• Welcome to Overclockers Forums! Join us to reply in threads, receive reduced ads, and to customize your site experience!

Unable to Read XP Drive in Windows 10

Overclockers is supported by our readers. When you click a link to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn More.


New Member
Apr 14, 2017
I am working on an OLD OLD OLD laptop. I pulled it's old ATA (yes, NOT SATA) drive out since the powercord for the machine is long gone. I have a USB connector with ATA and SATA connections and I used it to connect to my Windows 10 machine. It appears in the Disk Management tool, but it does not have a drive letter, and there is no option to assign it one.

Any ideas how I can access the drive so I can copy off the data (pics, docs, etc).
I had an issue like this with my external drive adapter when I was using the wrong powercord. The drive showed up but there was no letter and no option to add one. If possible you could try another external adapter. You could also try booting from a Live Linux disc, but my gut says your adapter is causing the issue.
Unfortunately it's the only adapter I have. Like I said, it's a really old drive, I was surprised as hell that I had anything that would read it at all.
Try a live linux boot CD. Scary that it doesn't know its NTFS...
I did some more reading, and apparently Windows 10 has issues reading old drives from XP. I dug up a Windows 7 machine and it read it! ... For about 20 seconds before the drive starting clicking and grinding. The drive was toast. Not clear if Win10 wasn't reading it because of some Win10 issue, or if it knew the drive was already toast. Ah well.