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#1 asm51

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:09 PM

I received my IsoStick yesterday. I inserted a SanDisk Ultra 64 GB MicroSDXC (SDSDQU-064G-AFFP-A) that was formatted to 59.9GB using guiformat.exe (A GUI version of fat32Format.exe from Ridgecrop) as suggested elsewhere on this forum. I created five ISOs put them on the IsoStick, configured iso_filename.txt to one ISO, and tried it on my Laptop. It worked perfectly.

 

I then added lots more ISOs and various other files I need totalling 50GB. I tried it again on my Laptop but this time got a Sector Error report. Subsequent tries resulted in the Laptop freezing up on boot but I did not see the Sector Error report again. I removed the IsoStick and booted Windows 7 64bit on the Laptop. I tried several times inserting the IsoStick but Windows Explorer would not recognise it most of the time. The Laptop would also not always shut down with the IsoStick inserted.

 

I tried the IsoStick again on my Desktop, running Windows 7 64bit , where I had loaded it with no problems, and although it was eventually recognised in Windows Explorer it was very slow to access it and Explorer occasionally froze up trying to do so.

 

Subsequently, I've tried the IsoStick in two other computers, having configured the BIOS, and they have just ignored it and booted straight into the OS.

 

Do you think my IsoStick is faulty or is it something I have done?



#2 Nuno Brito

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:58 PM

Can you try with a smaller sized MicroSDXC?

 

I note that technology for recent cards with higher capacity is sometimes flaky (to say the least). For example, I recently got a Micro SD card sized in 32Gb and had all kinds of problems until I did a full format on the card. (I mean a full, lengthy format using the default Windows 7 format tool)

 

If you try it out with a smaller (but perhaps more stable) SDXC card then you can probably have better grounds to discard the card as the culprit on this case. Good luck! :cheers:



#3 greggorievich

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:46 AM

For what it's worth, I bought the same card, used the same guiformat utility, and have had no issues. It sounds like something on your card my have been corrupted. If it was me, I'd try formatting it again, or getting another card that you know works and trying it.

#4 asm51

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:47 PM

I did a full format of the 64GB card and reloaded my ISOs. I was not sure what File Allocation Unit Size to select in guiformat.exe  (FAT32format) so chose the default which I think was 4096. 

 

Now with my Laptop it initially seemed to work and I selected an ISO to boot but as the Laptop will not do a soft shut down with the IsoStick inserted the IsoStick was not reset and I didn't see the ISO menu again. Therefore, every time I booted the Laptop it booted my original choice of ISO. The only way I found round this was to boot into Windows and then force a restart from Windows using Task Manager to Log Off and then hitting the power switch but that didn't always work. The Laptop would not boot into Windows at all with the IsoStick inserted..

 

With my Desktop although I tried every combination of Boot options the IsoStick would not boot nor would the computer boot normally into Windows with the IsoStick inserted. However, the Desktop does shut down properly with the IsoStick inserted and thus reset I could then choose another ISO from the menu on my Laptop.

 

Both Laptop and Desktop running Windows 7 x64 take an age to recognise the IsoStick.

 

I also tried an 8GB SD card formatted with SDFormatter in the IsoStick but it made no difference to anything.

 

I don't think I will recommend the IsoStick to my colleagues as it appears to be unreliable in use.



#5 bblaauw

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:32 PM

What you could maybe try is the RUFUS [http://rufus.akeo.ie/] tool to format the SD-card and see if that solves your issues.

 

Steps:

1) format the SD-card using RUFUS

2) put an ISO-file on it

3) try reading Isostick contents in Windows on laptop, also check if the virtual CD functionality works in WIndows

4) same on desktop machine

5) try CD-booting function from system start on laptop

6) same for desktop

7) add some other files

8) repeat step 3, 4, 5, 6

9) things should work

 

My guess is the filesystem on SD-card went corrupt, which usually depends on how/if the formatting tool functions. As I've had good results with RUFUS, it might be worthwile to rely on that instead of other tools.

Alltogether, it's hardly isostick-related. Worst case, grab a USB cardreader and verify the functioning of your SD-cards in there.



#6 elegantinvention

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:45 PM

@asm51, how many files are on the 8GB card you tried? And how much free space is there?

Also, would you be willing to run debug firmware to help in resolving this issue?



#7 asm51

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:02 AM

@asm51, how many files are on the 8GB card you tried? And how much free space is there?

Also, would you be willing to run debug firmware to help in resolving this issue?

Actually I've just realised it is a 4GB card not 8GB. There are 15 ISOs (erd commander mainly) on the 4GB card using 2.60GB and leaving 1.22GB free.

Yes I'd be happy to run debug firmware.

 

What you could maybe try is the RUFUS [http://rufus.akeo.ie/] tool to format the SD-card and see if that solves your issues.

