Windows XP x64 hangs after using Disk Director.

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by HHawk, Mar 18, 2008.

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  1. HHawk

    HHawk Registered Member

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    Okay, since nobody likes long stories, I shall keep this as short as possible.

    I decided to merge a few partitions and resize them with Acronis Disk Director Suite in Windows XP x64. This all went fine. It booted back to Windows after it completed. But then I decided to change the drive letters (since they were not in order).

    And here the problems started; Disk Director did some things in Windows (without errors) then it rebooted (like normal) went to DOS, did a couple of more changes and synchronised the system (still all fine here). Then it try to reboot back to Windows XP x64, but it hangs on the Windows Logon screen (just a few seconds before you enter your password). I tried to be patient, but the screen remain the same. Apparently Acronis Disk Director didn't work that well after all.

    Now I have read most posts which were posted in this topic: https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=174958.
    But I am still having problems to get Windows XP x64 back to booting normally. Currently I am using Windows Vista x64 (on the C: partition) to type this message. But I cannot seem to get Windows XP x64 booting up properly. And I use Windows XP x64 for my work. So you probably understand the seriousness of this problem.

    I tried the registry trick with the load hive, though it loads up fine under a dummy key, I cannot seem to see any differences betweet the two.

    Please help and advice. I really need to get Windows XP x64 back working...

    Thanks in advance!

    //edit #1

    I gave Partition Commander 10 a go, but that program doesn't work to well; it says in Vista x64: Unknown Windows Version.
    I will give the other program a go which was mentioned here earlier in the topic.

    //edit #2

    Well I tried several things, but still no succes.

    It just hangs at the light-blue screen with the Windows XP logo in it...
    So anyone who can help me out?

    Also more information;

    I have 2x 250GB HD's in RAID 0 configuration in several partitions; with on C:\ Windows Vista x64

    On a 3rd HD, a single (different brand) 250 GB HD non-raid, I have 3 partitions one with Windows XP x64.

    I am really out of solutions. Can someone help me please?
     
  2. HHawk

    HHawk Registered Member

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    Okay here are two screenshots of MountedDevices in the registry: one is from Windows Vista x64 and the other one is from Windows XP x64

    Maybe someone else can find what's wrong, cause I cannot seem to fix this myself.

    Windows Vista x64 screenshot

    Windows XP x64

    ...and the one which does not boot up anymore (hangs at the blue login screen with no password field or user selector) is Windows XP x64.


    //edit

    I do not have a floppy drive.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2008
  3. HHawk

    HHawk Registered Member

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    Bah... Now I have damaged the SYSTEM file in the registry as well.
    Just great.

    I think this is the last time I purchased a product from Acronis.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2008
  4. HHawk

    HHawk Registered Member

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    Okay I had a backup of the SYSTEM file, so I replaced that with the damaged one. Now it boots at least to the logon screen in Windows XP x64, but it still hangs from that point (sigh)!

    //edit

    Okay, since I am getting nowhere here... And I already lost a days work; I am considering more drastic measures.
    If I ran the Windows XP x64 installation CD and I get the chance to repair (no re-install) Windows XP x64, would that fix my problems...?
    ...also, this is very important, will my emails etc. be safe / unharmed?
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2008
  5. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Are you using Vista's boot manager and booting from the Vista drive (the RAID setup)?

    In Vista, the Vista partition is assigned the C: drive letter. Correct?

    In XP64, the XP64 partition is assigned the C: drive letter (when it booted properly). Correct?

    Your screenshots show the same ID values for the C: assignment. I suspect that when DD changed the partitions it made XP reassign the letters. What you probably need to do is load the XP64 hive and change the drive letter assignments.

    To know the correct values, I'd need to know what drive letter is assigned to the XP64 partition when you are booted into Vista. Match that value with the one in the XP64 list and make the change. For example, if I: is the drive letter assigned to the XP64 partition when booted to Vista, you'd need to change the \DosDevices\I: entry in the XP64 registry to \DosDevices\C: so that it references the correct partition (the C: entry would need to be renamed to a different letter).
     
  6. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    HHawk:

    MudCrab beat me to the [enter] key, but I think we are both concluding roughly the same thing.

    It looks to me like both registries contain the same GUID for the C: partition. Since Vista 64 works correctly, then it would appear that XP 64 sees the Vista 64 partition as the C: drive. This is probably incorrect; don't you want XP 64 to see its own partition as the C: drive?

    The only question then is which GUID corresponds to the XP 64 system partition? Is it the one currently listed as the D: drive?

    If so, switch the entries for \DosDevices\C: and \DosDevices\D: in the XP 64 registry.
     
  7. HHawk

    HHawk Registered Member

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    First thanks for taking the time to answer.

