Murphys Law

semaphore timeout period has expired--part of HDrv

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I've gotten a scary/bad start to having a 'large' drive (160gb).

Windows Explorer is reporting "The semaphore timeout period has expired." when I try to access locally either of two of the three root folders in an 80 gig partition ("Drive D") of an almost new 160 gig Western Digital internal EIDE drive that has only one other (80 gig) partition ("Drive C"). It won't let me in the folders. (It does let me in the other folder, and it does let me in the C drive 80 gb partition.)

I need some of the data from those folders. (I'd initially planned to use the drive as a backup; I tried skipping making a second backup because I was planning to replace immediately the laptop that housed the files for which these are a backup, but the plans changed without my first making a separate backup, and the laptop's drive is now mostly or all securely reformatted and in any case not part of the picture. The laptop had made odd noises in its hard drive, by the way, but the data files had seemed fine.)

Random facts...

I haven't tried accessing via a network or creating an image or putting the drive in another PC (which would probably also involve moving the Ultra ATA card, which came with the drive).

I can't access the machine via peer-to-peer; that problem was occuring intermittantly before this problem, I think; I do know that networking was working at least intermittantly before this problem, because it was via networking that I put the data on this partition.

At the moment there are no other drives in the PC (aside from USB pen drives).

This drive is the first I've tried that's over 80 gb. I installed it a few weeks ago. It installed with difficulty, including trying a number of different jumper combinations under the direction of Western Digital's tech support.

After getting over the installation hurdle, I used the drive (mostly the first partition) with no problems (but without putting much data on the 2nd partition). Well, there was one problem: intermittant networking trouble arose, but no worse than I typically seem to have due to my perhaps not 'getting' the choices that Microsoft's wizard offers. (I have PCs all plugged into a firewall-equipped router, and that didn't necessarily seem to fit the choices. Finally this time I chose where, if one substitutes my router for what I think the wizard called a home gateway, it's a good/close fit. That worked for sharing files with the other (local) PCs but two or more times it worked only until the next reboot.)

When this problem arose, I had a 20gb slave drive in the PC and the jumpering for the 160 gb was the same--that is, as single. (At least, that's what's on a drawing I made; at this point I'm open to uncertitude as to what happened when<g>.)

Presently there's no other disk in the PC; I anticipate putting a 120 gig in as a slave in order to create images of at least the fully-good partition

The other root folder apparently is fine. Google results, at least of what I checked, were mostly of trouble when mapping/sharing/using shared folders, which seemed unlikely to me to relate to this because I'm trying to access it locally. I found one post that suggested that a drive's being over the 137 limit was suspected to be a problem.

I ran disk diagnostics under guidance of the drive's manufacturer--the drive has been in the PC less than 30 days and I'd had quite a time getting it installed, so that kicked in a 30 day support run. Other than running advanced diagnostics, which the tech said probably would add no help in this case, the manufacturer said it doesn't appear to be a hard drive problem.

I don't know if it's a related problem, because I noticed both at about the same time, but a 20 gig drive that had been present as a slave drive suddenly became problematic. It's now out of the computer. (I still would appreciate help with it; it also has unique copies of some data.) I asked about in another thread (which I hope I'll still receive replies for; if appropriate I'll paste the address of the thread here). (I'm a newbie here; it's my only other thread.)

Thanks in advance for any help, and please mention if any techniques you suggest are risky to the drive (beyond, of course, the normal risk of electronic/mechanical damage from simply operating the drive).

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DO you write novels by any chance?

maybe condense the facts a bit - random facts ae hard to sift through

You are saying that your 160Gb HD is on an ATA card? - Have you tried putting it just on your MBs IDE channel? You may need to upgrade the MB BIOS to support it.

You could also see if your ATA card has a firmware upgrade.

Have you tried updating Windows? I wouldn't put SP2 on - but do any other upgrades.

Random suggestions

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DO you write novels by any chance?

maybe condense the facts a bit - random facts ae hard to sift through

Thanks for the nicely-humored candor, for reading it all, and for your reply. (Hmm, novel again.) My main excuse is that in subjects in which I'm ignorant, it's hard to know what facts are relevant. (And I do have a novel idea--I'll blame you if I decide to try to write it!<g>)

I wrote a medium-length update before coming back to this site; taking your suggestion, I will just cut all but the summary for now. Then I'll reply to your questions/suggestions. (Hmm, I've worked on cutting this down, it's still long!)

