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Hard Drive reads in NT4 but not in any other OS

Posted on 2006-04-12
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I recently acquired an NT4 system from a friend and removed the secondary hard drive to copy it. The file system was not recognized by Windows 2000 or Windows XP -- it appears to the OS as "not formatted" although it is. I even tried mounting it under Linux Knoppix because it was suggested that Knoppix is able to read HPFS (which I suspect might be the File System). It would not mount. The NT4 machine reads the disk without problem or error. The drive is an IBM Deskstar, about 49 GB if I recall. I do not know the origin of the drive, but it could have been used in a business system before being installed in my friend's machine. How can I find out what the file system really is, so I can understand this mystery? Or does anyone have a logical explanation of why this drive is "unreadable" outside of the NT4 box?
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Question by:Acoustic_Jimmy
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by:graye
ID: 16437329
I'm wondering if the drive is part of a RAID system....  (either a mirror or a RAID 0).   That would account for the fact that the other systems couldn't identify the format (because it's only "half" of a format...)

With the drive removed, does the NT4 system boot up normally?  A failure (or at least a flood of messages) would tend to support the idea that the drive is part of a RAID.

Tell us more about the hardware... in particular the drive type (SCSI?) and controller (SCSI RAID?), etc
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by:mikem
ID: 16444787

What do you see when you look at the drive in Disk Manager ?

Mike
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by:Acoustic_Jimmy
ID: 16448180
graye, if i understand RAID correctly, then the system would have to have two or more drives devoted to RAID. This system has only the boot drive and this secondary drive. Could the boot drive be a part of the RAID?? And the system powers up normally without this drive -- it does complain that a driver failed, but I'm pretty sure this is due to the fact that I removed the Ethernet card; it does it whether or not the drive is installed. But RAID is one possibility I hadn't thought of, and might explain the symptoms!   It is possible that this drive originally came from a RAID system, because the guy who installed it for my friend ran a business installing/repairing computers for businesses. This could have been a "pull" from one of his clients' systems. But could the NT4 system use the drive fresh from such a pull? Wouldn't it refuse to see it as well? Or are there parameters in NT4 that would allow it to coexist?

The drive is an IBM Deskstar, model DTLA-307045, and shows ATA/IDE right on the disk label. The controller is the standard one on the motherboard -- I'd have to go check the MB model to let you know what it is; I can tell you that it is a Pentium II system.

mikem, if I try to look at the drive with Disk Manager in Win2K, for example, I don't see it at all. In NT4 I see it and it operates normally. The file system shows there as NTFS. The "Compress D:" checkbox is NOT checked. The BIOS in the NT4 system does not detect the drive on boot, while other systems do detect it correctly during boot. The NT4 system has Norton Utilities of some sort on it -- could Norton screw around with the file system?

One final thought: Could the format be an older version of NTFS, one that could be read by NT but not Win2K etc.??

Thanks for your help.
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graye earned 375 total points
ID: 16448424
Hummm.... if it's IDE, I rather doubt it was part of a RAID on WinNT.  Naaaa... NTFS format is backwards compatible under Win2k.

If you're willing to put it back in the WinNT system, we can do a bit more detective work...

From "Programs\Administrator Tools" run the "Disk Administrator".   Record everything of interest :)   Change the view to "Volumes" and record everything of interest there too

Post the results, and we'll see if we can solve this mystery!
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by:Acoustic_Jimmy
ID: 16451244
graye,  I have the drive back on the NT4 system. Administrator Tools says it is an NTFS drive.

I did notice that one of the programs on there is Disc Wizard, a DDO overlay program - apparently a Seagate tool. Indeed, the boot drive is a Seagate. But I was led to believe that a DDO is needed for the boot drive only, and that the OS would be able to communicate with secondary drives once it had its drivers loaded. I have the BIOS set up so that the primary drive (FAT 16 / NTFS - two partitions) is detected using the "AUTO" parameter, and the secondary drive (the one in question) is ignored by setting the "NONE" parameter.

WOAH!!!! Hold the presses! I just looked again at Disk Administrator, and I'm sure we have our answer (but you'll have to explain it to me - lol)...  The two partitions on the 1st drive are labeled "C:" and "D:", while the 2nd drive is labeled "D:" also!!? I had thought that the rest of the first drive was wasted space (since the FAT16 boot partition can be only so big). I thought it was odd that so much space was left wasted. So, this guy who set it up somehow combined the 2nd partition of the first drive with all of the second drive to make one larger drive! -- and THAT'S why I said I thought it was a 49 GB drive in my original posting. I'd seen the D: drive reported as 49 GB even though the second drive is only a 45 GB drive. And THAT'S what makes it different so that no other system can read it.  

