Oddball Problem

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Jim
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Oddball Problem

Post by Jim » Mon Oct 03, 2005 8:59 pm

I use Norton Utilities 2000 on my 98 machines, because I have found that their "Speed Disk" defrag outperforms the Win defrag by a wide margin; I also like their "Disk Optimizer", "System Doctor", "Hardware Diagnostics", "System Check" and "System Info" applets. "Crash Guard", however, in my opinion probably causes more crashes than it prevents because it is a resource hog; but "Freeze Check" can be useful if you are getting freezes.

Up until recently "Disk Doctor" was a mild pain in the butt, (it doesn't do anything useful, that "Scandisk" can't do, - except one thing I don't want it to do; and therein lies the problem).

As you know when you go to defrag a drive that has errors on it, Win defrag will tell you to fix the errors w/ "Scandisk" before running Win Defrag. Well the same is true of Norton "Speed Disk", except that it tells you to run "Disk Doctor".

What "Disk Doctor" is doing, is detecting 1 old deleted partition on each of the 2 40Gig drives in Superpuppy 2; and wanting to "Revive" them. This of course has the effect of wiping other partitions. I just tried writing ZEROS to the entire drive, of one of the two drives affected, then repartitioning it and reformatting it . Yet still "Disk Doctor found that same old deleted partition and wanted to "Revive" it. Next I tried letting it revive it, then using FDISK to delete it, and repartition and reformat again; yet still "Disk Doctor" found that same partition and again wanted to "Revive" it.

"Q": How do I get it through "Disk Doctor's" thick skull that this particular partition is history, and that I do not wish to be pestered about "Reviving" it? Or, failing that, how do I go about removing all traces that said partition ever existed, so that "Disk Doctor" can't find it?
Superpuppy 3
K6-3+ 450 ACZ (6x100)
DFI K6BV3+/66 Rev B2 (2 Meg) w/ 2x28mm Chipset Fans
2x256 Meg PC 133 Hynix SDRAM
1x 20G Maxtor (7200)
2x 80G Maxtor (7200) Ducted w/ 2x486 Fans Mount
52/24/52/16 LG CDR/RW/DVD
8/4/3/12/24/16/32 LG Super Multi
ATI 9000 aiw Radeon AGP
SB Audigy 1 MP3 Sound
CMD 649 IDE Controller
NEC USB 2 Card

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KachiWachi
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Post by KachiWachi » Mon Oct 03, 2005 11:26 pm

A complete zero fill should have wiped the drive completely. Norton should find nothing.

If you zero fill, fdisk to only one partition (complete drive), then format, does DiskDoctor still want to revive something that is obviously not there?

It's been a while since I used NU 4.5 (2000)...does DiskDoctor have a preference for saving information like that for a drive...for accidental restore purposes?
Moderator - Wim's BIOS

PC #1 - DFI 586IPVG, K6-2/+ 450 (Cyrix MII 433), 128 MB EDO. BIOS patched by Jan Steunebrink.
PC #2 - Amptron PM-7900 (M520), i200 non-MMX, 128 MB EDO
PC #3 - HP8766C, PIII-667, 768 MB SDRAM
PC #4 - ASUS P3V4X, PIII-733, 256 MB SDRAM
PC #5 - Gateway 700X, P4-2.0 GHz, 768 MB PC800 RDRAM
PC #6 - COMPAQ Evo N1020v laptop, P4-2.4 GHz, 1 GB PC2700 DDR
PC #7 - Dell Dimension 4600i, P4-2.8 GHz, 512 MB PC2700 DDR
PC #8 - Acer EeePC netbook, Atom N270 @ 1.60 GHz, 1 GB RAM
PC #9 - ??? ;)

Jim
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Post by Jim » Tue Oct 04, 2005 3:30 am

I don't know if "Disk Doctor" saves info like that; but were that the case, one could solve the problem by uninstalling then reinstalling Norton. I don't think it will be that easy, though I am willing to try that.

