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Unable to "browse" a drive after a successfull format

Posted on 2009-06-30
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Last Modified: 2013-12-05
Where to begin?  The error message: "G:\     The system cannot find the device specified"

The sequence of events.  I have loaded four new 1TB drives into an external Arcea-5020 enclosure. With a SanDigital (Silicone Image 3124) based PCI-X card in an Intel SAE7501br2 server board (dual Xeon).  The 5020 has undergone many configurations of raid sets and volumes, all with the same result.  For simplicity sake, it is now in JBOD mode.

While in Windows 2000 Server Disk Managment, the server will "see" the drives as 931.51GB, you can write the signature, you can create a partition, you can format the parition, the disk manager will report the drive is "Healthy", and that's it.  If you try to browse the drive you get the error message above.  (The system cannot find the device specified)

Note it says 'device specified'.  If you do a properties on the disk you see what appears to be normal address of the device depending if you are in USB or eSata mode.  ie: SCSI (Port: 5, Target ID: 0, LUN:0) the next is SCSI (Port: 5, Target ID: 1, LUN:0) and so on.

If trying to access G: through Windows Explorer the error is different:  "G:\ is not accessible.    The folder was moved or removed."

If trying to access at a command prompt you get: "Invalid drive specification"

This happens wether the drives are using esata bus or USB interfaces.

The 5020 is running the latest BIOS 1.46 in base mode.  The server board has a BIOS (P16) which has LBA support.  The server registry has been updated with EnableBigLba key.

The event viewer shows an ARRIVAL notification for the removable device:
Received a device interface ARRIVAL notification for device:
  \\?\SCSI#Disk&Ven_ST310005&Prod_ARC-5020-VOL#03&Rev_0100#6&1bc9ae29&0&130#{53f56307-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}

I belive the 5020 is working because all apears to work normally when connected to an XP box.

Please let me know if you need any more details.
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Question by:tennr1
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by:noxcho
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Just a stupid question. Is LBA support enabled in your Windows 2000?
Look here: http://www.48bitlba.com/
Why am I asking this? It seems to me that problem is in size of the drives and Win2K. As you said, Windows XP works ok with this configuration and only Win2K has problems. So it could be cause of the not supported size limits.
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by:tennr1
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Thanks for your response.  Yes, as noted in my post, LBA had been enabled at the the OS level.
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by:noxcho
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Oops, looks like I missed the LBA line.
Ok, when you connect the device to XP, does its Windows Disk Management see the drive as single HDD or as four 1TB drives?
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by:tennr1
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I have tested this with a different single HDD (120GB) external enclosure that has USB and eSATA.  Exact same results.  Note, this was only a 120GB drive and should have been excluded from the LBA issue on many levels (being USB and under 137GB).
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by:tennr1
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I have used multiple permutations for the external drive configuration.   The 5020 is a hardware based raid controller as such it can present the host drives in many ways.  Pass-thru, JBOD, various raid levels.  So the OS has seen the various configurations properly.  Meaning when it was RAID 5 with one raid set, and two volumes... we naturally saw two drives, and was able to create partions and format them in the OS, but not able to browse.

Likewise when configured for JBOD, the OS saw four 1TB drives, and reported thier size as 931.5GB.  Again, I was able to parition and format, but not browse.

When connected to XP disk manager you see the same thing as in the 2000 DM, execpt you are able to fully browse the drives.
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by:tennr1
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I have just moved the 5020 over to a different Windows 2000 server box, and we see the same behavior.
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by:noxcho
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Can you as experiment create partition of 500GB and see if it can browse it. I think Windows 2K is not able to work with 1TB drives (possibly cluster size?)
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by:tennr1
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Yes, I have created a volume of only 120GB.  Then created a parition to fill the volume, formatted it, it shows as "healthy" in DM, but you cannot browse it.
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by:noxcho
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So then we know that problem not in drive size.
I have four 1TB drives at work so will see if I have similar problems on Windows 2000.
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by:tennr1
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Am I just completly missing something (that I should have caught) or have I stumped the entire community?  Please help.
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by:noxcho
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tennr1, sorry for silence, being completely busy currently. I did not forget the check promise. Will do that till the end of this week and report you back.
Meanwhile could you please try one idea?
Please download the trial version of this product: http://www.paragon-software.com/business/db-server/
Install it and run. Delete volumes from the big drives via Windows Disk Management and create + format the new partitions using Drive Backup (right click on free space and select Create Partition - select NTFS type - drive letter - ok).
Are you able to browse the partitions after this step?
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by:tennr1
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noxcho,
the Drive Backup software you mentioned in your post does not see the drives at all.  At least not in JBOD, I will create a small raid volume (100GB) and retry.
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by:noxcho
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What was the actual size of JBOD?
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by:tennr1
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There are four 1TB drives.  Windows Disk Manager sees all four drives, and reports the size properly as 931GB.  
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by:tennr1
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noxcho,

