My folks had a HP from the turn of the century that was dieing and they wanted me to gut... well, I wanted to gut it so I got them a new machine and have been trying to salvage what I can from their old beast. Now they tell me they need stuff that was stored on their old HD(documents and whatnot).
I tried to hook up the HD to my computer, but my HD is SATA and theirs is IDE. Now, I know that setting up a HD as a secondary slave should not be that difficult. I've seen it done, and read online walkthroughs, but I cannot figure it out. When the old HD is hooked up it boots to that one, which is not what I want. I've tried messing around with boot order BIOS, but truth be told I am more a self-taught techy and I've never really gotten the hang of BIOS. Now, the Hard Disk stopped responding.
If anyone out there can give me some tips on what I might have missed, please let me know. The data is very important and I am desperate to get it.
PS: I removed the little jumper on the HD because I was told that that is the thing to do, does it matter if the IDE HD is set to slave or not?

There is no master and slave relationship in a Sata. You can set the disk as a Master or a single disk on its own if there is a setting for such. Go out to purchase an external hard disk enclosure, insert the century-old hard drive in it, hook it up with a USB cable and let it work as an external hard disk.

Problem solved. External enclosure for 3.5" HDD enclosure retails at about 20 sterling in UK and should be well under US$40 in USA
Although if you still have any problem with your HDD then why don’t you try any Recovery labs like Salvage Data Recovery Lab. They usually solve these kinds of problems with a snatch of the finger.

my suggestion would be to get a USB External Enclosure. Put that Old HDD in the enclosure and then load your HDD regularly and grab the files from the old HDD the easy way rather than using a Sata to IDE converter.