Windows Vista forum

General discussion

Will external hdd work with xp and vista??

by shlurpee / July 17, 2007 12:45 AM PDT

Quick history of why I want to know. I currently have a desktop with all my family stuff on it; music, photos, videos, and other 'family stuff' or should i say junk. Anyway, I don't want to transfer it all to my new laptop but at the same time I wont throw them away. I am getting rid of the desktop and going to a laptop only. I am using XP now and am getting vista on the laptop. I am about to get an external drive and just dump all those things onto the drive. Can I just plug and play the external hdd into my laptop running vista even though all the info was loaded into the driver using xp?

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My blunt answer.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 17, 2007 1:26 AM PDT

Maybe.

If you use one you put together yourself and didn't load any PASSWORD or ONE TOUCH BACKUP (carp) software it will work.

If you don't own a Phillips screwdriver you can run into that issue with those drives from the usual names. A call to the drive's maker should reveal how to fix that.

Bob

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reply
by shlurpee / July 17, 2007 2:07 AM PDT
In reply to: My blunt answer.

I have two hdd in my desktop. Im going to buy an enclosure and just pull one of my hdd out of my desktop, format it, and them load all the files onto it.

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Works for me.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 17, 2007 2:30 AM PDT
In reply to: reply

I've never had an issue doing that. However if I'm starting fresh I always delete the partitions, create them anew and format once I have the drive in the housing to head off any possible issues.

Bob

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Oh no! One more thing to worry about with my new laptop
by NorthBeachnik / July 17, 2007 10:51 AM PDT
In reply to: My blunt answer.

Bob,

When the tech guys rescued data off my old XP laptop the one I spilled liquid on), they put my Hitachi HD drive from that machine into an external case, and then got the data into my new Maxtor Basic 160GB external HD. After that they hooked the Maxtor up to the new HP laptop with Vista and put my data on the HP.

I'm sure they put on whatever software came with the Maxtor. Do I need to worry about this? Am I stuck now using whatever software comes with that thing every time I do a new backup of files to the Maxtor?

If I don't have to use cruddy software, what would you suggest I use to backup to the Maxtor from mmy Vista laptop?

Sigh...Sometimes I long for the good old days of DOS, floppies, the C prompt with the copy command, etc. Sad

Alex

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You're not stuck...
by John.Wilkinson / July 17, 2007 4:44 PM PDT

The Maxtor Basics hard drive doesn't come with built-in password protection software that causes Vista to have fits. It really does let you get down to the 'basics,' so you can use any software you please. Personally, I like SyncToy, a free powertoy from Microsoft. It was designed for Windows XP but it does run flawlessly under Vista. It doesn't support encryption, compression, and all of the other advanced functionality, but it will backup user-defined directories at the click of a button, gives you a variety of ways to do so, and remembers your settings the next time.

Hope this helps,
John

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Thanks - An a Question about Settings
by NorthBeachnik / July 18, 2007 2:40 PM PDT
In reply to: You're not stuck...

Thanks for the reassurance re: my new Maxtor Basics hard drive.

Now, I understand what you mean by "settings" in this context.

When someone uses the phrase "files and settings" when speaking about transferring files and settings from an old computer to a new one is the meaning of settings the same.

My new laptop is finally coming home for good tomorrow. Only the files were rescued off the old hard drive from the laptop that suffered the liquid spill.

Since no programs were backed up from the old drive and reinstalled on the new laptop then I wouldn't need to worry about settings. Right? or have I misunderstood something.

Alex

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Settings...
by John.Wilkinson / July 18, 2007 3:33 PM PDT

In my previous post I mean settings as in the first time you tell it which directories you want backed up, and each subsequent time it would remember which folders to back up.

When people talk about "files and settings," it can vary. Usually it refers to things such as your Windows user preferences, background image, Start Menu layout, username/image, etc.

So it's actually two different meanings. SyncToy will backup your personal files but not your settings.

And from what you described, having only backed up the files and installing all programs from scratch, there are no settings to import. You just have to set everything up the way you want it again.

Hope that clears it up a bit.
John

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Synctoy Backup Synchronization and Filename lLngth
by NorthBeachnik / July 18, 2007 4:02 PM PDT
In reply to: Settings...

Well, that's what I thought settings meant but I wanted to be sure.

Synctoy looks like a good choice. I see it handles long folder names. Does it handle long file names and long names of bookmarks? Some backup software (Roxio comes to mind) has choked up on my bookmarks in years past.

Thanks!

Alex

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There is a limit...
by John.Wilkinson / July 19, 2007 2:23 AM PDT

There is a limit to the length of the filename and I've twice run into files which exceeded it, forcing an alert that I'd have to copy over those two particular files myself, but I believe it's over 200 characters. Under normal circumstances that shouldn't be a problem. Other than that it works quite well, and for the price it's certainly hard to beat. Happy

John

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Not clear about one point
by NorthBeachnik / July 19, 2007 2:38 PM PDT
In reply to: There is a limit...

WHat does "copy over those files myself" mean? Copy them manually one-by-one from the laptop to the external drive without using Synctoy? What software would I/should I use to do this?

Alex

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Just Windows Explorer...
by John.Wilkinson / July 19, 2007 2:57 PM PDT

That's exactly it. If it can't create a copy, SyncToy will tell you which file and where it's located so you can browse to that spot yourself (My Computer...) and copy-and-paste the file to the destined location. No additional software is needed, for it's the same as copying a file to a floppy.