 

Steps:

1) format the SD-card using RUFUS

2) put an ISO-file on it

3) try reading Isostick contents in Windows on laptop, also check if the virtual CD functionality works in WIndows

4) same on desktop machine

5) try CD-booting function from system start on laptop

6) same for desktop

7) add some other files

8) repeat step 3, 4, 5, 6

9) things should work

 

My guess is the filesystem on SD-card went corrupt, which usually depends on how/if the formatting tool functions. As I've had good results with RUFUS, it might be worthwile to rely on that instead of other tools.

Alltogether, it's hardly isostick-related. Worst case, grab a USB cardreader and verify the functioning of your SD-cards in there.

 

I've downloaded RUFUS and will give it a try.

I'll go through the procedures you suggest. I know already though that Virtual CD functionality works in WIndows as I use a Virtual CD regularly. CD booting works on both the Laptop and Desktop. I'd did check the SD cards on my Card Reader and everything seemed OK.

 

Unfortunately, while I was fitting the 4Gb card I dropped my new 64GB on the floor and whilst looking for it I ran it over with my chair wheel snapping it in two!

I've ordered another card at a cost of £40 ($63) and hope it will be delivered early next week.



#8 elegantinvention

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 04:19 AM

I know already though that Virtual CD functionality works in WIndows as I use a Virtual CD regularly.

Do you mean isostick's CDROM shows up and you can see the ISO loaded into it? Or something else?

 

Unfortunately, while I was fitting the 4Gb card I dropped my new 64GB on the floor and whilst looking for it I ran it over with my chair wheel snapping it in two!

Ouch!  :bye:  I always worry about that with these high capacity cards -- seems too easy to lose so much data!

 

I will post some debug firmware here next week, I'm just adding some more instrumentation to it.



#9 asm51

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:17 AM

Do you mean isostick's CDROM shows up and you can see the ISO loaded into it? Or something else?

Sorry I thought you were asking if virtual CD not connected with the IsoStick  generally worked. Yes when the IsoStick is eventually recognised in Windows I can see both it's CDROM

and It's USB stick component. I'll download your debug firmware when it is available.



#10 asm51

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 10:55 AM

Well I finally got my new 64GB card, formatted it with guiformat, loaded it with ISOs and other files and tried again on three different computers. I initially got 'Main Program Starting' then 'DiskReadSector error in int13 function 2. Code: 0080'.

 

I decided to try once more, did a quick format, put on just my ISOs, and it works!! 

 

There is one strange thing though. If I put on 28 ISOs it recognises on the Menu 25 and if I put on 25 ISOs it recognises 22. I've got over this problem by adding 3 unnecessary ISOs so that it recognises the ones I want.

 

Windows Explorer is still very slow to recognise the ISOSTICK and slow to write to it but that isn't a major problem.

 

I'm now going to put my other non-ISO files on the ISOSTICK and test it once more.



#11 asm51

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:44 PM

I'm now going to put my other non-ISO files on the ISOSTICK and test it once more.

 

PS. I did the above and get the  'Main Program Starting' then 'DiskReadSector error in int13 function 2. Code: 0080'. error again!

 

It must I suppose be a particular file or the amount of files on the card causing the problem?



#12 bblaauw

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 06:21 PM

Could you try formatting the microSD-card using RUFUS as formatting tool and see if that gives better results?

Also where are the ISOs located? The root directory of each FAT filesystem can only hold a few files, so it's recommended to work with (sub)directories.



#13 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 06:24 PM

The root directory of each FAT filesystem can only hold a few files, ....

 

Doubt it! :dubbio:

FAT32 is not FAT12/16:

http://technet.micro...y/cc940351.aspx

 

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#14 elegantinvention

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 09:53 PM

I decided to try once more, did a quick format, put on just my ISOs, and it works!! 

Hooray!

 

There is one strange thing though. If I put on 28 ISOs it recognises on the Menu 25 and if I put on 25 ISOs it recognises 22. I've got over this problem by adding 3 unnecessary ISOs so that it recognises the ones I want.

This seems to be related to a known bug in isosel, I will be working on it soon.

 

Windows Explorer is still very slow to recognise the ISOSTICK and slow to write to it but that isn't a major problem.

I will definitely get some test firmware your way as soon as I have time so we can figure out why this is happening.

 

PS. I did the above and get the  'Main Program Starting' then 'DiskReadSector error in int13 function 2. Code: 0080'. error again!

Another customer had reported this exact same bug on their 64GB card with lots of files on it. I hadn't had time to investigate it yet, and it was low priority since it seemed like an isolated incident and the customer was able to work around it. Anyway, long story short: completely by coincidence I recently found and fixed a bug in the firmware which was likely responsible.

I haven't had a chance to test it yet, but I'll get a beta firmware up in the next few days that I think will fix this issue.



