1.1.44 Error Writing FAT Table for Volume WTL/SYS

Posted on 1997-11-11
Last Modified: 2008-03-03
I was previously running a Netware v3.12 server on a generic 486/50 with two mirrored 850MB SCSI drives.  No problems were ever encountered on this system.

Recently, I upgraded the server.  The new system is a Gateway 2000 P66 which was previously working fine as a workstation, with two new 2.1GB IDE drives, mirrored.  I reinstalled Netware with identical configuration, plus the CDUP4.EXE upgrade (which was apparently necessary to access large IDE drives), and transferred all the user data from the old system to the new system.

The new system works fine most of the time, but every few days, the server spits out a few dozen error messages saying "unable to write to netware partition", or something to that effect.  A broadcast message is also sent out to all workstations that reads, "1.1.44 Error Writing FAT Table for Volume WTL/SYS".  From that point on, any attempts at hard drive access fail until I physically turn the computer off and back on.  This is more than an inconvenience as it often causes the loss of work in progress for my users.

Is this a problem with Netware?  I tend to think it is, since the computer was working fine as a Win95 workstation previous to being used as a Netware server.

If anyone has seen this problem and knows how to correct it, please let me know.

Thanks in advance!
Question by:DarkCobra
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Expert Comment

ID: 1591037
If you have a FAT problem, try to run Vrepair.

Expert Comment

ID: 1591038
When you say all attempts to access drives fail, can you still access monitor from the server ? I am interested in the mirror status of the drives - I assume you are mirroring under netware.
It would be helpfull to know if both drives show mirror status as ok. Might point to a failure of one drive.
I would turn mirror off for a while to test if this is a problem.

The two drives, are they on the same controller + cable or are you running one off the second ( if it exists) ide conroller/channel?

Even though the box worked as a workstation, I would not assume
it is fine as a server. The disk I/O is greatly increased and
this may just be producing an error from a pre-existing fault on the drive/s or controller. Given that you have to turn the box on and off to get it to work, and it works ok after that, I would suspect drive controller or drive failure. I asusme that you cant
exit from server then restartserver from dos to get the problem to go away.
I have seen a simular thing with a bad cable/termination - but not knowing how you have the ide setup, cant suggest much yet.


Expert Comment

ID: 1591039
Two things I would consider:

Do you have enough RAM?

Are you using ISADISK.DSK or IDE.DSK?

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Author Comment

ID: 1591040
Saar2: Tried running VREPAIR, it found no problems.  It's really not a FAT error at all, it's the inability to access either drive that is being reported as a FAT problem.

Zombite:  I keep the monitor loaded all the time and therefore am able to access it, though I cannot load any other utility, or do any form of disk access, once the crash occurs.  I think I did check the mirroring status once and found it appeared normal, but can't remember now for sure.  I will definitely check that next time!  Both drives are on the primary IDE channel.  Exiting the server is impossible since DOS is unable to load COMMAND.COM.  I intend to try disabling mirroring, or move one drive to the secondary channel.  If all that fails to fix the problem, I will probably just replace the motherboard.

Bcrosier:  I am running with 16MB RAM, and am using the following STARTUP.NCF file, as per the instructions included in the CDUP4.EXE patch:
  load IDEATA port=1F0 int=E


Expert Comment

ID: 1591041
I have seen this problem bofore, it's worth noting at the time when I saw this problem, the hardisk drive had just had a head crash. The other two times I have see this error since, I have always replaced the hardisk in question. Tests away from the live server enviroment, have showen me that the hardisk drive was starting to fail.

You might have faulty disk drives.

Expert Comment

ID: 1591042
We run a large Netware Network (200+ servers)  Everytime we see this problem on one of our lower end servers, it points to memory.  If you only have 16MB of RAM for 4G worth of disk I would check that out.  Check the Total cache buffers and Original cache buffers.  If the Total is less that 50% of the original then there's your problem.

Expert Comment

ID: 1591043
I had like problem but with newest SCSI disks.

Problem was DRIVE DEACTIVATION and if appearing message like this leave Your comment and I will answer You what I did to corect problem.

Try to look at file server error log to see what realy happened.

Expert Comment

ID: 1591044
I had like problem but with newest SCSI disks.

Problem was DRIVE DEACTIVATION and if appearing message like this leave Your comment and I will answer You what I did to corect problem.

Try to look at file server error log to see what realy happened.

Accepted Solution

paulnic earned 200 total points
ID: 1591045
I suspect at least two issues:

1.  Novell IDE mirroring requires one and only one drive per standard IDE channel.  If the master drive of a master/slave pair dies, the slave commits hara-kiri.  For details go to and find 2916958.  It's a Novell tech document called "Use of IDE Drives in Mirrored Environments."  Suggest your secondary IDE avoid IRQ 15 ... may necessitate a third-party card like Promise EIDE-Max.  (Netware 3.x wants 15 for its own purposes.)

2. Your error most likely stems from a flaky new IDE drive that wasn't part of the P66's former life.  If it's Western Digital, support at lets you download a free utility for intimate low-level performance testing of WD drives.  This verified a similar maddening problem for me, and WD replaced the drive.

You may also want to check out CDUP5.EXE, but it won't fix a defective hard disk!


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