John

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Seagate FreeAgent Desktop External and Vista?
by NorthBeachnik / July 27, 2007 4:28 AM PDT
In reply to: You're not stuck...

I have a chance to buy on sale a 320GB Seagate FreeAgent Desktop External Drive (not the FreeAgent Pro with Internet Drive uploading to Seagate's Internet Storage and Shutterfly.

I was thinking of transferring my backup data from my 160GB Maxtor Basics Personal 3200 to the Seagate (if I buy it). Then I would give the Maxtor to my partner who has a Lenovo XP with 80GB to use as her backup drive. I would keep the Seagate for my HP with 160GB.

Sizewise this makes sense because she has text files and a couple of large Outlook.pst files. I have the latter plus lots of large Excel data files (for genealogy research) and lots of photos. I haven't started downloading music...yet.

However, I'm concerned about the fact that it sounds like the Seagate has password protection and its own software which might not be great with Vista as you mentioned.

Is switching out backup drives (i.e. copying my backed up data off my present Maxtor on to another drive and then wiping it from my Maxtor to give to my partner) even a good idea?

Or should I just wait and buy her a Maxtor Basics when I can afford it or one goes on sale.

Thanks!

Alex

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Well...
by John.Wilkinson / July 27, 2007 2:29 PM PDT

If you give the drive away you'd most likely want to use DBAN to wipe the drive clean so as she cannot recover the data. In regards to that particular hard drive, though, there is no mention of custom software...it's just a standard NTFS-formatted hard drive recognizable as mass storage, so no worries there.

Hope this helps,
John

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Flash Drive and Vista?
by NorthBeachnik / July 27, 2007 4:56 AM PDT
In reply to: You're not stuck...

Another question re: data backup and storage---

What about flashdrives and Vista? I read another post that said that flashdrives with Vista have an active cache and that this ruins your data rather quickly. Is this true? I would like to buy some 4GB flashdrives to put in the safe deposit box after copying data files and my most important photos (yes, the photos are also uploaded on the Internet and most have been printed out).

So what are the issues now (if any) with flashdrives and Vista? Formatting issues? Anything else? What brands are currently working well with Vista? What brands do you use with Vista? With XP?

What do others in this Forum recommend?

I had a problem with Sandisk a couple of years ago (b/c of their software?) and I'm wary of them.

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No major issues...
by John.Wilkinson / July 27, 2007 2:24 PM PDT
In reply to: Flash Drive and Vista?

I must say that's one I hadn't heard and doubt there's any merit to it. While I would always recommend keeping multiple copies of important files, using more than one form of media so as to not put all your eggs in one basket, a flash drive would be fine. As to brands, it really doesn't matter. I have mostly PNY flash drives and Sandisk flash cards, but base all my decisions on reviews of the particular model as well as current price. You may fine off-brand devices work just as well as name-brand, so don't discount them.

John


P.S. Flash drives have no software unless they are U3 or competing models, which have limited compatibility unless completely wiped clean. Just purchase a standard flash drive without all the flash and you'll be fine.

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How does one wipe a U3 completely clean?
by NorthBeachnik / August 4, 2007 5:43 PM PDT
In reply to: No major issues...

Thanks, John! How does one wipe a U3 completely clean? My partner is interested in one of these in a metal case with a really sturdy keyring attachment. She has a Lenovo T60 with USB2.

If we don't go with the metal model but go with a plastic case instead, we're thinking of the PNY Attache. Are you saying that the PNY would be plug and play so to speak? What i mean is, do we have to format it first before using it? If so, how?

We'd like to sync files from the laptop to the flashdrive. Do we download SyncToy on her laptop and use that to sync to the flashdrive just like with a large external harddrive?

Thanks for answering our newbie-ish backup questions!

Alex

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Forgot to mention what Operating Systems we're using
by NorthBeachnik / August 4, 2007 5:50 PM PDT

Lenovo T60 WinXP USB2
HP 9410 Vista USB2

Is formatting a flash drive different with Vista than with an XP laptop?

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Additional answers...
by John.Wilkinson / August 5, 2007 6:51 AM PDT

In addition to Bob's link concerning the removal of U3 software:

* As long as it's Windows ME or newer you don't have to worry about installing software or 'setting up' you computer to access any flash drive...it's plug-and-play all the way.

* No, unlike hard drives you don't need to format flash drives before using them.

* SyncToy is just fine for flash drives as well.

* No, formatting remains the same under Vista.

Hope this helps,
John

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Sorry, it may need to be from it's maker. However..
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 4, 2007 11:55 PM PDT
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HDD question
by rkinne01 / August 14, 2007 10:33 AM PDT

You should be able to use it for both. I did find that Vista doesn't like FAT 32 (slow performance), reformating the drive to NTFS solved the problem.

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How do you reformat Hard Drive to NTFS
by NorthBeachnik / August 14, 2007 4:16 PM PDT
In reply to: HDD question

Its been years since I've personally dealt with reformatting things and those were floppies.

How do you reformat an external harddrive (or a flash drive)to NTFS?

Thanks in advance!

Alex

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Short method...
by John.Wilkinson / August 15, 2007 6:56 AM PDT

Open Computer (formerly My Computer), right-click the drive, and select the Format option. It assumes the drive was previously formatted, though. If the hard drive is brand new you have to go through Disk Management to format it. (This doesn't apply to flash drives.)

Hope this helps,
John

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