Problem: Incompatibility between New and Old Computers

I’ve waited too long between computersm, and now I have a problem. Incompatible input/output. My old computer doesn’t have a UDC port, can’t write CDs or DVDs, and can only write to 3.5" floppies. My new computer reads CDs DVDs, and has a UDC port, but won’t read 3.5" floppies.

How do I get my files from my old computer to the new one? What hardware (if any) do I have to buy?

A stand-alone floppy drive? I use a SuperDisc.

Here is, IMHO, the easiest way to do this, which I have done. Take the hard drive out of your old computer and set the jumpers to use it as a slave. Then connect it to the hard drive cable of your new computer (it will probably be a two-drive cable). This is not difficult, although you have to know how to set the jumpers. Most drives have a little diagram showing you what pins to jump for master and slave. Once you hook up the drive, transferring the data is trivial.

(UDC? Do you mean USB?)

Upload to the Web from the old computer, download from the Web to the new computer?

Yeah, forgive me.

Buy a USB Floppy Drive

Nuther idea: Can you network them?

I tried networking two incompatible computers together and it never succeeded, and instead made me cry.

By far and away the easiest thing to do, especially if you’re like me and not totally network-savvy, is just to copy the floppies to the old computer, then as CookingWishGas describes, mount the old HD as a slave in the new one and copy over. It’s a cinch to do. I’ve done this three times now, each time I upgraded. (Worked fine until I dropped one of the slaves while it was hot, and jammed the mechanism, losing all my un-backed-up data.) Alternatively you could connect the old floppy drive to the new computer, but that seems a trifle laborious.

That works unless your new computer has only SATA drives like many new ones. I use an external USB hard drive enclosure, that way you don’t even have to open the new computer.

There are also USB networking solution out there. One end in each computer. I also don’t recomend connecting a hard drive to a different IDE controller, because it might trash the data. I doesn’thappen much now, but you have an old computer, and if the data is critcal don’t do it. The best way I’ve found is to plug in an external USB hard drive and transferr that way. You probaly know someone with a drive you can borrow to do this. Remember a smaller USB hard drive can be used. I used a digital camera to transfer before I got something better. Plug in the interface and use the desktop to transfer files to the cameras memory, and do the reverse on the new computer.

If you’ve got a decent broadband connection, you can get one of many Web-based file storage services to park your files on - just upload them from the old PC and suck them down onto the new one. Of course, if you’re able to use a broadband connection on both PCs, you’re probably able to network them, in which case, you ought to be able to bypass the Web storage entirely.

Emailing stuff to yourself is another tried and true option - round up small files into ZIP files to contain and compress them. Again, this will be limited by your internet connection. Tolerable with broadband, but it’ll be miserable with dialup.

What is the old PC? You might be able to temporarily intall an internal CD-RW drive - basic drives are disposably cheap now and can be had for under $20.

One last thought - what are the files? If your old PC is so old that you’re having problems moving the files, you may well have problems with the files themselves. eg: obsolete versions or even obsolete applications that won’t run on WinXP.

You will probably still have IDE plugs on your motherboard even if you only have SATA drives installed.

Even if a machine ships with SATA drives, won’t the CD or DVD drive still use IDE? You could certainly unplug the optical drive and plug in a hard drive temporarily.

The USB hard drive enclosure is an excellent solution, one I use now (after I found out you can bypass BIOS size limits this way), although the OP may not want to buy the hardware for a one-time fix.