External Hard Drive and USB to ATA/ATAPI Bridge


  • I recently purchased some IDE/SATA to USB cables and bpower supply to try and extract some data from an old hardive.

    When I plug it i, I hear the drive spinning, my windows xp sp 3 laptop tells me that it is installing my WD 36400 Enhanced IDE hard drive.

    It tells me the hardware is ready for use.  I see it on my eject devices list as a USB to ATA/ATAPI bridge.  When I look at the properties  I see the description of the kind of hard drive that is connected, but not on my drive list.  A little while after that, the laptop goes unresponsive.  A few moments after that I hear the familiar tone of something having been disconnected and its now gone of the eject list.

    I set it to master from slave and now it does find it at all.  Any ideas?


    Edit: I finally found it...was trying to install.  Told me there was a problem installing my hardware and then it ejected itself again.


    Are there any other methods to get my files off this hard drive?

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010 4:50 AM

All replies

  • Hi Mordun! :-)
    I have an old PATA based external HDD that's been exhibiting the same problem recently...But only from a month ago, after I'd swapped out the old Hitachi 120GB disk for an old/knackered Quantum 40GB unit that I had knocking around. (120GB is still a huge disk by my standards, and I only needed a disk for carrying 30GB of non-critical data around...Hence the swap! :-)
    Going on my own experiences therefore, I'd like to suggest that it's the drive that's the problem part here and not the cable . :-)

    In my case, I've found that the drive can often be mounted, but a bit of patience is often required. :-)

    • Firstly, unplug all non-essential USB devices - I've found that the more free space on the serial bus, the better my drive behaves.
    • Power up the disk and give it a few minutes to spin-up and get going, then plug it in to a free USB port (Not on a hub!). Keep the disk powered on at all times whilst following these steps.
    • Give the disk a few minutes to mount. If it does so (It'll apear in "My Computer ") then you're sorted and good to go!
    • If it doesn't, use "Safely remove hardware " then disconnect the drive after a minute of doing that. If it doesn't appear in that menu after being connected for at least five minutes, just pull the plug out...Windows probably didn't initialise the device.
    • Shut down the computer (Actually shut down...Don't hibernate or stand by) and wait a few minutes. Power on again, let Windows start up and run smoothly, then try reconnecting the drive.
    • Repeat the above few steps until the drive mounts. Remember: Be patient, give Windows plenty of time to detect the drive and load drivers, and use the same USB port throughout!

    Going back to the symptoms you mention about the disk and it's similarities to my own (My 40GB disk is known as being failure imminent - It throws a bad SMART status and everything!) plus the fact that it's a Western Digital product (I've experienced over six failures on Caviar drives now, so they've lost my trust) I would also strongly advise copying ALL of your data off of the disk as quickly as possible as soon as you can get it mounted...It sounds to me like your drive may well be on it's last legs, and certainly shouldn't be relied upon for data storage! :-O

    Farewell for now, and hope this helps! >:-)
    +++ DieselDragon +++

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010 7:00 AM
  • Thank you so much for the quick answer.  I'm going to try this later tonight.  I'm really hoping to be able to access it and quickly pull a few folders off.  Is there any benefit to doing it o a windows 7 machine instead?
    Wednesday, November 17, 2010 11:00 AM