But I don't understand it completely. What is this trick he pulled????? How does that work???? Isn't it still NTFS? Or is this a type of RAID that isn't often used? (making your first hunch correct after all !!)  :-)

Please explain it in as much detail as you can. Thanks!!

Once that makes sense I'll award you the points for steering me in the right direction.
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by:mikem
ID: 16452064
Hi,

Right click on the drive and change the drive letter.

Mike
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by:graye
ID: 16452779
Yep, you figured it out...

The feature is called an "Extended Volume Set"...  it's where you extend a logical partition (the D: drive) onto more than one physical disk.

Here is an article that describes/explains it:
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/archive/winntas/maintain/optimize/08wntpca.mspx?mfr=true

So, no... you can't take "half" of a volume set and put it in another system and expect it to be recognized.   Of course, you do have the ability to just "blow away" the partition on the other system and start over, but obviously you'd loose the contents of the drive

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by:Acoustic_Jimmy
ID: 16455016
Thanks for the info. That is in fact what he did.

One thing left nagging me though... I would have expected the drive to be recognized as NTFS but unreadable (blank because the file table is not on the drive - correct?), not seen as unformatted... is this because the identifier of the File System Type resides on the first physical drive not this one? In other words, I thought the format ID for a hard drive was written somewhere in the first few sectors of the drive... true or not in this case? How come the other OS's didn't see an ID of "NTFS" at the proper location on the drive?

I did at one time look with a utility at these bytes on that drive, and I recall it decoded as HPFS, but maybe (I seem to recall that) there was also a bit set for "Extended Volume", and I just didn't know what it was telling me. If this is true, then it seems cheap that (for example) Win2K wouldn't just say "HPFS/NTFS, Part of an Extended Volume Set". The info is there in the ID byte.

So, how is it that an extended volume's format type becomes unrecognized by another OS?

Thanks.
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by:graye
ID: 16455368
I dunno... I've never looked at "half" of a volume set in WinNT

The partition code of 0x87 is used for both "WinNT Fault Tolerant" and "HPFS Fault Tolerant".   But that doesn't explain why Win2k couldn't figure it out.
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by:Acoustic_Jimmy
ID: 16458844
OK... here's what I think is going on:

The Partition Type byte on this secondary disk is "05" (I have previously looked at the drive contents directly using a utility) which translates into  --> DOS3.3 + Extended Partition (see the following):

http://www.win.tue.nl/~aeb/partitions/partition_types-1.html
Partition types: List of partition identifiers for PCs

There are no logical partitions on this drive, just that extended partition. i.e. There is one entry in the partition table on this drive, and its Type byte says "05".

Now if it were purely NTFS, that byte would be "07".

My guess is that on the first physical drive of the system, there is an entry with "07" and then God-knows-what to indicate an extended volume set. I suppose unless the ID byte is 07 or one of the FAT indicators, then Win2K and XP won't recognize it.

I don't understand the "DOS3.3" indication, when this partition was obviously created by NT4, but I think I'll have to let that go... I doubt anyone out there understands those codes to that level. If you do, please enlighten me.

graye, Please add any further helpful insights if you can, based on what I just said, and I'll award the points after I hear from you so we can close out this discussion. I'm fairly satisfied with this making sense -- at least it is a LOT more clear than when I started!!
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by:mikem
ID: 16459867
Hi,

07h does describe an NTFS partition.

05h does describe an extended parititon but will only support drives <8.4 GB
0Fh Also describes an extended partition but uses LBA for drive >8.4

Is it possible that you could upload the first sector as a binary file somewhere so we could have a look at the partition table?

Mike
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by:Acoustic_Jimmy
ID: 16461040
mikem,

A while ago I used a utility to directly view the contents of the drive, and copied over whatever would fit on a floppy just to see what was there, if anything. I don't have the luxury of transferring anything via my local network because I removed the network card in Device Manager (Doh!), and NT isn't plug-and-play so it's a whole separate problem I'll deal with later. NT doesn't support USB, so I'm down to the floppy or hooking up another hard disk. If you need more info, let me know.

Here are the contents of the partition tables (starting at 01BE):


01B0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 B0 AC 15 D8 00 00 00 00
01C0: 01 01 05 3F E0 FF 00 08 00 00 00 50 5E 05 00 00
01D0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
01E0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
01F0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 55 AA

So it shows only one partition on the disk (true), as follows:
00 00 01 01 05 3F E0 FF 00 08 00 00 00 50 5E 05

Not bootable (true)
Starting head etc. (I don't know how to evaluate)
File system = 05 = Extended partition

So what do you make of that? Am I looking in the wrong place?
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