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Vista/Win7 versus XP partitioning issue


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#26 was_jaclaz

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 08:04 PM

The one quoted by Frodo seems to be missing the word "alignment".


Good catch :rolleyes:

Direct from the mouth of the wolf :thumbup::
http://support.micro...om/kb/931760/en

That would explain nicely the behaviour.

B)

jaclaz

#27 edborg

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 09:05 PM

Good catch :thumbup:

Direct from the mouth of the wolf :thumbup::
http://support.micro...om/kb/931760/en

That would explain nicely the behaviour.

B)

jaclaz

What does this mean???
I already knew that! :rolleyes:
This is exactly the registry edit I made (with "alignment". The registry keys/values were already there, I only had to set data to zero).

The second part of the article refers to a Hotfix for XP.
Does this imply that a fix must be made to XP too? B)
edborg

#28 was_jaclaz

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 11:40 AM

What does this mean???
I already knew that! B)
This is exactly the registry edit I made (with "alignment". The registry keys/values were already there, I only had to set data to zero).

The second part of the article refers to a Hotfix for XP.
Does this imply that a fix must be made to XP too? :thumbup:
edborg


NO, leave the XP alone., unless you use:

If you are using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2008 to deploy Windows XP


Then the values in Registry are certainly right, but dog's finding is still a good catch, even if you used the right information from the MS article instead of Frodo's originally posted .reg snippet, as amny people may use or have used that one instead.

The actual article is referring to modify the behaviour of Diskpart.

It was actually my :rolleyes: (or your, or our :thumbup:) assumption that this setting would apply also for Disk Management, it seems like you proved that this is not true. :thumbup:

Can you run on that disk diskext.exe:
http://technet.micro...s/bb896648.aspx
and post results?

Just to make sure, so that I can check the "fake" virtual disk I have put up to test partitionlogic is seen just as your XP sees your "real" disk.

B)

jaclaz

#29 edborg

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 01:24 PM

The actual article is referring to modify the behaviour of Diskpart.

It was actually my ;) (or your, or our :rolleyes:) assumption that this setting would apply also for Disk Management, it seems like you proved that this is not true. ;)

The mistery gets deeper... :D
To organize my backup, I'm looking into the other disk, the LaCie that first had the problem of the disappearing partitions and that has therefore been completely reformatted with Vista's Disk Management after applying the registry edit. Well, it seems to work! At least it doesn't have any unallocated space at the beginning of the extended and logical partions.
Just in case, I attach also its MBR, info and Disk Management view.

Can you run on that disk diskext.exe:
http://technet.micro...s/bb896648.aspx
and post results?

Just to make sure, so that I can check the "fake" virtual disk I have put up to test partitionlogic is seen just as your XP sees your "real" disk.

:thumbup:

jaclaz

Here it is,
Thanks
:rolleyes:
edborg

P.S.
When backing up a partition that contains a full bootable Windows 7 installation, I'm afraid that the "smart" Vista's copy might not work as far as symbolic links/junktion points are concerned. (I don't trust Vista anymore!). B)
Do I have to use xcopy with the /b option to be sure to clone the installation?

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#30 was_jaclaz

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 02:53 PM

I'll check and let you know. ;)

Do I have to use xcopy with the /b option to be sure to clone the installation?


You CANNOT use in the same sentence the word "clone" and "xcopy" (with or without the /b switch). :rolleyes:

A few centuries ago you could have been whipped for this! :D

If you want to clone, use a cloning or imaging program.
If you want to copy or backup, use a GOOD copy or backup program, which supports the advanced features you just mentioned.
(Robocopy or strarc come to mind)

jaclaz

#31 was_jaclaz

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 08:16 PM

The good news:
  • the other drive seems (almost) allright. :rolleyes:
  • the PartitionLogic did not fail in tests in a VM :thumbup:

The bad news:
  • the "other" drive has (as judged by the XP metrics) WRONG Start CHS addresses for partitions #1, #2 and #3
  • "this" drive has (strangely ;)), and again as judged by XP metrics, WRONG Start CHS addresses for partitions #1 and #3 (but "right" for #2)
  • the PartitionLogic "likes" the same "metrics" as XP

