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Yet another "Disk Read Error Occurred" on a new drive.

I have read many posts about this error, but I haven't been able to find a solution that fits or that I could follow long enough to get anywhere.

My story as it unfolded:

I bought a new Maxtor 160GB Ultra Series HD and installed it as the master drive on a PIII 933MHz computer and did a clean install of XP pro with NTFS.  I placed my older 45 GB HD on the secondary connection as a slave.  It was formatted with NTFS also and serves as the backup drive.

Everything was working fine for the first three weeks.  I did start having problems with programs starting to freeze occasionally and I assumed that it was just a result of doing so many installs and that I would be able to fix it up later on after I had the computer customized.  Nothing was too drastic until the other night when some programs started acting up and I decided to reboot.  Upon rebooting, I was greeted with “A disk reading error has occurred.  Press c-a-d to reboot.”  It quickly turned into a circular path that lead nowhere.

I had been doing some intensive disk activity like Virus, Trojan, Adware scanning on a regular basis, but I kept the can-opener far away, and as far as I am concerned, none of these should have caused problems for the HD.  The AV, AT, and AW programs were all up to date and had never found any problems.  I have a Hardware Firewall as well as a Software firewall running, and WinXP was updated to the latest service pack and patches.  I am certain that this was not caused by a hack attack or rouge app.

I ran the Maxtor diagnostic program via a boot CD and it reported the drive was error free.  I ran the XP recovery program and it reported a successful recovery.  I ran chkdsk and it said there a few errors that it had repaired.  But, I continued to see the error on rebooting.  The BIOS detects the drive and displays the information correctly on the pre OS boot screen.  I can’t say for sure, but it appears the error shows almost instantly even before I believe the HD has time to spin up.

I have since moved the 160GB drive to the slave position and placed a spare 15GB drive in the master position and installed XP.  I can freely explore the 160HD, copying, scanning, moving files and folders until my heart is content.  I have run scandisk and it doesn’t find any errors, but it’s probably not looking for boot sector errors because the drive in not in the boot position.

Now, finally to a question:  Is this drive crashing?  Is there anything else I can do now to check/fix the drive?  The Maxtor site, prior to it going down, said that unless diagnostic program returned an error the drive is okay…

I would like try anything to get the drive back the way it was without formatting it and restarting the customizing all over.

Any ideas?  Is everyone still awake after that long winded description?

TIA for any help.
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emsaddict
Asked:
emsaddict
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3 Solutions
 
guidwayCommented:
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_Commented:
Did you try low-level formatting the drive and see what happens ( write 0's to the drive)?
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_Commented:
Does turning off QuickBoot in the BIOS have any effect?
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Guidway,

Yes I did read that and tried following it, but got lost and thus didn't attempt it.  I would be willing to try it if someone was able to 'hold my hand' during the process.

Coral47,

Unless I don't understand what a low-level format is, I was hoping to recover the drive intact.  I did shut quickboot off and still received the same results.


What are your gut feelings on this? Starting to fail?  Just a fixable glitch?
And did I post this in the right area?

Cheers!
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guidwayCommented:
>>I would be willing to try it if someone was able to 'hold my hand' during the process.<<

ok. what part are you having trouble with on the link? I'll be glad to give you a hand with it. :)

>>What are your gut feelings on this? Starting to fail?  Just a fixable glitch?<<

a little too early to tell. I think it might be fixable. let's see if the boot sector is just corrupted by the link I posted and see if that fixes it.
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guidwayCommented:
The only thing is that the link I posted is very advanced (I have used it successfully once). I'm tempted to agree with coral47 that your best bet would be to do a low-level format (yes it will wipe out everything) but this will save you a lot of headache than doing it the way the link shows. It's up to you though...

guid
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
I love this website!!

Okay, here we go.  :-)

I had problems with "NOTE: If you cannot Boot into NT or move the drive to another NT machine then follow Knowledge Base Article: 121517: How to recover from a corrupt NTFS bootsector"

I couldn't boot into NT, but I did move the drive 'in my machine', do I still follow the other article?

Then when I got to using Disk Probe I didn't see exactly what they described and I wasn't sure if I was doing it correctly.  And is XP NT 4.0 or 3.5?  Now that I moved the drive is it Physical Drive#1?  Sooooo many question, so little knowledge…..
This is an area that I have never played in and it is kind of intimidating.

Now is your chance to run!  ;-)
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guidwayCommented:
ok. I'm posting step by step how to use diskprobe and walking through the process myself as we speak so hopefully this works.

Disclaimer: I cannot vouch for this that this will work beyond a shadow of a doubt and there is a chance you could lose all the data on the hard drive so I nor EE can be held accountable for what happens.

here we go:

Double click diskprobe, you will see a hex editor show up (a bunch of 0 throughout the program screen).

Now click on the Drives Menu and click the drive that is causing the problem (Drive 0 is the master drive, Drive 1 is the slave drive, etc...). I think you said yours is now set up under slave (correct me if I'm wrong). double click the correct drive to add it to a handle.

You will notice that it will be set to OPEN_READONLY. Click on the Set Active button and click on the Read Only checkbox to change its mode to OPEN_READWRITE.

