Re-partitioning created problems

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by DickJ, Feb 20, 2008.

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  1. DickJ

    DickJ Registered Member

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    Dell desktop - WINXP SP2-two hard drives. On the first, after C and F(DATA), I repartitioned and changed drive letters, and did the same on the second. All looks fine on Disk Director Suite (DDS) (no errors) and also in Windows Disk Management. However, now I can't open DDS without waiting for about a 6 minute "analysis" of each partition after C & F. Acronis True Image (TI) opens slow but won't close for many minutes. Computer Disk Checks are very slow to start. Reboot and Shutdown are VERY slow and Standby is almost impossible. I had to go into Safe mode to run an AVG virus check because it stopped at C\ System Information. Each virus test result is clean except it shows "PARTITION TABLE (MBA) - Changed". I have diskchecked everything and finally used System Restore to go back to before the repartitioning, but it hasn't helped (it did change some drive letters back).

    I can't use the Recovery Console to rebuild the MBR because the WINXP CD is a DELL OEM and I'm not sure I'm up to doing this in a command window?
    Might it help to (1) shut off System Restore? (2) Use Disk Management to format all partitions (except C & F) as they are mostly empty? (3) Use Disk Management to DELETE all partitions except C & F and then try again to add partitions with DDS? (4) Totally reformat the second hard drive and then with fingers crossed use my last TI full Disk 1 backup to restore it. Does a TI full disk backup contain the old MBR?

    Sorry for the length. Any help would be much appreciated.
     
  2. cortez

    cortez Registered Member

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    Copy a friends XP disk and try the recovery console repair (as you will not be activating it and will be only using it for the recovery console). I believe an mbr repair can not be done using the command line.

    My TI images contain the complete mbr record on them, I imagin yours should too.

    Some how it seems that something else may be wrong and waiting for a member with Dell experience will be wothwhile.

    Either way you should have a copy of XP with the recovey console on it (retail ect.). Just make sure you do not accidentially use it and activate it as Microsoft will problably require a phone call to straighten the problem out between the two different machines .
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2008
  3. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    DickJ:

    Where is the message "PARTITION TABLE (MBA) Changed" coming from? Do you have any firewall or security software, like Norton GoBack, installed on your PC? Or does your BIOS have a setting that is checking (and protecting against) changes to your MBR and partition table?

    If you have any of these, try disabling them and then making your partition changes. After the changes have been made, re-enable the software or re-activate the BIOS protection setting.

    Any yes, a prior TI image will contain a backup of the MBR but I doubt that you have any problems with the MBR since your PC is booting correctly. Restoring the MBR will not restore the old partition table but if you have a full-disk TI image then you can restore the entire disk to go back to your previous state.
     
  4. DickJ

    DickJ Registered Member

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    Thank you for your comments.
    The "PARTITION TABLE (MBA) - Changed" is listed in the AVG Virus scan Test Results for each partition, though the summary for each also states "No Threats Found". My only firewall turned on is Free Zone Alarm. I did not turn off either one while I re-partitioned the hard drives. Could this have caused my problems? My BIOS listings are pretty basic and do not show anything relating to the MBR.
    I would prefer to try to fix what is causing the problems with my DiskChecks, opening DDS and TI, etc. though it begins to look like re-formatting my second hard drive and using TI to restore my lst drive may be what I have to do.
    Any further comments or answers to my questions about possible solutions would be appreciated!
     
  5. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    If you disconnect the second hard drive and boot to Windows with only the system drive, do you have the same problems?

    If you disconnect the system drive (the booting drive) and leave only the second drive attached, does it make a difference if you reset the MBR on the second drive using the Acronis program (available here as an ISO to burn to a CD)?

    You said in the first post that you repartitioned and changed drive letters. Can you provide more details on exactly what you did and why? It may help to determine what went wrong.
     
  6. DickJ

    DickJ Registered Member

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    MudCrab, thank you for taking a look. No I haven't yet tried disconnecting a hard drive. I'm a senior, been sick for a while and my wife is down now, too, so I also have to do all the house stuff! Time and energy are at a premium!

