Windows 7 Access Denied to External Drive

External hard drive salvaged from computer running Windows XP
Encased, plugged into USB on new computer running (not by choice) Windows 7
(Know where this is going?)
Given every permission and ownership to new computer to have its way with docs on external drive.
Can't copy docs from external drive to new computer even in (basic, without networking) safe mode. (And haven't tried a mac.)
Can I somehow change permissions or ownership on the EXTERNAL drive to access my own documents? Anything else?
If I throw it against the wall, will that work? Who is this other administrator to give access, when I'm the only administrator?

Searched, tried every fix. Didn't work. (safe mode, ownership, share directories, CMD as administrator, security settings, etc.) Did however collect some nice errors.
Fortunately they were Open Office/M.Office files.
FYI: When I downloaded open office, and with windows ownership, I could open the files in that. No. problem.

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