#15 elegantinvention

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 01:43 AM

Just uploaded beta firmware r1658 which fixes a buffer overflow. This is most likely the cause of the DiskReadSector error when you have many files on the card. Could you please give this a try and let me know if it resolves the problem?

 

Thanks :cheers:



#16 asm51

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:56 PM

Just uploaded beta firmware r1658 which fixes a buffer overflow. This is most likely the cause of the DiskReadSector error when you have many files on the card. Could you please give this a try and let me know if it resolves the problem?

 

Thanks :cheers:

 

I installed firmware r1658 but unfortunately it did not work for me. Same problem.

 

I slowly reduced the number of files other than ISOs (That were in a separate folder) on the Isostick and tested it at each stage. As I reduced the number of files in total including my 26GB of ISOs the Menu just hung rather than getting  'DiskReadSector error in int13 function 2. Code: 0080'.

 

When I got down to about 300 extra files everything worked again. At this stage I had 30 ISOs (27 visible) totalling 26GB and 300 other files totalling 60MB.

 

I then added a few large files until I got to about 34GB and tried it once more. It worked.

 

Therefore, I believe the problem relates to the number of files rather than their total size although I'm not sure if this pertains to 64GB cards only. Perhaps, a 32GB card can have 30 ISOs and as many other files as can be fitted on it.

 

I also noticed that these large files wrote to the Isostick at around 4 MB/s compared to 16 MB/s with a normal 32GB USB stick. through the same port.

 

I'm still a bit dissapointed because I wanted to carry just one stick in my pocket with everything I needed on it. However, at least I have the Isostick for booting ISOs and am using said 32GB USB with the rest of my stuff on it.



#17 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 06:00 PM

When I got down to about 300 extra files everything worked again. At this stage I had 30 ISOs (27 visible) totalling 26GB and 300 other files totalling 60MB.

 

I then added a few large files until I got to about 34GB and tried it once more. It worked.

But it still sounds "queer".

 

EVEN IF there was an issue with "root directory", the "standard" FAT16 would have 512 entries (or 256 if long file name is used), around 330 is "queer", unless there was a "mix" between short file names only and long ones :unsure:.

 

But, whatever is the issue, if it is connected with number of files, the filesize should be not relevant and Elegantinvention should be able to replicate the issue easily, with the data you now provided. :thumbsup:

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#18 elegantinvention

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:17 PM

Darn, hoped the update would fix it! There is now no doubt it is the exact same problem as the other customer, though!

I will get it reproduced soon. :cheers:



#19 elegantinvention

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:03 PM

Managed to reproduce the issue and develop a quick fix. This may still have problems on some BIOSes, it depends on how patient they are.

My test card was up to 7,201 files across 770 folders and it builds the ISO file list in ~5 seconds. It will take a lot more coding to improve the situation further, which is scheduled for another day. Hopefully this will be good enough for now as I have other issues fighting for my attention.  :cheerleader:

 

@asm51, can you please confirm the latest beta firmware, r1677, fixes the bug for you?

 

Thanks :cheers:



#20 asm51

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:07 PM

@asm51, can you please confirm the latest beta firmware, r1677, fixes the bug for you?

 

I tried it and unfortunately it did not work for me. The only difference was it appeared to take longer to go from 'Main Program Starting' to 'DiskReadSector error in int13 function 2. Code: 0080'. :dubbio:



#21 elegantinvention

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 11:56 PM

Hm... Progress, but not quite there, then.

For now I will have to lower the priority of this a bit, since only a few people have mentioned it and it can be worked around by having less files on the card. My priority is shifting to support for an options file and a few options therein (force isosel after power on, optical-only mode, ...).

 

I do apologize, and I will get back to this as soon as I am able, but many people are affected by the compatibility issues which should be solved by optical-only and "force isosel after power on" options.

 

Somewhat off-topic, but since it has been requested in various places, you can keep track of what I am working on here: https://trello.com/b/FBQfKqk3

 

If you sign up for Trello (relatively painless), you can also vote on things, which will help me set my priorities.



#22 cuester

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 05:16 PM

Count me in as another person getting diskreadsector errors when trying to boot off the isostick with a 64gb sandisk microsd card even with the latest firmware updates



#23 cuester

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 02:01 PM

I took the advice of some of the members here and reformatted my micro sd card (64gb sandisk ultra) with rufus. Then I added three iso's and tried booting off of one of them. This worked perfectly. I then added 20gb of iso's and three .exe's and it still worked perfectly. I did take all the extra characters out of my iso names as well so either could have resolved the issue. My iso names now have no more spaces, comma's or periods. I am now loading the rest of the files on my iso and will test it again to ensure that it works.


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#24 elegantinvention

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 01:40 PM

Thanks for the information, looking forward to hearing how it performs with all of your files on it.

 

:cheers:






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