I found an old HDD while cleaning out the attic and was wondering if it was possible to see what it contains.

The drive is a pATA device manufactured in 2002, so I've had to buy a sATA to pATA adapter. I'm still waiting for the Molex and IDE cables to arrive, so I don't know if it even works.

That being said: is it possible to boot it up inside Linux sort of like a VM? I know I can (probably) browse it from inside the OS, but I'd prefer the first option.


  • I'd do it exactly like a VM. I'd set up KVM and set the he'd as the storage device.
    – davidgo
    Apr 26, 2022 at 9:12

1 Answer 1


Once you have the drive mounted, you can run something like Disk2VHD to turn the drive into a virtual hard drive (.VHD file). You can then mount that in something like VirtualBox, and boot into it from a host OS.

  • Perfect! I'll try this and come back and mark it as solved if it works.
    – telometto
    Apr 26, 2022 at 10:34
  • 2
    Alternatively, VirtualBox can mount a harddisk directly as device. You need to create a vmdk file using command prompt that links to the drive and the drive must be offline. After that, you can boot directly in the VM as if it was a standalone computer. This way, you don't suffer if the image failed. serverwatch.com/guides/….
    – LPChip
    Apr 26, 2022 at 10:35
  • @LPChip sounds like another answer. I didn't know you could do that (y). Apr 26, 2022 at 13:18
  • Technically it is, but don't have time to write one now.
    – LPChip
    Apr 26, 2022 at 15:48

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