Were you able to do a drive test on your system?
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by:rindi
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Have you tried reinstalling or updating all the PC's drivers, particularly of the mainboard? Did you try an sfc /scannow from a cmd prompt? Or a repair installation of your OS? Is it completely patched and updated?
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by:noxcho
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I tested and it worked for me. My three 1TB drives were detected as 931GB, I formatted and browsed the created partitions without any problem.
Also, if you have another machine running XP or Vista, please connect these drives to this machine and format them using Paragon I gave you the link to.
Then, reconnect back to Windows 2000 machine and see if it sees and browses the partitions on these drives.
I am considering that there is something wrong you do in BIOS. You've mentioned JBOD? Are these drives in RAID or standalone config? If you connect one drive instead of 4 is system able to work with them. In JBOD the drives should be seen as 4TB storage room as far as I know and I doubt that Win2K is able to work with such huge room at all.
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by:tennr1
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noxcho,
When you say somthing wrong in the BIOS, can you be more specific.  It seems you are referencing the configuration of the drives.  Remember, this is a stand alone eSATA encosure with built-in hardware level RAID.  The eSATA adapter that is in the Windows 2000 Server is running in base mode (meaning it's RAID is turned off).
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by:noxcho
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Ok, my drives were connected internal and I had no problem with them.
I guess the eSATA could be a hard brick for Windows 2000 Server OS.
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by:tennr1
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noxcho,
We get the exact same behaviour with USB as well.
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by:tennr1
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rindi,
This is a production machine running several key services.  I wish I had the luxury of being more invassive.  Keep in mind I see the exact same behaviour with a second Windows 2000 Server (different hardware config).  It seems unlikley reinstalling drivers and patching would produce different results, no?
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by:noxcho
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Did you manually edit the registry entry as advised by Microsoft for big drives support?
In other words do you have it modified as advised here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/305098
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by:tennr1
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noxcho,
yes, please see the first post.
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by:noxcho
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Is there a machine that drives work ok on? If yes, then connect and try to delete the existing partitions and recreate them. Connect the drive back to 2K and see what happens. This step is necessary to exclude formatting issue.
Also, please take and post here a screen shot of Windows Disk Management of your 2K so I could see the way Windows detects the drives.
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by:tennr1
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noxcho,
What you see here (attached) is a screen shot of the error that you get if your try to explore or browse the "healthy" drive e:.

This is a raid volume of 100GB, that was formatted on an XP machine with the Paragon software you suggested. Moved back to the 2K system, and opened the Disk Managment console.  When you try to browser either from here or anywhere you get the message: "The system cannot find the device specified"
DiskManager-withError-07222009.JPG
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by:noxcho
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Look like rindi was right with driver update advice. The problem seemingly on motherboard drive controller drives. Try to update the drivers. This error often happens when the driver itself weird or is installed wrong way. Updating drivers should not affect your servers at all.
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by:tennr1
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noxcho,

We have two W2K servers, with different hardware where this happens.  And it happens through eSATA and USB.  

The eSATA card is at the latest driver level, and I have tried previous drivers too with the same result.

What drivers would you suggest to change?
DeviceManager-SI3124-properties-.JPG
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by:rindi
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Is there any win2k box you have where this works? If not, have you tried building a temporary win2k box just with the OS and drivers where you can test things? Can you try to connect the disks internally to an IDE connector (not SATA, you will need an IDE to SATA converter between the IDE cable and the Disk). If it works that way you will know it is a driver issue. The problem is that win2k is relatively old and SATA is relatively new, so many drivers won't be optimized for win2k. The same goes for USB, particularly if newer chipsets are involved.
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by:noxcho
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I have installed Win2K Advanced Server SP4 onto 160GB SATA2 drive, mb ASUS 5K ICH9 with single IDE controller + 4 SATA controllers + eSATA. That was absolutely fresh install with no drivers loader. All drives are detected and could be browsed without any problem. I have connected three 1TB drives to this machine formatted them and still no issue.
Your case is very strange. I assume that any drive you connect to this machine has same effect, hasn't it?
Just to clarify, is there any XP machine where you could connect the drive that failed in Win2K and see if it is browses there?
With Silicon RAID controller I had problems that it could not see big drives correctly and creating RAID was impossible.
Is there any internal SATA controller on motherboard you could connect SATA drive directly? If yes, then connect it and see what happens.
Do not touch drivers yet till you try it with internal connection.
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by:tennr1
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noxcho,
No, this board does not have internal SATA.  Yes, the 5020 is browsable in XP.  No, it does not happen with all drives, we can see and format smaller USB flash drives (2GB).

rindi,
No, only two W2K servers at this location, differen hardware configs, one Intel, one Gateway, both same issue.  I will try a seperate IDE drive (80GB) directly on the board.  Will also try one of the 1TB directly with a SATA to USB adapter.
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by:noxcho
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Try to create partition of 9GB on 100GB HDD and see if you are able to browse it.
Then create one of 33GB and same test.
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by:rindi
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SATA to USB adapter probably won't help, as you have the issue with both systems, SATA and USB. I'm thinking more of an IDE to SATA (or IDE to USB) adapter, because then the SATA or USB interface itself is removed from the equation for the OS (those adapters will make the disk look like a standard IDE HD to the OS).

Something like the following:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812206001
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tennr1 earned 0 total points
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All,

I've discovered the problem.  We we're all wrong.

I will award the points to both, noxcho for shear staying power on this, thank you. And rindi, who lead me down the path that uncovered the problem.

rindi suggested running an sfc scan... as you know this must be run from the console (that's key),  ran the scan, nothing detected.  I browse the raid drive... bing, it's there.  HUH?  I check back at my admin pc through remote destop... error.  Close the RD window, reopen... error.  Log-off session, restart, it works.

Turns out there is a bug that will not allow the newly inserted drives (eSATA or USB) to fully register in the remote desktop session.


Thank you.

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by:noxcho
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Well good to know.
Thanks for points.
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