    Here a summary of what I did. I did not turn off my AVG or Zone Alarm (should I have?). The 2nd HD had a tiny unused FAT partition, 2 data and 1 image partitions I put on with my old Partition Magic. I formatted the image one (I have an external drive for my images now), deleted the FAT 16 and one of the data ones. I adjusted the sizes of the remaining two to use all space and changed their drive letters. All seemed O.K.
    I moved to the lst HD which had the tiny DELL FAT partition, my C & F (DATA) partitions, a partiton (J) I used for Testing, and some space. I moved J to the right end and reduced its size a bit. I added a new partiton between it and F using all the unallocated space. I changed the drive letters for the last two partitions. Then it requested a reboot, actually 2. After that I may have then had a freeze up.
    After that all partition and letter changes showed up in DDS and in Disk Management and no Errors showed, but I had all the problems I listed above.
    I am begining to think I should just completely format the second hard drive (it would be quick to redo later) and if that doesn't solve anything, hope that my last full TI disk 1 image is good and I can successfully restore disk 1.
    I again thank you for your help!
     
  7. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    If it's easy to just clear the second drive and recreate the partitions how you want, that's the first thing I would try. Make sure you have a backup of any files you want to save.

    As a general rule, I prefer to do each step and applying the changes before proceeding to the next step. It sounds like you did all the changes and then applied them all at once.

    For now, save restoring your Disk 1 image for last. Post back with any results on Disk 2 and we'll go from there.

    A screenshot of XP's Disk Management and of DD (in Manual Mode) may also help.
     
  8. DickJ

    DickJ Registered Member

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    MudCrab, thank you again. I decided to try deleting the new partitions one-by-one, using MS Disk Management. On the second hard drive I easily deleted one, then deleted the other - both quickly converted to Unallocated space. Then I tried to open DDS but it still did a 7 minute "analysis" of each of the last 2 (new) partitions on the first hard drive, but then opened. It showed the second hard drive as totally Unallocated. I closed it and rebooted, still slowly.
    I opened Disk Management again and successfully deleted the last partition (new) on the first drive. I Rebooted, faster this time. Again to Disk Management and tried to Delete the final new partition H. Nothing happened, waited 10 minutes. Had to use CtrlAltDelete to close the Not Responding Disk Management. This was the last partition I installed and it required two reboots and then I think the computer may have locked up. It is empty except for 2 OS folders, Recycler and System Volume Information. I could not open the latter, "Access denied".
    Back to Disk Management and tried to Format H, but had same result as when I tried to Delete it.
    I tried to open DDS and for the first time had a 7 min wait on the little DELL FAT partition, a 17 min wait on my F DATA partition, then 19 mins on H and DDS opened. I went to Manual Mode and attempted to Delete H and got "Processing please wait - Locking Partition H". Finally got "Not Responding" there and up on the DDS Title Bar. It took 3 tries with CtrlAltDelete to close it. Not sure what to try tomorrow. I'm concerned that True Image may not be able to clear the drive and install my last image.
     
  9. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Have you tried booting to the DD CD and deleting the H: partition? It won't be locked if you're not in Windows.

    Also, if you can post the screenshots requested in Post #7, it may help.
     
  10. DickJ

    DickJ Registered Member

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    Good news. Solved! Back to normal. Will post more after lunch!
     
  11. DickJ

    DickJ Registered Member

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    This AM I put my modem in Standby, shut off AVG and Zone Alarm and used END-IT-ALL to close other things. I went to Disk Management and tried to Delete the final new partition (H) again. Nothing happened, but I was able to close Disk Management. I rebooted into Safe Mode and it was VERY slow but finally opened. I opened Disk Management and tried to Delete partition H. It worked! I had a good Reboot and turned AVG and Zone Alarm back on. I then ran Disk Checks of the remaining partitions on the first HD, K (DELL), C, and F (DATA). Disk Check ran fine and the results for each partition were fine. I then tried to open Acronis DDS and TI and each opened normally and quickly!!! All boots seem back to normal. Everything seems to work fine now!
    I suspect that when I created the H partition, it or the MBR was corrupted. I don't know why. If anyone has any thoughts on that I'd appreciate them. Also, I intend to try to recreate those partitions and would like any ideas on what I might have done wrong!

    I want to very much thank MudCrab and the others who posted. It was your ideas and support that kept me going and to a successful solution!!
    Thank you all!! :D
     
  12. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    If using DD to recreate the partitions, I would do them one at a time and make sure everything works okay before proceeding.

