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Mysterious Hard Drive Problem



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 17th 04, 03:50 PM
Bill Anderson
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Default Mysterious Hard Drive Problem

Zvi Netiv wrote:

Bill Anderson wrote:


A few weeks ago I bought a Western Digital 250 Gigabyte hard drive,

for my WinXP system. I'm using it to backup my main data disk, and to
store .wav files I'm creating as I read the chapters of a book for my
father (who has macular degeneration). It seems to work fine as long as
I don't put too much data on it. But it seems that after the disk is
about half full, any new files get corrupted. Yesterday I read an
entire chapter into a .wav file, and afterward the file was filled with
moments of static.

How can this be? Do I need a new drive, or have I failed to format

my drive correctly? The data backup files still seem to be fine. But a
jpeg I created yesterday with PhotoShop and saved on the suspect drive
is definitely corrupted. When I try to open it today with PhotoShop, I
see a thumbnail just fine in the PhotoShop file-open screen, but when I
open the file itself, I see only a black screen.

When I booted the system this morning, Scandisk ran on the suspect

drive. I have no idea why it ran.

Another bit of info that may be helpful: I have three physical hard

drives in my triple-boot system. One 40 Gbyte physical drive contains
partitions for Win98, Win2K, and WinXP.



This could be the source of the problem. Apparently, the 250 GB

drive is seen
differently by W2K and XP.


One 80 Gbyte drive holds all my data files. Both of these drives are

FAT32. The third drive, the 250 Gigabyte drive, is formatted NTFS.

What's going on here? Do I need to take the drive back and get

another? Do I need to reformat my 250 Gbyte drive? Something else?



Did you try playing / viewing the recorded data without leaving the

Windows
section? If they get corrupted only after rebooting, or having

switched the
boot OS from XP to W2k, or W2K to XP, then the cause is inconsistency

between
how the drive is seen in the last two OS.
Regards, Zvi --




Thanks for helping me think this through, Zvi. I hear what you're
saying about the other OS's, but I'm reluctant to believe that's it. I
seldom use Win2K anymore -- haven't booted it in months. I use Win98
occasionally, but the default OS is WinXP and that's what I generally use.

Win98 doesn't see the NTFS drive, so I can't believe it's corrupting
individual files on it. Apparently the only files that were getting
corrupted were files added after the disk was about half full. I went
back and checked files I'd added earlier -- Word documents for example
-- and they were fine. But files I created two days ago were hopelessly
corrupt.

You've asked a good question about *when* the files became corrupted --
did it take a reboot? I just don't remember for sure. I know that when
I processed some video files onto the problem drive, they were
immediately corrupt. When I processed the same video files onto my
80-gig FAT32 drive, I had no problems at all. This problem began only
when the problem drive was about half full.

Another bit of info -- my new 250-gig hard drive is a replacement for a
120-gig hard drive that was also formatted NTFS. That drive worked just
fine in my system, right alongside Win98. I replaced it only because I
wanted a bigger drive.

I didn't FDISK this drive, and I didn't use the Western Digital floppy
that came with it to set it up. I set up the drive using WinXP -- under
Disk Management. Then I formatted it using WinXP. Disk management now
reports that the drive is healthy. I've reformatted it since all the
problems started, by the way. There's nothing on it now -- no files at
all. I'm just trying to figure out what to do next.

So the question is -- has anyone else ever seen this sort of behavior?
Can it be a bad hard drive? I can still return it for another -- I
haven't owned it very long. Is there some sort of test I can run on it
to see if part of it but not all of it is damaged? What to do, what to do?



--
Bill Anderson

I am the Mighty Favog

  #2  
Old January 17th 04, 07:42 PM
Pepperoni
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Bill Anderson" wrote in message
...
I didn't FDISK this drive, and I didn't use the Western Digital floppy
that came with it to set it up. I set up the drive using WinXP -- under
Disk Management. Then I formatted it using WinXP. Disk management now
reports that the drive is healthy. I've reformatted it since all the
problems started, by the way. There's nothing on it now -- no files at
all. I'm just trying to figure out what to do next.

So the question is -- has anyone else ever seen this sort of behavior?
Can it be a bad hard drive? I can still return it for another -- I
haven't owned it very long. Is there some sort of test I can run on it
to see if part of it but not all of it is damaged? What to do, what to

do?

