OSS-Failed to read from the sector 63 of the hard disk 2

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by scott_cam, Jan 23, 2008.

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  1. scott_cam

    scott_cam Registered Member

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    I have a problem with Acronis OS Selector which arose when I added a second hard drive. The drive is a Western Digital WD5000AAKB (500Gb, IDE, for an IDE P4 XP SP2 system).

    What happens is that the startup processes stays on "Processing, please wait..." for a very long time, and then eventually says "Failed to read from the sector 63 of the hard disk 2".

    I don't think the disk is faulty. It's a new one, and while I know they can have errors, I have done checks with Checkdisk, HDTune and WD's own disk checker, and it's fine. The disk itself works fine in Windows, and Disk Director has no problem reading it, formatting it, partioning it, etc. I can also read sector 63 using Acronis's Disk Editor. (And it's almost exactly similar to the sector 63 on my main hard disk).

    If, in the booting process, I click "Ignore" or "Cancel" when getting the error message I mentioned above, it then spends a long time and eventually tells me that it can't read another sector, and then another, and it repeats this for a few more sectors until it gets back to sector 63 again, and then it just repeats the whole process again (this time adding in sectors 65 and 66 as well). These sectors (except for 65 and 66) are all the first sector of each partition on the disk. I now only have one partition on the disk, so I only now get the problem with sector 63.

    All this means that I cannot get OS Selector to load any more, as this process never stops. I have to use F6 at the start to avoid it loading if I want to get Windows up and running.

    I have tried uninstalling and then reinstalling OSS a few times, but that doesn't help. I've also tried fixboot and fixmbr from the Windows XP recovery console. I even tried CopyWipe to wipe out the data from the first part of the disk (including before sector 63), so that I just had a disk with no partition allocations. But that just gave me a "Failed to read from the sector 0 of the hard disk 2" error message.

    I noticed that even Copywipe didn't overwrite sector 0, so perhaps there is something going wrong there.

    One complication that may be relevant: early on in this ordeal I copied an image of my main partition onto the new disk (using Drive Image 7), forgetting that this would give me another copy of OSS on the new hard disk which could possibly cause conflicts. I soon deleted that image, and then used Copywipe, but perhaps there is still something in sector 0 causing the problem? But then copying an image of a partition shouldn't copy anything to the first 63 sectors, right?

    Anyway, if anyone can help me with this before I contact Acronis, I would appreciate it. I have attached screenshots and the logfile to this message. I have also put these and a few more up at <http://scott-campbell.net/acronis-screenshots.html>.

    (I'm running v.10 (build 2,117), which is what I got from Acronis when I bought the Disk Director Suite about a month ago. I see that there is a newer version, but it says that version just adds Vista support.)

    _________________________

    The contents of the bootwiz.log file from C: on my system disk (it isn't that big because I uninstalled and reinstalled this morning):