*Update*

(To try to get some backing up going with little hassling of the system [or so I incorrectly thought],) I installed a new but long-sitting-in-box 120 GB Seagate hard drive as a slave drive. After a false start (booted with no apparent harm to the master disk but I'd not jumpered the master to have a slave), I correctly jumpered the master. When I powered on, the master's drive D partition got "fixed" (hmm...), apparently by Chkdsk--it launched it, I didn't. Now I don't even see the two folders that had been reporting the semphore error (When Ckkdsk did its automatic thing, there were lots and lots of lines saying things like "deleting index entry for [and then there'd be one of my filenames from the only Drive D: root folder I'd been able to access before].)

I'll wait a day for a reply but I'm nervous to get some backing up going. Subject to revision by any replies, I plan to format the new drive and create a backup image of the C: drive (and, I suppose, of what's left of the D:). I'm going to plan *not* to save anything onto D: until I can run an appropriate reliable non-destructive analysis utility--please advise if this is an appropriate course, and what utility / utilties should I use. I have licenses of DriveImage7, Ghost 2003 (it installed as part of SystemWorks, but I've not used any modern version of Ghost), Partition Magic 8 (and 6). Is this a case for Spinwrite/Spinrite? (I'll buy it if necessary.) Or ???

You are saying that your 160Gb HD is on an ATA card? - Have you tried putting it just on your MBs IDE channel? You may need to upgrade the MB BIOS to support it.

I'm open to but nervous about putting it on the MB's IDE channel and upgrading if needed, and I'm open to solely upgrading the MB BIOS; can you advise as to whether either of these sets of actions is risky to the now-not-visible folders (and in particular their data)? I think that the manufacturer's updated tools disk or something said that this could be done, and maybe they'll even walk me through it.

You could also see if your ATA card has a firmware upgrade.

Thanks, that didn't occur to me. It came with the drive and I talked with the WDigital tech support dept both when doing the install and in reaction to this problem, and they didn't suggest that. They did say perhaps "it's a Windows problem".

Have you tried updating Windows?

Thanks, I'll do a non-SP2 update of Windows as you suggest. I'm guessing that it'll be all set--I think this PC was pretty updated and might even be set to automatically download updates and prompt me to start the install.

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I tried the Windows update. I don't remember having seen the starting screen before--the one that let's one choose between automatic and custom. In order to avoid SP2, I went with custom. It failed, so now I have to see about getting an update to my updater<g>. I in fact have an open ticket at Microsoft on the updater, though not on this specific problem, so I'll try them during working hours and then plan to update this.

Meantime, I'd welcome posts about my last post's questions, including whether I should go ahead and format the new slave drive so I can start backing up what's left of my data.

Another backup alternative I have is to install a DVD+RW Khypermedia. My intuitive sense is to be a little cautious of the brand, but I don't have any substantial info to go on. Any thoughts? (Format the slave drive; install the DVD+RW; do both?; wait for Microsoft's input on Windows update?; start my novel?)

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I had some weird errors in the System Event Log, about semaphores, timeouts, shared locks, etc., that were all caused by the NView system driver from the NVidia 5x.xx driver sets. Those seemed to cause no end to the display/GDI troubles that I was having, when NView was in fact enabled.

How is your error occurring? Is it popping up an application or system dialog, clearly from Windows' Explorer.exe? Or something in the Event Viewer?

Do you have an Nvidia video card with drives from this range installed?

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It sounds like there is multiple problems going on there.

Personally what I would do is try to put the HD in another machine that can read 160GB HDs and see what comes up.

If you have access then I would copy the data over to another drive and reformat & re-install a clean version of XP

If you still can't read the partition you may need to start doing some data recovery

It may seem a bit excessive but many times I have found it less of a problem then to spend hours trying to track down these types of problems

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Letting CHKDSK run on that drive and 'delete' the files was the worst thing that happened. You'll need a recovery program to retrieve anything deleted I would think. DON'T WRITE anything to the drive at all, as your data is effectively deleted from the drive. Assuming you've only got that PC availiable, what I would do I think is put the Seagate on the Mobo IDE and copy what's visible / readable from the WD, then connect the WD to the Mobo IDE (but make sure of support first), and run some data recovery prog. I take it this is NTFS? What board /BIOS ver are you running, someone will probably be able to tell you whether 160GB drives are supported or if you need a BIOS upgrade. Hope some of this hurriedly typed stuff helps you.