Bill Anderson


Since the drive is new, empty, and possibly has data remaining, I would run
DLGDIAG1.exe from
http://support.wdc.com/download/index.asp
You can return the drive to new condition by writing zeros to the entire
drive. Be aware that it may take 6 hours or more to run. (80gig HD time)
Much better than any format you can otherwise perform. It will run from
floppy, so I would unhook the other drives as a precaution.

The Diagnostics utility allows you to test the drive, print results for last
drive tested, repair errors found during the Test Drive option and write
zeros to the drive.

Pepperoni


  #3  
Old January 17th 04, 08:01 PM
Bill Anderson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Pepperoni wrote:

"Bill Anderson" wrote in message
...

I didn't FDISK this drive, and I didn't use the Western Digital floppy
that came with it to set it up. I set up the drive using WinXP -- under
Disk Management. Then I formatted it using WinXP. Disk management now
reports that the drive is healthy. I've reformatted it since all the
problems started, by the way. There's nothing on it now -- no files at
all. I'm just trying to figure out what to do next.

So the question is -- has anyone else ever seen this sort of behavior?
Can it be a bad hard drive? I can still return it for another -- I
haven't owned it very long. Is there some sort of test I can run on it
to see if part of it but not all of it is damaged? What to do, what to


do?


Bill Anderson



Since the drive is new, empty, and possibly has data remaining, I would run
DLGDIAG1.exe from
http://support.wdc.com/download/index.asp
You can return the drive to new condition by writing zeros to the entire
drive. Be aware that it may take 6 hours or more to run. (80gig HD time)
Much better than any format you can otherwise perform. It will run from
floppy, so I would unhook the other drives as a precaution.

The Diagnostics utility allows you to test the drive, print results for last
drive tested, repair errors found during the Test Drive option and write
zeros to the drive.

Pepperoni




Thanks! That was excellent advice. Actually, running the Windows
version of the Western Digital diagnostic utility pointed me, I hope, in
the right direction.

Even though WinXP has always reported the drive's capacity as 250
gigabytes, the WD utility said it was 134.22 gigabytes. The utility has
two windows for reporting on disk size -- the top window reports on the
size of the physical drives in the system, and the lower window reports
on the size of the logical drives. And in the LOWER window, which
reports on each of my system's partitions, the utility reports the drive
size as 250 gigabytes, or thereabouts. Very confusing.

The utility helped me find a Microsoft KBA (Knowledge Base Article
303013) about all this. It really does appear my system is not able to
use the disk for more than 134.22 gigabytes. I have an Asus P4T-E
motherboard, and I'm running BIOS upgrade 1005e -- I flashed to that
version long ago. According to the online documentation, 1005e does
include support for Logical Block Addressing (LBA), which is required to
exceed the 137 gigabyte limit. And the BIOS reports the drive size as
250 gigabytes.

I did find that my WinXP ATAPI driver was not the version the KBA said
is required. I've now upgraded the driver to the required version.

The KBA also said I might need to edit the registry, but when I went to
the registry location described in the KBA, I didn't find the registry
value I was looking for (EnableBigLba).

Right now I'm copying files onto the drive to see if I can exceed the
137 gigabyte limit. I sure wish I hadn't reformatted the thing last
night. It takes a long time to copy gigabytes of data, and I need to
copy 137 gigabytes just to see if updating the ATAPI driver will enable
the drive to hold more.

I'm betting it won't -- I'm betting that utility needs to report the
physical drive size as 250 gigabytes. But how to make it do that?

* BIOS seems OK for large drives.
* WinXP reports correct size for the drive.
* Running WinXP SP1

I wonder if I should have reformatted the disk, now that I have a new
ATAPI driver? Guess I'll find out soon.

Bill Anderson

--
Bill Anderson

I am the Mighty Favog

  #4  
Old January 18th 04, 03:23 AM
Starz_Kid
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Hello Bill A, With Win-XP, you need to install SP1 and modify your registry
to enable large block access... That could explain why you are losring
data!!

Check with the MS newsgroups to learn more about Enabling LBA in Win-XP!!
(try microsift.public.windowsxp.help_and_support) or go to the MS archive
and use the key words "enable LBA"

Starz_Kid...


"Bill Anderson" wrote in message
...
Pepperoni wrote:

"Bill Anderson" wrote in message
...

