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  #16  
Old October 27th 17, 03:34 AM posted to alt.comp.os.windows-8
Mayayana
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Posts: 3,787
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"philo" wrote

| Also a good idea to go the the website of the HD's mfg ...get and run
| their diagnostic. If /any/ errors are found, replace the drive
| Might as well run a RAM test too

I was able to test RAM. That checked out. I ended
up installing it into a Win7 box and running Hiren's
boot disk. The WD diagnostic came out with error 7
and quit. BootIt sees all the partitions, but the data
on them seems to be limited. Chckdsk retrieved all sorts
of things on the Windows partition but couldn't access
any of the others.
At this point I'm thinking there must be a problem
with the hard disk.


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  #17  
Old October 27th 17, 01:27 PM posted to alt.comp.os.windows-8
Mayayana
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Posts: 3,787
Default Asus X550J laptop

"Mayayana" wrote

| The boot manager and DVD drive disappear off and
| on, with no apparent pattern. I got the Win8.1 disk to
| run. It didn't need a key.

Last night I was able to test the hard disk and it
seems to be faulty. This AM I was able to boot the
BootIt CD with no hard disk in place. But I needed
to enable CSM to do it. I'm still a bit confused
about the effect of IDE vs AHCI, CSM enabled/disabled,
fast boot, etc. I need CSM to boot from at least
some CDs/DVDs. On the other hand, the Win8
install DVD wouldn't touch the GPT partitions with
CSM enabled. Once I disabled CSM it seemed to
work, but then complained about missing files. From
looking online I'm guessing that might be a result
of not have SATA drivers and needing AHCI/IDE
set to IDE.
At this point I think the the hard disk must be kaput
and am trying to figure out whether the rest is OK.
Memeory tests file. I would think the motherboard
must, then, be OK. ?


  #18  
Old October 27th 17, 02:43 PM posted to alt.comp.os.windows-8
Paul[_32_]
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Posts: 4,492
Default Asus X550J laptop

Mayayana wrote:
"Mayayana" wrote

| The boot manager and DVD drive disappear off and
| on, with no apparent pattern. I got the Win8.1 disk to
| run. It didn't need a key.

Last night I was able to test the hard disk and it
seems to be faulty. This AM I was able to boot the
BootIt CD with no hard disk in place. But I needed
to enable CSM to do it. I'm still a bit confused
about the effect of IDE vs AHCI, CSM enabled/disabled,
fast boot, etc. I need CSM to boot from at least
some CDs/DVDs. On the other hand, the Win8
install DVD wouldn't touch the GPT partitions with
CSM enabled. Once I disabled CSM it seemed to
work, but then complained about missing files. From
looking online I'm guessing that might be a result
of not have SATA drivers and needing AHCI/IDE
set to IDE.
At this point I think the the hard disk must be kaput
and am trying to figure out whether the rest is OK.
Memeory tests file. I would think the motherboard
must, then, be OK. ?


Both Seagate and Western Digital, offer hard drive
test programs. You can run those, do the short or long
test, and get an analysis. Even using some utility to
review SMART parameters, might show the drive already
has too many re-allocations, indicating a "health"
problem. The HDD sector sparing system is automatic and
non-reversible, so you cannot ask the hard drive to
scan and re-evaluate the decisions it's made. When it
indicates, via SMART, that only X percent of spares
remain, the writing is on the wall with regard to
drive health.

The drive test program from one of the two companies,
will probably tell you how bad it is.

https://www.seagate.com/ca/en/suppor...oads/seatools/

"Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for Windows"
https://support.wdc.com/downloads.aspx?p=3

Then, you will be cloning the drive, with something.
Let's hope there are no CRC errors while you do so,
as then there's that book I have to write... :-)

I think something called R-studio can do cloning with
CRC errors (equiv. to ddrescue), and it turns into payware
if you "wanted your files back". I haven't tested it,
and just noticed it in passing.

