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 Post subject: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:18 am 
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I have used PartitionMagic 8.0 to try and merge this big partition on this one hard drive I have into the system partition (which is smaller). Unfortunately, the operation was unsuccessful. I don't have too much stuff on that large partition. Can you possibly help me, Scott? What if there's no essential stuff on the non-system partition?

Oh, and the hard drive in question has Windows XP SP3 on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:01 pm 
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Quote:
I have used PartitionMagic 8.0 to try and merge this big partition on this one hard drive I have into the system partition (which is smaller). Unfortunately, the operation was unsuccessful.

Now you know why I don't recommend multiple partitions on a drive. <g>

Quote:
What if there's no essential stuff on the non-system partition?

Then you can just delete the partition. If you do want to keep any of the files, merely copy them to another volume first.

After deleting the unwanted 2nd partition, you can extend the 1st partition to use the newly unallocated space. If you are using Windows 7/Vista, you can extend partitions using Windows Disk Management.

If you are using XP, you'll need a 3rd party utility to extend a partition. I recommend Parted Magic, which is included on the Ultimate Boot CD. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:51 pm 
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Thanks for your advice, Scott! I used PartitionMagic 8.0 to delete the unwanted partition and extend the first partition. Unfortunately, I'm uneasy because my dad bought PartitionMagic 8.0 secondhand, and it might have been registered before the purchase. I don't want to be complicit when it comes to copyright infringement. However, check this out:

http://www.symantec.com/norton/theme.jsp?themeid=partition_magic&depthpath=0&header=0

What do you think?


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:35 pm 
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Mr. Mueller, do you think I should be worried about copyright/licensing stuff involving PartitionMagic 8.0?


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:46 pm 
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Not if you have a valid license (key). If you do intend to use the program, you might be interested in these important updates, which I guess you can still get from Symantec. Of course I'd just use the program I recommended instead. <g> Scott.


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 Post subject: Disc read error
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:45 am 
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Well, I used PartitionMagic 8.0 to delete a partition and expand another one on my 300GB Seagate hard drive. Now it says "A disc read error occured" whenever I try to boot up my system. I have Windows XP Service Pack 3 installed on the hard drive. The hard drive is installed in a Gateway Performance 1400 PC. Here's a link to a page that discusses the particular model:

http://pcworld.about.com/news/Aug102001id57623.htm

I'm thinking maybe the BIOS doesn't really recognize the hard drive with the newly expanded partition. I would like to get into the CMOS, but I've forgotten how. Can you please help me with this matter, Scott?


Last edited by Maxirad on Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Disc read error
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:31 am 
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Quote:
Scott, remember this stuff?

You mean where you ignored my advice to use Parted Magic, and instead used an obsolete, unsupported program with several known problems? Yeah, I remember. <g>

Quote:
I used PartitionMagic 8.0 to delete a partition and expand another one on my 300GB Seagate hard drive. Now it says "A disc read error occurred" whenever I try to boot up my system.

Looks like Partition Magic "screwed the pooch", as they say. That error is from the Volume Boot Record (VBR), which starts in the first sector in the partition, and who's job is to load NTLDR (the NT Loader program). That error can occur if either the MBR (Master Boot Record, which contains the partition table), VBR (Volume Boot Record), or file system are corrupted or mis-matching in some way.

This has nothing to do with the BIOS Setup (i.e. CMOS RAM) settings, as it was obviously caused by Partition Magic. At this point the only sure thing would be to repartition and reformat the drive, reinstall the OS, then restore any files you need from the backup you made.

If for some unbelievably strange reason you were not thinking clearly and didn't make a backup before resizing, then you first have to decide how important was any of the data on this drive. If it is extremely important, you can do more damage than good by trying any "repairs" yourself. In that case you should seek the assistance of a data recovery professional, which will be expensive.

If the data isn't that important or valuable, then can try using the FIXMBR and FIXBOOT commands in the Recovery Console to repair the MBR and VBR respectively. That working of course depends entirely on the fact that Partition Magic only screwed those boot records up, and not the partition table data or the entire file system itself, which is not something I would bet on. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:02 am 
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Well, Scott, after I managed to increase the size of the system partition using PartitionMagic 8.0, my system did seem to run OK for a while. Even went on the Internet. I guess after I shut the system down, the excrement hit the fan. Maybe the file system in general wasn't damaged after all.

