am in a bit of trouble here...

I wiped and installed XPSP2 Professional on a machine that was previously running Vista Home Premium as the machine was crawling. The guy who owns it copied all his files onto an external USB drive before I did the install.

Now the USB drive installs okay on XP, but it won't open. It won't open on another Vista machine either. Apparently Vista by default encrypts all data going to an external drive... I did not know this and this guy has about 50GB of stuff on the drive.

There has to be, must be a work around somewhere....?!?

My head shall roll...

did you try removing the external drive from its case and connecting directly to ide/sata to determine if the pc treats its differently?

Do you get any error messege when you
try to open the USB drive?

Thanks for the replies,

I don't get an error message when I try to open the drive, XP just asks me if I want to format the drive.

No, I haven't taken the drive out yet, I was hoping someone might have a little work around! But that will be my next step.

I have tried 2 different leads and two different machines. Each time the drive installs no problem, I just can't access it, it's basically like it's a blank drive, but it's definitely not!

Do you have any other new USB drive,
just insert it into your system and see if it works.

If it works then your previous USB drive has a problem.

No difference when I connect directly to the Mobo (SATA).

maybe ,just maybe, the person pulled the usb drive out of his computer,after copying the files, before shutting down the usb device ,happened to me!

So the drive is showing up which means you can probably run a file recovery program on if need be, but have you tried running a scandisk to determine if the hdd has problematic sectors?

I would download a file recovery program like recuva or recovermyfiles to see is you can recover them on to another hdd.

Just an Idea, but it is non destructive so you can try this while waiting to learn new options.

what is it formated as? Do you have a copy any sort of partition manger you can view the partition with?