The problem in detail (hopefully):
  • for XP a partition STARTing beyond the CHS limit needs to start at CHS 1023/0/1 <-in other words if 1023 is the value in Start Cylinder, it is assumed as "a suffusion of yellow", BUT partitions need to start anyway on Head 0 Cylinder 1
  • for Vista (seemingly) a partition STARTING beyond the CHS limit is marked to start at MAX CHS address, i.e. 1023/254/63
  • PartitionLogic follows the XP convention and won't "like" 1023/254/63 in the CHS Start address

Suggested fix for the "other" drive: run on it beeblebrox or ptedit32 and change the Start CHS address for partitions #1, #2 and #3 from 1023/254/63 to 1023/0/1

Suggested fix for "this" drive:
preliminarly
  • run on it beeblebrox or ptedit32 and change the Start CHS address for partitions #1, and #3 from 1023/254/63 to 1023/0/1
  • get the PartitionLogic 0.7Pre iso: http://visopsys.org/...0.7_PRE-iso.zip
  • see if it boots allright on your system and if it sees the drive
If it works, good, set it aside: you should use the NTFS partition (Logical Volume) inside Extended Partition to create a and make one image for each partition saving them in this latter Logical Volume, the one that isnow "backWIP - H:" .
You can use whatever imaging/cloning application you are used to (NOT xcopy :rolleyes:), like GHOST, PING, ODIN, DriveimageXML, Selfimage, Clonedisk or whatever, as long as they can use compressed images, otherwise you will need to extend the partition to contain at least the 19.53+19.53+78.13=117,19 Gb, let's make it 120 Gb to stay on the "safe side"
You already have a copy of the MBR, but create a new one after having done the previous steps, even if you do not change/resize the "backWIP - H:".
This is to ensure that if there are problems with the fixes you can "go back" any time.

Once you are positive that you have the above all set and you got a bit familiar with PartitionLogic, try actually using it.
The only things you need to "touch" are:
  • Info
  • Move
  • Resize

  • Use the Info to check that PartitionLogic has the same values you have in the dump for each partition (the values to check are just the LBA addresses).
  • Select first partition and Move it to the first sector PartitionLogic suggests.
  • Wait patiently, it may take some time moving 19.53 Gb over USB.
  • Select second partition and Move it to the first sector PartitionLogic suggests.
  • Wait patiently, it may take some time moving 19.53 Gb over USB.
  • Select third partition and Move it to the first sector PartitionLogic suggests.
  • Wait patiently, it will take some time moving 78.13 Gb over USB.
  • Select again first partition and Resize it if PartitionLogic suggests a value for it.

Of course, you need to have handy:
  • a red horn
  • a rabbit foot
  • a Four-leaf clover leaf

Alternatively (and of course depending on your beliefs) a Padre Pio's holy picture may also do.

Keeping your fingers crossed may help also, but don't count too much on this only. ;)

If you have any doubt, or anything is not clear, ASK BEFORE doing something you may later regret. :D

Please note that I did some tests in a VM and obviously with SMALLER volumes/partitions, if you are familiar with a more tested moving/partition resizing tool, it may be a good idea to ue that one instead.

B)

jaclaz

#32 wimb

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 08:19 AM

In my partition tables made with XP Disk Management then beyond CHS limit,
the second or higher partition start entry always reads as FE FF FF for H/S/C

It seems in this case the least significant bit is used to determine correctly the Start Head = 0 and Start Sector = 1
Start Head FE = 1111 1110 and Start Sector FF = 1111 1111

So partition start value of FE FF FF as seen in LAmbr of edborg seems normal and OK.

#33 was_jaclaz

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 09:11 AM

In my partition tables made with XP Disk Management then beyond CHS limit,
the partition start entry always reads as FE FF FF for H/S/C

It seems XP will use in this case the least significant bit to determine the Start Head = 0 and Start Sector = 1
Start Head FE = 1111 1110 and Start Sector FF = 1111 1111


Well, that's exactly the opposite I have been observing. :rolleyes:
I made a VM disk image 10 Gb, then created various partitioning schemes from ERD50 PE Disk Management, above the CHS limit.
All of them have starting sector 1023/0/1 i.e. 00C1FF.
Is it the PE that behaves differently? :rolleyes:

Can you post a MBR like that?