    -------------------
    Wed Jan 23 13:47:05 2008
    Host os: loader
    os_selector::Init begin
    oss_match::Match begin
    First start
    Disk 115.04G installed
    Partition 219 need to detect as new
    Partition 221 need to detect as new
    Partition 223 need to detect as new
    Partition 225 need to detect as new
    Partition 227 need to detect as new
    oss_match::Match end
    Version of file: 219:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\ntoskrnl.exe is 5.1
    Os 2315861933, Windows XP Home Edition renamed to %n Home Edition%l %l(%ll%l)
    cfg_os::AddDetectedOses begin
    oss_os::ChangePartitionParams begin
    Hide partition 221 for os: 2315861933, Windows XP Home Edition (English)
    oss_os::ChangePartitionParams end
    oss_os::ChangePartitionParams begin
    Set active partition 219 for os: 2315861933, Windows XP Home Edition (English)
    oss_os::ChangePartitionParams end
    File: 219:\ntldr added to os: 2315861933, Windows XP Home Edition (English)
    File: 219:\ntdetect.com added to os: 2315861933, Windows XP Home Edition (English)
    File: 219:\bootfont.bin added to os: 2315861933, Windows XP Home Edition (English)
    File: 219:\ntbootdd.sys added to os: 2315861933, Windows XP Home Edition (English)
    File: 219:\boot.ini added to os: 2315861933, Windows XP Home Edition (English)
    Dir: 219:\WINDOWS added to os: 2315861933, Windows XP Home Edition (English)
    Dir: 219:\Program Files added to os: 2315861933, Windows XP Home Edition (English)
    Dir: 219:\Documents and Settings added to os: 2315861933, Windows XP Home Edition (English)
    New os: 2315861933, ws on partition 15707564 added
    Os 2315861933, Windows XP Home Edition (English) setted default
    Create file: 219:\BOOTWIZ\8a093fad\bootsect.sys
    Result: ok
    SectCommandValue. Section: boot loader, command: default, value: multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS, file 219:\BOOTWIZ\8a093fad\boot.ini
    KeepFile. Section: boot loader, command: timeout, keep: 1, file 219:\BOOTWIZ\8a093fad\boot.ini
    KeepFile. Section: operating systems, command: multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS, keep: 0, file 219:\BOOTWIZ\8a093fad\boot.ini
    cfg_os::AddDetectedOses end
    Added boot from A:
    oss_os::ChangePartitionParams begin
    Hide partition 221 for os: 2690155737, Boot from floppy A:
    oss_os::ChangePartitionParams end
    oss_os::ChangePartitionParams begin
    Set active partition 219 for os: 2690155737, Boot from floppy A:
    oss_os::ChangePartitionParams end
    os_selector::Init end


    Wed Jan 23 13:49:49 2008
    Host os: loader


    Wed Jan 23 13:53:52 2008
    Host os: Windows XP


    Wed Jan 23 14:02:33 2008
    Host os: Windows XP
    os_selector::Init begin
    oss_match::Match begin
    Disk 465.76G installed
    Partition 229 need to detect as new
    oss_match::Match end
    os_selector::Init end
    os_selector::Discard
    os_selector::Discard
    -------------------

    Sector 63 of the (problematic) WD disk:
    sector63-wd.jpg


    Sector 63 of the (fine) IBM system disk:
    sector63-ibm.jpg


    Sector 0 of the (problematic) WD disk:
    sector0-wd.jpg


    Sector 0 of the (fine) IBM system disk:
    sector0-ibm.jpg
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    In the BIOS and Windows, what mode is shown for the drive (UDMA 5, UDMA 6, etc.)?

    Does OSS boot properly if the WD is not connected?
    If another hard drive is connected instead of the WD, does OSS boot properly?

    Don't go by the change log. Acronis did a terrible job of listing changes. There were probably a lot of other fixes not listed. I would recommend you update to build 2,160 and see if it helps.

    -----------

    Testing:

    Wipe the Drive
    If 2,160 doesn't fix the problem, then I'd try a complete wipe of the start of the drive:

    Note: Apply all changes after each step.
    • Make sure the BIOS does not have any Boot Sector Protection enabled
    • Uninstall OSS
    • Start DD (Manual Mode). You can run DD from the CD or from Windows
    • Delete any partitions on the drive (right-click on the Disk # title and select Clear)
    • Right-click on the Disk # title and select the Wipe option
    • Click the Apply button and let the wipe proceed for several minutes (this will zero out the start of the drive
    • Cancel the wipe
    • Right-Click on the Disk # title and select Advanced->Edit
    • This will open the Disk Editor at Sector 0 (the MBR)
    • Use the mouse to select all of Sector 0, then click on Edit->Fill and fill the sector with zeros
    • Click the Save Changes button
    • Scroll through Sectors 1 to 62 and fill any of those that contain data with zeros
    • If you do this in Windows, apply an last changes and then close the Disk Editor and DD and restart the computer. Once Windows is back up, start DD (Manual Mode) and open the Disk Editor and verify that Sectors 0 - 63 are indeed all zeros. If they aren't, then boot to the DD CD and zero out the sectors
    • Create a new partition with DD or Windows Disk Management (you may want to try DD first, then WDM if it still has problems)
    • Install OSS
    • See if problem persists
     
  3. scott_cam

    scott_cam Registered Member

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    I installed Intel's Application Accelerator a few weeks ago, and with that installed the Device Manager no longer tells you the DMA mode (or is there another way now? And could that be a source of trouble?)