Paul
  #19  
Old October 27th 17, 03:05 PM posted to alt.comp.os.windows-8
Mayayana
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Posts: 3,787
Default Asus X550J laptop

"Paul" wrote

| Both Seagate and Western Digital, offer hard drive
| test programs. You can run those, do the short or long
| test, and get an analysis. Even using some utility to
| review SMART parameters, might show the drive already
| has too many re-allocations, indicating a "health"
| problem. The HDD sector sparing system is automatic and
| non-reversible, so you cannot ask the hard drive to
| scan and re-evaluate the decisions it's made. When it
| indicates, via SMART, that only X percent of spares
| remain, the writing is on the wall with regard to
| drive health.
|
| The drive test program from one of the two companies,
| will probably tell you how bad it is.
|
| https://www.seagate.com/ca/en/suppor...oads/seatools/
|
| "Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for Windows"
| https://support.wdc.com/downloads.aspx?p=3
|

I mentioned in another post that I tried the WD
version last night. It stopped with errors.

| Then, you will be cloning the drive, with something.
| Let's hope there are no CRC errors while you do so,
| as then there's that book I have to write... :-)
|
| I think something called R-studio can do cloning with
| CRC errors (equiv. to ddrescue), and it turns into payware
| if you "wanted your files back". I haven't tested it,
| and just noticed it in passing.
|
Thanks. I'm guessing this disk may be too far
gone, given that the WD diagnostics can't even
finish diagnosing. It's a WD Blue. I feel movement
if I touch it while running. I guess it's a hybrid
rather than just SSD.


  #20  
Old October 27th 17, 11:28 PM posted to alt.comp.os.windows-8
Paul[_32_]
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Posts: 4,492
Default Asus X550J laptop

Mayayana wrote:
"philo" wrote

| Also a good idea to go the the website of the HD's mfg ...get and run
| their diagnostic. If /any/ errors are found, replace the drive
| Might as well run a RAM test too

I was able to test RAM. That checked out. I ended
up installing it into a Win7 box and running Hiren's
boot disk. The WD diagnostic came out with error 7
and quit. BootIt sees all the partitions, but the data
on them seems to be limited. Chckdsk retrieved all sorts
of things on the Windows partition but couldn't access
any of the others.
At this point I'm thinking there must be a problem
with the hard disk.


Before you conclude that, remember that files have
attributes, and one of the malware tricks is to assert
"Hidden" on files, making a volume look empty.

Bleepingcomputer has a utility called unhide.exe that can
flip the attributes back. It's context sensitive, so is more
likely to flip stuff back in a home directory, than elsewhere
(where stuff may have been hidden by Microsoft). You don't
need that utility just yet.

You should be using a NTFS utility like nfi.exe from Win2K days.
As it lists all the filenumbers in the $MFT and gives
some basic characteristics. It doesn't list attributes.
It would allow you to determine roughly how many files
were actually on the disk, before it took a dump.

nfi.exe is inside this ZIP file.

https://web.archive.org/web/20150329...us/oem3sr2.zip

nfi C: nfi_c.txt

HTH,
Paul
  #21  
Old October 28th 17, 01:22 PM posted to alt.comp.os.windows-8
Neil
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Posts: 515
Default Asus X550J laptop

On 10/24/2017 8:47 PM, Paul wrote:

If the owner has valuable data on it, back up first,
before charting a course of action. The temptation
to run CHKDSK is probably overpowering, but see if
you can back it up first.

** Paul


I discovered the hard way that Win8.x disregards CHKDSK (!), and SMART
eventually killed the drive's boot sectors with a similar experience as
Mayayana's. So, it may be that if the notebook drive is old enough that
SMART was relatively "new", it may not be 100% compatible with Win8.x,
either. I booted the computer from a Linux thumb drive to get what I
needed off of it and one of these days will install Linux on it, since
the drive appears to be otherwise OK.

--
best regards,

Neil
  #22  
Old October 28th 17, 02:40 PM posted to alt.comp.os.windows-8
Mayayana
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Posts: 3,787
Default Asus X550J laptop

"Neil" wrote

| I discovered the hard way that Win8.x disregards CHKDSK (!), and SMART
| eventually killed the drive's boot sectors
|

Could you explain that? I thought SMART was just
a way to communicate diagnostic data from the drive.

It's been decided to get a new disk. The old one
is a WD10JPVX. I thought it was a hybrib but it
seems to be just a normal moving disk type. Do
you have any links to info that might be relevant?
I'm trying to talk my friend into an SSD, but they're
still very expensive.


  #23  
Old October 28th 17, 04:30 PM posted to alt.comp.os.windows-8
Mayayana
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Posts: 3,787
Default Asus X550J laptop

"Neil" wrote

| So, it may be that if the notebook drive is old enough that
| SMART was relatively "new", it may not be 100% compatible with Win8.x,
| either.

A follow-up note: The disk is only 3 years old.
It's an Asus laptop that came with Win8. So I'm
assuming it was a lemon disk. But I also wonder
about frivolous disk activity. There seem to be
an increasing number of programs that will keep
accessing the disk as part of the always-on service
model. The average person has no way of knowing
that's happening.

