Recovering Win3.1 Data

Tothwolf tothwolf at
Tue Jan 13 18:07:40 CST 2015

On Tue, 13 Jan 2015, Mike Stein wrote:

> Many if not most IDE<>USB adapters have trouble with old drives that 
> only know Cyl/Trk/Sec and not LBA.
> Once you get that old PC booted PKZIP or any of the 'split' programs 
> will let you copy to multiple floppies if the PC is too old for a USB 
> stick or networking of some sort.

Those sort of USB<->ATA adapters also only work with later ATA drives 
which report their CHS values /and/ which were formatted using their 
default (not manually selected) CHS values. A CFA420A would have been new 
right around the time ATA drives began reporting their CHS so they could 
be autoconfigured in CMOS setup, but many motherboard and PC manufacturers 
still didn't support autoconfiguration until later.

Many name brand PC manufacturers also didn't even have a user definable 
drive type available, so the end user would often have to select a /close/ 
drive from a table of predefined drive types, which probably wouldn't have 
the same CHS values as the drive. If I were to guess, it is quite possible 
the Packard Bell machine the CFA420A drive had been installed in was one 
of these systems that did not support drive autoconfiguration and probably 
didn't have a user definable drive type. Getting one of these drives to 
work 100% error-free with a different motherboard is often a trial and 
error sort of thing, but it can be done.

Given the small size of the drive, I'd probably just use a SCSI connected 
ZIP drive to do the transfer.

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