Bought old deskpro for my old BeOS R5 drive

So last month during my stay in USA, i came across an old Compaq Deskpro En Sff, exactly like the one i had about 25 years ago, (however this one was a p3-500, and the one i had was a lowly P2-400mmx) so i bought it with the intension of recovering my old files from my very old and last BeOS R5.03 install, (which i used to write short novels on Gobe Productive)

I used this model Compaq single cpu box over my Dual P3 1.4 Tyan powered box, as unlike the dual P3, this box was silent.

Got the box home, didnt boot initially untill i completely stripped it down and cleaned it, both PS/2 ports are shot, but luckily USB works.

Installed my Maxtor 4gb drive, which hasnt spun for over 20 years and whoos…
Booted straight away,

The purple boot Icons flooding me with memories as the unit completed its full boot to the blue desktop… all my files still intact… lol untill about 15 seconds later, the drive started chugging and clicking and became unresponsive… ohh nooo

guess that was to be expected…


Blue desktop again, this time i was able to check some files and even pun the teapot for a few seconds before the same chugging and clicking started…

i wont boot up gain, until i have a usb drive ready to pull the data that i require, probably wont have many starts left in it this drive id say…



Good show!
A failing harddisk is better than old CD-Rs. Mine are all unreadable… :grimacing:
I hope your ancient data excavation strikes gold.


ah yes the dreaded tick of death, time to start copying files and fast, because that thing is gonna be like a flak grenade with a pin made of wet bread, waiting to go off and take all the data with it, if it already hasn’t taken a bunch of files with it already, that sound generally means a bunch of sectors are already corrupt and unreadable.


Maybe you should make a complete dump of the hdd using ddrescue, and use the dump to get your files from, either using a 2nd hdd on the machine you just bought or a VM.

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Yep, thanks Loz, ill go that route… hopefully it will stay intact while i dump the drive…

That’s some good advice. I ghosted an old hard disk about five years back (on-site and off-site copies) and have periodically pulled files from it, but figured I had “backed them up”. I think I’d better back up the backup. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Symphorian