2013-01-12 · in Media Archiving · 305 words

I thought it'd probably be worth going through the older hard disks in my junk box...

NEC D3735 40MB IDE disk

Kludge was a 286 machine without a case; I used it for PIC development under MS-DOS, and to play with Minix. (The reason it didn't have a case was that I stole it for the 486 I was archiving a couple of weeks ago...)

This NEC D3735 40MB IDE disk was the MS-DOS drive: it contains an MS-DOS 5 installation, with KA9Q NOS and some other networking bits, besides the PIC cross-assembler and programmer software that I'd used for my SIMBA project.

Western Digital WD93044-A 40MB IDE disk

This rather splendid stepper-motor WD93044-A was the Minix drive — but while it spins up, it doesn't get detected by my imaging machine. Hard Drive History's WD93044 page starts with "These sold in their thousands, unfortunately"...

Seagate ST3283N 250MB SCSI disk

This Seagate ST3283N was a reasonably nice 250MB SCSI disk for the time — I suspect I was given it because it has a couple of pins broken off the power connector. I'd fixed this previously by soldering a wire-ended replacement on, which I'd taken off again when fitting the CF card to my A1200. As a quick bodge, soldered some solid wires into place and poked them into a floppy power connector...

Seagate ST3283N power hack

... and it works! It makes a worrying "snap" sound on startup, like a capacitor blowing, but it also does the same on shutdown, so I guess it just has a very noisy head-parking mechanism. It's also got an impressive number of neatly-arranged discrete components on the underside of the PCB.

Examining the contents shows it was the homes filesystem from my home router — the only nontrivial file is my .bash_history. This all goes to show that the amount of effort I have to put into reading a hard disk is inversely proportional to how interesting the data on it is.