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Backwards OS Install Tragedy

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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We do a "full" backup once a month....

by Darryl~ Moderator In reply to we back up

we do differencial backups both weekly and daily.

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in a business situation - not enough

by deICERAY In reply to We do a "full" backup onc ...

In every company I've worked for they added a step that I consider critical for most all businesses: a revolving, off-site complete system backup. A backup left on site is useless if its been melted into slag. If your system records are off-site all you need to do to recover from a catastrophe is buy a new PC to restore to, and you're good to go. Inventory can be purchased, but data is, as these discussions have pointed out, is priceless. I even consulted with a finance company that had two off-site backups, one was mobile! Yes, on the road, always in a different location, 24/7. Can't say more than that, but no way were they going to lose their data.

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You misunderstood....

by Darryl~ Moderator In reply to in a business situation - ...

I was commenting to PurpleSkys (my wife) home, the monthly full backup & weekly/daily differentials is fine for me.

At work we have a totally different system in place...tape library...etc....tapes go to the safe deposit box at the bank up the street.

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

My own disaster was not quite as bad as yours, and was caused by a different set of details, though the main problem was the same:

A series of temporarily unimportant problems occur, and until redressed, can form a chain that leads to a _real_ failure.

Pros know this, and are charged with preventing it,... even so, I have seen _them_ get burned occasionally.

Homies such as I are almost 'preordained' to fail. My current machine didn't come with a burner,nor any other means of BU, just a reader.

Buy a machine,... _wait_,_don't_use_it_! Spend more time and money to buy and install a burner (and 'enough' media). Now you can use it, just BU, BU, BU! (Stuff) happens.

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by deICERAY In reply to Commiseration:

I've got the message. back up back up back up; and if you can't, don't put it on!
I'm resolved to stick with XP until the rust on the CPU causes the machine to lockup forever. I've also stocked up on recordable media compatible with my burner and good ol' XP!
Thanks for sharing.

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Graduate Degree from school of hard knocks!!!!

by 1bn0 In reply to Backwards OS Install Trag ...


You have learned the fundamental lesson that is driving all of the other comments about backing up.


Unfortunately that lesson is always learned the hard way.

I would also agree , guys, you are all harping on about backing up from a system where it was clearly stated that backups of any sort WERE NOT WORKING.


Yes backing up is your first line of defence against failure.

Just because your diploma was date stamped a long time ago doesn't mean you didn't earn it the same way.

In this situation I ALWAYS disconnect any unneccessary storage devices when installing Windows. I've been fortunate enough not to lose data because of it, but I have witnessed it after others have ignored my advice. If it\s not connected , Windows can't screw it up during the instalaltion.

I get paranoid because I am usually working with someone elses data. It doesn't hurt to practice a little paranoia on your own behalf either.

For the client installs, Windows installation is a brain dead process that assumes you only have on drive and there is nothing on it to worry about. If Windows worked the way Microsft says iot does, most of would be unemployed.

to delCERAY. I have used active file recovery to recover files from drives other programs couldn't even read. Even after the drive had been reformatted.

It's the most effective tool i have used.

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Why we keep harping on the backups.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Graduate Degree from scho ...

"...guys, you are all harping on about backing up from a system where it was clearly stated that backups of any sort WERE NOT WORKING."

Then the OS conversion should not have been attempted in the first place. This is no different from finding your spare tire is no good but starting on a trip across the desert anyway. You fix the tire first, you don't make the trip hoping to fix it at the end. The manufacturers of his external drive and DVD probably offered W7 drivers on their web sites. Frankly, it sounds like his decision to upgrade from XP to W7 was a poorly thought-out one from the beginning. It's now obvious he didn't check for compatibility with his existing hardware or software.

As I said earlier, I mention backups not for deICERAY's benefit, but for those who may read this discussion later in preparation for such an attempt.

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wrong again, sorry

by deICERAY In reply to Why we keep harping on th ...

I ran a compatibility utility not once but twice; it said I was good to go. I also tried and abandoned the "transfer all your stuff" utility from M$ and that didn't work at all - it was endless BSOD and reboots for hours. A clean install of LOSE7 got it started. My hardware was all LOSE7 compatible according to everything I could find/run/read.
So I hope everybody gets it: BACK UP! Got it, have always done it, will do it; but in the final analysis, if all you tough-love people will step back a pace, my mistakes were good-faith ones, I was trying to get out of a bad situation, and there were casualties. As long as I stay with what I know, remain in XP, I should be relatively safe; maybe. BACK IT UP BUD! BACK IT ALL UP!

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My mistake.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to wrong again, sorry

See where assumptions get us? Regardless, I hope you can find time this weekend for something other than data restoration. Many of these problems often look smaller when viewed through a frosty mug.

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by deICERAY In reply to Graduate Degree from scho ...

Thanks! I looked at that program and it says the downloadable demo version has the write function disabled, so I didn't try it; it would just be sad to see all that stuff and not get it. The recovered files have, upon inspection, been mostly worthless little 1k files. It's ok, I got the message and a larger one as well - my photography and graphic work aren't that important to the universe, so if they're important to me, I'd better learn to take better care of them. I will. Already taken the first step by going back to the well supported and legacy friendly XP.

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