Also, this is my first time with a UEFI BIOS and
I didn't know the details. An aspect that no one
else seems to have caught: It turns out that UEFI is
still transitional. BootIt and UBCD won't boot without
the CSM module loaded. Memtest86 will. Win8 install
DVD will boot with CSM but won't access GPT partitions
unless booted with UEFI. Then there's also the SATA
vs IDE emulation.

The different settings cause different versions
of drives -- or no drive at all -- to show up in the
BIOS boot order. And there's no helpful message
when things are incompatible. It would be nice if it
showed something like: "Disk in DVD drive is not UEFI
compatible." Instead, the drive just disappears
from the boot order or fails to respond. That's crazy
that the drive should disappear entirely from the
BIOS boot order.

It took me a long time to figure out that it all
depended on a combination of SATA/IDE and UEFI/CSM
variations, and the various disks I was trying to
use. That led me on a wild goose chase of suspecting
loose motherboard connections.


  #24  
Old October 28th 17, 06:34 PM posted to alt.comp.os.windows-8
Paul[_32_]
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Posts: 4,492
Default Asus X550J laptop

Mayayana wrote:
"Neil" wrote

| So, it may be that if the notebook drive is old enough that
| SMART was relatively "new", it may not be 100% compatible with Win8.x,
| either.

A follow-up note: The disk is only 3 years old.
It's an Asus laptop that came with Win8. So I'm
assuming it was a lemon disk. But I also wonder
about frivolous disk activity. There seem to be
an increasing number of programs that will keep
accessing the disk as part of the always-on service
model. The average person has no way of knowing
that's happening.

Also, this is my first time with a UEFI BIOS and
I didn't know the details. An aspect that no one
else seems to have caught: It turns out that UEFI is
still transitional. BootIt and UBCD won't boot without
the CSM module loaded. Memtest86 will. Win8 install
DVD will boot with CSM but won't access GPT partitions
unless booted with UEFI. Then there's also the SATA
vs IDE emulation.

The different settings cause different versions
of drives -- or no drive at all -- to show up in the
BIOS boot order. And there's no helpful message
when things are incompatible. It would be nice if it
showed something like: "Disk in DVD drive is not UEFI
compatible." Instead, the drive just disappears
from the boot order or fails to respond. That's crazy
that the drive should disappear entirely from the
BIOS boot order.

It took me a long time to figure out that it all
depended on a combination of SATA/IDE and UEFI/CSM
variations, and the various disks I was trying to
use. That led me on a wild goose chase of suspecting
loose motherboard connections.


That's not how it's supposed to work.

My newest motherboard, when in UEFI+CSM mode,
offers *both* legacy and UEFI boot devices in
the list. In fact, if media is hybrid and supports
both modes of booting, there are *two* entries
in the popup boot menu, one for the CSM instance,
one for the UEFI instance. If I wanted a UEFI/GPT
install of Windows 8, then in the BIOS, I would
select the UEFI instance of the DVD drive on the
first boot.

I can boot anything I want as a result. Both
ecosystems are supported simultaneously. If I
want a UEFI only environment, I can disable
CSM and only UEFI things happen. I've only
done that the one time, for a series of experiments,
because my attempts to do the same in VirtualBox,
revealed the UEFI BIOS in VirtualBox is terrible.

My BIOS is also smart enough to search the disks
and find the first bootable one. When I have
a data drive and an OS drive connected, I don't
even need to interfere with the machine, and it
just does the right thing.

A good BIOS makes a big difference.

Paul
  #25  
Old October 28th 17, 09:00 PM posted to alt.comp.os.windows-8
Neil
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Posts: 515
Default Asus X550J laptop

On 10/28/2017 9:40 AM, Mayayana wrote:
"Neil" wrote

| I discovered the hard way that Win8.x disregards CHKDSK (!), and SMART
| eventually killed the drive's boot sectors
|

Could you explain that? I thought SMART was just
a way to communicate diagnostic data from the drive.

It's more than just info. SMART is a disk management tool built-in to
the drive's firmware that performs the same kinds of functions as
CHKDSK; it notes bad sectors, uses a portion of the drive's track to
store that info, reassigns the data to sectors on a different track, and
so on.

The issue I ran into is that bad sectors that should have been isolated
by CHKDSK was disregarded by Win8.1 and kept writing to those sectors
until it exceeded the SMART's track allocation space.

Do
you have any links to info that might be relevant?

I'd suggest doing a search to find info that best fits your level of
understanding of the hardware.

