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I may be in the wrong place, but I'll ask anyway.

I have a Dell Win95 machine that was purchased in 1997 and last used around 2000. Anyway it's been sitting in storage and I plan to send it off to be recycled; but, there are some old docs, photos, etc that I would like to retrieve and move over to my modern NAS.

The Win95 machine still works just fine and I can connect to the Internet and browse the web.

The NAS is a Synology DS211j with ftp turned on.

The old Win machine won't connect to the NAS over the local network. So how do I move my files from the Win machine to the NAS?

I've been trying to get ftp to work, but it won't. There may be a better solution to what I've been trying?

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We could use a bit more detail on what you tried and what errors you get. – uSlackr Oct 7 '11 at 20:53
+1 for storing a PC for 11 years, then actually remembering to salvage data before tossing it. – Moab Oct 7 '11 at 21:11
Does NAS have FTP server? On which side the FTP doesn't work? Must the transfer go directly to NAS? It may be easier to set up a FTP server on another computer and move data from there to the NAS. – AndrejaKo Oct 7 '11 at 21:19
Is networking not working on the 95 box at all? As in, are you not able to connect using FTP to the NAS? – music2myear Oct 7 '11 at 21:49
@Moab -- I turned it on to format the drives before taking it to the recycler, only to discover some archival design work and family photos.... – wdypdx22 Oct 8 '11 at 19:40

You could pull the disk and use a USB drive adapter like this to attach it to another machine and copy the files off that way.

Alternately, you could look at the NAS to see if you can enable downrev SMB and authentication support temporarily.

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I was trying to avoid that solution. There are 3 HDD's in the old Win95 machine. I created a folder on the old machine with the files I want to save. I want them to go to the NAS with no fuss; actually with as little fuss as possible. ;-) – wdypdx22 Oct 7 '11 at 21:02

I suspect it won't transfer to the nas cause its in the wrong workgroup. However, rather than working that out, i would suggest using a USB drive.

The 'joys' of win 9x are the lack of decent mass storage drivers, and lack of NTFS support - for the former, there are generic drivers that have worked successfully for me - you could use this to sneakernet the files off with a USB key or drive - just make sure its fat formatted.

If you have files larger than 4gb, 7zip still supposedly works on legacy windows.

Depending on the exact specs of the system, you could also use a linux livecd (which might end up being easier) to do the same.

You might also want to consider just imaging the whole drive and dealing with it mounted to another system with dd or clonezilla

Don't forget to wipe the disk once you have the data out ;)

Edit: or... do it in reverse

Set up a web server on the windows 98 box (Abyss allegedly works) and snarf the files down with a web browser or wget.

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Isn't USB only available in Windows 95b? – Canadian Luke Oct 7 '11 at 22:37
my bad. shows how out of touch i am. The lack of drivers still holds true tho – Journeyman Geek Oct 7 '11 at 23:25
The machine has no usb, so I'd have to scavenge another old machine for a pci usb card and then there's the question of drivers. Also tried to use a couple of different lightweight linux live cds but they won't boot off of the cd-rom. I figure it's just some overlooked ftp setting either on the NAS or the Win machine, since back in the day I did use the Win machine to get files to and from work... – wdypdx22 Oct 8 '11 at 19:19

This solution might be low-tech, but it should work if your old computer has USB ports:

  1. Grab some USB thumb drive or sd card + adapter and connect to your old pc.
  2. Copy all the files you need while this old computer is not connected to the network. I suppose it has not been updated in years, connecting it to the Internet is a recipe for quick infection with malware. Which could tamper/delete/steal your documents.
  3. Place that USB stick into another computer and copy to your NAS.

Since this is data from 2000's, I cannot imagine there is more than several GBs of data. So this is feasible, if not in one go, than in two. And you don't need to troubleshoot network connectivity issues on Windows 95.

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Do you have any information on malware currently in the wild which works on windows 9x systems? I'm pretty sure that it would take quite a bit of trying to actually get malware that would work on such computer in the first place. Remember, it probably has Internet Explorer 4 or 5 or Netscape Navigator 3 or 4 installed. – AndrejaKo Oct 7 '11 at 21:52
Well, the browser is irrelevant. There are lots of outdated and abandoned botnet pieces out there. It is true that most worms won't work on Win9x, but it takes only one such infected PC with worm that is still active and trying to spread, to infect you if your computer is directly connected to the 'net. – haimg Oct 7 '11 at 22:08
USB only worked in Windows 95b I thought? – Canadian Luke Oct 7 '11 at 22:37
The old machine is behind the firewall. Not too worried about my other local machines as they are running current versions of ubuntu and osx. Hopefully, there are no old bots on that old machine...but it did have up to date virus protection at the time... – wdypdx22 Oct 8 '11 at 19:35

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