So I’ve decided to start putting some old drives to use lately. I played around with freenas for a while but the throughput was pretty miserable and I had other issues. I now suspect that those issues were actually symptoms of another problem but in the meanwhile I sought another solution. That’s how I started looking into putting my old IDE drives into external USB enclosures.
The first problem was with the jumper settings on my disk. Apparently drives should always be set to master if you want them to be recognized. Unfortunately XP doesn’t really explain that in any of it’s troubleshooting. In fact, it will install the device and tell you it’s up and running but you’ll not find the drive under Disk Management like you’d expect.
I also read the documentation for a while and reinstalled the disk into another system. That’s because some of the documentation indicated I should reformat as FAT32. I did that and it didn’t help either. But once I set the disk to master, it at least was visible in XP.
But even then I couldn’t work with the disk. Under Disk Management the system was listed as Healthy (GPT Protective Partion). I don’t have a good answer for why this happened. This normally happens to linux disks migrated to a Windows system. And I did use a linux utility to format the disk to FAT32 but it shouldn’t have left any traces. In fact I used GParted, http://lifehacker.com/software/partition/download-of-the-day-gparted-live-cd-175024.php, ; since Gina Trapani’s site lifehacker.com recommended it. I still think the utility is useful but maybe not for this use.
Finally I located information about how to fix this problem at (currently this web page is down http://www.freshscoop.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=5 ;, but I’ve mirrored it locally. Click Here.
I used that utility to low level format the first 4096 sectors, rebooted, and whallah, now she’s cooking with gas. Good luck with your own external adventures.
Here is the type of external enclosures I used. They work just fine. Frankly, I bought them because they were available locally at Microcenter for a fair price.