VOGONS


First post, by patrmich

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Hello,

I have got the following old computer, dated from the 90's :
Kenitec 486X2-50

Th OS is Windows 3.1.

The computer is still working properly.

I would like to transfer the data located on the Hard Disk (500 Mo) to another support (such as an SSD).
The files I would like to copy are mostly Word and Excel files.

The old computer has got :
- an inbuilt 3.5" floppy disk reader
- a parallel output
- a RS232 output

What would be the easiest way to copy the data and what accessory or application I should need ?

I thank you in advance for your any reply.

Regards

Patrick

Reply 2 of 31, by aha2940

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Predator99 wrote on 2020-10-10, 20:34:

Buy a cheap IDE to USB Adpapter and connect the Hard Disk to a modern PC.

Another option would be a PCI or PCI express to IDE internal converter.

Reply 3 of 31, by konc

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Check the size of the files you want to transfer, if it's only some office files it might be easier to just use a couple of floppies. Even if you need to do this 3-4-10 times it might be easier than everything else

Reply 4 of 31, by patrmich

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Hello,

I thank everyone for each reply.

1- I had considered copying the files on 3.5" floppy disks, but I should need tens of 1.4 Mo disks.

2- Is there a way to plug anything, either on the RS232 serial output or the the parallel output, to transfer the data on a media that could next be read on a modern computer ?

3- In case I want to use an IDE to usb adapter :
- is it necessary to dismantle the hdd from the old computer ?
- or can I leave the hdd inside the old computer ?

3- For aha2940 :
You wrote :
"Another option would be a PCI or PCI express to IDE internal converter."
Sorry for my lack of knowledge.
Could let me know, step by step, how I should proceed ?

Once again, thank you in advance for any reply.

Patrick

Reply 5 of 31, by aha2940

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patrmich wrote on 2020-10-11, 12:41:
3- For aha2940 : You wrote : "Another option would be a PCI or PCI express to IDE internal converter." Sorry for my lack of know […]
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3- For aha2940 :
You wrote :
"Another option would be a PCI or PCI express to IDE internal converter."
Sorry for my lack of knowledge.
Could let me know, step by step, how I should proceed ?

Hi, basically you'd get a card like this one: https://www.startech.com/en-us/cards-adapters … controllers/ide, and configure it on a newer computer. Then get the hard drive out of the 486 PC and connect it to this new card on the new computer and copy the information. This is not practical for a single-time copy (and kind of expensive) but if you need to do this many times it can be useful.

Another option would be installing an ISA network card on the 486 PC and copying the information through the network. If you do this, look for mTCP to configure the networking on DOS.

Last edited by aha2940 on 2020-10-11, 15:11. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 6 of 31, by Doornkaat

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Sadly many of those controllers (USB-IDE as well as PCIe-IDE) have problems supporting older ATA-1 HDDs. It's a bit of a gamble.
If you find one that's guranteed to work with your HDD this is probably the easiest solution.

Alternatively if there are no files larger than 1.44MB you may want to consider getting a ~20$ floppy emulator ( a device that presents itself as a floppy drive to your computer but stores data on a USB flash drive) and copying the files using that.
-The emulator will format a USB flash drive into 1000 virtual 1.44mb floppy disks that you have to switch between once one is full. It's relatively easy but still a thing to keep in mind. Also of course the maximum single file size is limited to ~1.44mb.
+Compatibility is almost guranteed and once you have all files on your USB stick you can read and copy them on your modern PC using free software without having to manually switch between floppy images.
Here's a video by (now inactive) forum member Phil explaining the device: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taFP1J_lZBI

Reply 7 of 31, by cyclone3d

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USB to IDE adapter and just copy to a newer computer.

Even if you did go the floppy route, you would need a USB floppy drive to use with the newer computer... and if running Windows 10, floppy drives are a bit stupid to read because the drive won't just show up in File Explorer without doing a Windows Key + R to run and then doing the A:\ command to bring up the disk.

Each revision of Windows 10 has been making it more stupid to access and format floppy disks and create boot disks as well.

Edit: For the USB to IDE adapter, any of the more name brand ones should work just fine. Lately I've been using a Vantec branded USB to IDE / laptop IDE / SATA adapter. Seems to work with everything I have thrown at it so far.

The USB to HDD adapters normally come with a power adapter to power the drive you are using.

As long as you have the old computer close enough to the computer you want to copy to for the USB cable to be able to plug into the newer computer, no reason to need to remove the HDD from the old computer.

Edit 2: I just tried a 40MB IDE drive and it detects it, but Windows 10 doesn't even see the disk as being initialized. Guessing this is a Windows 10 thing but I am going to go grab another adapter and see if it makes a difference.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 8 of 31, by PARKE

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Repeating two earlier suggestions:
1-by Predator99: Buy a cheap IDE to USB Adpapter and connect the Hard Disk to a modern PC.
2-by cyclone3d: USB to IDE adapter and just copy to a newer computer.

If you plan to be in this hobby for the longer haul you may consider getting something like this handy tool:
AGPtek SATA/PATA/IDE Drive to USB 2.0 Adapter Converter Cable for Hard Drive Disk HDD 2.5" 3.5" with External AC Power Adapter. And yes, depending on the connector and how your harddisk is installed you may have to take it out of the case.
https://www.amazon.com/AGPtek-Drive-Adapter-C … 02436766&sr=8-4

Reply 10 of 31, by patrmich

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Hello,

Thank you again to everyone.