Now click ok to exit that screen. Now click on the Menu for Sectors and click read and then make sure Starting Sector is set to 0 and Number of Sectors is 1 then click Read.  

You should see in the text area on the right side near the bottom something to the affect of... "hard disk read error".  If so, you are looking at the first sector of your hard drive in hexadecimal. Create a backup copy of this sector like this.

click on File->Save As and name it something like Sector 0 in a place you will remember and click ok.

get to this point first and I will continue.

guid
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guidwayCommented:
if you have any questions or if you are not understanding something I said post before I continue so I can make sure you are caught up with me.
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Step
1 - Check
2 - Check
3 - Check
4 - Check, it says Error Loading OS at offset 16c
5 - Check, saved to the boot drive root as Sector00-160g

You couldn't be doing a better job at the 'hand holding'!
Thank you.
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guidwayCommented:
>>4 - Check, it says Error Loading OS at offset 16c<<

slightly concerned about that, but I'm on a dual boot system so mine might say slightly different than yours.

Anyway, here we go again...
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guidwayCommented:
Here's where the headaches usually began.

Click on the Menu that says View and click on Partition Table. At the bottom left of the screen there is a button that says go next to Relative sectors (should be set to 63) press that once. Now it will be set to some outrageous number (mine shows 1869771365, but yours may be different).

ok so far?
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Yup, 63
Yup, 218129509 and the stuff in the top listboxes changed as well.

Doing great.
Thnx
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guidwayCommented:
Sorry, wait we need to redo that... my apologies. I need to get you to save the partition table in case something goes wrong. Here's what to do. Go to the View menu and select Bytes which will show your hex information again. Now click on the Sectors menu and click Read and select 63 as the Starting Sector and 1 as the Number of Sectors. Now you should see something on the text at the right that says "NT LDR IS MISSING... Press any key to restart, etc..."

if you see this, you are looking at your partition table in hex. Save this just like you did your sector 0 above. Name the saved file sector63 (do not overwrite the file we did before).

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guidwayCommented:
when it is saved. let me know and we'll go back to where we were. sorry for that mistake. :)
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
No problem.

Check, "NTlDR is missing...NTLDR is compressed...etc"

Saved to the boot root as sector63-160g
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guidwayCommented:
cool. Now let's go back to where we are. We are currently at sector 63. So go back to the View Menu and click Partition Table. You should see the values you saw before in the Relative sectors (probably 218129509) and the other values will be different also.

Here's the tricky part... Now we need to find the location of your backup boot sector on the disk. Go the the View Menu and click NTFS Boot Sector. The OEM ID String on mine says MSWin4.1 but yours might be different. All I care is that it shows a valid string in it. does it?
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guidwayCommented:
One quick question, how many partitions did you define on this drive (the one causing problems) when you created it?
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Damn, started typing on the wrong keyboard.....I don't think it changed anything, "I better not don't do that again!"  <--grammer errors on purpose :-)
Yup, right where we left it.

Yup, "NTFS"

Looking good so far.
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Sorry, missed your question.

One partition, didn't think I needed more on it because I had the 45 gig backup drive.
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guidwayCommented:
>>One partition, didn't think I needed more on it because I had the 45 gig backup drive.<<
Excellent, I've never done this with more than one partition so I was getting a little nervous there. I think we can pull this off. :)

great! so far so good. :)

Now usually this doesn't work although it is worth a shot (it never has worked for me contrary to what microsoft says). We will try to get to the end of the volume where the backup sector is using microsoft's way. To do this. click on the button on the NTFS Boot sector screen (you should still be on it) labelled Volume End. I always get the error "Invalid Sector Number" but maybe you will get lucky. ;)
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guidwayCommented:
if that doesn't work, nothing to worry about we will have to use trial and error to get there. This is where you will get a headache trust me... lol
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Okay, no error, reads Drv 01, Sec 320159384, Offset 0x1ff on the status bar.
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
OEM string reads "NTFS"
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Does this look like the original bootsector wasn't bad?
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guidwayCommented:
WOW! awesome. you are at your backup boot sector. save a copy of this (name it something like backup).
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Does it matter whether I save it in hex view or bootsector view?
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guidwayCommented:
the way to compare is to load up another copy of diskprobe and open up the backup file you created and load sector 63 in the other window and put them side by side and see if there is any difference between them. If no difference, then it looks like the problem is not in your bootsector. :(
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guidwayCommented:
>>Does it matter whether I save it in hex view or bootsector view?<<

I prefer to save it while I'm at the Byte view (on the view menu). not sure if it matters or not, but I don't like taking chances.
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guidwayCommented:
If there is a difference then you will need to rewrite sector 63 with the backup sector from the end of the drive. You are actually through the hardest part though once you find the end of the volume, which you already have. :)
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Okay I started another diskprobe and loaded the saved 63, it's the same as the volume end display.  The saved 63 is what would have been bad, right?
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guidwayCommented:
>>The saved 63 is what would have been bad, right?<<

yep, it appears your boot sector is good, however we could try to rewrite it anyway since there is nothing to lose... (who knows maybe it will work).
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Sounds good.  So, load the saved backup and then write it to sector 63?
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guidwayCommented:
in the original diskprobe you started (the first one) load up the backup boot sector you created that is on the file (backup.dsk or whatever it is called.) In the view menu under bytes you should see it loaded. do not continue unless you see it correctly displayed here.

