with recovering my data. I think the Ext Maxtor HD electronics, the case itself, had fried and that my data was always safe.

Thanks to you ALL!
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#12 User is offline   mphenterprises 

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 04:05 PM

Hi Itzme. I am glad that everything worked the way you expected. If you have any further questions, please post and let us know.
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#13 User is offline   rgreen4 

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 08:09 PM

I tend to agree with you on the freezer trick.

Glad it worked out, now you have two external drives. Remember - two copies of critical files are much better than only one.
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