--
best regards,

Neil
  #26  
Old October 28th 17, 11:22 PM posted to alt.comp.os.windows-8
Mayayana
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Posts: 3,787
Default Asus X550J laptop

"Paul" wrote

| My newest motherboard, when in UEFI+CSM mode,
| offers *both* legacy and UEFI boot devices in
| the list. In fact, if media is hybrid and supports
| both modes of booting, there are *two* entries
| in the popup boot menu

I have something lik that. The DVD drive can have
up to 3 prepends in the boot menu: UEFI:, P2:, SATA:,
and there can be up to 2 instances, depending on
settings. But there are also instances where it
disappears.
In any case, I didn't know about UEFI/CSM and
no one told me. It took awhile to figure out that
there can be many variations. Many boot disks
won't boot to UEFI. But if it's already UEFI, with
GPT partitioning, then Windows can't install with
it set to CSM. Lots of details. I mention it here
because I expect there are a lot of people who
are not aware of just how quirky the system is.
I'm inclined to re-install to MBR. It's limited
to 2 TB, but I don't expect to be worrying about
that anytime soon. In the meantime it's got much
better general compatibility.


  #27  
Old October 28th 17, 11:35 PM posted to alt.comp.os.windows-8
Mayayana
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Posts: 3,787
Default Asus X550J laptop

"Neil" wrote

| | I discovered the hard way that Win8.x disregards CHKDSK (!), and SMART
| | eventually killed the drive's boot sectors
| |

I don't understand. I very, very rarely run CHKDSK, so
I don't see why it should have a big effect.

| The issue I ran into is that bad sectors that should have been isolated
| by CHKDSK was disregarded by Win8.1 and kept writing to those sectors
| until it exceeded the SMART's track allocation space.
|
| Do
| you have any links to info that might be relevant?
|
| I'd suggest doing a search to find info that best fits your level of
| understanding of the hardware.

You have no corroborating docs for your
theory? Then how do you know that's what
happened?


  #28  
Old October 29th 17, 12:24 AM posted to alt.comp.os.windows-8
Paul[_32_]
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Posts: 4,492
Default Asus X550J laptop

Mayayana wrote:
"Neil" wrote

| | I discovered the hard way that Win8.x disregards CHKDSK (!), and SMART
| | eventually killed the drive's boot sectors
| |

I don't understand. I very, very rarely run CHKDSK, so
I don't see why it should have a big effect.

| The issue I ran into is that bad sectors that should have been isolated
| by CHKDSK was disregarded by Win8.1 and kept writing to those sectors
| until it exceeded the SMART's track allocation space.
|
| Do
| you have any links to info that might be relevant?
|
| I'd suggest doing a search to find info that best fits your level of
| understanding of the hardware.

You have no corroborating docs for your
theory? Then how do you know that's what
happened?


There are two levels of activity.

1) If the disk detects trouble, it queues a sector for "evaluation"
on the next write. If the write is bad, the sector is spared out.
In neither the read nor the write case, is the drive throwing
a CRC error. Wither it's error correction on a read, or sparing
on a write, the code returned is "success". Only the time delay
until it says "success", hints at the trouble it's having.

On a write, if the drive runs out of spares, it could report an
error (failure) on the write. Or, on a read, it can report a CRC
error, if it tries for 15 seconds to read the sector (times 120
tries per second). If you have a drive with TLER, the time
it's willing to retry is cut by more than 50% (that's so the
RAID controller won't force a rebuild, because the RAID driver
timed out before the 15 seconds is up).

2) If the OS gets a fatal report, only then does $BADCLUS get involved.
NTFS has the ability to disable all the sectors in a single cluster
at one time, by marking a cluster as bad. $BADCLUS is a "sparse" file,
whose size covers the entire disk surface. The $BADCLUS file consists
of the clusters that are bad. So the bad clusters are marked as
unusable. But that only happens, if the hard drive "gives up"
on its little dance routine. If all the clusters on the partition
were bad, the $BADCLUS file would be full (fully populated), and
the drive would be "empty of usable clusters".

The sparing in (1) is automatic and non-reversible. Even if
you do an Enhanced Secure Erase, it shouldn't change the
status of which sectors got mapped out. An Enhanced Secure Erase
will try to zero out *all* sectors, both the working sectors
and the ones that are no longer accessible. The drive doesn't
wait around to find out how those writes went. Enhanced Secure
Erase is a "best effort" command in that sense. Only if the heads
fell off, would the Enhanced Secure Erase stop.

