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Kent, WA
·Clearwire Wireless

[hard drive] Should I backup data off very old IDE HDD's???

I have 2 old Western Digital 3.5" IDE 244 megabyte HDD's bought back in 1992 have been installed in every custom PC build and there even in my current custom built PC build I did last August going from IDE to SATA III.

Should I go a head and back up the data off of those 2 old loud air conditioner HDD's onto my very silent 2 terabyte SATA III HDD boot drive??? In Windows 8 I ran chkdsk and found no errors and the drives were 0% fragmented.

I can go in to the bios and change the boot lineup order and use the once master boot drive to log into MS Windows 95 and run Office 95, MS Plus!, MS Bob, and so forth. Windows 95 can't recognize the hardware and tells me it can't find the 28.8K dial-up modem. But oh well.

Belleville, IL
Their size makes them pretty much unusable. Even if they are used, based their age, any current drive would be much faster. Not to mention very likely much quieter. The safety factor goes without stating.

I typically try to use the fastest HDD I have on hand (or purchase one specifically) for use as the primary boot drive. The primary drive gets the most use, and thus you greatly benefit from the speed. All other drives get used for storage. The smallest drives I still have in use are 20GB, and even they are of limited use/benefit.
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Bloom County
reply to floydb1982
Ummmmm - if there is data you need then probably yes... You should be able to determine if you have files that are needed and if you 'should' move them...

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain


Indianapolis, IN
reply to floydb1982
Seems like an odd question where the only reasonable answer is, "Why wouldn't you?"

Saint Paul, MN
reply to floydb1982
Only if you want it. Just because it works now doesn't mean that it will continue to do so. You are way past the normal life of three to five years.
“Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.” ¯ Robert A. Heinlein

Mountain View, CA
reply to floydb1982
Others have basically said the same thing I'm about to, but I'll phrase it differently along with another reason:

If the drives have data on them that you want/care about in any way/shape/form (even if just for archival purposes), then yes, you absolutely should hook them up and get the data off them ASAP.

The reason has to do with the fact that the magnetic media of platters, over time (especially long periods of time) begin to degrade. Bits become harder and harder to pull off the drive, even with proper ECC regions per sector, I/O becomes slower, and so on. Eventually the magnetic attributes degrade altogether and stuff will be lost.

So yes, I recommend you get the data off the drives and put it on something that might last you longer -- with drives that size, try CDs, DVDs, USB flash drives, or all of the above. Bare minimum (especially for how small capacity-wise the drives are), take a raw disk image of each disk (not partition, but disk) and back that up somewhere.

I can tell you a short story about me doing something similar to the above, if you want, and how what I did brought a really big smile to an old colleague/co-workers' face almost 15 years later. Just let me know.
Making life hard for others since 1977.
I speak for myself and not my employer/affiliates of my employer.