 Now click on the Sectors menu and click on Write. Set the starting sector to 63 and press Write it and it should write it out to the disk.
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guidwayCommented:
now try your disk out again and see if it works and can boot up. If so, great!

If not, the only other thing I can see is that maybe the wrong disk was selected but I doubt it. How does windows detect the disk under start->control panel->Administrative tools->Computer management and click Disk management. select the drive and see what its status is and let me know.
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
In order to see if it boots I'll have to change it on the ribbon, which shouldn't take long.  Is there anything else you want me to check/do before I make it the boot drive, I won't have access to it until I move it back to the slave if it doesn't boot.
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guidwayCommented:
first see my last comment and check to see how windows views it (under disk management). that will give me an idea if windows thinks it is a bad partition or not.
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Hmmm, doesn't see it.
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
I can still access it with windows explorer though.
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guidwayCommented:
>>Hmmm, doesn't see it.<<

the drive or the partition? what error is it giving? or status message? something like Foreign drive?
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
No, nothing at all, the drive isn't even listed.
It shows Drive C: as disk 0 and healthy then skips to my cd-rom which is the primary on the 2nd IDE cable and onto the dvd drive.
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
It does show up in the Device manager and says it's working properly.
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guidwayCommented:
that's strange... maybe you could try disk probe again and make sure the sector 63 looks correct. That is the only one we changed so I can't see anything else having a problem... If that doesn't work then maybe try switching it out with the other drive and see if it boots after all. I doubt it but it can't hurt anything now I would guess after everything we put it through. :)
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guidwayCommented:
did you try clicking on the "rescan disk" option of disk management to make sure the latest was shown?
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
I have typed this message twice now, I keep hitting refresh instead of submit.... :-)

I did rescan, and then even tried refresh, still doesn't show up in there.

I'll take a look at sec63 and then swap it to boot.  Shouldn't be more than 5 minutes.

And I have no problem with what we did, if it doesn't work, I am no worse off then I was when we started.
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guidwayCommented:
<crossing fingers> :)
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Here it goes.....
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Nope, A disk read error occurred.

Booted twice and the same.
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
It shows up so quick, the drive always had a pause before anything happened before this.
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
I am going to run the diagnostic prog again and see if it says something now.
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Still says it passes.
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Well that was fun even though we didn't get the results that we were hoping for.
Anything else to try come to mind?
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guidwayCommented:
ok.

hmm... let's try something else next... install the recovery console (assuming you have your XP disk)


Use the Recovery Console in XP
You can install the Recovery Console on your computer to make it available in case you are unable to restart windows. You can then select the Recovery Console option from the list of available operating systems on startup. It is wise to install the Recovery Console on important servers, and on the workstations of IT personnel. To install the Recovery Console, you must have administrative rights on the computer. Although you can run the Recovery console by booting directly from the Windows XP CD, it's much more convenient to set it up as a startup option on your boot menu.
Click Start, and then click Run. In the Open box type d:\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons where d is the drive letter for the CD-ROM Drive.

once you have this done, boot to the good drive you have and this will be an option when you start the computer. select it (boot to recover console or something like that) and then enter the drive and password it asks for and once in you will type

fixmbr d:

and fixboot d:

and see if that helps anything

guid
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guidwayCommented:
they'll prompt you about overwriting boot information, etc... just select yes and after you run both, try running chkdsk /r from the recovery console and see if it finds anything.

If not, you will probably have to try the low level format coral47 mentioned.
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
I had read that earlier and it didn't make sense, if I install on the computer (in my case) and can't get to the boot menu, how would it be convenient?

I will boot to the cd and run it.  Just have to wait for the complete drive test to finish, should be another 5 mins.  p-break
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guidwayCommented:
ok. :)

well you can install the recovery menu on the good drive that you can access at boot and once in the recovery console you can change your drive to other one by passing the drive letter as a parameter

such as:

fixboot d:

actually fixmbr will look like:

fixmbr \Device\HardDisk1

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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Did you want me to install it on the good boot drive, sorry if I am not reading what you meant.
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Ahhh, okay, sorry.... :-)
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guidwayCommented:
and then run:

chkdsk d: /r
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guidwayCommented:
you got it. :)

if those three command don't work, then you will have to do a low level format. :(
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
I am still waiting for the powermax complete test to finish.  Everything has passed so far.
I'am going to see if I can boot to the good drive without swapping them using my Utimate Book CD, that's one option that is listed.
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guidwayCommented:
ok. one correction. on the chkdsk one

also run chkdsk with the parameter

chkdsk d: /f

this will try to fix any errors. /r is not as good.
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Swapping drives now....
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
It is giving me a choice of which I want to log into, Windows on c: or d:
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Okay,
fixmbr d: - No report after, just jumped to new line.
fixboot d: - Warning, then reported good.
chkdsk d: /f  - error, invalid parameter.
chkdsk d: /r - Still going as we type.
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
This is really taking along time, it made it up to 70+ percent then started back at 50 and going really slow.
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Well, I am not even sure if you are still online guidway, but I am going to call it a night and leave the computer to finish on it's own.  It's now on 72% and it took it over 30 mins to climb from 60%.  I'll post back in the morning the results.