    Another option would be to use Disk Management to create the partitions.
     
  13. DickJ

    DickJ Registered Member

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    Since Feb. 22nd I have tried a number of solutions to adding one partiton, including using Disk Management from Safe Mode, and rebooting to the Acronis Rescue Disk to use the Acronis Disk Director to install one (after first running an AVG virus check, Disk Checks on the partitions and then making an ATI image). They all install fine to either the first or second hard drive,and are marked successful, but upon booting back to normal, access to the Acronis apps takes many minutes, Disk Checks, Reboots and Shut Downs take a LONG time, and things are generally slower.

    Today I booted to a borrowed WINXP Home Ed CDROM and ran "fixmbr". It warned of a non-standard or invalid MBR but continued. It then advised that it had been successfully written. I exited and booted up and was able to open Disk Director and went to the Editor to look at the partition tables and capture images of them. To the best of my knowledge they looked fine.

    I then booted to the ADD Rescue Disk and again put a new partition on the second hard drive, again Successfully Completed. Then I rebooted (slowly) and looked at MS Disk Manager and all looked fine. I then tried to open DD and it scanned the first partitions O.K. but again took many minutes to scan the new one before it finally opened. I looked at the partition tables and hard drive One appeared unchanged, but Two showed the new partition. All seemed correct. I tried to Format the new partition, but it locked up DD and I had a hard time closing it. I tried to reboot but it took a very long time. I went to Safe Mode and again used MS Disk Manager to delete the new partition.

    I am now right back to where I was, with a computer that is functioning fine until I try to add a partition! I am not quite ready to Restore my last image before this all started as I still suspect that the cause is “findable” and I would rather mess up the existing setup looking. Besides, if I go back, and try to repartition, I may well be in trouble again and still with no idea of what the problem is. Any ideas will be appreciated!
     
  14. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    If you use Disk Management to create and format the new partition(s) do you still get the DD delay and lockup problem? This would point out if DD is causing the problem or if something else is.
     
  15. DickJ

    DickJ Registered Member

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    Yes, using either Disk Mgmnt or Disk Director to create a new partition causes the delay problems.
    I have been advised that I may have caused these problems by trying to switch partition Letters around with DD. The delays could then be caused as the computer searches the pointers directing it to partitions that no longer exist. Apparently DD does not have an app that changes all these when partition letters are switched about.
    I have been looking for an answer as to why I have the problem, and this is the best so far. I have been giving some thought to trying to use a Registry Cleaner to fix this up. Perhaps it is better now to give up and Restore my Feb 14 full disk backup, and update my mail and Data from current backup discs. o_O
     
  16. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    You could look in the Registry in the MountedDevices key and try removing any non assigned entries. You could also see if anything looks weird in the list of assigned entries.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices

    The list will display assigned drive letters as well as currently unassigned partitions/drives.
     
  17. DickJ

    DickJ Registered Member

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    MudCrab, I've been down a bit, so have not been working on this.
    I just opened (and saved) the Registry and took a look at the "Mounted Devices". There are two, the second adds items for when I have my external HD turned on.
    The first, Mounted Devices1, lists 2 items starting with "#", then 20 some starting with "\??\Volume\" then numbers. Then 10 "\DOS devices\" A thru K (no B).
    The second, Mounted Devices, is somewhat similar to the first, except the DOS devices listed are A thru O (No B H I J) but adds the L M N from my external HD.
    I am really out of my comfort zone here, and doubtful about making changes. Without my posting a picture, can you tell anything from the above?

    I must say that I think I am now ready to use Acronis TI and Restore back to my Feb 14 full backup and see if all is working. I have recent full backups to come back to, and have made new CD copies of my Data partition, my desktop, and my Outlook mail.

    What do you think?
     
  18. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I've checked on several XP systems I have. One is a clean install and three others are systems that have been running for years. None have a MountedDevices1 key. None have any entries in the normal MountedDevices key that start with #.

    If you are comfortable with restoring either the older backup or the recent backup and you have successfully done restores before, then you don't really have anything to lose by trying. It's up to you, though.

    I think I would first save the MountedDevices1 key (export it). Then delete it. Then save the MountedDevices key (export it). Next, remove all the entries from the regular MountedDevices key except for any \DosDevices\#: entries that reference drives that are currently connected to the computer. Also, leave the (Default) entry. Then reboot and see what happens.
     
