Make a Vista external work on Windows 7

I have an external that apparently won't work on anything past vista. I have a laptop with windows 7 and ALL my itunes is stored on my old external along with priceless family pictures of people who are no longer around. Is there any way I can get this to work even if it's only long enough to get info off of it?

One time i installed a driver for the USB's that made it compatable to Vista rather than Win 7, but I can't figure out how to do it anymore and it's killing me not having access to my stuff.

Im not a computer expert but I can do ok so if you wouldn't mind breaking your answered into laymans terms a bit for me it would be appreciated.
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More about make vista external work windows
  1. What make/model of external drive are you using? Win 7 should recognize the drive without any special drivers, UNLESS the disk is encrypted. Did you do anything like that previously?
  2. Yes if is say Western Digital (WD) drive you can get the drive util off there site and if it is encrypted you will have to know the password.. Do you remember having to put in a password to access this drive?

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