Thank you for all your help!  I'll keep the question open till tomorrow, but you earned every point and more.

Something I am going to check on is since I have full access to the hard drive as a slave, I should be able to back up my settings and then reapply them if I can get the drive to boot after a low-level format.

Anyway, that will be tomorrows project.
Night
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buckeyes33Commented:
only on EE are people working at 4 in the morning.
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guidwayCommented:
emsaddict,

sorry it was 3AM when I was typing last night and I feel asleep waiting to hear from you. :) Did it work?

buckeyes33,

lol :)
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guidwayCommented:
>>Something I am going to check on is since I have full access to the hard drive as a slave, I should be able to back up my settings and then reapply them if I can get the drive to boot after a low-level format.<<

good idea, however when you get the computer up and the boot sector is fine I would create a backup copy (image) of the drive so that if this happens again, you can fall back on it and won't have to go through this hassle. If you can't create an image for some reason after you reinstall it at least backup the registry and create a restore point.

just some added advice.

guid
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guidwayCommented:
also create an emergency repair disk (ERD) which is helpful also.
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buckeyes33Commented:
how is that low level format coming?
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guidwayCommented:
>>how is that low level format coming?<<

I think he is still running chkdsk right now... unless he jumped a step. :)
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guidwayCommented:
>>fixmbr d: - No report after, just jumped to new line.<<

the correct parameters for this are

fixmbr \Device\HardDisk1

I made a mistake on the first time I said it.
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Sorrry people, I couldn't stay awake any longer and let the computer keep going as I was sleeping.  And I guess I slept longer than I had intended. ;-)

Chkdsk finished reporting that a few errors were corrected.

fixmbr \Device\Harddisk1 reported "The computer appears to have a non-standard or invalid master boot record."  Selected yes to continue and it was successful

Now swapping to see if it will boot.
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
No such luck, same error.

I am going to take a drive downtown and pick up a thick coffee to help with the rest of this.

I can't access my documents folder on the faulty hd when it's in the slave position, how can I log in so it is accessable?
I created the same account and password on the 15g drive, so technically I am logging in as the same person...?

Anyway, coffee first.......brb
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Well, here goes the low-level format.

And this better work or Maxtor is going to ge a nasty phone call.....not like they'll put a live person on the phone....  :-)

The Maxtor site refuses to give a RMA# without an error code, which their testing software reports if it finds something wrong.  In my case it says the drive is okay.
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
In case anyone comes back to this post, I have to step out for around 2 hrs, mabey the format will be done by then.

Cheers!
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guidwayCommented:
I'm back on. listening to the latest update. How's it coming? :)

guid
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Good to see you back, how was your day/night?

The format is only at 54%, it is taking forever, mind ya it is a 160gig drive.... :-)
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guidwayCommented:
My day was fine. Had family over most of the day so I didn't have time to jump on here for long. How was yours?

>>The format is only at 54%, it is taking forever, mind ya it is a 160gig drive.... :-)<<

lol, low level formats definitely take a long time. I did a 200gig before and it took about 5 hours (approx). :-)
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guidwayCommented:
I'm still wondeing why the drive is having problems... I mean fixmbr and fixboot usually do a pretty good job of repairing drives. Strange... hopefully the low level fixes it. :)
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Well, slept in too late, had to go to work for a couple hours, but other than that it was okay I guess.

I am coming up to 4 hours soon and it's at 57% now.  If there is a physical problem with the drive this should find it right?
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guidwayCommented:
just an idea also it might save you trouble later on.

If you still have diskprobe you might want to go back in and save sector 0 and sector 63 after the drive is completely setup again to how you want it (assuming the low level works).

That way if it ever happens you could restore your mbr and partition table back to normal by just re-writing the backups to where they go on the disk. I created a backup copy of mine using this procedure in case my partitions get corrupted.

guid
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Guidway, you play with Linux?

I was thinking that this might be a good time for me to set up a dual boot and start playing with Linux.  I have always been interested in trying it out, but there never was a good time to dive in.

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guidwayCommented:
>>If there is a physical problem with the drive this should find it right?<<

well, basically this writes 0's to every sector of the disk, so if you get any errors while running this then there are problems with the disk and it should be replaced as soon as possible.

The short answer, yes. lol :)
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Sounds like a good idea.  I am not nervous about using diskprobe now and I could make it part of my normal backup.  Another thing I was think is that I move the 160g hd as the backup drive.  Maybe I should also consider going back to fat32?
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guidwayCommented:
>>Guidway, you play with Linux?<<

a little, I'm not very good at it right now. I'm using a copy of Redhat 7.2 I downloaded off the web. I'm getting better at it though. I'm still trying to learn to setup networking in it though.