My local computer shop has a tech who claims that he has data recovery software that can recover everything that was ever on an HDD, as long as you do not use a powerful electromagnet to completely destroy the drive. If that is true, it should not be too hard to discover deleted partitions. Come down to it, I have software that is capable of discovering deleted partitions, and recovering some, (though not all), data from them.

You can disable the feature in "Disk Doctor" that performs "Boot and partition record tests"; but I don't want to, (though I have for the time being), because if I have boot problems, I want to know and fix them. What I really want to do is rewrite the partition records to delete those partitions permanently. Any idea how you do that?

Note: Your "Q": "If you zero fill, fdisk to only one partition, (complete drive), then format ..." is a bit unclear.

The drive in question is partitioned into 4 equally sized mass storage partitions labled "Storage 3" through "Storage 6". I make them equally sized so that data can be easily transfered from one to another without running into problems re shortage of space.

The old partition in question was an early attempt to divide the drive into 4 equal partitions, wherein the partition was the wrong size to do that, (a peculiarity of FDISK is that if you tell it to create a partition "9539 Meg" it will create a partition "9546 Meg"; but if you tell it to create a partition "9537 Meg" it will create a partition "9539 Meg". - Something to do w/ cylinder boundaries).

In any case, I used the "WD Data Lifeguard tools for windows 11", that you recommended that I download, to zero fill the entire HDD. I then used "FDISK" to create new partitions on it, then used "FORMAT" to format them. Disk Doctor still found that one old partition.

Next, I allowed Disk Doctor to "Revive" the old partition, then used "FDISK to delete it; and recreate the partitions that I wanted, then used "FORMAT" to format them. Disk Doctor still found that one old partition.

I think it is a "partition record" issue, wherein the "partition record" apparently resides on the boot track, which slides by untouched by the things that I have thus far done.

Note : I do have boot track adjusting software; but I don't know how to use it, and have not experimented, cause I don't want to wreck my, (brand new), 40 Gig drives. Suggestions?
Superpuppy 3
K6-3+ 450 ACZ (6x100)
DFI K6BV3+/66 Rev B2 (2 Meg) w/ 2x28mm Chipset Fans
2x256 Meg PC 133 Hynix SDRAM
1x 20G Maxtor (7200)
2x 80G Maxtor (7200) Ducted w/ 2x486 Fans Mount
52/24/52/16 LG CDR/RW/DVD
8/4/3/12/24/16/32 LG Super Multi
ATI 9000 aiw Radeon AGP
SB Audigy 1 MP3 Sound
CMD 649 IDE Controller
NEC USB 2 Card

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KachiWachi
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Posts: 507
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:53 am
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

Post by KachiWachi » Tue Oct 04, 2005 6:33 am

A zero fill does that. The "quick" type just zeros the MBR and partition table (first 63 sectors), while a "full" type writes zeros to the whole drive.

Unless partition information is being stored somewhere else in a remote data file, as Norton *might* do for recovery purposes, the zero'd drive should be clean.
Moderator - Wim's BIOS

PC #1 - DFI 586IPVG, K6-2/+ 450 (Cyrix MII 433), 128 MB EDO. BIOS patched by Jan Steunebrink.
PC #2 - Amptron PM-7900 (M520), i200 non-MMX, 128 MB EDO
PC #3 - HP8766C, PIII-667, 768 MB SDRAM
PC #4 - ASUS P3V4X, PIII-733, 256 MB SDRAM
PC #5 - Gateway 700X, P4-2.0 GHz, 768 MB PC800 RDRAM
PC #6 - COMPAQ Evo N1020v laptop, P4-2.4 GHz, 1 GB PC2700 DDR
PC #7 - Dell Dimension 4600i, P4-2.8 GHz, 512 MB PC2700 DDR
PC #8 - Acer EeePC netbook, Atom N270 @ 1.60 GHz, 1 GB RAM
PC #9 - ??? ;)

Jim
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Posts: 1745
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2004 7:10 pm
Location: Toronto

Post by Jim » Tue Oct 04, 2005 3:11 pm

Hmmmmm. It could be that a zero fill no longer does that. (Wipes the boot track). reason I say that is "MS" AKA MoronShit in creating Windows XP designed it so as to stick a "Flag" in the boot track when it is "Activated".

