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Delete or Not

CP2

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Jun 8, 2007
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6
Well here's my first post for help. I'm new at DOS, and find it rather amusing. It's old, but new to me. Right now my goal is to make more room on my Compaq Portable II hard drive. This computer was owned by a big tech consulting lab and has 413 user files (16928768 Bytes) of what may be cool stuff to look at... they worked on NASA, defense projects, etc. I'd like to check some of it, but I don't know how to open the files yet, and I need the space.

I just discovered XTPRO on it (xtree) and it lookd like I can use it to delete some directories, but I don't know if some may be needed by the system. Which of the following directories should I not delete:
Comm
CS12
TRaD
Word5 (I don't plan on writing letters - but may need to use a .txt)
WP

Thanks Group!


Storage: One 360K 5.25-inch disk drive, One 20Meg hard drive
CPU: Intel 80286 @ 8MHz
RAM: 640K
DOS: 3.31
 

Druid6900

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May 7, 2006
Messages
3,809
Location
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Well, I wouldn't delete anything in the root directory (used to be common for people to wipe it out, along with all the boot files, when they found the Del command), nor would I wipe out anything in the DOS or Windows directory.

I don't recall if Windows 3.31 has the equivalent of an add/remove programs setup, but, I'd go to Windows first and see and remove anything Windows based from there.

Anything else is, pretty much, up for grabs, I would imagine.
 

CP2

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Jun 8, 2007
Messages
6
Well, I wouldn't delete anything in the root directory (used to be common for people to wipe it out, along with all the boot files, when they found the Del command), nor would I wipe out anything in the DOS or Windows directory.

I don't recall if Windows 3.31 has the equivalent of an add/remove programs setup, but, I'd go to Windows first and see and remove anything Windows based from there.

Anything else is, pretty much, up for grabs, I would imagine.

Windows? I doubt there's Windows on this computer!
 

CP2

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Jun 8, 2007
Messages
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Note: Again, I'm not familiar with the system files, so please be more specific re: the directories I listed, as I don't want to delete important files.

Thanks
:juggle:
 

NobodyIsHere

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Joined
Dec 21, 2006
Messages
2,394
My recommendation: pull the drive and attach it to another PC compatible computer. If its IDE it should directly attach to a spare controller. If its MFM/RLL you may need to pull the controller as well.

Dump the contents of the entire drive, including all hidden files, to a directory and burn a CD of the entire contents. Better yet, use disk imaging software like MS Windows Backup or Ghost or something like dd in linux to make an image backup.

When restoring old vintage computers you never know what you are going to need so be very careful in deleting things you are not absolutely certain of what you are doing. Replacing necessary parts after the fact can be very difficult and in some cases impossible.

There are lots of software packages available which do what I am proposing and I am telling you from experience, painful experience, don't erase things without an archival backup to fall back on. I would like to avoid the religious crusades and flame wars associated with recommending specific operating systems and/or software packages but will be glad to make recommendations based on your circumstances.

You will regret willy nilly file deletion and the pain of making the backup is trivial. Please do yourself a favor!

Can I get an AMEN?

Best of luck!

Andrew Lynch
 

JohnElliott

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Sussex, UK
My recommendation: pull the drive and attach it to another PC compatible computer.

Or if you don't want to open the PC up, copy the stuff off with floppies (pkzip -&w is a great help here) or use a cable link and LapLink/FileLink/InterLink.
 

MattCarp

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Messages
279
Location
Atlanta, Georgia (USA)
difficult to burn a CD image of an MFM/RLL drive

difficult to burn a CD image of an MFM/RLL drive

My recommendation: pull the drive and attach it to another PC compatible computer. If its IDE it should directly attach to a spare controller. If its MFM/RLL you may need to pull the controller as well.

Dump the contents of the entire drive, including all hidden files, to a directory and burn a CD of the entire contents. Better yet, use disk imaging software like MS Windows Backup or Ghost or something like dd in linux to make an image backup.

This is an interesting dilemma.

Is anyone aware of a ST506 (MFM/RLL) disk controller for the PCI bus, with Windows drivers? I don't know if such a thing exists.

If it doesn't, it would be really hard to create a backup disk image.

Probably the best thing would be to use a Pentium II / Pentium III based computer that has both ISA and PCI slots. You could then pop the old ST506 disk controller in an ISA slot and then you would also have your regular IDE controller to control the target disk (another hard disk or CD/DVD).

Then the problem becomes, what modern OS's would recognize and operate with a ST506 disk controller?

Generally, Linux seems to support more flavors of hardware, but I don't know if current distros go back that far.

Does anyone know better?
 

dongfeng

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Or if you don't want to open the PC up, copy the stuff off with floppies (pkzip -&w is a great help here) or use a cable link and LapLink/FileLink/InterLink.

I would recommend LapLink. You can configure it to dump the whole drive - directories, hidden files and all - via the parallel or serial ports to another machine.

The downside however is that sometimes I can't get it to work on modern machines. I had to copy via the LapLink parallel cable to my 486 (un-turbo'd to 33MHz) and then over the network to my everyday desktop.
 

CP2

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I have not tried the suggestions, as I have deleted several directories and disk space is looking good. Problem now is the program files I need to install are on my XP and it does not have a floopy!
 

NobodyIsHere

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Joined
Dec 21, 2006
Messages
2,394
This is an interesting dilemma.

Is anyone aware of a ST506 (MFM/RLL) disk controller for the PCI bus, with Windows drivers? I don't know if such a thing exists.

If it doesn't, it would be really hard to create a backup disk image.

Probably the best thing would be to use a Pentium II / Pentium III based computer that has both ISA and PCI slots. You could then pop the old ST506 disk controller in an ISA slot and then you would also have your regular IDE controller to control the target disk (another hard disk or CD/DVD).

Then the problem becomes, what modern OS's would recognize and operate with a ST506 disk controller?

Generally, Linux seems to support more flavors of hardware, but I don't know if current distros go back that far.

Does anyone know better?

There are as many ways to do this as your imagination.

I like the laplink suggestion as that is a tried and true approach. You really can't go wrong with interlnk and intersrv.

The other way I would consider is a boot floppy Linux distribution and an ISA ethernet NIC. Copy the target computer using Linux dd to an NFS share.

Another approach is to get an ISA IDE controller and hard disk. Format it and mount it as the D: drive. Copy all the contents of the target computer to the IDE HD using a backup utility. Then transfer the IDE HD to another computer.

You could always attach an external parallel port HD like a "BackPack" or LS120/ZIP drive or whatever which would do the same thing with out the ISA card.

There are many ways to do this without moving the ST506 HD to another computer. Although if you want to you certainly can but you'll need to find a computer with both ISA and PCI slots and IDE controller (early Pentium I should do it). Personally, I have done this but find it a pain in the *** since you'll almost certainly need to reconfigure the ISA ST506 controller to coexist peacefully with the new computer. Not recommended but possible.

I would just pick one approach and go with it for a while. For starters, the LapLink cable is pretty good.

Best of luck with your data transfer!

Andrew Lynch
 
Last edited:

Jorg

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Aug 31, 2003
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I just discovered XTPRO on it (xtree) and it lookd like I can use it to delete some directories, but I don't know if some may be needed by the system. Which of the following directories should I not delete:
Comm
CS12
TRaD
Word5 (I don't plan on writing letters - but may need to use a .txt)
WP

Thanks Group!


Storage: One 360K 5.25-inch disk drive, One 20Meg hard drive
CPU: Intel 80286 @ 8MHz
RAM: 640K
DOS: 3.31

Just a suggestion,
why don't you start with renaming them- then see what happens.
 
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