I didn't FDISK this drive, and I didn't use the Western Digital floppy
that came with it to set it up. I set up the drive using WinXP -- under
Disk Management. Then I formatted it using WinXP. Disk management now
reports that the drive is healthy. I've reformatted it since all the
problems started, by the way. There's nothing on it now -- no files at
all. I'm just trying to figure out what to do next.

So the question is -- has anyone else ever seen this sort of behavior?
Can it be a bad hard drive? I can still return it for another -- I
haven't owned it very long. Is there some sort of test I can run on it
to see if part of it but not all of it is damaged? What to do, what to


do?


Bill Anderson



Since the drive is new, empty, and possibly has data remaining, I would

run
DLGDIAG1.exe from
http://support.wdc.com/download/index.asp
You can return the drive to new condition by writing zeros to the entire
drive. Be aware that it may take 6 hours or more to run. (80gig HD

time)
Much better than any format you can otherwise perform. It will run from
floppy, so I would unhook the other drives as a precaution.

The Diagnostics utility allows you to test the drive, print results for

last
drive tested, repair errors found during the Test Drive option and write
zeros to the drive.

Pepperoni




Thanks! That was excellent advice. Actually, running the Windows
version of the Western Digital diagnostic utility pointed me, I hope, in
the right direction.

Even though WinXP has always reported the drive's capacity as 250
gigabytes, the WD utility said it was 134.22 gigabytes. The utility has
two windows for reporting on disk size -- the top window reports on the
size of the physical drives in the system, and the lower window reports
on the size of the logical drives. And in the LOWER window, which
reports on each of my system's partitions, the utility reports the drive
size as 250 gigabytes, or thereabouts. Very confusing.

The utility helped me find a Microsoft KBA (Knowledge Base Article
303013) about all this. It really does appear my system is not able to
use the disk for more than 134.22 gigabytes. I have an Asus P4T-E
motherboard, and I'm running BIOS upgrade 1005e -- I flashed to that
version long ago. According to the online documentation, 1005e does
include support for Logical Block Addressing (LBA), which is required to
exceed the 137 gigabyte limit. And the BIOS reports the drive size as
250 gigabytes.

I did find that my WinXP ATAPI driver was not the version the KBA said
is required. I've now upgraded the driver to the required version.

The KBA also said I might need to edit the registry, but when I went to
the registry location described in the KBA, I didn't find the registry
value I was looking for (EnableBigLba).

Right now I'm copying files onto the drive to see if I can exceed the
137 gigabyte limit. I sure wish I hadn't reformatted the thing last
night. It takes a long time to copy gigabytes of data, and I need to
copy 137 gigabytes just to see if updating the ATAPI driver will enable
the drive to hold more.

I'm betting it won't -- I'm betting that utility needs to report the
physical drive size as 250 gigabytes. But how to make it do that?

* BIOS seems OK for large drives.
* WinXP reports correct size for the drive.
* Running WinXP SP1

I wonder if I should have reformatted the disk, now that I have a new
ATAPI driver? Guess I'll find out soon.

Bill Anderson

--
Bill Anderson

I am the Mighty Favog



  #5  
Old January 18th 04, 03:43 AM
V W Wall
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Bill Anderson wrote:

The KBA also said I might need to edit the registry, but when I went to
the registry location described in the KBA, I didn't find the registry
value I was looking for (EnableBigLba).


You may need to add the value yourself where indicated by the KB article.

Are you sure your BIOS will handle drives 137GB? It not only requires
LBA, which may be 28bit, but needs 48bit LBA to work with larger drives.

Right now I'm copying files onto the drive to see if I can exceed the
137 gigabyte limit. I sure wish I hadn't reformatted the thing last
night. It takes a long time to copy gigabytes of data, and I need to
copy 137 gigabytes just to see if updating the ATAPI driver will enable
the drive to hold more.

I'm betting it won't -- I'm betting that utility needs to report the
physical drive size as 250 gigabytes. But how to make it do that?

* BIOS seems OK for large drives.


Check that it supports 48bit LBA.

* WinXP reports correct size for the drive.
* Running WinXP SP1

I wonder if I should have reformatted the disk, now that I have a new
ATAPI driver? Guess I'll find out soon.


Good luck!

--
A foolish consistency is the
hobgoblin of little minds,........
Ralph Waldo Emerson
(Microsoft programmer's manual.)
 




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