Windows - No Disc - additional issue to that in your database

nextenso
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I have read various responses to my issue (next para) to which I have some additional aspects not mentioned, to resolve. I have put in all relevant info, so, it's longer than intended.

In recent few months I repeatedly, not every day, get a message during boot saying "Windows - No Disk Exception Processing Message c0000013 Parameters 7c7.....5f8. In the solutions I have read, it is suggested that I change my drive letters (other than 'C'), especially for removable drives. I describe my current drive lettering, which has grown as I have added drives since my initial build with 4 physical drives, 2 being a pair on Raid. Changing the drive letters could be a problem.

I have my operating system and Microsoft programmes on physical disc 'C',

And 3 CD/DVD drives 'D' and 'E' and 'R' the last being an external DVD drive.

My data is on a pair of physical discs 'K' on Raid 0,
 
Back-ups and program downloads on a 4th physical disc in partition 'H' with a partition 'X' for around 30 other programmes.
 
In addition I have 2 external drives 'L' and 'F'  for backup of backups, and as I use Raid 0 for my data, a continuous realtime backup.

'L' contains a partition which has a drive image of a machine I rebuilt and kept all data on it at the time, and needed as an archive. Windows sees this drive image as a Boot Drive if my Boot Order is changed to look initally at removable drives - as in when I carry out data changes that require me to boot off a drive other than 'C'.

Drive letters 'M' and 'N' are used when I use either of the 2 USB flash drives I have for making data transfers. They are only plugged in when they are being used.

So, I do not know what disc the No - Disc message relates to. Nonetheless, my machine runs perfectly. All work without error.

However, the following issue may be invloved. My Brother MFC 620CN printer for some reason causes Windows to randomly run AutoPlay checking the content of the "drive" it sees the printer as, except it can't find any content. I had thought it was a virus, but, found eventually that unplugging the USB cable for the printer instantly stopped AutoPlay after which it could be plugged back in without problem. A week or so later it happens again and so on. Last week I replaced the printer for the latest Brother printer MFC J5910DW, expecting the problem to go, but, yesterday AutoPlay was triggered again, and unplugging the new printer USB stopped it.

Having the new printer cause AutoPlay to run, I Googled the No Disc error message and read that it could indicate a pending disc failure. It was suggested I run sfc /scannow which I did, as follows:

First result was a dialogue box asking me "Files that are required for Windows to run properly must be copied to the DDL cache" and "Please insert your Service Pack 2 CD-ROM" and under that "Retry" "More Information" and "Cancel". I bought Windows XP64 as a disc from Novatech. Service Pack 2 (and 3) came as a download during a regular update. In the dialogue box, there is no option to point it to look at a location for the download, only auto seek the CD drive with a disc.

I tried to copy the downloaded Service Pack2 to a CD, both as downloaded, and as unpacked, and inserted that, but, as expected, it does not see metadata that must be in a supplied CD for Service Pack 2, and it produces a dialogue box saying "Windows File Protection . . . Please wait while Windows verifies that all protected Windows files are intact and in their original positions". I also get a third dialogue box saying  "The CD you provided is the wrong CD. Please insert the Service Pack 2 CD-ROM...."

So, is the "No Disc" error message a serious problem or shall I just keep dismissing it. If serious, how do I resolve ?

Or, should I finally give up my XP64 which works so well for me and go to Windows 7 x64 when the new issue comes out.

Regards Jonathan
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DavidPresident
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
This will happen if one of the disks develops a few consecutive bad blocks and the HDD has to go to deep error recovery.  Bottom line, and I make no apologies for not being PC .. you have to have your head examined to use RAID0 for anything other than video streaming where you don't care if you lose a little bit of data.

Not only that, I'm betting  you are using consumer class disks instead of enterprise class storage.  This system is clearly important to you.  Go RAID1 if you want performance and you enjoy keeping your data.

Author

Commented:
Thanks for your advice, but, it is not a solution. I am very aware of the risk of data loss with RAID 0, which is why I always run continuous realtime data backup as well as daily backups. In 4 years of heavy daily use, I have not experienced any data loss. As it is my data I keep on the Raid 0 with continuous backup, I can afford the risk of data failure and virtually no data loss risk, in a trade off for the extra speed I get, much more than when I first tried RAID 1. There is much evidence and testing showing the extra speed of Raid 0.

In examining my head, I went for RAID 0 for best speed at the time, and the system is very very quick and reliable. Much of my work is in graphics and rendering and high demand on computing power for polygon triangulation algorithms and speed accessing data kept on the drives. I am rebuilding soon with the latest generation of octa-core CPUs and will probably go to RAID 1 with the higher processing power from those CPUs.

However, this is not answering the issue of the No-Disc error and which disc it may relate to. Or the matter of the Brother printer continually triggering AutoPlay and if that relates to the No-Disc issue.

Regards Jonathan
DavidPresident
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
You are missing the point.  Error recovery is the problem.  You are 10,000x more likely to require deep recovery situation than a drive failure.  The symptoms indicate this is exactly what happened.  

RAID0 is NOT universally faster than RAID1 or even JBOD.  It depends on the specifics of the implementation (block size of I/O requests a big part of it).  

With modern cores and a decent RAID stack, then there is near zero CPU overhead regardless of the RAID level.  The XOR calculations can be done in microseconds and nanoseconds, while physical disk I/O takes milliseconds.   CPU overhead was an issue in the previous  millennium.

It doesn't matter which disk it was, the fact is this is the nature of the beast.  If you really want to know, then such info can be obtained through some commercial software, or perhaps even built-in diagnostics, depending on the controller you have.  If you are using host-OS based RAID, then you can look at the O/S event log and see which physical disk logged timeouts.

