How to copy data off an old IDE disk

Andy Wardley abw at
Wed Mar 26 18:44:17 GMT 2008

I've got a couple of old (early 90's) IDE disks that I'd like to copy the data
off.  All the data is intact and I can boot off the old master disk and run
all the DOS programs on the disk just fine.  Problem is that I can't get it to
work as a slave hanging off my Ubuntu master disk.

I've got the master/slave jumpers set up OK and both disks are being
recognised as the appropriate master and slave.  But the system slows to a
painstaking crawl and eventually just hangs 30 seconds or so into the Ubuntu
boot screen.

I tried booting into recovery mode and based on the log messages thrown up it
appears that the disk interface is being crippled by the archaic disk hanging
off it that insists on talking in some INT13 based, smoke-signal protocol
running no faster than 7 ponies per minute.

Alas I've only got the one machine at hand with an IDE interface so I'm
limited to what I can try at the moment.  Does anyone know if it's even
possible to run a pre-ATA IDE disk on the same cable as a modern UDMA disk?

The fact that it gets as far as booting suggests that it's tantalisingly
close to working.


More information about the mailing list