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Assuming the drive works and the laptop's usb port is good then the problem could reside in a couple of areas..
1. The file system of the Blue hard drive may not be recognized by windows on your Vaio, this is most likely due to the fact its was formatted with a Mac (and therefore probably using HFS). If this is the case and you need to read the contents of the disk then you can install mediafour's macdrive (http://www.mediafour.com/products/macdrive) this will allow your vaio to read the mac disk. It is free for 5-days so if you just need to access some files you can do this at no cost.
2. The drive may not have been partitioned and formatted yet, in which case for windows XP follow this microsoft guide http://support.microsoft.com/kb/313348 and for windows 7 follow this http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Create-and-format-a-hard-disk-partition
Hope this helps
Does the XP Install indicate that no hard drive is found? If so, either your hard drive is not properly connected, or your system requires a driver in order to access the controller. If this is not a new hard drive, it's possible your drive has a physical problem.
Drive diagnostic software that tests the ability to read/write the drive can be found here:
http://www.grc.com - Get a copy of SpinRite and use it to do a Level 2 Recovery
In your BIOS settings, make sure there is no AHCI mode enabled. XP needs additional drivers for AHCI mode. Change the hard drive compatibility setting so that you're not using AHCI mode, then try your install again.
Also check to be sure that your IDE/SATA controllers are enabled and set to AUTO.
If it is a desktop computer, try connecting to one of the rear USB ports. sometimes drives won't be recognized properly from a secondary USB or HUB. If it's a notebook go into control panel and see if you can find and delete unknown devices in hardware
then attach and see if it connects. XP should not need a driver install.
Ubuntu works with RAM and CPU Memory instead of a pc like xp that uses Virtual RAM. If the pc that could not load ubuntu doesn't have enough ram to support the reading of the Hard drive and the Operating System then it won't work and Xp will only run on the computer that xp was installed onto the hard drive.
It's the format that doesn't allow windows to access the data. Only way to recover is to get another external drive and transfer the data to it. Then you could reformatt the old drive to work with XP. Hope this helps.
Might be a damaged sector. Otherwise i would think you (by accident) created a seperate partition on your C:\ (? main) HD. The cause of damage can be many things, certain types of certain brands or more sensitive in how fast these sectors get damaged. But you can at least try to repair them with the disk repair utility in Win XP, called ChkDsk ("check disk"). However, what may end up happening is that ChkDsk will mark the sector
as bad (instead of attempting to recover any information) and your hard
drive will no longer 'hover' over top of that area of the drive, making
it impossible to recover any data on the sector. Maybe try to google for (free) BETTER third party software for this first. So what caused it is hard to discover after it happened, but you can try to repair it.