>>I was thinking that this might be a good time for me to set up a dual boot and start playing with Linux.<<

now is the best time since you are doing a low level format already of the disk. Suggestion. create however much space you want windows to use and get all that space allocated and leave at least 5.5GB for linux (don't setup a partition yet, linux will do it for you). Install windows and get it running and then once you get it how you like it, install linux and create two partitions. One will be your main linux ext3 partition and make it sized to about 5GB and then create another partition (a swap partition of size 500MB) and you should be set to go. You can allocate more if you want, but I wouldn't do less for linux because a full install alone takes up about 2GB.
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guidwayCommented:
>>Sounds like a good idea.  I am not nervous about using diskprobe now and I could make it part of my normal backup.<<

just be sure you click on the read button on the Sectors menu and not write when you are fooling with it. In fact when you set the physical handle of the drive you might leave it in OPEN_READONLY so you don't accidentally rewrite anything. been there done that before and it is not pretty. :)

>Another thing I was think is that I move the 160g hd as the backup drive.  Maybe I should also consider going back to fat32?<<

I would not go back to fat32. NTFS is a very stable partition type once you get it setup properly and it allows a lot more security options than fat32.

With one exception... if you want to use linux, linux does not read NTFS partitions well at this time and it is highly recommended to use fat32 if you want to use your windows partitions in linux.

I generally create one main partition for windows XP that is NTFS and then another partition of type fat32. anything I want to transfer between windows and linux gets moved over to the fat32 partition and then I can boot into linux and retrieve it (or vice versa).
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
A few choice to make then.  I had understood that ntfs was supposed to be more stable, but with this happening I was beginning to wonder.  Up until this I have never had a problem with a hd before, and I am not a Sunday driver with them either.
So, if the format works and everything setups okay, what do you think went wrong?

Maybe I'll try out linux at a later time when I know I can devote the time and energy into learning it.

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_Commented:
WOW! You guys have been having too much fun. ; )   I had to sleep and then go to work and missed it.  Good job though.

>>> what do you think went wrong? <<< Hard to say, but I blame gremlins for all unknown problems like this.    : D
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Welcome back Coral.

Gremlins, can the dust-bunnies in the case be considered gremlins??   :-)
Maybe I should have used a different detergent when I was washing out the inside of the case.  lol

Wahoo 70% done.
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guidwayCommented:
>>WOW! You guys have been having too much fun. ; )  <<

unfortunately the fun didn't work. ;)

>>what do you think went wrong?<<

who knows... I'm suspecting the MBR (sector 0) maybe was bad (of course it doesn't have a backup created you would know. ;) ) and even when you ran fixmbr it couldn't actually fix it (although it said it did).

anyone I have to head off to bed for work tomorrow. I'll check back tomorrow night to see how things are going.

Nice work to coral47 though if this works for solving your problem. I just led you through a wild goose chase, at least maybe this method (diskprobe) will help someone else later on. :D
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guidwayCommented:
correction:

anyone I have to head off to bed for work tomorrow.

should say:

anyway I have to head off to bed for work tomorrow.
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
I knew exactly what you meant.....  2 out of 3 people surveyed believe they speak and write English good.  ;-)

Considering I was looking to recover the drive without having to reinstall, I don't feel as though you led me anywhere.  You were trying to get me the fix I was looking for.

I appreciate all the help you have provided.


Sleep well and chat with you later.
Cheers!
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_Commented:
Even if the LLF works, I think guidway should get the lions share of these points.   : )
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Oh yeah, I agree.  Not to say you weren't right with the solution, and you deserve some for that, guidway did go through trying to satisfy my want of restoring rather than reinstalling.
This site and the people that hang out just waiting to help someone through a problem are just amazing.

I am really hoping that the llf works also, but it is still disconcerting that it failed like it did.  Will it happen again in a month from now, was it a drive glitch or a software glitch, these questions will be running through my head all the time and I’ll never trust the drive fully.

Well, only 15% more to go.  Do you know if the MaxBlast program would report problems as it is filling the drive with zero’s or wait to the end to report any?
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_Commented:
>>>  report problems <<<   As far as I know, it depends on the problem. MAJOR ones as it goes, MINOR ones at the end ( it has been awhile since I have used it ).
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
No errors reported by MaxBlast, but I am having trouble getting XP installed.

After XP does its install and goes to reboot I am then greeted by the slightly different message, but same results, "NTLDR is missing, Press c-a-d to restart"

It's time to take this drive out back and put a couple of warning shots over it's jumpers.

Without knowing what I am saying, my guess is that the hard drive has failed and the boot sector is not accessable.
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Now the #%#%$@$ Maxtor site is down again.  I guess if they can't keep a website going I shouldn't expect then to build drives that last either. <--How's that for venting. :-)

Unless anyone doesn't think I should be asking for an exchange drive, I'll put this post to rest and call Maxtor tomorrow, of course the phone number isn't an 800 number and I'll have to spent 2 hours on hold after pressing 50 different numbers to get to the wrong department 6 times only to have them tell me I have to call a different number that will give me a recording to call the 1st number again only for them to transfer me to another number that is out of service and hangs ups.  Then start the whole process again, sort of like the "A read error has occurred, Press Ctrl-Alt-Delete to reboot"........it just keeps saying the same thing, it just keeps saying the same thing, it just keeps........