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Thanks Two] and Virtual Larry! It's confidence-inspiring to have your help and to see your many-post-count status.

<<Virtual Larry>> How is your error occurring? Is it popping up an application or system dialog, clearly from Windows' Explorer.exe? Or something in the Event Viewer?

Well, I have to answer that part in the past tense because although I still have a big problem (I want to get to my data), the semaphore error that two of three folders reported is moot because because the two folders no longer are visible. (Given that the drive is reporting a *lot* of free space, I suspect that it's a safe bet that the system considers them to have been deleted, presumably by the chkdsk (or chkdsk-like process) that automatically kicked off after I corrected the jumpering (I'm quite sure I got them right). For more detail on the jumpering & chkdsk incident, please see my preceding post (I'm trying to balance keeping this post short versus the possibility that my referring you to an earlier post will be viewed as offensive--probably an unnecessary concern).)

The past tense answer, then, is that it happened in any of the processes I used for trying to drill into the folders, where 'drill in' is in a normal user sense--no data tools (I don't have any that I know of, unless SystemWorks has something). Most of my attempts were just in Windows Explorer in two pane mode (folder tree in the left pane). Any attempt to click into--probably I was double clicking--got the error. Something else I tried got it also; I think that it was when, after installing Drive Image 7, I booted into the system recovery mode (i.e., running off of the CD), and tried to see if it would sniff out the drive images that happened to be in one of the troubled folders. (I think in fact the folder's name was 'Drive Images'.) The recovery mode environment booted fine (it seemed to take a pretty long time but I'm no expert), and then I was able to browse but got the identical message (re semaphore) when I tried to drill into the Drive Images folder (if that's what the name was).

<<Virtual Larry>> Do you have an Nvidia video card with drives from this range installed?

Yes! I'm not too expert at this sort of thing, but per the adapter's properties as reported in Device Manager, its NVIDIA Vanta (which is also what the Compaq label on the side of the case says), and the version is 4.5.2.3, with a driver date of 7/28/03--I've had the PC since late '01 and I'm certain I didn't seek out the driver, but I basically accept all of the Windows Updates (when update is working) so I wouldn't necessarily have noticed if Windows Update included it.

Are you suggesting that I (a) update the driver (if I can get Windows update working, or perhaps by going to NVidia's site to get it), (B) roll it back if possible, © try both, or ??.

<<Two]>> It sounds like there is multiple problems going on there.

That wouldn't surprise me. I used to have a terrific systems support consultant; he left the business years back and I've not always gone the extra mile to fix each problem, because often they crop up when my plate is overfilled with work and other obligations, and if the system is still running at that point, I can end up letting it stay that way; as a result, I might have several layers of problems. This computer, for example, still is reported by Norton AV to have some hijack-ware. I intend to resolve that, but that's actually part of what might have hurt the system:

My wife needed something printed, and I couldn't see a way (other than print-screen) to capture Norton's report of what programs Norton had failed to delete. Because Norton reported that the scan had taken two hours to complete, I didn't want to close the screen down as part of putting on the printer cable. Instead, I hibernated the PC, waited until it was off, put on the cable, and turned the PC back on. I immediately got the screen complaining about the slave drive (reported in my other thread), and the next time I tried to access the master drive's 2nd partition, I had the semaphore problem. (The slave drive's status is poor. Because this system [which is XP] could barely boot with it in after I plugged in the printer cable--and in fact tried to do something like the chkdsk problem I reported above--and because it's under the 137 mb barrier, I tried putting it in a Win 98 system as a slave. The Win 98 at least shows me the drive, but the folders are clearly a mess--lots of weird characters--so I haven't tried doing anything more with it, and am hoping/waiting for additional replies at my other thread. [i'll gladly try to post a link to it; it's my only other thread in this group.]

<<Two]>> Personally what I would do is try to put the HD in another machine that can read 160GB HDs and see what comes up.

