External HD not working on XP but will work on Vista

By MrGrimms
Aug 22, 2007
  1. So I have a external HD that I had formated on vista at work and downloaded all my stuff to and when I take it home to copy everything to my desktop at home (which is running xp) it will

    1. either load the HD and say that its not formated and there is no room at all on the hd


    2. load the hd and then when i go to open the hd its gone again and not even in the device manager.

    So i thought the HD was broke so I took it back to work and hooked it back up to my work computer that has vista and it found it again and had everything that I copied to it still there like it was never messed with.

    PLEASE HELP!? :)
  2. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    It could be a drive letter allocation problem. If you formatted it in Vista to have F: as the drive letter, but your XP machine already has something as drive F:, then it will not display properly.

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  3. MrGrimms

    MrGrimms TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Is there a way to change the drive letter without reformatting it??
  4. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    Do you know how to use disk management?

    The easiest way to get to it is "Start", "run" then type "diskmgmt.msc" then hit "enter".
  5. MrGrimms

    MrGrimms TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ya i just got it changed to P: right after I posted :) so im leaving work right now so ill see if that solves the problem of xp finding it, i will repost tomarrow with the results.
  6. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    Changing the drive letter on the vista machine will probably make no difference, you need to change it on the xp machine if indeed it is a drive letter issue.
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,156   +598

    VISTA File System Changes

    MS Vista has new capabilities in the file system:
    Non-standard sector sizes is one.

    see the KB article for the details

    What size is the external HD you are moving between Vista and XP?
    It may have the new LBA format and be incompatible with your XP.

    Try forcing the Vista format to NTFS and 512byte sectors. If that fails,
    format the device using XP and then take it to work.

    :knock: sure hope your manager understands what and why you are doing this!
  8. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172


    You can also get to Disk Management by right clicking on my computer and choosing Manage.
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