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Backwards OS Install Tragedy

By deICERAY ·
I was running WIN7 and being frustrated by its quirkiness, its complete lack of backwards support, and lack of drivers for XP programs. I decided to go back to XP.
I thought installing WIN7 was a mistake, but the install program of XP caused the biggest mistake of my LIFE.
Under WIN7, my 500 GB SATA drive was C: and E:, with assigned to the 200GB IDE drive.
For some evil reason, XP (and I did not find this out until hours after the install) decided that the IDE was C.

I lost basically my last five years of work - 160 GB of files. Sure, some is backed up on DVD, and maybe I can find a few GB of copies. Part of the install was motivated by the fact that I could not get the WIN7 system to burn DVDs to back up my data. So I had planned to back it up after the XP install.
All of my graphics work, my entire website, all my raw photography images all the way back to 2006, tens of thousands of pictures; all my writings, over a thousand handmade scans of 35mm slides and negatives, and a host of other files and programs and data; I was using that partition as a temp storage for the install!
So users beware; XP and WIN7 see hardware in fundamentally different ways. Apparently WIN7 sees a SATA as primary, and XP sees an IDE as primary.
I am devastated. I'm not whining, I am warning. There was no way to tell that XP had altered the lettering of the drives by looking at the install screen. There's nothing I can do now; I cannot afford to send the drive to have the data recovered.
So - be careful out there.

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I think it was Thoreau

by santeewelding In reply to Backwards OS Install Trag ...

Who said to accumulate and to go through life with no more than you could carry on your back.

Seems there are drawbacks...

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words i've had drilled into my head

by PurpleSkys In reply to Backwards OS Install Trag ...

back up, back up, back up...always and often, and preferably to an external hdd

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Yep. I was thinking the same thing.

by Ron K. In reply to words i've had drilled in ...

I even have backups of some backups.

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Installation - another area Linux is better

by j-mart In reply to Backwards OS Install Trag ...

Take the time to gain a small amount of knowledge and you have full control of the partitioning, format, or not and where you set up your system in multi disk machines, you are not forced into "Microsoft knows best"

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"Take the time to gain a small amount of knowledge"

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Installation - another ar ...

If he'd taken time to gain a small amount of Windows installation knowledge, he'd have had more control of this installation too; enough to have prevented this disaster.

On the flip side, without doing the knowledge gathering, he would have made the same mistake by assuming the distro's installation process knew best. Yes, Linux provides more control, but if he didn't know he needed it then the additional control is pointless.

You've also overlooked one of the reasons he wanted to downgrade to XP in the first place: because W7 wasn't backwards compatible with his XP apps. If W7 wasn't, Linux sure isn't either.

In short, both OSs provide the knowledgeable user the controls needed to have prevented this. You're attempting to find a Linux advantage where none exists.

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SATA support under XP.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Backwards OS Install Trag ...

The reason XP decided the IDE was C:, not , was because XP installation media doesn't include SATA drivers. It could see only the IDE drive, so that's where it installed.

During the pre-installation process, there's a prompt to load storage drivers from USB or other media, a prompt you either missed or didn't understand the significance of. You also missed the display of available drives, so you didn't notice that Windows was reporting only one physical drive available as an installation target.

Your system probably has a BIOS setting for 'legacy' or 'ATA' hard drive support as an alternative to its default 'SATA' setting. Had you set this first, the BIOS would have reported SATA drives as ATA / IDE drives to the installation process, and would have shown both SATA and IDE drives as available as installation targets.

The real warning you failed to pass along is to ALWAYS do a FULL backup before attempting ANY major OS or hard drive operation (service pack, upgrade, replacement, repair re-installation, reconfiguring for dual- / multiple-boot, drive repair utility, virtualization, among others.)

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off target

by deICERAY In reply to SATA support under XP.

I really don't want to get into the details but you are so far off the mark that I can't bring you back to it. It simply was not as you portray it. Nice analysis, but wrong.

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good to know

by deICERAY In reply to SATA support under XP.

