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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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Ok you are an ungrateful jerk.

by JamesRL In reply to the full story

Palmie's advice about backups was dead on the mark. Had you followed it, you would not be in the position you are in.

He was trying to help you, and you spat at him.

I realise you are upset and frustrated. Thats no reason to bite the hand of those who are offering the advise you want.

And you still don't "get it", re XP and SATA. When XP was written, SATA didn't exist. So the install process doesn't see a SATA drive. There is a point in the install where it give you the chance to add a driver (hit F6 if I recall correctly), this was for SCSI drives, RAID controllers, but also works for SATA - this allows you to direct the OS install to drivers that you can have on a floppy. I've done this many times, as my XP computer also has SATA as the boot drive.

You may have attempted to do a full backup, but you should not have attempted an install of an OS without a successful backup. Thats advice everyone should understand.


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No offense taken on my part

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Ok you are an ungrateful ...

After all, I did ask what part of my previous post wasn't helpful.

My backup advice wasn't trying to help deICERAY; it was already too late for that. It was intended to benefit others who might read this discussion as preparation for a similar attempt.

I was going to correct the statement that XP 'sees an IDE drive first', but I figured deICERAY was still too upset to care anyway.

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Oh yeah, that was helpful!

by deICERAY In reply to Ok you are an ungrateful ...

It's a policy of mine to ignore smug, old farts but in your case I'll make an exception. I did not "spit" on Palmetto - he asked where he was off the mark. From one "jerk" to another, your comments are just a casual skim and insult attack. I would also like to borrow your time machine so that I can go back and take advantage of advice I received after the fact. As for the "still don't get it" part, your explanation is that it also works for SATA - even though it doesn't mention SATA anywhere in the install? That's sublimely helpful... that was sarcasm in case you don't recognize it.
Finally, did you notice the "retired" in my profile? I'm trying to keep up with the technology, I'm trying to do things right, and I thought I'd get help and commiseration - whoa, wrong there on your part!
Oh yeah, since I was running the SATA under XP, I don't "get" your XP was before SATA comment, and I maintain that it was perfectly logical of me to assume a hardware setup, run under XP, upgraded to WIN7, would then work with a reinstall of XP - pardon me, it must have been because I'm such a jerk. A retired jerk at that.

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I'm sorry for your loss.

by AnsuGisalas In reply to Oh yeah, that was helpful ...

My condolences.
Unfortunately Microsoft will not suffer from your contempt.
You should consider a shift towards a more reliable OS.

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I'm helpful to many, see my thumbs

by JamesRL In reply to Oh yeah, that was helpful ...

But you seemed more intent on venting then listening to Palmie, who is even more helpful and infinately more patient than me.

I've gone through the XP with SATA install dozens of times, at work and at home. I held on to XP during Vista because my older games ran better on XP.

The XP installer program doesn't list SATA as SATA didn't exist when it was written. If you'd like to use that time machine to tell MS to anticipate what hasn't happened yet, go ahead.

Instead, they made allowances for funky setups of the day, like RAID arrays with SCSI controllers etc. and gave you the option of hitting F6 and pointing to the driver. Thats how your XP must have been installed in the first place.

Me smug, not hardly. The reason I and others have mentioned the "do the backup first, before you attempt an OS install" is because we have all made the same mistake as you at some point or another. And I don't think any of us were trying to rub it in as much as to make sure that before you do anything similar again, make sure you have the stuff you need backed up. Its a voice we hear in our own heads.

Help, I thought Palmie was being helpful, and what came across when I read your reply wasn't someone who was trying to understand what he was telling you, but someone who was venting their spleen.

As for retired, there are several retired people on here that are trying to keep up as well, but they don't use that status as an excuse.

I've helped many people here over the years, with technical questions, business advice, resume reviews, interview tips. I've shopped for some people here, bought a few beers etc.

Its the spirit with which you came in, looking for someone to blame, lashing out that caught me, or I would have been more patient in my response. There are lots of great people here who will and do help others on a regular basis, many much more than me.

As that pop song goes, you get what you give.


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First rule of Windows is :

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Backwards OS Install Trag ...

NEVER install a version of Windows on a system that has a hard drive with a LATER version already loaded on it, it will get screwed big time. You MUST remove the hard drive with the newer version or wipe it, before you try to install.

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not only that

by danerd In reply to First rule of Windows is ...

i recently had to reinstall xp and installed it on fat32 ( i wasnt paying attention ) now when i access wav music files that are on my other harddrive which is ntfs some of the text information relating to those music files is now missing and i am talking of the small difference in file systems ntfs vs fat32, so you can see how tempremental windows can be.

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Windows is temperamental

by santeewelding In reply to not only that

Or, you are temperamental, like our friend?

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No 'small difference'

by CharlieSpencer In reply to not only that

"...i am talking of the small difference in file systems ntfs vs fat32..."

That's not a small difference. While many OSs can access either, individually they're incompatible.

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what i meant

by danerd In reply to No 'small difference'

is fat32 and ntfs are supposed to be compatible, ( i stand corrected )therefore i cannot understand why eighty percent of my text information of my wav music files are missing on my (d) drive why not all of the text is missing, that prompted my comment that windows is temperemental

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