View Full Version : Ancient hard drive need to be cloned

May 12th, 2016, 10:34 PM
I got an ancient system, built in to control a large press on a local factory.
The system runs on DOS 6.22 and have a small hard drive who been in operation since 1986 (and still working)

Now I got the job to replace it with a new one and that causes som concerns.

1) Need to get a new drive, preferably a SSD
2) Need to clone the exact image to the new one
3) I have an additional old extra stationary PC with DOS 6.22 who can be used

Is it possible to have a converter cable between the old 40 pin flat IDE cable and the new drive?
Will the BIOS read the new drive?

Itīs 25 years since I worked with DOS based system, so my memory has faded a bit

May 12th, 2016, 10:41 PM
Where are you based?

Have a look at this (https://www.lo-tech.co.uk/wiki/Lo-tech_ISA_CompactFlash_Adapter_revision_2b).

May 13th, 2016, 07:15 AM
I think that you want to find somebody who is knowledgeable and local to you to take a look at it and gather all of the details.

1986 is before the IDE interface was invented. So if that is accurate, you have an older ST506 interface style drive, or possibly a SCSI drive. You want to know what it is to ensure that you have the proper equipment/machine available.

I've cloned many drives over the years. The most creative thing I've done recently is to take a matched drive and controller combination from a Tandy 1000 and move it into an XT. From there I read the sectors from the drive one track at a time and sent them over the network to another machine, making an image of the drive. That image was then usable/readable using VMWare.


May 13th, 2016, 08:48 AM
I've replaced many old IDE drives with industrial Flash modules. Many of my replacements run 24x7 in factory or laboratory settings. For cloning, I use tools under Linux to read/recover old drives, create disk images, and write them back out to the replacements. Occasionally you'll find a system that, for whatever reason, really wants to have the replacement drive formatted in the target machine and the files then copied onto the existing partition.

May 18th, 2016, 03:25 PM
Build or buy an XT-IDE unit and flash module of some flavor...make sure it can be installed as a secondary unit to the original controller. Boot up from the existing one, fdisk and format /s the new one, then xcopy everything from the old drive to the new...when done, use sys to re-copy the system files that may have been messed up by xcopy. Make a bootable floppy with fdisk on it, shut down and remove the old drive and controller. Fire it back up, boot from the floppy, run fdisk and set the partition active, then it should work... That is of course a high-level overview... :-)


May 18th, 2016, 06:08 PM
...system runs on DOS 6.22 and have a small hard drive who been in operation since 1986 (and still working)

...the old 40 pin flat IDE cable...

If the system truly has a 40-pin IDE cable, then it's almost certainly newer than "1986". As mbbrutman mentions, IDE drives didn't come along until the late 80's/early 90's. You may want to look the machine over again to make certain about the age and specifications...there may be multiple solutions if it's a "newer" machine...

May 18th, 2016, 08:03 PM
My 1986 Compaq 386 had an IDE interface card with a Control Data 40MB IDE drive. Presumably the IDE components were added later in OP's case as aftermarket parts and drives may have been non-existent in that year.


May 18th, 2016, 08:20 PM
Yup, I had one of those HH 5.25"early CDC Wren ATA drives as well. It went DOA and I scrapped it--by that time, the 3.5" drives were out with more capacity.

May 19th, 2016, 05:33 AM
My Compaq Portable II (1986 vintage too) came with an IDE controller in it, the HD was an MFM Miniscribe drive with an IDE bridge board attached to the bottom of it, I assume to use up their stock of MFM drives. For the record I have never been able to get it to recognized by any modern ATA controller or USB ATA adapter.

May 19th, 2016, 11:25 AM
Since you have DOS 6.22 and a spare machine surely the first thing to do is use interlink (?) to copy the working drive to a new one. That could be IDE or ST506. With an exact copy you can then mess around with it.