How to view files from passport on a different computer

I backed up the hard drive of my old computer (8yr old Gateway running Windows XP) onto a Passport external HD. When I open it on the new computer (HP Pavillion running Windows 7) explorer shows there are files, but it says they are empty. If I open it at work (3yr old Dell running Windows Vista) the files open just fine. How can I get my new computer to recognize the files so I can transfer them and get rid of the old computer. Currently I have to run both to access what I need.
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  1. Hello, & Welcome to Tom's Hardware!

    What method did you use to back up your XP computer files? Did you simply copy over for example the "My Documents" folder, use a commercial back up program, or use an included automatic back up utility?

    Also check the properties of the Passport drive and report the size of the external HDD, and make sure it's formatted with NTFS.

    That'l help us point you in the right direction.
  2. Thanks for responding so quickly. I used the automatic back up utility that came with the Passport. I figured that was the best way to get everything. It's a 230 GB capacity of which about 2/3 is used. It is formatted with NTFS. Let me know if you need any other information.
  3. Are you trying to restore the files using the backup utility that came with the Passport or are you trying using other software? You might want to check Western Digital's site for an updated version of the backup utility ( ).
  4. Hi again,

    If you backed up your XP using the WD Smartware software (that you installed on the XP), might install that same software on the New Win-7 computer and use this WD Smartware software it to copy back over your data. Once you get your data on the new machine, then you can decide whether to continue to use the Smartware software, or uninstall it and just use standard Copy commands or Drag and Drop commands to back up your data, or even the Win-7 Backup and Restore utillity built into Win-7.

    I don't know about the WD Smartware, but some external backup software will encrypt the data (or even the USB bridge built into the Passport) so you need the Smartware to move it back (or the Passport enclosure with the drive inside).

    Anyway, install the WD utilities on your new computer, and see if all the files are visible for use and copying over to the new Win-7.
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