Why Can’t I read Old Files?

Hi Elizabeth!!!

This is the 3rd time I’m emailing you and love to look forward to your answers!

I’m an old school computer geek (cards et al..loved it!) and should be able to figure this one out, but the “new” stuff is a bit beyond me,…but I’m learning.

I have all items/files from Computer 1 backed up on an external HD and when I go to read them on my new computer, Computer 2, it’s gibberish, except for some of the music, etc. I imagine that when I first used the external HD with Computer 1, it got formatted for this computer?? and now, Computer 2 can’t read the info?

Does that mean I have to do a direct transfer of info from Comp1 to Comp2? ick. What does the Soothsayer Boston have to say?

Smilingly, Christine

Dear Christine,

Unless you are transferring files from a Mac to PC or the other way around, I don’t think it has anything to do with how the drive is formatted.

I can really only think of a couple of possible reasons you can’t read some of the files correctly.

First is that you don’t have the same program on the new computer that you used to create the files on your old computer. For example, if you used Word Perfect to create documents on the old computer, and now have Microsoft Word on the new computer.

The other possibility is that some of the files on the external hard drive have become corrupted. An external hard drive is a magnetic media and over time can become corrupted. It could also have been moved while it was writing files, been dropped, or exposed to a strong magnetic force.

If you are storing files for long term storage, an optical media (like DVD disks) will last longer.

It sounds like your files are still safely on the first computer, so I would hook your external drive up to the new computer and format it there. Then hook it up to the first computer and copy your files again. As long as you have the right programs installed, this should fix your problem.


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