OK, would that be as master (which is what it is presently) or as slave? I'm wondering if trying it as master would be challenging in that the other system would have different hardware.

I'd have to temporarily move the card too (or perhaps get advice from Western Digital on getting past the need for the card).

Please advise as to whether you think there's any unusual risk to trying this, and in particular please advise as to whether you think I safely can and should

(a) format the 120 gig

that I presently have sitting in the system as a slave drive, and save images of what's left of the master disk [the full 80 gig first partition, and the one never-troublesome folder in the d: partition--that's the folder whose files were flashing by as the post-jumpering automatic chkdsk happened yesterday

or

(B) install the Khypermedia DVD+RW and burn some DVDs, possibly directly burning from the master drive's data, or, if I use option a [create images to the 120gig], then burn those to DVD.  (I'd have Drive Image break the images into suitable-for-DVD sized sizes.

This approach b means pulling a DVD reader from the system.  (Possibly it's not working well either, but I think I'm thinking of a DVD reader from a different system; I've not used either in some time.)

<<Two]>> If you have access then I would copy the data over to another drive and reformat & re-install a clean version of XP

Lots of work, but I'd not mind, and I was thinking along these lines if I could just free up time from the fire-fighting I do to keep to my work going.

<<Two]>> If you still can't read the partition you may need to start doing some data recovery

Understood; as noted, I'm aware there are products but I don't know which to use, etc. Also, some of my "do you think it's risky to do ...." questions are because I want to be sure not to disturb the partition in case the data is recoverable. Putting my question a different way, given that my D: partition is not used as the system's temp folder or any such thing, do you have a sense of whether creating an image of it (or an image of the C: partition) might temporarily write data to the D: partition (thus possibly harming my chances for recovery)? Also, Drive Image 7 has an option to make a full partition image--not just of visible data, but of every sector. Might such an image be genuine--that is, if I create one, then try possibly-destructive data recovery techniques on the original partition, and then restore the image so as to try other techniques, would I really be getting a true clone?

(By the way, after hitting 'Add Reply' I'm going to make a donation to this group. Thanks very much for the time you've already put into this. I do volunteer--in fact, a huge amount--so I feel I'm in balance in general, but I have little to offer to this group [other than questions, which I realize are welcome] and want to acknowledge your efforts.)

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(Donation made, thanks again.) Looks like I should have tried the "Preview post" option so I could have seen that I somehow made a mess of the quoting. Is there a way to edit a post?

Thanks!

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Chap II ;)

PS - Post counts aren't necessarily related to experience - try to evaluate the advice given with the details given

- It sounds like things are going from bad to worse, at this point I agree with dan8139 that chksdk might have rewritten your NTFS table. Don't panic just yet since the data is probably still there but I think now you are probably looking at doing data recovery. The most important thing now is that to insure the most sucess from the data recovery you do not access the drive until you are doing the data recovery, meaning that you can't use the computer for anything, ie - turn it off and follow the rest of the advice below - if you are reading this on the machine it is already possible that the OS may be overwriting some files in those partitions.

My suggestion now is if you value the data on there that if you are going to do the data recovery yourself (you can send it to a professional place but be prepared to spend >$1000 - but you are almost guarenteed to get the data since presumably there is no physical damage on the HD)

There is still the chance that in another machine you might have access to all the partitions, but if not then you are going to have to do some data recovery to get the files.

If you are going to do this yourself then I would get another machine - make sure it is same OS or newer. Connect both the 160 & your 120, make sure the 160 is connected as a slave - the 120 doesn't matter since you want to format (NTSF) that drive & use it for backing up any data from your 160. Don't format if there is data on the 120 that you want

You then will have to get a recovery software, i've had the most luck with GetDataBack - but there are many other choices.

You will have to post if you are up to this task since doing data recovery is not terribly ddifficult but it can take some time and be a bit challenging.

It also might be a good time to come up with a backup plan for the next time :unsure:

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I've had the PC since late '01 ...

Sure sounds like a 130 GB wraparound to me...

-- Rick

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I've had the PC since late '01 ...

Sure sounds like a 130 GB wraparound to me...