1- I have already got the following item :
Easy Ide from SOHOUSB (https://picclick.fr/Easy-Ide-Usb-Ide-Data-Tra … 4215972523.html)

Can this item be useful ?

2- To Doornkaat :
Thank you for your suggestion of using a floppy emulator.
Is there a way to plug a floppy emulator on the RS232 or the parallel output and thus avoiding to un-plug the inbuilt floppy reader ?

Once again, thank you in advance for any reply.

Patrick

Reply 11 of 31, by PARKE

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patrmich wrote on 2020-10-12, 09:05:

1- I have already got the following item :
Easy Ide from SOHOUSB (https://picclick.fr/Easy-Ide-Usb-Ide-Data-Tra … 4215972523.html)
Can this item be useful ?

If you have that already you do not need anything else for your job; you can even use it to copy the entire content of the 500Mb disk as backup to another computer.

Reply 12 of 31, by patrmich

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I opened case and got some trouble

1- On the hard disk, I just unplugged the power supply connector and the IDE connector
And I realized that the hard disk was not easy to remove.

2- So, I just re-plugged the two plugs.
But when I switched on the computer again, I heard an usual sound and got the message on the screen that the hdd was not found.
I was proposed to insert a diskette. I did not do it.
I switched off the computer, opened the case and made sure that the tow plugs were correctly put.

3- Then, I switched the computer on again, and... nothing works, not any sound of any start running, nothing displayed on the screen.

Would you have any idea how to make the computer running again ?

Thank you again for any reply.

Patrick

Reply 13 of 31, by cyclone3d

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Pics please

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 14 of 31, by darry

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patrmich wrote on 2020-10-12, 15:48:
I opened case and got some trouble […]
Show full quote

I opened case and got some trouble

1- On the hard disk, I just unplugged the power supply connector and the IDE connector
And I realized that the hard disk was not easy to remove.

2- So, I just re-plugged the two plugs.
But when I switched on the computer again, I heard an usual sound and got the message on the screen that the hdd was not found.
I was proposed to insert a diskette. I did not do it.
I switched off the computer, opened the case and made sure that the tow plugs were correctly put.

3- Then, I switched the computer on again, and... nothing works, not any sound of any start running, nothing displayed on the screen.

Would you have any idea how to make the computer running again ?

Thank you again for any reply.

Patrick

Is the IDE connector keyed and are you sure you put it back in the correct orientation ? If you remove the connector and look at the drive, are any pins bent ?

Does the disk spin-up when powered on ? Molex connectors can sometimes be a pain to fully insert. Make sure the drive's is fully inserted .

Assuming the drive spins up, trying a different IDE cable might be something to try.

Reply 15 of 31, by patrmich

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I am adding attached the following pics :
- Computer when case opened
- The two connectors I disconnected and reconnected
- One connector when disconnected
- The computer front
- The computer back

I also noticed that there are two places on the front related to lock the computer.
I may have the related key but was unable to find it out.

I did not do anything to try to lock the computer, but I wonder if disconnecting the HDD could have locked the pc .

I also noticed that when switching the computer on, the red led, on the front is on. I do not remember how it was when the pc was running properly.

Thank you again

Attachments

Reply 16 of 31, by patrmich

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I am adding two more pictures :
- PC front with red light on (normal or not ?)
- there is a symbol above the red light : would you know what does it means?
- PC front with hdd light off

I confirm that when switching on the computer nothing happens, just a very low noise (the fan ?), but the hard disk does not start.
An nothing at all is displayed on the screen.

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  • PC-with-hdd-off.jpg
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Reply 17 of 31, by patrmich

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1- I checked again the hhd connection, and realized that it was not well made.

There is really a very small space between the hdd and the power supply, and the connector on the hdd is nearly not visible at all.

I apologize for disturbing several people due to my clumsiness.

2- In case, I would like to use an IDE to usb connector to clone the hdd, I should need to take the hdd out of the case.
From what can be seen on pictures, have you got any idea of how to process to get the hhd out of the case ?

3- On an IDE connector, how many pins are there ?
- two row of 20 pins
- or one row of 20 pins and one row of 19 pins ?
I am asking this question because :
- on the female connector to the hdd (photo in my previous post) there are two rows for 20 pins
- but, on the female connector of the "Easy Ide from SOHOUSB" that I bought some years ago, there are one row for 20 pins and one row for 19 pins, one slot missing at the middle of the row (https://picclick.fr/Easy-Ide-Usb-Ide-Data-Tra … 4215972523.html)
- so, could that "Easy Ide from SOHOUSB" accessory be compatible with the old computer hdd ?

Sorry again for having disturbed some of you for an incorrect connection from my own.

Reply 18 of 31, by alvaro84

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Just my two cents, these office files usually can be compressed very well, cutting the number of needed floppies by ... a lot. So you wouldn't have to remove this HDD. I think it's worth a try to make a .rar solid archive (very useful option with many small files of the same kind!) split into 1.44M pieces. It may even work out in the end.

Shame on us, doomed from the start
May God have mercy on our dirty little hearts

Reply 19 of 31, by patrmich

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Thank you alvaro84 for your suggestion.
What application would you recommend to compress files as .rar archive ?
Do you recommend Winrar ?

Winrar for Windows 3.1 seems available here :
http://www.win3x.org/win3board/viewtopic.php?t=226

But is written on the above page :
"Require to have installed Win32s extensions"

Would you know how to install Winrar on my old pc tunning under Windows 3.1 ?

Thank you in advance for any reply.

Patrick