How do I use a removable hard drive to transfer files from an XP to a Windows 98 computer?

Question

I have a removable hard drive docking system that I use to transfer files between my work and home computer. I just installed Windows XP on my home computer, but WinXP does not recognize my removable hard drive as removable - says it is a fixed local drive. I cannot transfer files and settings from my work computer (Win 98SE) to my home computer since File and Settings Transfer Wizard in WinXP only recognizes "Removable Drives" . If the wizard is run from the Win98 computer (using the WinXP CD), it does recognize the drive as removable, but WinXP will not recognize it as removable, so I can't get the info into WinXP.

I am not afraid to srew around in the registry, so any solution will suffice.

Answer

This question was answered on January 13, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

It is a "fixed drive." Windows XP has no way of knowing you have a hard disk installed in a plastic tray.

Windows XP uses the NTFS file system Be certain your portable hard drive is formatted under FAT32 Windows XP can mount a FAT32 volume, even if the OS itself is installed on a drive formatted as NTFS, but Windows 98 doesn't know NTFS-formatted drives from Adam.

Also, note the new, fast hard drives require new and improved removable drive bays in order to function well, or sometimes at all The cables are different from the old mushy ribbon cables used with older drives, as the new cables use two solid conductors for each conduction path, one of which is actually grounded Somehow, this makes the cables able to transfer data faster.

Configure '98 so it recognizes your portable hard disk as a fixed drive by using the "Other" setting in the File and Settings Transfer Wizard when you run the Wizard under '98, then save files and settings to a folder on said disk.

Here's a nicely illustrated web page, which explains the process: http://www.windows-help.net/WindowsXP/howto-01.html

RG

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Author

Posted by Robert of Mesa Community College on January 13, 2003