    Yes, no problems booting when I disconnect it.

    I was occasionally attaching another internal drive a few weeks back, and that caused no trouble. (I'll try it again later when I get a chance).

    I've also booted up with an external USB drive attached, and that hasn't interrupted the boot process in any way. However, I notice that it's now had all it's files wiped, so that's another disaster that will need fixing.

    Okay, I'll give it a go.

    I'll also try the process you suggested. Thanks for that.
     
  4. jebbrown

    jebbrown Registered Member

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    I've had this same problem, and was able to fix it one way or another, and it has never been caused by the hard drive failing. It was some time ago though, so unfortunately i can't say exactly how to fix it, but whenever i got that error, i could click "ignore all" and OSS would load.

    My best guess is to check the boot.ini on each partition and make sure none of them are pointing to the wrong drive/partition or are missing.

    I also remember I had problems when one of my partitions was saved by an earlier version of DD, and I restored it with a newer version, OSS would fail. I could only fix this by: uninstall DD, reinstall old version of DD, restoring the partition, uninstalling old version of DD, reinstall new version of DD, then save the partitiion.
     
  5. scott_cam

    scott_cam Registered Member

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    I've tried all the suggestions on this forum and had no luck. Thanks for them anyway. It now looks like OSS genuinely can't read from this hard disk -- I've tried two other internal hard disks in the same slot and despite being old flaky drives they worked fine with OSS. Also, when repartitioning with DD I once got the same "Failed to read from the sector 63 of the hard disk 2" error. I restarted, and this error has not occured again, but that does suggest that there is a genuine problem -- for Acronis products, at least -- with reading the disk.

    But I did try using the drive as HDD0 and installed XP on it, and that worked, which suggests that the system can read it. But why can't OSS read from it? Doesn't it use the same disk interface system?

    (I've also tried another cable to make sure it isn't that).
     
  6. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Scott:

    Really strange. I wonder, by chance, if you have power-savings enabled on this disk? Does it spin down when idle? If it does, perhaps OSS is impatient while waiting for data to become available, whereas Windows knows how to wait for spin-up.
     
  7. scott_cam

    scott_cam Registered Member

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    The drive has now started showing serious errors on diagnostic tests. So I guess was a faulty drive after all. Will get the same model again and report whether that works.
     
  8. scott_cam

    scott_cam Registered Member

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    I've now replaced the Western Digital Caviar SE16 hard disk with another one of the same model (WD5000AAKB), and the same problem has arisen again. So it looks like it wasn't the drive being faulty that was the problem after all. (I think the drive got a knock after a few days of me having to swap it in and out of the computer -- something else to thank Acronis for -- it was fine to start with).

    So unless there's a batch of these drives about with some peculiar problems I'd have to say that OSS has a problem with the WD Caviar SE16 (PATA version). I've also now bought System Commander and that's working fine with the Caviar, so that's further confirmation that the problem lies with Acronis, not Western Digital. (And as I said above, I was previously able to install XP on the drive and it worked fine.) So I'll recommend to Acronis that they test OSS with this model.

    >I wonder, by chance, if you have power-savings enabled on this disk?

    How would I find this out?
     
  9. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    For Windows XP >> Control Panel > Power Options > Power Schemes > Turn off Hard Disks.

    Also, some PCs may have a BIOS setting for spinning down the disk after a certain amount of inactivity. Since Windows is not running when you have the problem, I would look in the BIOS for a setting.
     