I'll end this post tomorrow night after I have had a chance to review any new comments and after I have talked to Maxtor.
Thank you all for the help, the journey was fun even if the destination isn't.
Cheers!
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buckeyes33Commented:
have you guys got this to work yet?   I wake up and there are tons of emails. lol
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Now I don't know what is going on, I hooked the 15g drive back up as the master and the 160g drive as the slave so I could check for any BIOS updates, as soon as I started the computer XP finished it's install, now the 160g drive is listed as c: and is running fine....so it booted as the slave????

I downloaded a BIOS update, installed it, removed the 15g drive (and left it off), installed the 160g as the master, reformated via maxblast, started reinstalling xp, now it starts to boot but stops and reports:
Windows could not start becuase the following file is missing or corrupt: <Windows root>\system32\hal.dll
Please re-install a copy of the above file.

Once again I am going to reformat and reinstall.
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buckeyes33Commented:
no you won't  then read my next post.
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buckeyes33Commented:
guideway might have to correct me if I am wrong.

What you need to do is hook the drive back up as the slave first off.  That may make it a little easier.  Boot to windows.  Then put your XP install cd in.  You should be able to then search for the dll file that is listed above on the CD.  When you find this file, which is a driver file, copy it over to the windows 32 folder.  The folder is in hard drive> windows>system32  copy and paste the file here.

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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Sorry, I had already started wiping the drive again with 'Darik's Boot and Nuke'

Then I'll try the install again.  If that doesn't work I was going to try putting two partitions in, the first 130GB's in case there is an issue with the 137gig barrier.  I don't believe there is but you never know.  I am installing xp pro sp1 and there shouldn't be an issue with LBA that I know of, provided I can get xp installed and then run the final setup on maxblast.

Some information I found on hal.dll said that it could be a result of trying to setup a dual boot, so I was thinking the drive may have had some left stuff that the installation saw and figure that there was a second OS setup.

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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Well now, I got no where real fast with what I attempted, and I am back to you suggestion buckeyes33.

I didn't try the partition sizing yet.  But I do have the 15g drive as master and xp installed (ntfs).  The 160g hd is on as the slave with the incomplete xp installation (ntfs).  The 160g hd was left at the reboot where it was saying that hal.dll was missing or corrupt.

A search of the 160g hd turned up hal.dll in three places on both drives; \windows\system32 , \windows\driver cache\i386\driver.cab , and \windows\driver cache\i386\sp1.cab

I am going to go make a pot of coffee and unless someone has something else they want me to try first, I'll copy the system32\hal.dll file across when I get back and see if it helps.  If it doesn't I'll try the partition sizing.
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guidwayCommented:
Hi emsaddict,

this is getting stranger by the minute. ;-) still reading the comments up till now. Will post back once I figure out if there is anything else that might help.

guid
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guidwayCommented:
emsaddict,

have you tried taking out your other drive (the 15g) and installing XP on the 160g as a master by itself? That way we can troubleshoot where the problem is one drive at a time.

guid
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Good to see you back....I was getting lonely talking to myself.


And you said it all with, “this is getting stranger by the minute.”

I have tried just about everything I can think of, formatting, installing, copying files, booting to floppies, having the 160 alone as the master, etc…

The latest is I am trying is to skip maxtor’s drive prep program, letting windows format the reduced partition I set up and seeing if that will make a difference.  I did notice though that the drive is reporting as 156328 MB now.  That’s about 10 gigs short and is concerning me.

News Flash, XP is now starting it’s reboot install on the new smaller partition.  Looks like there may be room for linux after all.
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buckeyes33Commented:
Looks like I am going to miss the fun again.  Off to bed. :0
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
These time zones sure get in the way sometimes eh?  :-)

Sleep well.
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guidwayCommented:
I still can't understand why it is working on a smaller partition but not the full size one. I mean, I had a 200GB drive that installed windows with no problem. hmm... interesting to say the least.
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guidwayCommented:
assuming it does install correctly and you can boot into windows XP see what the Disk management window says about the drive now (reported drive size, health of the partition, etc...) like we did before. I'm curious to see if windows sees the entire partition.
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
It is strange I agree, I am wondering if there is a platter gone on the drive??  But if there was the diagnostic program would have picked that up....??

I am onto the final setup now.
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Go figure, it shows up as a 152.66 GB drive, C: = 121.72 Healthy, 30.94 Unallocated.
Hmmm, the box says 160gigs, I had it originally formatted and working as 160, maybe I did use the wrong detergent...  ;-)
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guidwayCommented:
>>It is strange I agree, I am wondering if there is a platter gone on the drive??  But if there was the diagnostic program would have picked that up....??<<

I would think so, but I'm beginning to question the reliability of the drive. Especially if it keeps getting smaller and smaller allocated space on it. There is a limitation of XP seeing drives over 138GB but yours seems to see it as a 160GB so I don't think you have the problem I'm thinking of (if you want to check anyway though the link is: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;303013)