I tried again, just for the fun of it, of doing the same with good ol' FDISK, in the same VM, and got different Start Cylinder (probably a translation mode);) , but still start HS 0/1 :thumbup:


B)
jaclaz

#34 wimb

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 09:18 AM

Just reading something interesting:

When a CHS address is too large to fit into these fields, the tuple (1023, 254, 63) is used, which is 0xfeffff. (If the situation involves a protective MBR on a disk with a GUID Partition Table, Intel's Extensible Firmware Interface specification requires that the tuple (1023, 255, 63) be used, which is 0xffffff.)

See Ref 9 in
http://en.wikipedia....ord#cite_note-8

#35 wimb

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 09:39 AM

The MBR with partition table of Disk 1 is given below:
=
Posted Image
=
Posted Image
=

#36 edborg

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 10:14 AM

@jaclaz

What a great, exhaustive, tested TUTORIAL! :rolleyes:
Thanks a lot for your detailed assistance.
I'll certainly have to study it in depth and it will keep me busy for the week end. B)

I'll follow with interest also wimb's observations, if the discussion doesn't get to technical for me to follow. ;)

In the meantime, to be on the safe side I've backed up everything on the Western Digital (WD) to the LaCie (LA): WIP through file/folder copy, WIN7eee and WIN7agi through imaging.

I'm now ready to try and repairing the messy HD, and if something goes wrong I can repartition from scratch (with Vista again?) and restore images without problem (hopefully).

Restarting from scratch would probably be the quickest way, but ... we are here to understand things and experiment, aren't we?

:rolleyes:
edborg

#37 wimb

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 11:27 AM

To avoid troubles in MultiBoot I follow two important rules:

- Use XP Disk Management to partition your harddisk, use max 3 entries in partition table
My favourite scheme is:
Primary partition 40 GB / Primary partition 30 GB / Extended partition
Make two Logical drives of equal size in Extended partition for DATA and MEDIA

40 GB is sufficient for any Windows 7
30 GB is sufficient for any XP

- Give Windows 7 the best place that is partition 1 of Disk 0
This ensures that Windows 7 is not changing the BootSector of XP (NTLDR type) into BOOTMGR-type :rolleyes:
which would occur when XP was installed on the first partition of Disk 0

Following these rules keeps partitions independant and they can be set Active at will and be Installed or Restored at will.

BIOS Boot Menu determines which Disk is used for booting and then
Active partition of Disk determines which partition is used for booting

In this way you are flexible and have with two harddisk, 4 different installed OSes which you can select for booting.

Boot Linux and DOS via Boot Image files installed as GRUB4DOS boot option using BOOT_IMG.exe
e.g. Parted Magic - pmagic-4.6.iso - and BTFRDOS.img
See Section 6 and 7 in
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=21883


;)

#38 was_jaclaz

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 12:31 PM

Apparently Swissknife uses yet another CHS scheme. :rolleyes:

The good thing is that edborg's experience/reports have opened an otherwise gone mostly unnoticed can of worms. :thumbup:
The bad news is that these sneaky invertebrates are everywhere, and it will be a problem to get all of them together in a new jar....;)

I am thinking of putting together a "standard" test for partitioning tools to check the differences. B)

:rolleyes:

jaclaz

#39 dog

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 12:32 PM

@wimb
Or use grub4dos partnew to do your partitioning - easy to recover, run as many primary partitions as you want.

#40 wimb

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 12:45 PM

@dog

Yes, but it is not guaranteed that partitions end and begin at cylinder boundaries,
which will give trouble described by edborg when Set Active in XP disk Management is used: Loss of partitions ....

#41 paraglider

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 01:18 PM

There are good reasons for the new cylinder alignment introduced by Vista / Win7 with the upcoming move to 4K sectors sizes on disks. See this article for more information:

http://www.anandtech...doc.aspx?i=3691

#42 wimb

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 01:40 PM

There are good reasons for the new cylinder alignment introduced by Vista / Win7 with the upcoming move to 4K sectors sizes on disks. See this article for more information:

http://www.anandtech...doc.aspx?i=3691

Thanks for the Info.
Now we know what might be the reason for the new alignment introduced by Vista / Windows 7.