  19. DickJ

    DickJ Registered Member

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    Thanks, MudCrab. It looks like you may have found the souce of my troubles, but I'm not really sure I want to try to "fix" the Registry. I'm a bit weary of this problem and am ready to get on with life!

    However, if I go back to my Feb 14 full backup of HD one, there is a complicating problem. HD two had four partitions on it at that time, two of them with things I didn’t want, so I did not back it up and I do not have an earlier one. The first re-partitioning I did was to delete the content of those partitions, change the drive letters, remove two, and resize the remaining two. I have since removed everything from HD two.
    When I restore HD one, could I still have problems because things in the Registry point to things on HD two that no longer exist? Might using “fix MBR” at this point help?
     
  20. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Doing an "MBR" fix probably won't make any changes in regards to your second drive and its detection.

    I would think your Feb. 14th restored backup should detect the second drive okay. You may need to change some drive letters if they are incorrect.

    It's also possible that you may have some bad MountedDevices entries or MountedDevices1 entries in that backup. You won't know until you restore it and check.
     
  21. DickJ

    DickJ Registered Member

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    Thanks again, MudCrab!
    Last night I decided that you had probably pinpointed the source of my problem as messed up Registry entries. I decided that I would rather go back to my 2/14 Acronis image than try to fix those Registry entries and all the messed up pointers that no doubt exist. That is where I am now and I will try doing a partition fix from the Rescue disc and see if things are now O.K.
     
  22. DickJ

    DickJ Registered Member

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    The 2/14 image seemed fine with no trouble accessing ATI or ADD. So I decided to try to delete the few items in my J (TEST) partition prior to deleting the partition. All O.K. except that it would not allow me to delete a MS file from my testing of the MS Virtual Machine, VPCSbExH.dll. So I booted to the Acronis DD Rescue Disk and on the first HD formatted J (TEST), committed, it ran, then rebooted. Sadly, I am right back to my old problems and the Registry does show those two Mounted Devices keys.
    As I forgot to look for those right after the Restore, I am going to try doing the Restore again and check the Registry while all is operating properly.
     
  23. DickJ

    DickJ Registered Member

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    I have had good solid suggestions to try from a number of computer experts, but nothing I have been able to try so far has solved the problem. As this has now gone on over a month, and I have had my operating system in for six years worth of additions and junk, I have decided to to abandon fixes, and wait for WinXP SP3, and then reinstall the OS with SP3. (That is, if I don't buy a new computer first!) In the meantime, tonight I will try to Restore back to my March 10 image and use it until SP3 or a new machine.

    Thank you to those on this board, especially MudCrab, who have so generously offered their time and help! :)
    DickJ
     
  24. richfocker

    richfocker Registered Member

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    I have been reading your post with interest and I am having similar issues. I have NOD32 V 3, Zone Alarm V 7.0.462 and Acronis DDS V 10. Everything ran OK untill I uninstalled NOD32. After uninstalling NOD32 I also found that Acronis DDS would hang when analyzing partitions after "C drive". I could not right click on the drives and select properties without a system hang also. System restore did not resolve the issue. I could only access Disc Management from safe mode. I deleted all partitions after C by using disc management in safe mode and recreated them using DDS and everything worked again until I tested by uninstalling NOD32. The same problems appeared again. After testing several setups I have determined that the problem only occures if I have Zone Alarm V 7.0.462 installed. I have gone back to Zone Alarm V 6.5.737 and the problem has been solved. Uninstalling NOD32 V3 no longer breaks the system. I'm not sure whether the fault is with NOD32 or ZA but the two don't play together well. I have recreated this several times to confirm. Since I want to run NOD32 V 3 I will stick with Zone Alarm 6.5.737 until I can find a fix.
     
  25. DickJ

    DickJ Registered Member

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    Fascinating! Zone Alarm was one of my very early suspects, but I never did try uninstalling it (I used to have problems between it and Norton). As soon as I can face working on all this again I will!
    Thanks, richfocker, for posting!
    In the meantime, while I was in my 2/14 Restore, I forwarded all recent mail to myself and then tonight successfully Restored to my 3/10 image (thanks Acronis TI))!
     
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