Video Card Slots – Argh!

At the moment, I have a suspect 500GB hard drive that belongs to someone else. I’ve offered to run a diagnostic utility on it to attempt to read the data from its bad sectors before consigning it to the rubbish bin.

Before I can do this though, I need a working computer. For this task, I thought I would use one of my spare computers to assess the disk completely as it is going to take a fair while. However, I have hit a few snags:

  1. First computer I tried using refuses to boot with the suspect hard drive connected,
  2. First computer shuts down when it is on and I attempt to hook up the suspect hard drive,
  3. Second computer boots fine with hard drive connected but I forgot that I had thrown out the faulty video card which makes any sort of software navigation and execution very difficult,
  4. Thought I would use the video card from first computer in second computer but found the AGP slots to be incompatible.

Whilst I do have other computers to use (my server and desktop machines), they are a last resort as they will be out of action for a while (possibly days depending on the extent of the damage to the drive).

My first computer had a PCI video card and then I’ve progressively had AGP and now PCI-E video cards. The issue is that all of these slots are physically and electrically incompatible. What I find frustrating is that I have no suitable graphics card for this old machine and possibly my only way of obtaining one is eBay.

I could probably get by with a PCI video card because all I need is enough power for DOS-like text mode and all of the computers I have happen to have PCI slots. Getting one fairly quickly will be an issue.

At any rate, my patience has worn a bit thin over the weekend. I’m sure many people have experienced a similar impasse when trying to build a working computer from the parts of others or when it comes time to upgrade their existing rigs. At least most computers still have a lowest common denominator of a PCI slot when it comes to internal interfaces.

Have you had issues with different video card slots in the past?


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    • Roy on February 21, 2010 at 21:19
    • Reply

    Do I know this HD?

  1. No, it’s not yours nor does it belong to anyone you know!

    I haven’t posted your ones back to you yet, gotta do that this week.

    • Dave Neilson on February 21, 2010 at 22:36
    • Reply

    Hey Boyd, have you considered a USB –> hdd converter (mainly to inspect the data), i’ve used one before and it was quite useful (saved me having to half gut a machine to re-import old data… and they are only about $30 bucks!

  2. Hey Dave.

    I did, my issue is that USB hard drives tends not to be recognised under a DOS environment (the utility I am going to use is not Windows based).

    So it’s IDE or bust!

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