But your 4-year run of luck is over.  You DID experience data loss this time, just not a catastrophic drive failure.

Author

Commented:
Thank you for the time you take to respond. However, I have to say that I do feel somewhat riled at being spoken to as a 'misbehaving schoolboy' when I  was grounded in working on computers in the days of DOS programmes before Windows became a product. I took a balanced judgement on risk v. speed and other advantages in deciding on RAID 0 - being a build in 2008

Since your last note, I have run various disk health checks, the best utility seeming to be HDTune which has a very good set of test processes. 3 utilities I installed show the RAID 0 Array as in prefect health with no bad sectors and excellent read and write speeds.

However, my 'C' drive does have some bad sectors and no doubt the cause of my frequent, but not every boot time, 'No-Disk' error message. As 'C' drive obviously contains my o/s and programs, it is of far more concern that the RAID 0 array which has my Data protected by realtime backups which are easily and 'quickly' written back.

I will run a bad sector repair utility. I do keep a secondary o/s on a further physical disk in case the main o/s becomes virus infected despite the several protections against that.

The other question I had asked was about Windows seeing the Brother Printer as a hard drive and randomly and frequently causing AutoRun to perform a drive content scan. It does seem that the occurances of the 'No-Disk' error on boot occurs more or less around the time that the printer triggers AutoRun.

I see on some of the disk utility programmes that the Brother printer is shown as a hard drive. Is this normal. Windows disc management does not recognise the printer.

Again, thank you for your comments. Regards Jonathan
DavidPresident
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Sorry you feel that way.  For what it is worth, while you USE HDTune and similar products, I create  such software professionally, since the 90s, and some of my customers include Intel, HP, LSI, WDC, Seagate, US Defense contractors, and many more that I can't reveal due to my non disclosures.  If you want to talk end-users, several cloud companies embed my code in their Petabyte-sized installations.


I apologize if I wasn't PC.

Plus your response on RAID0 was naive and proves you do not understand the mechanics of recovery algorithms and how they impact I/O.  But that is understandable, if you have never written RAID firmware as I have.

Author

Commented:
Thank you. Firstly, I still need an answer to my initial questions re the Brother printer (USB) frequently causing AutoRun to operate and carry out a drive content scan of the printer. I also have 3 HP printers (2 USB and 1 LPT) none of which cause the same issue. As I noted, I have replaced my Brother printer with a latest model and the problem still continues. AutoRun will keep running until I pull out the USB cable to the printer. At first I thought it was a virus or malware, but, it is not. If I ignore AutoRun running, it starts to affect the operation of other functions.

I had also wondered if it was related to the main question I had asked re. the No-Disk warnings on boot as they occur around the same time as AutoRun is triggered, but, this warning now seems to be due a bad sector on the ‘X’ partition on my ‘C’ drive.

Re your comments about my comments on RAID, I guess that 98% or maybe more of computer users, even expert ones, do not have the level of understanding that you do about RAID and associated matters. Comments made by those 98% can only be from experience in one's own use, reading generally available information, Googling the topic for info on tech forums, and comments by others who call themselves experts, but who clearly are, not so expert as yourself. Anything I have said is widely supported by comments made in information that I had researched on the matter in making my decisions, of which Wikipedia was my main definitive source of info, and Asus who supplied RAID enabled motherboard & drivers, whose expert Techies gave me additional information leading to my choices. So, it is confusing to be told other information.

It is most beneficial for Expert Exchange members that higher knowledge people such as you are there to answer problems. If you do not already do so, perhaps you could web-publish an impartial expert guidance note on RAID so that there is a definitive description that enables a less than expert person to make a correctly informed choice on which RAID level to choose with pros & cons. Searching for such an advisory note today brings up so many conflicting opinions most of which refer to the improved speed of RAID 0 which is, for example, a compelling factor leading Himperia to incorporate RAID 0 pools in its 2 disc fail tolerant RAID 5 ZStore offering. So, unless one is fully expert in RAID, whatever is decided is bound to be open to question – whether taking an intended risk balanced by adequate data protection solutions, or going to total cast iron data safety when better speed could be obtained while maintaining acceptable risk. It all depends on the speed and volume of new data generation and how critically important it is.

Regards Jonathan
DavidPresident
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
It just isn't possible for me to cover the topic in anything less than a small book.  I do feel your pain.  You have no idea how much bad information is out there.  Plenty of stuff in wiki that is either wrong or so ambiguous or implementation dependent that it isn't worth reading. Don't get me started on some of the "review" sites who don't even bother to run diags before/after a useless benchmark to normalize their results to account for recovered errors that are an absolute certainty to affect results.

From the 10,000' view people think that RAID levels share common performance characteristics, and they are simply unaware of how a file system uses the volume; or block size and I/O mix (read/write/random/sequential); or drive technology; or configurable settings in HDD firmware; etc .. can easily make 10X difference in "performance" just based on how any particular RAID is set up.  

(Then wait until you have a degraded volume and then rebuild time or performance can also vary depending on setup).

If I ever wrote a book, I'd have to run it by a lot of lawyers and get permission from manufacturers because of my NDAs.   I could do the how and what, but not the 'why'.
President
Top Expert 2010
Commented:
P.S. for the usb thing, download filemon on the microsoft win internals site.  Monitor the app while it is running and see what files it is opening and using.

This should tell you what programs interact with each physical device and when and how.  This will give you the info you need to see what program is causing the problem.

Author

Commented:
Many thanks for your help and the RAID discussion. It has greatly improved my understanding on the matter and provoked much further reading about it.

Like many people competent with 'expertise' on computers, I have pockets of detailed knowledge/skill acquired to resolve a problem, which because time is so limited, does not extend to understanding associated info.

I mark this question as solved.  Regards Jonathan

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