>>maybe I did use the wrong detergent...  ;-)<<

:)
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
I am tempted to purchase PartitionMagic 8 and see what it will see and do with the drive now.
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guidwayCommented:
In my humble opinion, I would wait before spending the money on it. PM has a lot of nice features (from what I've heard), however this drive appears to have problems with just the very basics. Only time will tell if the hard drive is about to crash. Some programs (Norton Smart Doctor I think it is called) can attempt to predict if they think a drive will crash, however these programs only have a certain degree of accuracy. The others might be able to comment better on if PM8 will help you or not as I have not used it, but I really think that if it is having this many problems with a XP install that is trying to partition it then PM probably won't provide much more help. Just my opinion though and I would wait for others before accepting that at advice. They may know more than me on this.
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
So, I wonder if it is worth trying to get everything all customized again yet, or whether I should go looking of the missing 8gigs first?
0
 
_Commented:
>>> purchase PartitionMagic 8 ..... <<<  You 'are' a glutton for punishment.   : D
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buckeyes33Commented:
the 136 limitation is without the service pack.  Since he has the SP1 copy of XP then that should not be a problem.
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buckeyes33Commented:
Also note.  That in bits, without doing the calculation 153GB is really close to what you should get.
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guidwayCommented:
>>the 136 limitation is without the service pack.  Since he has the SP1 copy of XP then that should not be a problem.<<

thanks buckeyes, I overlooked that before. my bad :-)
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buckeyes33Commented:
allthough, maybe it should be around 157..... ????
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Wow, it's a party!!  :-)

How are you two doing?  Glad you could join us in the fun, it's been quite the journey.

That's sound advice guidway.  I do own a copy of PM5.0, but of course that is dated and doesn't work with ntfs.  PM5.0 was great when I bought it, and worked well.
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guidwayCommented:
isn't it something like 1024MB -> 1GB? or am I off some?
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buckeyes33Commented:
just pointing it out.  
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buckeyes33Commented:
>>am I off some?
no thats right.  But with large drives when it says 160Gb they are really not 160Gb.  
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buckeyes33Commented:
something to do with the indivual bytes.   Not completly sure.  I know for examle that a 500 GB drive only has about 490 Gb of space or so.  
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
I can't believe it, I downloaded all the critical updates and service packs in one swoop, none more to be had.....for today.

Well folks, I don't know what to say but THANK YOU for the company and help, or am I getting too happy too soon???
I am going to share the point with all of you, and guidway, I'll set up another fake question for you to answer so I can give you the points you deserve for the help.
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buckeyes33Commented:
>>I downloaded all the critical updates and service packs in one swoop, none more to be had.
should of burnt them to a disk, so that for some reason you need them again..... oh my.  :\
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buckeyes33Commented:
i think that guideway deserves the whole eggshell of points, but we have not reached a solution yet.  
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
I read how you could do that somewhere, but couldn't remember where.
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buckeyes33Commented:
or is it nutshell?   yeah i think it is nutshell, not eggshell.  lol  oh my i am tired.  finely off to bed.  night all.
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buckeyes33Commented:
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Night buckeyes, thanks again.
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guidwayCommented:
>>or am I getting too happy too soon???<<

again, only time will tell. ;-) If you have any more problems with it in a few weeks I would trade it in for another or something. good luck and if you need anything else regarding this issue, feel free to post and I'll do what I can to help. :)

about to head off to bed myself.

glad to hear you got the issue solved though and hope everything goes smoothly from now on. :)

guid
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Giuid, look for a question with your name in it, "Guid, answer this" in the Misc section.

Thanks again, night.
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guidwayCommented:
>>i think that guideway deserves the whole eggshell of points, but we have not reached a solution yet.  <<

I appreciate the offer everyone, but I'm not in this for points so I'll accept whatever I'm given. An even split would be fine with me. I appreciate the teamwork everyone put in though to the question.

I just wish we could have a definite solution for this problem...

guid
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
I don't think the poiints are for only solutions, it's for the help that you provide.
0
 
guidwayCommented:
>>for a question with your name in it, "Guid, answer this" in the Misc section.<<

I'll get a moderator to move it over into this section (hardware). Generally experts sometimes question if you create a "pts for" question in another area than where the asker was helped. thanks. :)

guid
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Ahh, good point.

I'll send you a message if the drive starts acting up again, but again, thanks a lot for helping!!

Good night.
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guidwayCommented:
>>I'll send you a message if the drive starts acting up again<<

anytime... If I run across anything that might explain what is happening I'll be sure to post it here. I'm bookmarking this question for easy access. :)

thanks again and good night to you also.

thanks coral47 and buckeyes33 for your help. :)

guid
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_Commented:
Thank you much.    : )

Keeping my fingers crossed for you.
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guidwayCommented:
I never answered one of your earlier questions so let me respond to it now while it is on my mind.

>>And is XP NT 4.0 or 3.5?<<

In essence it is closest to 4.0. The difference between 4.0 and 3.5 is where the backup boot sector is located. In WinNT 4.0, Win2k, and WinXP it is at the end of the volume (where we found it). In WinNT 3.5 it is located in the middle of the volume (don't ask me why someone would put it there because that I have no clue as it makes no sense to me). Anyway, just wanted to explain that before I forget although you may have already figured it out. ;-)

good night (for real this time) lol
guid
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buckeyes33Commented:
your welcome.  :)
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buckeyes33Commented:
sirbounty posted this link in another thread

http://www.computerbits.com/archive/1996/1200/hdmgmt.html


so from that link the size that you are getting is probably correct.  That is if i am reading it right.
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
Here is a page right off the Maxtor site (it's working again), https://maxtor.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/maxtor.cfg/php/enduser/olh_adp.php?p_faqid=336&&p_sid=1Pyk1G7h&p_lva=

They talk about how the size is presented and if the drive is reporting 152.66 then it would be right according to how Maxtor defines it.