Apparently the great disadvantage of breaking with the Standard of the past,
did not got the weight it would have deserved in order to avoid this mess.

Now we are facing a lot of trouble, while the new disks with Advanced Format are not even being used.

#43 was_jaclaz

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 02:47 PM

Hmmm B), unless mathematics doesn't fail me (which is possible)
63x255x8=128,520
128,520x512=65,802,240
65,802,240/4096=16,065 "Large, Fattish, 4K sectors"
128,520/63=2,040
2,040/8=255

Thus a Starting CHS of 7/254/63 would be aligned to the 4k "Fattish" sectors AND to the old "Slim" 512 bytes one.

And yes, you would loose 63 Mb of available space (or have to co-exist with a smallish "slow" partition), but even as I am very "byte saving" oriented, losing 65 Mb from, say, a common 320 Gb drive, doesn't seem to me that much of a problem as 64/320,000=0.0002, i.e. 0.02%. :thumbup:

WD Align seems like another tool to test:
http://support.wdc.c...s...123&lang=en

Though it seems like according to the good WD guys, the partitioning party has to come to an end :rolleyes::
http://wdc.custhelp..../ph...21!&p_li=

Note: The WD Quick Formatter is ONLY for external drives. Once the WD Quick Formatter is finished reformatting the drive, the drive will only have one partition. This is necessary in order to optimize the performance of the drive.


;)

A few more pearls of wisdom :rolleyes::
http://wdc.custhelp....amp;p_topview=1
http://wdc.custhelp....amp;p_topview=1


:thumbup:

jaclaz

#44 edborg

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 05:36 PM

Now I'm totally confused! :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Given the facts that:

1. There is some discussion as to how the disk should be corrected,
2. The game is not only editing a messy partition table, but moving the actual data,
3. Moving everything from where it is to where it should be would be quite long,
4. I didn't manage to make the partitioning tool work on my system (I shall post a description of problems encountered with Partition Logic Beta, if of interest),
5. I have a backup of the content of the messy disk :thumbup: ,

I think I'll go for a full repartition and format from scratch.

However, given the present debate on old and new partitioning systems and the inconsistencies between the two MS OSes, it's still not clear to me :thumbup: whether I must/should/can use XP or Vista to be sure to obtain an USB HD that can be used on both systems without risk of losing partitions/data.

What I need is to be able to safely change the active partition of the USB HD with Disk Management from within the OS I happen to work with, either XP or Vista (to load Windows7 from USB at the next boot on that PC).
My problem was first triggered by the change of the active bit in the PT for the third partition on a Vista partitioned disk. B)

Wimb implies that, apart from the VDS alignment registry edit, out of the four partitions allowed by the old (512B) MBR only three are safely usable, perhaps because the fourth is the one suffering for or sharpening the inconsistencies?
I always used four (three primary and one extended) and would like to continue to do that if only possible.

In conclusion I hesitate, unless I am reassured, to rebuild the whole disk from scratch only to see the problem reemerge at the first use.

Or Microsoft thought that nobody would want to use XP any longer after the birth of Vista? ;) :thumbup:

edborg

#45 wimb

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 06:58 PM

Wimb implies that, apart from the VDS alignment registry edit, out of the four partitions allowed by the old (512B) MBR only three are safely usable, perhaps because the fourth is the one suffering for or sharpening the inconsistencies?
I always used four (three primary and one extended) and would like to continue to do that if only possible.

Using the fourth entry of the partition table is less save only because some backup programs will temporarily would like to use it on reboot for access of a virtual partition. If the process fails, your MBR is damaged. So I leave preferred the fourth entry unused.
But this has nothing to do with the alignment problems that you encountered.

To be save, backup your present data on other media and then start from scratch to prepare partitions on USB-HDD using XP Disk Management so that your USB-HDD will be compatible with all OSes.

