Sounds to me like he should hve used tape and placed a NUMBER on ea HDD, and then reference.
#1 -Vista clean
#2 - XP - Clean
#3 - Windows 7 clean.
or what ever so you know which HDD is what.
also you never mentioned if you allowed Windows 7 to FORMAT a HDD.
Your post is very long - Yes. it also is rather confusing. since the details are jumbled. plus:
i had to constantly be switching around hd's between the server and my current computer, and to save some time i sometimes keep the computers running during the switching process.
that is Very DANGEROUS> as you have just learned.
Also why can you not install Windows 7
( i wanted to put Windows 7 on it but have to settle with xp)
XP and Windows 7 do not play very well. It is known that XP has a major problem with Windows 7. due to when made. and it also DELETES some references to Windows 7.
I recommend you
1. make a bootable USB and place you Windows 7 there.
2. Then you can install Windows 7 (unless of course) you BIOS is so old it simply will not allow WIN 7.
PS: it really would help.
a full set of specs. read mine if your not sure what to include. Win 7 x64 does not say much...