External hard drives not working in Vista!

I had an ASUS 6000VM laptop and had partitioned and installed XP on the 80 GB Fujitsu 2.5″ hard drive. I had created a root partition (C:\) of 20 GB and 60 GB worth of data partition (D:\). My computer charging circuit burned because of a problem with my charger and I am now trying to get a replacement board for that computer. In the meantime, I bought a 2.5″ external hard drive casing which exposes a USB interface. Internally it features a PCB which hosts a IDE/ATA-100 interface for my hard drive and converts to a USB 2.0 interface outside. Everything worked out fine and my fingers were twingling to connect it to my office laptop and recover some of my important data.

And to my surprise, Vista actually recognized the external hard drive as a USB mass storage device. It also installed the related drivers. I then opened Windows Explorer and started to look for 2 drives added by the mass storage device. And was not able to see any. I thought it might be a driver issue so used the driver CD that was supplied with the external hard drive cabinet. It still did not show me the drives. I then opened Disk Management and saw a Disk1 but surprise surprise. It showed the drive as uninitialized! I searched the web and saw a lot of people with similar problems. Most of them had to switch back to XP to get the computer to recognize the disk.

Since I am not allowed to change the OS on my office PC (ofcourse they have that rule in my company ;)), I was one of the unlucky ones who cannot test and see if that solution works. I tried using Virtualized XP and Linux (Ubuntu) but they pipe to the actual Vista drivers and do not directly communicate with the USB device. Hence it was not successful. I am now waiting for my new rig (AMD Phenom X4, 4 GB DDR2, 1 TB HDD, 1GB nVidia graphics) to be delivered to me before I can do anything. I will definitely keep posting the updates here.

But to end this post, I am very disappointed with Microsoft. Infact my disappointment with them started right after Windows 2000. Though Windows XP is a fine OS, I see a lot of compatibility issues as well as hardware requirements which made it incapable of running on my old rig (AMD 600MHz 3D Now, 1 GB DDR, 160 GB HDD). This was the PC I was using since 2001 and feel pretty sad that it has to stick to Win98 SE  and/or Win2K Workstation/Server on the Microsoft front. It definitely runs the latest Linux releases pretty good. Vista is a total failure for Microsoft. And Windows 7 preview and RC1 looks pretty good but I am not so sure about the virtualized XP mode and the promises it makes. I do not see how it would help Windows users except for slowing their nice rigs down and eating a lot of bit space. Anyways, I am using Linux for most of my stuff. Only thing Windows is good at is playing games. Otherwise Linux is the way to go. If Linux can somehow bring the plethora of games to operate natively sometime, then that would spell the death bell for Microsoft OS. I hope it does that for good. I am not a born Microsoft hater. I have just been turned into one by the recursive stupidities the company pushes on the masses.

I will also talk about some of Microsoft’s stupidities on the Windows Mobile front in some other article. But if it wants to survive in this competitive and technology oriented market, then it needs to stop putting shit on the market and start doing some real deliveries. Do give me suggestions if you have any ideas other then replace OS and intialize hard drive. Peace and Timeout.