Read win 7 drive on xp

I have a problem I have not had before. When I need to back up a customers computer hard drive, I connect it to my XP SP3 work computer and copy the data to a backup drive. After fixing the computer I can copy it back. But recently, I have had a problem with "some" windows 7 hard drives. Not all, just some. This is my current situation:

NEW computer, ASRock MB, Western Digital 750 GB Green drive.

New computer, loaded with Win 7 64bit, Photoshop screwed it up. They suggested a reload.
I connected the win7 hard drive to my XP computer, asked if I wanted to format. It would not read the data and in disk management, it showed the drive, but did not say NTFS under file system. So I rebooted in new CPU and backed up to a pen drive.

Then I connected the drive to my XP computer and wiped drive to be sure it was clean. Then I decided to make 2 partitions to be able to back up original reload in case Photoshop screws it up again. So I used XP to create a 600 GB partition in HD, and formatted it. Showed up fine in disk management. Put back in new machine and tried to install win 7, and it did not see the partition I just created. It said there was a 78 GB partition and then 698 GB unallocated space. So I erased everything with the advanced options and created the 600 GB partition I wanted with the win 7 CD. 7 installed fine. Installed all drivers, etc.

Then I took the drive out and connected it to my XP computer to create the 2nd partition and put the data back on, and again it does not read. It shows as 698 GB, no NTFS showing under file system. It should show 600 GB partition and some unallocated space. Back in the new computer and everything is as it should be.

My question: does this have something to do with the "Advanced Format Drive" feature that is listed on the label? I installed the newer WD Diag software because the version showed this drive as a 98 GB and the cable test failed. So I downloaded the version made for this drive and it shows the proper 750 GB and passes all tests. So my computer can see the full drive if formatted under XP.

The WD website talks about "aligning" the drive, says that you don't have to for win 7. IF I align the drive when connected to my XP computer, will I then be able to read and save the data? And if I do, will the drive still work when I put it back into the new computer? I have worked on MANY win 7 drives from other computers and mostly do not have a problem. So I think it has something to do with either the type of HD I am using, or the fact that I am doing a clean win 7 install. Most of the other win 7 HDs I work with are name brand CPUs meaning they may have been loaded using an image, which gets around the problem.

Kind help please.
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  1. Edited: I did some checking while waiting for someone to answer my question and it's the Advanced Format feature that is my problem. (See next post for more info.)
  2. FYI: for anyone else who reads this- More Info. After setting up a Win 7 computer to read and save data from AF drives, I found that it STILL did not work. Turns out it was my USB adapter that was the problem. I have 2 of those adapters with 3 different connectors for temporarily connecting hard drives to a USB port for scanning and backup of customers drives. I found that my newer one would not work with AF drives even under Win 7. However, my older one reads AF drives under both Win 7 AND Win XP.

    So, if anyone has any personal recommendations for adapters they know work with AF drives, could you please post the make and model number here. I am looking to buy a new one, preferably the hot swap kind that you can drop the drive into the top slot, instead of the kind I have now with all the wires. I live in the middle of nowhere, so trial and error is a pain if I buy one and then find it does not work. Long drive to return. Thanks.
  3. Have you had any problems with win7 64 bit edition? I installed it a few times and the system hangs sometimes, maybe is the 64 bit edition ? You said Photoshop screwed your win7 installation, how did that happen ?
  4. While I prefer XP, I have installed 7 64 bit on over 10 of my customers new computers so far. (Is there a 32 bit? LOL) I have had no problems so far. HOWEVER- I have only installed on new computers I have built. I checked to make sure that the components are 7 compatible and I do a clean install. Did you try to upgrade an older computer? I personally do not believe in upgrading from the original OS that came on the computer. Too many unknowns. A computer will always run best on what it was originally designed for.

    The Photoshop problem was that after install, it worked fine for several days. Then, out of the blue, every shortcut on the desktop and start menu, any shortcut of any kind, became a shortcut to Photoshop. Even the icon changed to the Adobe icon. Adobe was clueless, Making a new profile fixed it, but after a few days, same thing. I am in the middle of a complete reload because Adobe blames the registry. The Photoshop problem had nothing to do with the original Win 7 install, that went perfect. Photoshop did something to the way Windows looks at shortcuts.
  5. I don't know how to close this thread. Sorry.
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