Windows wants to write to my old drive and I don't

Discussion in 'hardware' started by act8192, Jun 17, 2010.

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  1. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    I have a laptop.
    Recently I got me a new, larger, drive, installed Windows XP, all is well with the new setup. The old drive was fine, never errors, no issues whatsoever. In fact when swapped in again, it can work just fine as a system drive.

    I got a USB enclosure into which I put in the old drive so that I can use it as a source for anything I didn't yet transfer. Main source of old stuff is Acronis images, but every once in a while I want to look at that old drive as is.

    Problems:

    Everytime the drive is plugged in, Windows wants to write to it. I get errors such as can't write $MFT to that old drive. I am NOT writing anything. Just looking and sometimes copying data files.

    Here is a bunch of FTDISK and NTFS event examples:
    -- An error was detected on device \Device\Harddisk1\D during a paging operation.
    -- Application popup: Windows - Delayed Write Failed : Windows was unable to save all the data for the file K:\$Extend\$ObjId. The data has been lost. This error may be caused by a failure of your computer hardware or network connection. Please try to save this file elsewhere.
    -- {Delayed Write Failed} Windows was unable to save all the data for the file . The data has been lost. This error may be caused by a failure of your computer hardware or network connection. Please try to save this file elsewhere.
    -- Application popup: Windows - Delayed Write Failed : Windows was unable to save all the data for the file K:\$Mft. The data has been lost. This error may be caused by a failure of your computer hardware or network connection. Please try to save this file elsewhere.

    What file o_O!!!! :( why attempt to write o_O!!!

    So long as that drive is plugged in, I can't do the normal USB safe disconnect, so I can't shut down the computer neatly, likely due to Windows insisting on wanting to write when I don't want it to write anything there.

    What is going on, why and what can I do to just be able to plug in that drive and read it?
     
  2. ABee

    ABee Registered Member

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    You never made any adjustments after you turned the original drive (with all the original data still on it) into a removable drive, sounds like.

    Every time it's plugged in, Windows recognizes it as the main and original drive for that machine. Which it is.

    When unplugged, Windows obviously can't see it, and so moves on to recognizing the replacement drive you've put in.

    You need to wipe all the old MFT and boot data from the old disk, or go into Device Manager/Disk Management and reconfigure some things.

    I can't tell you off the top of my head the exact steps for you to take, but it does appear this is where the source of the problem lies.
     
  3. Cudni

    Cudni Global Moderator

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    that sound like an issue with the enclosure or the cable connecting it or both
     
  4. roady

    roady Registered Member

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    Check your bios to see if 'boot from usb' is listed in your boot order settings or is enabled,if so,disable it or move it down to the last booting device and follow ABee's recommendations.
     
  5. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    Not sure what to think about your answers. But thank you all for trying.
    BIOS boot sequence is:
    CD ROM/DVD
    Hard Drive
    Removable devices
    Network boot

    So I doubt it has an impact. The computer boots just fine to the internal drive.
    It is only when I connect and turn on the old drive that the described problems begin.

    Any other ideas as to WHY would Windows need to write to that drive? And how can I tell Windows to leave that drive alone.
     
  6. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    If MFT is Master File Table, boot.ini, ntldr, and whetever else needed to boot, I can't wipe it out. It's needed for the time I want to put this, now external, drive back into the laptop. I think.
     
  7. ABee

    ABee Registered Member

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    Given the original error messages you were seeing, it's possible that whatever data is on the drive within the removable enclosure has now become corrupted-- or at least some of it.

    However, here's something that you can start by trying:
    (You should do this for any removable drive anyway, btw.)

    Attach the drive. (Before you power up the machine.)
    Go into 'My Computer', and right-click on that drive.
    Select 'Properties'. In the ensuing box, select 'Hardware'.

    Go down the list and highlight the removable drive, then select 'Properties', then 'Policies'.

    Set that drive for 'Optimize for quick removal'-- then 'OK' or "Apply'.

    You may be prompted to reboot.

    And from now on, I'd recommend that you always only attach that drive when the machine is powered off, and only detach it when the machine is powered off, or at least use the "Safely Remove Hardware" feature, in which case you'll be prompted when it's safe to detach the drive.

    I don't know if this by itself will fix your issue or not, nor can I say what the chances are of any/all data currently on that drive being or not being corrupted.
     
  8. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    ABee, thank you. All fixed, feedback details follow:
    Against all my understanding, I did that, it did the job. Amazing.
    Nope, no need, can be attached and Safe removed the normal way now. Any time I want. In fact, seems better if attached and started and stopped normally, as it did slow down shut down when plugged in, even when safe removed and turned off.
    I always do that with any USB device, even if it's some gadget that doesn't need it.
    Now you know, it does fix it.
    I checked all partitions of that drive, nothing, absolutely nothing, zilch, was written to it since the day I took it out. So, while Windows tried so hard to mess it up, it failed. That's pretty darn good news.

    What I can't understand at all is why Optimize worked. I always thought that the process is simply they do not cache but write immediately. So you can pull it (even though I never do) any time. Here the situation was only READING. No need to write anything. What the heck was Windows trying to doo_O

    Edited - I forgot to say THANK YOU!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  9. ABee

    ABee Registered Member

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    You said 'thank you' right off the bat.
    You're quite welcome, and I'm happy to hear it worked for you and that that's all it took.

    If you'd like to read up on some technicals of the 'write caching' situation in XP, you can start here:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/332023
     
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