The old SCSI drives on the other hand, you could reverse the
sparing process on those, and copy the factory list over top
of the grown list, and allow the drive to (in the fullness of
time) reevaluate any dodgy sectors. SATA/IDE on the other hand,
doesn't allow such interference.

In terms of SMART, there are two parameters of interest, with
regard to (1).

Current Pending Sector is supposed to be a count of sectors
waiting for "write evaluation" the next time the drive goes
to write those sectors. A sector could wait for a couple
years, before a chance comes up, or it could get evaluated
a second from now - it all depends on when and where the
disk gets written. If you wanted to drop the CPS to zero
in a hurry, simply re-writing the entire drive with the
info you read off it, should be enough.

Now, what's wrong with that "theory". Well, on the Seagate
drives I've got, I've *never* seen Current Pending Sector
go non-zero. Even when other activity indicates the drive
is sick, and Current Pending should be growing. Some brand
of drive, probably is using Current Pending Sector, but
not in the case of the Seagates I've owned.

Current Pending returns to zero, if an opportunity comes
along to write the entire drive.

Reallocated Sector Count is a measure of how many spares
have been used up. It's thresholded, so only after a large
number of sectors were spared, does the count value go non-zero.
The result is, the user is unaware exactly how large the
spared sector count is. Generally, a spare sector should be
in the same track or cylinder, because you don't want to
"pay a seek time" to change cylinders to get a spare.
A head switch still costs around 1 millisecond and is
expensive. If a spare was staged in the same track, the
track cache could make it available almost immediately.

On IBM drives, one eighth of the cache RAM chip was
used for the spare sector map. That meant that no extra
accesses were needed, to figure out where the spare is.
If you read 5, and the table says 5 is now at 12, then
the controller can immediately transfer 12 in place of
5 on a read. For other brands of drive, they don't offer
public info like that. First it was IBM, then when IBM
research moved to HGST, the HGST web site had tech info
on how drives work. No other manufacturer really goes
into the level of detail that HGST did. Now that HGST
has been sold again, AFAIK the info has gone underground.
So no more tidbits on how drives work... Or what kinda
Carnauba wax they're using on the platters this week
(I'm making fun of their choice of platter lubricants).
The lubricant is bonded to the platter, so it won't
get away. One or two molecules are bonded, and a
"movable" molecule sits on top. You won't need a greasy
rag to wipe your hands, if you touch one.

Paul
  #29  
Old October 29th 17, 01:40 AM posted to alt.comp.os.windows-8
Neil
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Posts: 515
Default Asus X550J laptop

On 10/28/2017 6:35 PM, Mayayana wrote:
"Neil" wrote

| | I discovered the hard way that Win8.x disregards CHKDSK (!), and SMART
| | eventually killed the drive's boot sectors
| |

I don't understand. I very, very rarely run CHKDSK, so
I don't see why it should have a big effect.

Then, you have a few things to learn about.

| The issue I ran into is that bad sectors that should have been isolated
| by CHKDSK was disregarded by Win8.1 and kept writing to those sectors
| until it exceeded the SMART's track allocation space.
|
| Do
| you have any links to info that might be relevant?
|
| I'd suggest doing a search to find info that best fits your level of
| understanding of the hardware.

You have no corroborating docs for your
theory? Then how do you know that's what
happened?

I know what happened because it is not my "theory", and the "docs" I
used are not entry-level intros for those who haven't moved beyond XP.
I'm referring to something that happened to me over two years ago, so I
think it's best for you to do a search and pick the material that you
understand best, dependent on what it is that you really want to know,
because I am not even sure what that might be at this point.

--
best regards,

Neil
  #30  
Old October 29th 17, 02:10 AM posted to alt.comp.os.windows-8
Mayayana
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Posts: 3,787
Default Asus X550J laptop

"Neil" wrote

| the "docs" I used are not entry-level intros
| for those who haven't moved beyond XP.

We're talking about Win8 here, not XP. Do you
suppose I'm too stupid to understand because I
prefer XP? What about everyone else who reads
this thread? Are we all too dumb to understand?

| I'm referring to something that happened to me over two years ago, so I
| think it's best for you to do a search

I did do a search, of course. If I'd turned up anything
relevant I wouldn't be asking. Saying that Win8 ruins
hard disks is a dramatic statement. There's no reason
to either doubt or believe what you say on only your
say-so. Naturally I went looking. I've been unable to
find even one report of a fishy early disk death. If what
you say is true I'd expect to see all sorts of complaints
and articles about the disaster of Win8. I only asked for
one reputable article so that I can assess the issue for
myself.


 




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