    Correct.

    Correct.

    Incorrect. When XP x64 still was working (before the drive letter change), it was located on the L:\ partition. And it worked perfectly back then, at least until the drive letter change.

    Sounds to easy to me. ;)

    I don't think I understand completely and before I misunderstand, I will try to explain.

    Before I swapped drive letters etc. It was like this.
    C: -> Belonged to Windows Vista x64 ( on the RAID 0 configuration )
    L: -> Belonged to Windows XP x64 ( on the single non-raid 250 GB harddisk )

    After merging, repartitioning the (current & old) partitions everything still worked great. Then I used the change driver letter funtion, resulting in:

    C: -> Belongs to Windows Vista x64 ( no change )
    H: -> Now belongs to Windows XP x64 ( changed from L: to H: )

    And there the problems, mentioned in my previous postings, started.

    In Windows Vista x64 it says Windows XP x64 is on the H: partition.

    Hopefully this is enough details. I will be out for an urgent meeting and I will be back within 3 hours. Hopefully I will be able to clean up this mess and finish my work (guess I won't be having any sleep toning)...

    And once again thanks in advance for your time.

    //EDIT

    Before I head out to go to the meeting; I remember one thing though. Maybe that is exactly what you guys are trying to tell me: when I tried to repair Windows, through the repair console I noticed C: and D: partitions each had a Windows version on them (probably one is Vista while the other one is XP). I don't know if this information was important, but I thought I would share it anyways...
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2008
  8. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    If I understand you correctly, when you booted into XP, the drive letter that was originally assigned to the XP partition was L:. If that's correct, it just needs to be changed back to that in the XP Registry.

    Since L: is not used in XP's drive list, you should be able to boot to Vista, load the XP hive and just rename the DosDevices\H: key to DosDevices\L:, unload the hive and be able to boot into XP.

    It's never a good idea to change the drive letter assigned to the Windows partition. In Vista, the XP partition can be whatever you want it to be. In XP, it needs to be what it was when XP was installed.
     
  9. HHawk

    HHawk Registered Member

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    YES!

    It worked... Thank God for your help. Otherwise I would have spend ages on trying to restore this stuff...!

    The only downside now is the fact I have to work all night, to catch up lost work from earlier today. Oh well... At least I can boot XP up again.

    Thank you very much!
     
  10. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    You're welcome. I'm glad it worked for you.
     
  11. HHawk

    HHawk Registered Member

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    Okay... New problem...

    After working all night, I decided to change the cluster sizes on the HD's (raid 0 configuration and the single 250 GB). I did this in the past without any problems.

    Anyways, just before I headed to bed to get 4 hours sleep I setup Acronis Disk Director Suite to change the cluster sizes.

    After a good and well deserved few hours of sleep, I went back to my PC... Which was waiting for me with the message: "DISK READ ERROR"

    I already tried several things; booting from Windows XP x64 cd and run FIXMBR and FIXBOOT. I did the same with booting from the Windows Vista x64 cd and ran also FIXMBR and FIXBOOT. I also did CHKDSK /R or /P on both systems, but still I get a DISK READ ERROR (press CTRL-ALT-DEL).

    Any advice, which I may have overlooked? Cause I do not have a floppy... Am I screwed? :(
    This is the second time within 1 day, that I am having problems caused by Acronis Disk Director. :(
     
  12. HHawk

    HHawk Registered Member

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    It seems Windows XP x64 does not like cluster sizes bigger then 4 KB... And if I remember correctly I changed it to 16 KB last night...

    I am going to try to fix this, but if someone has some advice, please share!
     
  13. HHawk

    HHawk Registered Member

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    Nevermind

    I have managed it to fix it myself. By downloading HiRes BootCD. Changed the clustersize back to 4 KB. It seems Windows XP does not like a bigger clustersize than 4 KB on NTFS.

    Fixed!
     
  14. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    HHawk:

    One thing to watch out for is that NTFS compression is only supported on the default 4 kB cluster size, so if your XP64 partition contained any compressed files then that would have prevented a successful cluster size conversion. If you really want 16 kB clusters then you might check for compressed files and uncompress them first.

    Also, beware if you attempt to convert your Vista partition. As described in this very long thread, Vista's new boot manager will not work if the cluster size exceeds 4 kB. However, Vista works fine on 16 kB clusters (I'm using it that way right now). All you have to do is to create a separate boot partition with the default 4 kB cluster size and move the Vista boot files to this partition. Then the main Vista partition can be converted to 16 kB clusters and will work fine. In fact, I prefer it to 4 kB clusters; I get better disk performance and less disk thrashing with 16 kB clusters. The same limitations apply to Vista as to XP; you give up NTFS compression if you use the larger cluster size.