-- Rick

rick, you may be on to something here. It is unclear to me which OS version it is, but I know that there is a data-corruption issue with XP, Hibernate, and 48-bit LBA IDE HDs. There was a hotfix issued after SP1 was released. I am unaware of whether or not that hotfix made it into SP2 proper; I would hope/assume that it did.

As for my prior comment about hibernation and hotplugging parallel-port devices. If the machine actually shut itself off, then it may or may not have been safe to plug it in, depending on whether or not the mobo supplies standby power to external ports like that. I know that my (ancient) BX6-r2 mobo actually did supply standby power to things like the PS/2 and serial ports, so assuming that the parallel port was powered by the same rail, then it probably was "hot" too, unless the cord was actually pulled from the machine. That's not really relevant at this point though, so I won't harp on it any more. Just wanted to point that out to the OP as an FYI for the future. Also, it's a bad idea to use the "hibernate" feature to add or remove hardware. There are design limitations on the usage of the hibernation feature, that (IMHO) make it pretty-much totally unsuitable for desktop machines. I don't recommend ever using it. This is above and beyond the current XP pre-SP2 data-corruption issue involving Hibernate and 48-bit LBA.

At this point I have to agree with TwoJ, take the drive(s) out of service, and put them into another machine as slaves/non-bootable drives, for data-recovery purposes.

Btw, TwoJ, I just had this curious thought - is that name from a certain video-game? Final Fight perhaps? :)

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I'm back. Today I removed the extended-drive-size card and the 160GB drive (which has the two partitions, one apparently OK and the other with two of three folders deleteed). I nursed along a start-from-scratch install of XP on the never-before-used, bought-within-the-last-year Seagate 120GB, plugged into the MB. Just to clarify, the start-from-scratch is from Compaq--it's a 3 CD set that I sent for in early '02. I then ran Windows Update a few times, but not including SP2.

So, at this point I'm using the same hardware except I'm not using the extended card (yet), the troubled drive isn't plugged in, and I've put the OS etc (via the 3 COmpaq CDs) on a 120 gig system. Questions that occur to me:

1) Should I be using a different PC? I've misplaced a store-bought copy of XP that I've planned to put in PC I am ever so slowly building (it doesn't have drives in it, but does have MB & RAM<g>), so I was wondering if perhaps it's as safe to use the same box that this happened in. I do have a couple of PCs that have older operating systems--one with Win2K, one with 98, and I have an NT4 I could install. None of these can (yet) run large drives--well, as far as I know. I do have another large drive--a Seagate 160--so it occurs to me I could use it as the guinea pig.

Some generic questions--if I use a 'working' box other than the Compaq where this trouble arose, then that's one drive (the working box's existing small drive), and then if I put in the troubled drive, that's a second drive; if I also put in a drive for storage, that's a third drive. I'd been thinking, probably incorrectly, that one can put two hard drives and two optical drives in a system. I'm sheepishly thinking that maybe I was underestimating; the direction to put both drives as masters on different channels opens up the idea that I could even do four drives if desired.

So, I have:

the troubled WD 160

the 120Seagate presently all set in the COmpaq after using the 3CD Compaq restore set (and ready for SP2 if you recommend it

a never-used Seagate 160gb (bought within last year)

a box with Win2k (that's a pretty low powered box, I don't recall--perhaps 300/400, and I'm unsure how much RAM)

a box with Win98 (it's a Gateway 450 with 512 RAM)

my still-in-process PC, it has a gig of RAM and no drives, I think it's an Athlon, I bought it about 15 mo.s ago, approx 1.7ghz equivalent I think.

I'm unsure what box configuration to use of these parts. Shall I use my idea of seeing if I can read the new 160 (Seagate) before risking putting the troubled WD 160 on any of these?

In the thread on partitioning, a link was provided for one-click setting up of reading large drives. I'm unclear on whether there are risks for going for differing solutions on these, and whether if I use CDs from drive manufacturers, does that mean that only their large drives will be read?

Thanks all! I realize this probably is heading toward data recovery; I do feel up to it with the guidance you've been providing!

By the way, when I issued a thanks the other day, I was writing my post while dan8139 was writing and posting his; I didn't mean to be leaving him out of the thanks.