  10. scott_cam

    scott_cam Registered Member

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    >For Windows XP >> Control Panel > Power Options > Power Schemes > Turn off Hard Disks.

    Ah, that. No, that's not on.

    >Also, some PCs may have a BIOS setting for spinning down the disk after a certain amount of inactivity. Since Windows is not running when you have the problem, I would look in the BIOS for a setting.

    I've had a look, and there's nothing like that in the BIOS.

    Thanks for the suggestions anyway.
     
  11. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Scott,

    In your testing of the drives, did you ever resize or create the partition so that it started later on the drive? The first partition (if it's Primary) will usually start at sector 63. However, you could leave some unallocated spaced at the beginning and make it start later.

    I wonder if OSS would still fuss at the first few sectors in the partition or if the problem is specific to sectors close to sector 63.

    For example, if the partition started at sector 2,048, would OSS say it couldn't read sector 2,048, etc. or would it still have a problem with sector 63?
     
  12. scott_cam

    scott_cam Registered Member

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    Originally I put four partitions on the disk, and OSS fussed that it couldn't read the first sector of any of these partitions, including partitions that started at a sector number in the hundreds of thousands.
     
  13. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Paul/Scott:

    Are hard disk parameters (Acoustic Mode, Spin-Down time, etc) stored in nonvolatile memory on the hard disk itself? Or, are they stored in the operating system?

    If they are stored on the disk and if the disk has been pre-programmed by the manufacturer to go into power-saving mode (spin down during inactivity) then this is one possible explanation for what Scott is seeing. If so, you would probably need a utility from the hard disk manufacturer to see/reset these settings.

    My Seagate external USB disk spins down by itself under its own control. There is no way to control this in the OS. So either the spin-down setting is contained in the disk or else it's part of the USB controller in the external drive housing. My Dell PC BIOS has settings for spinning down the disks after a variable period of inactivity and/or controlling for the mode of the disk (performance vs. acoustic, etc) and these are under control of the BIOS.
     
  14. scott_cam

    scott_cam Registered Member

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    >Are hard disk parameters (Acoustic Mode, Spin-Down time, etc) stored in nonvolatile memory on the hard disk itself? Or, are they stored in the operating system?

    I don't know. Using HDTune to look at the SMART info for the disk, it tells me that Automatic Acoustic Management, Power Management, and Advanced Power Management are all enabled. But this is true for lots of other drives as well, and is nothing unusual.

    Would an 'inactivity' setting apply at bootup anyway?
     
  15. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    I wouldn't think so, but it would depend on the implementation. At this point this is only conjecture; just trying to think of a reason that one disk would act differently from another.
     
  16. scott_cam

    scott_cam Registered Member

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    Finally got it working, following advice from Acronis. I had to tick the "Do not load CD-ROM drivers" box in Tools -> Options -> Startup.

    (Pretty disappointing that the manual says absolutely nothing about this option. But then the manual's pretty weak on the whole subject of setting up multi-boot systems.)

    I asked Acronis what was going on here, and got this reply:

    "Such issue could happen because sometimes (it depends on certain hardware configuration and some other parameters) it becomes possible, that OS Selector confuses hard disk drive with CD-ROM drive. As a result, he cannot read necessary information required to boot and displays this error message."

    It was a relief to get it working properly; however, I then found that trying to set up a simple dual XP boot system with OSS was a nightmare compared to GAG, which I had been trying in the meantime (and as I said, the manual was no help). GAG, on the other hand, is a piece of cake. I'm junking OSS -- I'd ask for my money back if it wasn't for the fact that the partitioning functions seem to work fine.

    (Speaking of money back, I got a refund from System Commander, just a joke that they wanted that much money for a product that doesn't work with a modern USB mouse system (Intel DP35DP m/b), even with the legacy settings enabled in the BIOS. OSS at least worked with my mouse, and had a great interface. But credit to the System Commander people for refunding my money without any fuss).
     
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