It's kind of sneaky how they advertise 160GB, but really mean 160,000,000,000 bytes (Base 10).

I am still doing tests on the drive to see if anything will show up.  I am now starting to think it could have been a glitch in the LBA, maybe in the BIOS or XP itself.

Cheers!
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_Commented:
Thanks for the update.   : )
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GeddersCommented:
when I had similar problems using the ( yes I know there is a virus by the same name , but there is also this genuine executable) maxblast programme from Maxtor.Its available free on http://www.maxtor.com/en/support/index.htm    in the downlaods section , it is a complete diagnostic  and analitical tool which also install srivers that allow it to boot  iindependent of OS and so avoids the limitations of any given OS

good luck
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etwyrickCommented:
I had some similar problems with several Maxtor drives.  After talking to Maxtor Tech Support, using their utilities, you need to use the write "0" feature to the drive before partitioning and formatting (kinda equivalent to doing a low level format).  You can quick the "quick" one and it only takes a few seconds.  This is necessary unless your BIOS supports 48 bit addressing, which at my last checking, only Intel was including support for.

Another word of caution on these large drives.  I had several fail within the first week to first month and it seemed to be to the extreme temperature they were operating at.  After putting the drives in large aluminum drive trays with fans, I have had not a single hickup.  At first, I "toasted" two 250GB drives in a month.
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emsaddictAuthor Commented:
etwyrick,

Did Maxtor acknowledge the heating problem and provide the trays and fans or was it a problem you noticed and remedied?

I do think the drive is warm but I haven't checked others of the same brand/size to know if it's too hot.  My back-up drive is an IBM 45g drive and it isn't as warm as the Maxtor but it's close.  If this is occurring with my drive will Maxtor honor a warranty or bounce it back saying cooling is my problem??

If you don't mind, could you elaborate on how your hd failures presented and how your correspondence went with Maxtor on getting the replacements.

Cheers!
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etwyrickCommented:
Antec Hard Drive Cooler
Brand/Model: ANE 75011

Maxtor did not acknowledge the heating problem, but replaced the drives that failed with no questions asked other than failure codes.  In fact, they replace a 200 GB with a 250 GB.  I noticed that these drives were running very hot to the touch and went looking for something to cool them off.  I found the above devices at CompUSA until they ran out, then at Circuit City.  The units have two thermocouples, one for ambient air an done to attach to the drive, and have dual fans, the second to kick in when the drive temperature should rise.  I'm not sure how hot they were before, but afterwards they run about 105 deg. F, barely warm to the touch.  I would guess they were at 170 or above before.  
These drives did not fit in my case, so they are external hooked to the special Promise controller that Maxtor supplies.  However, I do not think it would have made any significant difference with the drive temperatures.
At first, the drives would fail to be recognized by the system when booting up.  Reboot and they would after allowing the system to sit for 30 minutes.  Then the drives would fail on a write or read attempt to them during operation.  Finally, they would fail many of the diagnotic tests with the software that Maxtor supplies.  I even tried moving the drive electronics from an identical model and size drive with the same part number on the circuit drive, and this did not help.  So the failure was either the internal drive electroncs (i.e., stepper motor) for heads and/or platters.
Maxtor was great to work with in that I got the replacement before I shipped the bad drive back to them.
I have a couple 120 GB WD drives mounted internally and have made no special arrangements for them and they have worked flawlessly.  I don't know if the higher capacity WD drives will have the same problem.  I just purchased a 160GB WD yesterday and will test it some to see what it's characteristics are.
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killians42Commented:
Hmm... I wonder if his bios has boot sector virus protection.  If so, that would cause a problem, 'course it should tell him, but if it didn't or if it wasn't thought of importance...
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svcpack800Commented:
I had exactly the same 'disk read error' symptoms on a new Hitachi 7K250 160Gb disk on Windows 2000 sp4 + EnableBigLba registry entry. I tried everything here except an LLF and couldn't fix it, but I think in my case the  problem was caused by Partition Magic 8.01. It allows you to make a partition to fill all of the unallocated space, but when it previews what it is going to do, the partition is 7.8MB (if my memory serves me) more than the maximum size of the disk. So it uses 20024 cylinders instead of 20023, and I'm guessing that's where the trouble starts. I didn't realize this until after the disk stopped being bootable. This bad partition table caused Windows 2000 to freeze when running the disk manager diags from the resource kit - ctrl-alt-delete didn't even work.

Ironically, it was PM8 that saved me from having to do a complete reinstall - I bought another identical drive and cloned all but the last couple of GB from the original disk (it wasn't full) using a working Win2000 system, put the new drive in the problem machine and it booted up as if nothing had ever happened. If you have a linux system you can probably do the same thing with dd. Haven't got aroung to doing an LLF on the first drive yet but I'll be leaving a couple of GB unallocated at the end just to be safe.
0

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