#46 edborg

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 08:20 PM

Using the fourth entry of the partition table is less save only because some backup programs will temporarily would like to use it on reboot for access of a virtual partition. If the process fails, your MBR is damaged. So I leave preferred the fourth entry unused.
But this has nothing to do with the alignment problems that you encountered.

To be save, backup your present data on other media and then start from scratch to prepare partitions on USB-HDD using XP Disk Management so that your USB-HDD will be compatible with all OSes.

Thanks for your clear answers. I'll do that.:merc:

edborg

P.S. I also gather that the problems encountered are not an accident, but the "normal" behaviour. :cheers:
The edit to Vista registry indicated by Microsoft is therefore not adequate to reestablish full compatibility between their operating systems. :merc:

#47 edborg

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 10:22 PM

Before repartitioning everything as planned, having nothing to lose, I tried the following experiment:

In XP:
Removed the logical partition
Removed the extended partition
Recreated the extended partition
Created several logical partitions (FAT32 and NTFS)
Changed active partitions several times.
Rebooted successfully from the three primary partitions.

The 8 MB unallocated space was not recreated at the beginning of the extended partition and of the logical partitions.

Apparently everything works now, though I haven't dared to change active partitions in Vista.

Here are the Disk Management views in XP and Vista and the new MBR.
Still a mess?

For now I may be satisfied with the result, leave everything as is and add/remove/resize* partitions as needed from XP only.

:cheers: :merc:
edborg

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#48 was_jaclaz

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 11:37 PM

Now the partitions #1, #2 AND #3 ALL begin with 1023/0/1, (00C1FF) which confirms my tests.

So yes, AFAIK, this is "correct".

4. I didn't manage to make the partitioning tool work on my system (I shall post a description of problems encountered with Partition Logic Beta, if of interest),

Yes, of course this would be interesting. (though I had a workaround in mind for this case :cheers:)

@Wimb Is it possible that you formatted under XP but NOT with XP's Disk Management? :merc:

:merc:

jaclaz

#49 oriensol

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 01:11 AM

Hi,

JFYI, I would like to detail my very recent experience (cutting the long story short) with Vista partitioning:

1. I had 3 primary partitions and one extended partition, originally partitioned using XP and modified using partedmagic. One of the primary partitions has/had XP and another has/had Vista.
2. I thereafter (many months later) repartitioned the extended partition using Vista.
3. Many more months later, when I tried to restore a logical partition backup from another hard disk as a logical partition (last one) inside the extended partition of the original disk (using Acronis Trueimage), I lost access to the last three extended partitions (those partitioned using Vista) - the one being restored, the previous truecrypt partition and the NTFS partition before that. Interestingly I remember seeing an extra extended partition entry before the newly created logical partition. I didn't save the partition table, so am not sure.
4. Thereafter, I could not use partedmagic (error: unrecognized disk label).
5. Using testdisk, I could restore the partition table (manually excluding the lost partitions). That still didn't enable the ability to partition using partedmagic.
6. In testdisk, if I chose Yes for the Vista partitioning question, I could get back the 'Vista created' partitions but partedmagic was unusable.
7. Finally, I created a disklabel using partedmagic and then re-recovered the partition table (using testdisk), answering 'No' to the 'Vista partitioning' question, but without the Vista created partitions.
8. Thereafter I could partition using XP and partedmagic.
9. Now I have stopped using Vista for partitioning but Vista coexists well with partedmagic/XP partitioning.
10a. Interesting bit of information is, now I have created a logical partition for a Linux distro at the END of the extended partition, which works fine.
10b. This logical partition with linux distro appears within Vista Disk Management as the FIFTH partition - shown as primary. Now in Vista I have 3 primary partitions, followed by an extended partition, followed by the primary (XP logical) partition with linux.
10c. The same logical partition appears WITHIN the extended partition in XP.
10d. I do not have the guts to play around with Vista Disk Management, after seeing this :cheers:

Hope this helps.

Regards,
oriensol

#50 wimb

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 07:46 AM

@Wimb Is it possible that you formatted under XP but NOT with XP's Disk Management? :cheers:

The second primary partition was quick formatted with XP format.com
AFAIK all other partitions were formatted with XP Disk Management.




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