    Finally, run chkdsk after converting the cluster size on a partition. A few of us have found some minor inconsistencies after conversion that chkdsk will fix.
     
  15. HHawk

    HHawk Registered Member

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    Thanks for the reply, but I managed to get it back to working again. Had to change the clustersize back to 4 KB.

    Currently my Vista installation uses a 64KB cluster without any problems at all!
    And my speed increased as well! See the attachments as well.

    First screenshot is before any cluster changes (16K clustersize)
    Second screenshot is after the cluster changes (64k clustersize)

    Great increase and no problems with Vista x64!
     

    Attached Files:

  16. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    That is a nice performance increase. But now you have me curious. Where are your boot files (bootmgr and the \Boot folder for Vista) currently located? On the Vista partition with 64k cluster size or on the XP partition with 4k cluster size?

    If they are on the 64k cluster size partition then Vista 64 must behave differently than Vista 32. If they are on your XP partition then that explains some of the problems you had. If you converted the partition with Vista's boot files to 16k clusters, and Vista's boot manager was managing the booting of both operating systems, then you would have had an unbootable system after conversion.
     
  17. HHawk

    HHawk Registered Member

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    Yeah very nice increase indeed...

    Yeah, I am guessing to that my bootfiles are located on the partition with Windows XP x64.

    Let me ask you one thing, before I damage stuff (once again). If I change the filesystem of Windows XP x64 from NTFS to FAT32, than I change the cluster size to 16K will Windows XP x64 & Windows Vista x64 still boot?

    Cause my performance on the Windows XP x64 partition is really slow in comparism to Windows Vista x64 partition. Yeah I understand the performance is worse then on a RAID 0 configuration, but still...
     
  18. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    OK, that's what I suspected. Vista's boot manager will work on FAT32 partitions, but I've never tried other than the default cluster size so I don't know if it will still boot with a 16k cluster size FAT32 partition. I would suspect not.

    What you can consider for an alternative is to create a separate boot partition for the Vista boot files. You can make this partition NTFS and leave it at the default 4k cluster size. Then you should be free to convert your XP64 partition to a larger cluster size.

    However, be forewarned that you must be extremely careful how you do this or you can inadvertently cause Windows to change drive letters on you and you could end up right back where you were at the beginning of this thread.
     
  19. HHawk

    HHawk Registered Member

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    Okay... Well I will leave it like this for now. I have learned my lesson now (twice). :p

    Perfomance is slower on XP x64, but still good enough for work. So long as I leave the big files untouched. :)

    Thanks for the answers!
     
  20. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    You're welcome. There is some information about using a separate boot partition in the thread mentioned in post #14 if you ever get adventurous.

    I have two identical PCs; one runs XP with 4k clusters and the other runs Vista 32 with 16k clusters. The Vista machine is noticeably faster than the XP machine. People think I'm crazy when I tell them that but it's true.
     
  21. HHawk

    HHawk Registered Member

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    You should give 64k cluster size a go.
    At least I notice it being really faster, see HD Tach screenshots as well.

    My stripe size is 64k (same as cluster size) as well on the RAID 0 configuration.
     
  22. HHawk

    HHawk Registered Member

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    //offtopic

    By the way I have a question regarding Vista in general. Isn't there a way to make Vista act, look and feel like Windows XP? Cause I still prefer the Windows XP classic look and feel.

    Yes I know you have a Windows classic theme in Vista, but it still does not act, feel or look like Windows XP classic. :S

    E.g. you have the star ratings, comments, etc. even though I change it everytime it keeps showing like that in Vista.
    Also it looks very ugly compared to the Windows XP classic theme.

    I already looked around for themes, but I never find a one coming close to the real Windows XP classic theme. :(

    Any suggestions on this or advice would be nice.
     
  23. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Most of your performance comes from having RAID 0. I get about half your speed with RAID 1 and 16k clusters on Vista.

    Have a look at this guy's results here. He claims 300 MBps read performance with RAID using aligned clusters!
     
  24. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    That's a bug that hasn't yet been fixed to anyone's satisfaction. You could try the advice given in this post to work around the problem.

    I can't help you with the general theme questions. I prefer the new Vista theme and Vista's explorer to those available in XP, so I haven't gone looking.
     
  25. HHawk

    HHawk Registered Member

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    Damn, that's really a nice perfomance. I want my next setup to consist out of 6 (or similair) HD's and put them in RAID 5. Hopefully I will still have good perfomance. Should be safer when a harddrive fails and still maintain good speeds.

    Thanks for the link. I will look into it. Hopefully that will fix it for me in Vista. :)
     
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