Accessing XP data files with Vista?

By pg42
Jul 22, 2008
  1. Hi everyone!

    You folks seem to really know your stuff so I thaought you may be able to help.

    I need some advice, please.

    I have a hard drive with xp on it which got corrupted somehow. Every time I go to log on it immediately logs me off. I researched the problem online and it seems that the log in files got corrupted. Apparently the virus renames one of the files needed. I called microsoft tech support to help but I don't have the windows setup disk so couldn't copy any good files. I tried with the six bootable floppies and copied file but still didn't work. They say I need to do a system repair but I can't without a disk. Can't find anybody who has one. Microsoft wouldn't send me one because I can't provide them with a product ID or key. It's a custom built system so there's nobody else to call. I can't log on to access key in registry either. After 2 weeks of trying to find somebody with XP professional disk, I finally put in a new hard drive and bought vista. everything went fine with that but now Ii need to know the best way to access the old data files on the other hard drive. It has years worth of family photo's on there that mean the world to me. I can't lose those.

    My question is, basically, can I access the data files on that hard drive with vista? add the hard drive as a slave or external hard drive? Will it work even though the os is corrupted? I also have a friend's laptop that has XP pro on it but he doesn't have the os disk. Maybe call gateway to get a replacement xp pro disk for his and use it to do a repair on my hard drive? would that erase the data files? Would like to go the slave or external hard drive route because I could use a backup drive after this is resolved.

    I appreciate any advice you can give.
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Short answer: Yes

    Actually it would be wisest option for you to Backup your data via the USB external option, or via plugging the HardDrive in as Slave to another computer, or basically your Vista computer (that has its AntiVirus software up to date)
  3. pg42

    pg42 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 51

    Thank you kimsland for the advice. I will try what you recommended...the usb external option.

    I just need to be sure before I spend the money on an enclosure:

    I won't have a problem accessing those files since I can't log on to XP on the drive?


    I won't be asked to reformat the drive or re-partition the drive thereby losing the data?

    Thanks in advance!
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    It is possible that you may need to take ownership of a passworded protected account on the Slave (or USB) harddrive.

    It's incredible how Windows protects files, even as a slave !

    If this happens just reply back then
    (it's a matter of enabling your user to access the right click->Properties->Security of the Slave's protected folder, by the way!)

    But just go for the safe (USB or Slave) option
    Reply back if any issues
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