Why did B&R FE corrupt my extended partitions?

Discussion in 'Paragon Drive Backup Product Line' started by svg, Jul 19, 2010.

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  1. svg

    svg Registered Member

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    I downloaded and installed the free edition, mainly because it supports ext4. I wanted to test it out first, before deciding on whether or not to use it for the long run.

    I am running a dual boot Win7/Ubuntu Lucid system w/ Grub2.
    Partition layout:
    1) Primary - System Reserve (Win7 100MB partition)
    2) Primary - Win7 (NTFS)
    3) Primary - Ubuntu (ext4)
    4) Extended: 1) Linux swap; 2) data (NTFS)

    I have never had a problem with the partitions or any disk program before. System was running 100%.

    So...for my first test run, I backed-up the win7 partition and restored it, using the default settings. Everything went well - or so I thought.

    However, when I booted back into Ubuntu and tried using the Disk Utility (gnome-disk-utility aka palimpsest), the program crashed and would not start after trying a variety of possible solutions. I then traced the error to the part of the program that enumerates the partitions. I then inspected the disk and partitions using DD, looking at the mbr, extended boot records, etc. It became crystal clear that B&R had made major changes to my extended partition tables. Grub was fine. I could still boot into Win7 and Ubuntu, but the extended partitions were changed - which is bizarre since I did not backup or restore the extended partition/logical volumes. e.g. The 1st EBR's 1st partition table entry's relative offset was changed from the normal $3F to a $3E. Worse, there was NO second partition table entry (the link to the next EBR).

    WHY? Why did B&R do this? Why would the program do ANYTHING to my extended partitions when all I did was backup and restore a PRIMARY Win7 partition? (Note: It didn't touch the MBR - that part was fine). And why would it change the extended partition table entries as it did? What a mess!

    I ended up having to delete and recreate the data and swap partitions. Now the extended partition records have their proper values, and palimpsest (as well as other disk and file based programs) can correctly interpret the extended partitions again.

    I would love to use this program, but I cannot use it again unless I understand why it did this AND how to avoid it from happening again. I'd greatly appreciate any information provided on this particular subject. Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  2. svg

    svg Registered Member

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    "Paragon Matt" on vacation?
     
  3. Mech_An

    Mech_An Registered Member

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    svg,

    Please collect B&R 10 LOG files (before and after the restore operation would be great, if possible): "PWLOG.TXT", "STUBACT.LOG", "BioNTlog.TXT" and "CDB.LOG" which are located usually in "C:\Program Files\Paragon Software\[Program Name]\Program"
    Attach them to the support request (http://kb.paragon-software.com/webform) and describe the sutiation in details.
     
  4. svg

    svg Registered Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I'll follow your advice, but I won't hold my breath for a response. I've attached 3 of the files you suggested I send Paragon tech support (the CDB.log was empty). Hopefully somebody can spot a clue in them.

    I've taken a quick look at the files (I'll go over them more carefully when I have some time). The first thing that I notice, which I had already noticed by running win7 and linux disk analysis tools, is that the CHS which was originally reported as 224/19/114754 by the bios was changed to 135/14/258411. In Linux (e.g. fdisk), the CHS is reported as 255/63/30401. I'm not sure if that really matters, because all disk programs today should be using LBA (not CHS).

    Even after B&R changed the EBRs, some programs in both Win7 (e.g. Macrium Reflect and Paragon B&R) and Linux (e.g. gparted) were still able to figure out the partitions. What they displayed looked "normal" even though it wasn't. I guess they have different and more sophisticated methods of determining the partitions even when the partition tables are messed up. But when the gnome Disk Utility (palimpsest) kept crashing each time I tried to start it, that prompted me to investigate, and I saw how messed up the extended partition tables were. e.g. The 2nd entry of the first EBR (which should point to the next EBR) was completely zeroed as if there were no more extended partitions! And the relative offset in the 1st entry was changed to 3E instead of the normal 3F.

    The main thing I don't understand (more important to me than WHAT B&R changed) - is *WHY* it changed anything in the extended partitions at all when all I did was backup and restore my primary Win7 partition (C: drive). Very strange.

    Thanks again for the help.
     

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