Note : (When running XP, you must activate it within 30 days of installing it or it will shutdown in such a manner that the only way you can get it going again is to first low level format the drive then reinstall XP.)

They do that as one of their multiple anti piracy measures. Once activated, you may format the drive and reload and reactivate Windows as often as you want; but every time you do so, Windows checks to see if that "Flag" is there on the boot track.

If the "Flag" is not there, (because you have low level formated your drive), they then count it as being an installation on a different machine. i.e. They think that if their "Flag" is not there, that you the user are using one Windows disk to install on more than one machine. (Naughty Naughty). They keep track of how often their "Flag" is not present, and after a certain number of times, they cut off your "Activation Priviledges".

I know, since it has happened to me w/ my copy of XP, because I low level formatted a number of times on account of boot track errors caused by other software.

If that has happened to enough people, it is possible that MS has leaned on the HDD manufacturers to leave certain parts of the boot track alone during low level formatting. I know that if I use my data recovery software on "Superpuppy 3" it will find upwards of a dozen old partitions that have long since been deleted, when even the partitions that overwrote them have since been deleted in favour of new ones. Can recover some data from them too.

It is my opinion that the "Boot Track" is something the software vendors would rather the public knows nothing about and never touches. I say that because a number of programs that are 20 or 30 day trial versions will stick something on the boot track to show that the user has had their trial period; and the programs are setup so that if these flags are present you cannot reinstall the software.

Similarly there are other programs out there that come diabled until you register them. That is the kind that caused my problem. What do you do if the software is so old when you get it that the registration process has long since been shut down by the original creator / vendor? Answer, you hack it to make it work; but wind up with an "Illegal Usage" Flag on the boot track, that prevents you from reinstalling it.

So like I say it could be that the newer Low Level Format programs are not completely clearing the boot track. (Though I still have my old ones).
Superpuppy 3
K6-3+ 450 ACZ (6x100)
DFI K6BV3+/66 Rev B2 (2 Meg) w/ 2x28mm Chipset Fans
2x256 Meg PC 133 Hynix SDRAM
1x 20G Maxtor (7200)
2x 80G Maxtor (7200) Ducted w/ 2x486 Fans Mount
52/24/52/16 LG CDR/RW/DVD
8/4/3/12/24/16/32 LG Super Multi
ATI 9000 aiw Radeon AGP
SB Audigy 1 MP3 Sound
CMD 649 IDE Controller
NEC USB 2 Card

Jim
K6'er Elite
Posts: 1745
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2004 7:10 pm
Location: Toronto

Post by Jim » Fri Oct 07, 2005 4:25 am

Well in any case I have now Low Level Formatted both drives on that machine, (Superpuppy 2), and "Disk Doctor" is still finding the same two old partitions. Interestingly it does not find some of the newer ones deleted, just those two. Either they were primary dos; and others were not, or else they must have been created by other methods, (Partition Magic), for them to survive like that.
Superpuppy 3
K6-3+ 450 ACZ (6x100)
DFI K6BV3+/66 Rev B2 (2 Meg) w/ 2x28mm Chipset Fans
2x256 Meg PC 133 Hynix SDRAM
1x 20G Maxtor (7200)
2x 80G Maxtor (7200) Ducted w/ 2x486 Fans Mount
52/24/52/16 LG CDR/RW/DVD
8/4/3/12/24/16/32 LG Super Multi
ATI 9000 aiw Radeon AGP
SB Audigy 1 MP3 Sound
CMD 649 IDE Controller
NEC USB 2 Card

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