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Hi, it's I, the original poster<g>. My last post's status continues--I'm without both my primary PC and the backups pending proceeding on the questions I asked in that post. In this post, having freed up some time, I've reviewed some of the questions/suggestions that I hadn't replied to, and I'd like to use this post to reply to them.

First, as probably goes without saying, thank you again, not only for the direct help but for helping lift the weeds from my computing. My hope is that particularly if we follow through with nailing what I should do for backing up, I'll finally have a system where I can focus mostly on using rather than fixing. (By the way, in addition to the two drives that got into trouble last week, I have one to two other drives--definitely a 1gb Jaz disk--that have trouble. (The 1gb was from having spaghetti power cords and inadvertently unplugging the drive while the disk was in it; I was rushing to give the cable repairperson a place to plug in.) Sorry for the thread drift, but perhaps it helps give a picture of the original poster (me)....

(Quoting from Virtual Larry)  QUOTE (rfarris @ Sep 3 2004, 03:15 PM)

QUOTE (OP)

I've had the PC since late '01 ...

Sure sounds like a 130 GB wraparound to me...

-- Rick 

rick, you may be on to something here. It is unclear to me which OS version it is, but I know that there is a data-corruption issue with XP, Hibernate, and 48-bit LBA IDE HDs. There was a hotfix issued after SP1 was released. I am unaware of whether or not that hotfix made it into SP2 proper; I would hope/assume that it did.

The PC indeed was XP (Home edition) pre-SP2. As to 48-bit LBA, based on reading the apparently-mostly-Microsoft-issued info at http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&...eread06&rnum=17 I don't know if it was on but I'd guess that it wasn't, because I plugged the 160GB into the ATA controller card that came with the 160GB; I didn't knowingly alter the BIOS. I don't know what the term 130 GB Wraparound is; I didn't find any instance in Google (other than this thread).

Chriscool Posted on Sep 3 2004, 09:52 PM

  Just to be sure...

Of course, you tried to boot in "no-failures" mode ?

Well, not knowingly<g>. I have no idea what no-failure mode is (but it certainly sounds like an attractive feature!<g>) Googling it ("no failures mode", and "no-failures mode") got only a single hit (in groups) that looked unlikely to be what you were referring to.

Virtual Larry

As for my prior comment about hibernation and hotplugging parallel-port devices. If the machine actually shut itself off, then it may or may not have been safe to plug it in....it probably was "hot" too, unless the cord was actually pulled from the machine. .....Just wanted to point that out to the OP as an FYI for the future

Ah, that could be what happened. The PC indeed was off. But probably I hadn't unplugged the power cord.

I hope that there isn't even more damage than I've seen so far. It seems odd that the first partition of the 160GB didn't seem to have any problems, and that one of the folders in the 2nd partition seemed unaffected, while the other two of the three have the semaphore problem and (as mentioned in my other thread here, but I think getting no additional replies), the 20GB drive ended up such that if I put in the PC, Windows booted poorly, and in a Win98 machine I can see it but the foldernames have strange characters.

Also, it's a bad idea to use the "hibernate" feature to add or remove hardware. There are design limitations on the usage of the hibernation feature, that (IMHO) make it pretty-much totally unsuitable for desktop machines. I don't recommend ever using it.

Wow, even for laptops? It was quite handy on the high-powered laptop I had. A couple of times it got tired of this so I'd have to start over with opening applications, but generally I got to choose when to shut off all of the applications, and could quickly stop and quickly resume, and thus saved a lot of time.

TwoJ Post counts aren't necessarily related to experience - try to evaluate the advice given with the details given

I agree and have done a lot of volunteer sysoping (obviously not in a hardware group<g>). I was being unusually brief; my being impressed includes evaluating, to my limited knowledge of hardware, the details given

I'm waiting with baited breath (whatever that means) to hear whether I'm going to have to figure out how to pull together a different box than the Compaq for repairing the problems that happened there.

Thanks!

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I've had the PC since late '01 ...

Sure sounds like a 130 GB wraparound to me...

I don't know what the term 130 GB Wraparound is; I didn't find any instance in Google (other than this thread).

Since the beginning of PC hardware, there has always been some limit on the maximum volume size that was supported. For instance, in the very beginning, the bios used a 16-bit pointer to disk sectors which, at the time, were 512 bytes. 2^16 * 2^9 = 2^25, leading to a maximum volume size of 32 MB.