Late is better than never. Appreciate the explanation. At least I understand better what happened. BTW, there were 3 drives acceptable for the install, not one.

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Okay, I'm confused.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to good to know

You've replied to me twice, but they appear to contradict each other. Was this a good analysis, as you indicate in the post I'm replying to; or was I way off the mark, as you said in your previous post? I'm okay with being incorrect, but I'd like to where I went wrong.

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the full story

by deICERAY In reply to SATA support under XP.

Full story:
I have an AMD Phenom 2.7Ghz quad core system with 4GB or DDR2, a 200GB IDE HDD and a 500GB SATA, in two 250 GB partitions, and an external 500GB Maxtor One Touch HDD, and a double density Lite-on DVD Burner that supports all burnable media.
I was running WIN7 pro 64 bit and not liking it at all, mostly because of the complete lack of legacy support and the lack of updates from the many thousands of dollars of software I had that ran perfectly in XP, that now would not function in WIN7. I installed WIN7 for the 64bit support, but never expected it to not support programs designed for XP. I wrote many emails to many vendors, who replied they had not as yet updated their programs to run in 7 - apparently no one was happy about the lack of backwards support. Further, the PC was rebooting itself overnight, every night, for some mysterious reason that could never be identified; they'd "let me know" said the little M$ dialog box, if they ever figured it out...
I tried to backup my data on the Maxtor One Touch, but it consistently timed out and "stopped responding", as Windows put it. I tried to burn it off onto DVDs, using Ashampoo's Burning Studio 9, which had NEVER failed in XP, but the burner timed out as well. I tried just dragging and dropping into the window created by inserting a blank disk, but that worked no better and I got 3 failures for 1 success. So I moved all my data to the D drive, which was the IDE drive. I had 160 GB of files on the IDE when I finished. Safe on the drive I told myself.
So I cleaned off C: Drive, the first partition on the SATA, (there was and still is an E: partition with all my music on it), and then rebooted to install XP. It began by reformatting the C: drive for the install; it went slow as I used a full NTFS format, not a quick one, and hours later I was up and running on XP; I activated and updated and by evening my system was operational and current. I began to install programs, when I noticed that the drive was different - it contained everything that had been left on C: in WIN7! It was NOT the drive; it was the old C: Drive!
Here's WHY: (thanks Palmetto)
WIN7 sees a SATA drive first. XP sees an IDE first.
XP formatted my DRIVE IDE BACKUP of ALL MY CRUCIAL FILES and called it C: !
Over 750,000 files gone. ALL my GRAPHICS, ALL my Photoshop work, all my videos, and programs and saved data, and on and on, especially all my recent work. Gone. I admit I was devastated.
Now I've seen some wimpy explanations and some chiding "you should have known better" comments. but I dare anyone to show me in print where Microsoft explicitly states that XP and WIN7 read hardware in a fundamentally different and opposite and potentially destructive way.
I found a program called Recuva, by the people who make CCleaner, and it recovered about 130,000 files; a pathetic recovery in one sense, a masterful recovery in another, in that most all of those were my image files, so I have some of my graphic/photography life back.
For those of you shouting "It's your fault for not backing up," I repeat, I TRIED, but WIN7 failed me.
The Maxtor and the burner have been retested under XP and THEY WORK FINE.
For this I blame COMPLETELY MICRO$OFT, and I will forever hold them in contempt, even as I continue to use their products; I see little choice, given the OS and software choices out there. THEY are directly responsible for my data loss because of their lack of specificity regarding OS's abilities to see hardware consistently. No one can tell me with a straight face that I should have expected XP and WIN7 to see basic hardware components in fundamentally opposing ways! My C: Drive should BE my C: Drive! EVER FOR ALWAYS!
So learn from this cautionary tale - be absolutely sure of what you do before you do it, and really - don't bother wasting time and money on WINDOWS 7 - it's just not worth it without the backwards support.
For Palmetto - I know I repeated some info here, but it made sense to be linear about it. Your explanation of how the drives are seen by the Os's was helpful, your speculation about backups was not. Thanks.

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