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First post, by dada

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Hi all, I'm trying to copy over some data from an old laptop that I got, nothing valuable but just a fun project.

My IDE-to-USB device can't read the drive (pic 1, pic 2) even though it connects and spins up correctly. I even considered using zip and a floppy drive to do a massive multi volume zip, but the floppy drive isn't working properly.

It does have a PCMCIA slot, so I could maybe do something that way? Like maybe there's some PCMCIA mass storage device that'll work with DOS? When I boot up the laptop it says "drive B: assigned to PCMCIA" (even though there's nothing in there right now) so I think it does at least correctly recognize that.

Thanks for any thoughts 😀

Reply 1 of 13, by weedeewee

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use a serial or parallel cable using laplink, fastlynx, or some other program to transfer the data.

if you have access to a computer running linux, you might just use the USB-IDE device to clone the whole hard drive using DD, also possible in windows though a slight bit more tricky.
That way you'll have a 200MB disk image you can mount in a vm or dosbox with some modification/splicing.

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Reply 2 of 13, by darry

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weedeewee wrote on 2021-02-16, 15:55:

use a serial or parallel cable using laplink, fastlynx, or some other program to transfer the data.

if you have access to a computer running linux, you might just use the USB-IDE device to clone the whole hard drive using DD, also possible in windows though a slight bit more tricky.
That way you'll have a 200MB disk image you can mount in a vm or dosbox with some modification/splicing.

+1 to the serial or parallel cable approach .

USB-IDE converters will typically only work with drives supporting LBA , not CHS only drives and 200MB is definitely CHS only . Linux will not help here .

See Re: Testing and imaging old IDE/PATA drives and https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_block_addressing

Reply 3 of 13, by dada

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Thanks for the tips. The laptop does have a serial port (no parallel). Is this something I could do with a serial-to-USB cable? I just have one of those awful new computers that doesn't have a serial port, can you believe it?
edit: and yeah, I did not try to see if any new disk devices showed up in /dev/ (I'm on OSX) but since the drive is actually FAT16 I assumed that if it didn't mount, it wouldn't work either way. (Besides, FAT12 would've mounted as well.) But I suppose it's something I should've checked anyway.

I also see there's such a thing as PCMCIA cards that have CF or even SD storage, is that something anyone has experience with under DOS?

Reply 4 of 13, by kleung21

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What others are discussing is a serial null modem cable. They sell for less than $10 on Amazon or you can find it on your local buy sell boardss often for free.

If you have Dos installed then you should have interlnk program already available to you.

However you will need a second machine that also has dos or Windows 98 so you can run the client. This is documented elsewhere

Reply 5 of 13, by Oetker

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A PCMCIA Ethernet adapter could work, setting up file sharing isn't that easy though, especially in DOS. Easiest might be to run an FTP server on your OSX machine and use a DOS ftp client.

Reply 6 of 13, by Bondi

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dada wrote on 2021-02-16, 17:00:

I also see there's such a thing as PCMCIA cards that have CF or even SD storage, is that something anyone has experience with under DOS?

Yes, PCMCIA-CF works fine in DOS. And this is my preferred way to transfer files. What is the model of your laptop? Usually it's necessary to load PCMCIA drivers. But looks like your laptop has BIOS support of PCMCIA storage (CF should also work). If that works as I suspect, of course. It's a very a cool feature if it assigns PCMCIA storage device to drive B right at boot.

EDIT: PCMCIA Storage thread PCMCIA Storage

PCMCIA Sound Cards chart

Reply 7 of 13, by Hatta

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Oetker wrote on 2021-02-18, 17:03:

A PCMCIA Ethernet adapter could work, setting up file sharing isn't that easy though, especially in DOS. Easiest might be to run an FTP server on your OSX machine and use a DOS ftp client.

mTCP makes hosting an FTP server on your DOS machine dead simple. Install a packet driver. Run mTCP DHCP and FTPD. Done. Two or three lines need to be edited in the config file. This is absolutely my favorite way to transfer files with old PCs.

Reply 8 of 13, by gbeirn

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Get a pcmcia to cf adapter ( They are the same pin out) and some small CF cards. USB cf card reader for a newer machine. This what I do.

Reply 9 of 13, by Sphere478

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once upon a long time ago I used a double ended serial cable to transfer files though I don't recall how

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Reply 10 of 13, by Jo22

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MicroProject - MicroSD to LPT Printer Port

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Reply 11 of 13, by dada

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Thanks for the tips, everyone. I might try PCMCIA over Ethernet. Of course, one issue is that the floppy drive doesn't work, so I might need to also get a PCMCIA floppy drive just to get the drivers/program on there. In any case I've got something to go on. 😀 I'll get one of those PCMCIA-CF cards too, just in case that doesn't work.

Reply 12 of 13, by waterbeesje

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The floppy over pcmcia is probably a good start of you can get some fairly ok floppy disks.

I prefer / use the interlnk approach from time to time, it works pretty good. Don't expect high transfer speeds, but it's certainly not bad over lpt.

It is available from ms dos 6.x and pc dos 5.02.

Get a laplink cable or build one (Wikipedia explains) and connect to both computers
Make sure to have a fat16 partition on the target computer
Set interlnk to load in config.sys on source computer
On the target computer boot to dos and load intersvr (make sure it targets the fat16 partition; locks the pc until program terminated)
Reboot source computer and interlnk should initialise the connection.

Now you can use the target computer as external hard drive 😁

(Does not work for removable media)

Stuck at 10MHz...

Reply 13 of 13, by Jo22

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Yeah, LapLink would be a good idea, too, because, say, DOS 6.x came with it by default.
So there's no need to install extra software perhaps.

If everything fails, the OP can type in a simple transfer program (Kermit from the CP/M days) in QBasic. 😉

Edit: I don't know for sure, but Windows 95/98 also had a file transfer program included that used a LapLink connection (PC direct connection?) - maybe that works with LapLink, even.

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In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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