If you exceeded the max volume size, in other words, if you were writing at disk sector 65,535 and incremented to sector 65,536, the pointer overflowed to zero, and instead of writing on sector 65,535, you were writing at sector 0. This phenomenon is commonly called "wraparound."

I won't bore you with the history of how sector size was juggled, bios modifications were made and various other remedies were applied, increasing max volume size steadily as the PC grew up.

The latest version of the max volume size occured at 128 GB (logical) 134,217,728 k-bytes, physical, which I rounded off to 130 MB. This limit was broached by moving to a 48 bit LBA. This happened recently enough that it is entirely possible that a PC built in 2001 (an almost infinite amount of time by PC standards) could contain components incapable of dealing with disks larger than about 130GB.

If, by chance, at some point while writing your disk, any part of the chain of bios/controller/OS was incapable of addressing beyond the wraparound point, disk corruption could occur.

--Rick

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Thanks for the explanation, Rick! I liked the mathematical detail; after confirming that the 2^9 = 512, I see exactly why the limit was 32MB (though I don't see how 32 MB translates to 65,536 sectors).

I'm unclear on where the controller card WD included comes into the picture. I think that WD's support mentioned that WD isn't even including the cards anymore because they're unnecessary on newer systems. As to my system, I'm hoping that in the course of supporting me through the initial installation, they'd have identified if the system were incable of dealing with this problem.

Of course in my case it's possible that the problem was created solely by my having plugged the printer cable in while the system was 'off' but in hibernatation.

I remain in the overall status of my last e-mail--I'm without my primary data while I await further input at this thread. Thanks again, and please do address the questions I have as to what to do next--in particular, am I at risk of hurting the not-yet-re-backed-up data (the data that was/is in the two deleted folders of the 2nd 80GB partition of the 160GB WD disk) if I try to get things going on the same 2001 computer? FYI I'm falling behind on a project I need to be doing, so I'd gladly pay for some direct phone support. Thanks!

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Btw, TwoJ, I just had this curious thought - is that name from a certain video-game? Final Fight perhaps?
- Sorry VR , TwoJ is a variation of JJ, which is a nickname that goes back to when I was a treeplanter, it is really an inside Joke but I liked the va

@Murphy

Still trying to decipher your real questions ;)

I think at this point I would take your still-in progress machine, attach the unused 160GB drive - without the card - it should support >137GB HDs. Do a WinXP SP1 install and attach your damaged 160 as a slave and do the data recovery that way.

But as I said I highly recommend you find another XP SP1 + updates machine and try the damaged 160 on that to determine if the partitions are really lost

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@TwoJ:

Thanks! I think you identified salient critical-path questions. Other questions (for you or others, of course) at present are:

You've not mentioned whether XP Pro is a requirement over XP Home for this; that is, is it fine to use XP Home?

Is there some precaution I should take before plugging the drive in? (I suppose the worst possibility--the auto-running of chkdsk--has already happened, so perhaps there's nothing special to fear or to avoid re the troubled 160GB. But I'm wondering if I should boot in "no-failures" mode mentioned, particularly when it comes time to try to see what's up on the 20GB former slave drive (the subject of my other thread).

@TobySmurf: Thanks, the math is complete!

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OK, I've borrowed an XP Home, purchased approx spring 2004. It runs quite slow (or at least slower than I'd have thought an approx 2.6 machine would run. It has a non-Pentium Intel processor and 256 RAM and is a Compaq.) I'm running it through updates at the moment.

Sorry, another open question is whether you're recommending that I run SP2 on any of the computers. (I'm unclear whether SP1 + Updates means that SP2 is irrelevant, preferred, or not preferred. OK, if I have to make a decision, I'd say that it means that SP2 is not necessary and might be problematic.)

Thanks!

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XP home should be fine, the Pro shouldn't have any options you need.

I would apply any updates but not the SP2

The computer should be completly off when you take out/ put in.

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Perfect, I'll put it in, thanks!

Regarding having the PC off completely when I put in the drive, I do follow that, but it seems inconsistent with the advice to attach a wrist-strap to a plugged-in PC's metal body (unless one attaches the wrist-strap to a different computer than the one that one's working on).

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