Anyway to convert USB to IDE?

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by Dogmander25, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. Dogmander25
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    Dogmander25 Advanced Member

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    I'm think of getting a bunch of old late 90's and/or early 2000's pc's and put them in my basement to play around wit them and I was wondering if I could convert USB to IDE so I could buy a bunch of 1 or 2GB usb sticks and use them as hard disks. Can I do that?
     


  2. sarkwalvein

    sarkwalvein Professional asshole at GBATemp

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    You would want to convert IDE to USB, not the inverse.
    Probably someone came up with such a macabre invention (I don't really know, but sure it would not be straightforward). Anyway, what I am sure exists are IDE to SATA converters, and you can use that and a SATA HDD, and if you for some reason don't want to buy a SATA HDD, then just get an USB HDD and rip it off the USB case, inside they are just good old SATA HDDs (within a USB adapter case).

    PS: But will not work with pendrives anyway.
     
  3. Dogmander25
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    Dogmander25 Advanced Member

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    Well I wanna try NOT to spend a lot of money and I don't want to pour a lot of money into old computers.
     
  4. Psionic Roshambo

    Psionic Roshambo GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    https://www.amazon.com/Generic-IDE-SATA-Adapter/dp/B000RK89M4

    They don't cost that much, but another thing you might look for is just buying some IDE drives? They are really cheap and or free if you have some friends with old PC's with old drives in them.

    If your trying to build a retro PC for old games, another thing to consider might just be to use your existing PC and do emulation from DosBox or VirtualBox to emulated the entire PC OS and all.

    I would honestly get some IDE drives rather than messing with adapter.



    If your trying to run a Windows 9X machine older hardware, one thing to consider is that most of those old machines did not support booting from USB, I think those only started appearing about when XP was out? (it's been a long time and my memory sucks lol)

    So if you boot from the CD install to your USB to IDE converter and the drivers to run the USB to IDE converter are on the USB drive... but it hasn't booted yet... Sort of chicken and egg scenario.

    If your lucky your older machine has USB ports 1.1 or maybe early 2.0, then if your extremely lucky you can boot from the USB ports and just use a flash drive as a hard drive with out any extra hardware needed.
     
  5. Dogmander25
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    Dogmander25 Advanced Member

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    Well I do have a wip (work in progress) old computer build with mostly old parts I found, bought or got. I'm planning to put Windows 95, 98, and ME (I know that sounds really awful)
     
    Last edited by Dogmander25, Nov 15, 2016
  6. Tom Bombadildo

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    I forgot
    I imagine you could find cheap IDE HDDs around on ebay and such, I would guess these days you could pick up like 40-60GB ones for maybe $5-8 max.

    I don't think I've personally ever seen any kind of IDE to USB adapter around. I imagine such a thing just doesn't exist, there'd be no market for them really.
     
  7. nero99

    nero99 GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    if you want to go the cheap way, get a bunch of 64gb usb drives and download win to usb to make a to go version of your desired widnows image.
     
  8. Tom Bombadildo

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    I forgot
    The problem with that is old motherboards probably don't support booting from USB.
     
  9. osaka35

    osaka35 Instrucional Designer

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    Yeah, IDE to usb exist. But there is a conversion that needs to happen, so you can't just splice wires or anything. You'll need a board to do the work.

    https://www.amazon.com/StarTech-SATA-Drive-Adapter-Cable/dp/B00HJZJI84/
     
  10. Dogmander25
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    Dogmander25 Advanced Member

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    No, no, no, I'm talking about converting USB 2.0 to IDE. NOT SATA.
     
  11. Tom Bombadildo

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    I forgot
  12. Maximilious

    Maximilious GBAtemp Addict

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    If you have at least one newer computer with 4-8GB of memory I'd suggest scrapping the old ones and just create Windows virtual machines. You could only run one at a time on a regular family PC, but if you just want to tinker that's the way to go. No driver issues to sort out or anything, VM's just kinda work. Heck, you could even put the VMDK files on seperate thumb drives if you're strapped for space.

    Win 95/98 can't take more than 512MB of memory to run (probably less tbh), and about 300MB of disk space.
     
  13. Dogmander25
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    Dogmander25 Advanced Member

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    NO, NO, NO, USB TO IDE. NOT IDE TO USB.

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    And whats the max hard drive size Windows 95/98 and ME can use?
     
  14. osaka35

    osaka35 Instrucional Designer

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    oh, my bad. They want to downconvert, not upconvert. Gotcha.

    http://www.ehow.com/how_6893936_connect-flash-drive-ide.html

    I'm not sure how you're going to do that chain without having a string of adapters, though.
     
    Last edited by osaka35, Nov 15, 2016
  15. Tom Bombadildo

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    I forgot
  16. Maximilious

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    You can't do USB to IDE the way you're talking. You can only convert IDE to USB to plug into a computer to xfer the data. You would have to then copy said data to a thumb drive. The max Windows 95/98 can recognize is based on their file format (FAT32) which is 4GB.
     
    Last edited by Maximilious, Nov 15, 2016
  17. Dogmander25
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    Dogmander25 Advanced Member

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    Ok... So theres no real way to convert USB to IDE? And also to use a hdd bigger than 4GB for Win98/95/ME you would have to format it to use only 4GB of the drive.
     
  18. emmanu888

    emmanu888 6 years and still going strong

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    The only way to even achieve this is if you abandon the idea of using USB and use SD or CF instead.
     
  19. Tom Bombadildo

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    I forgot
    For max HDD, IIRC Windows 98 had a max of 128GB (though it needs a patch from Microsoft). Not sure about ME, and for 95 I think it's 32GB also after a patch but I'm not sure.

    emmanu888 is right, though, you could use an IDE to SD/CF adapter. I'm not 100% sure if there are any that support SDHC, though, so CF would be the better option if you wanted something with a bit more storage space.
     
  20. Maximilious

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    A better question to ask yourself is - If this were possible, IDE drive to a thumb drive, how would you transfer the data? You would have no mouse/keyboard/command interface to tell it where to move the data to.

    Regarding this, you can use one single drive with multiple boot partitions, but honestly I would go the virtual machine route. You will learn A LOT more going this way because no one installs standalone Win 95/98 anymore unless you're working on very ancient CAD or manufacturing machines that haven't been funded to upgrade yet.
     
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