I do have Windows Genuine Advantage Kit for Windows XP Professional. Stuff on it reads: "Windows Genuine Advantage Kit for Windows XP includes the lates version of Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2." Could I use it to try and recover the installation on my hard drive?


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:41 am 
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Quote:
...I guess after I shut the system down, the excrement hit the fan.

The MBR and VBR are only read during boot, so if they were messed up you wouldn't know it until the system was restarted.

Quote:
Maybe the file system in general wasn't damaged after all.

There is some hope that FIXMBR and FIXBOOT will undo the damage, but you can't be certain until you try them.

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I do have Windows Genuine Advantage Kit for Windows XP Professional... Could I use it to try and recover the installation on my hard drive?

If that is a standard XP install disc, then you should be able to boot from it and run the recovery console. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:44 pm 
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The FIXMBR and FIXBOOT operations failed to solve the problems. That message still popped up. That's the bad news. The good news is that I was able to get a "good" hard drive with Windows XP Pro SP3 on it and boot up with that drive with the "bad" drive as the apparent slave. (I believe the parallel ATA cable involved is of the "cable select" variety.) I did have to reactivate Windows XP on the "good" drive. The file system on the "bad" drive is apparently intact in general. From a hardware standpoint, I'm going to leave the current hard drive setup as it is. From a software standpoint, do you have any advice on where I should go from here?


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:56 pm 
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Since it seems that only the "bootability" was affected, and as a data drive you wouldn't care about that, you could just use the drive as-is, deleting anything you don't need (like the Windows, Program Files and other folders that are no longer functional).

But if it were mine I'd want to make sure that the drive was properly partitioned and formatted. To do this, after saving any files I wanted I'd use Windows Disk Management to delete any/all partitions on the drive, then create and format a single primary partition using the entire drive. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:44 pm 
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So there's no real way to make the "Windows" and "Program Files" folders on the "bad" hard drive functional again on the new hard drive? Man, why did the FIXMBR and FIXBOOT operations fail?


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 5:01 pm 
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...why did the FIXMBR and FIXBOOT operations fail?

Those programs aren't that smart. They replace the boot record code and some data based on the existing partition table data in the MBR, data which it seems that Partition Magic had previously screwed up.

Quote:
So there's no real way to make the "Windows" and "Program Files" folders on the "bad" hard drive functional again on the new hard drive?

There is almost always "a way". For example, I have little doubt that using a disk editor somebody experienced in manually editing MBRs and VBRs (such as myself) could make that partition bootable again. But that takes time, and time is money. <g> And since you can read all of the data files on the drive anyway, it really isn't worthwhile. All you really need to do is to repartition/reformat and reload Windows, which would not only cost you much less than it would to pay someone to "fix" the existing corrupted install, the end result would also be much better (a cleaner, faster running "fresh" system).

But since you have nothing to lose at this point (except maybe time), if you want you could try playing with some of the free data recovery utlities I listed in my post here. Maybe one of them will prove "smart" enough to fix what Partition Magic screwed up? In any case, let me know how the story ends... Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:41 pm 
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But would I need a new key for Windows XP? Doesn't THAT cost money? Also, is there a good way to backup all of the files on the "bad" drive?


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:06 pm 
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Quote:
But would I need a new key for Windows XP?

Why would you need a new key? Why not just use the key you already have? You would find the existing key on the COA (Certificate of Authenticity), or if that is lost or defaced you could find it using the Magical Jellybean Keyfinder. Note the following from the FAQ included with the Keyfinder:

    Q: Can I retrieve the product key from a non-booting Windows installation?
    A: As long as both Windows versions are 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 2008 or Windows 7,
    you can use the Load Hive function. You will have to slave the drive and
    point the Keyfinder to the non-booting Windows directory. e.g. H:\WINDOWS

Quote:
is there a good way to backup all of the files on the "bad" drive?

Sure, merely drag/drop or copy the files to another drive. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:23 am 
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Scott wrote:
Load Hive function. You will have to slave the drive and
point the Keyfinder to the non-booting Windows directory. e.g. H:\WINDOWS


Nice tip, sometimes see a Pc with a defaced sticker (bored office workers like to pick at them!


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:39 am 
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Unfortunately that won't help if the system is from one of the major royalty OEMs (e.g. Dell, HP/Compaq, Lenovo, Gateway, etc.) using SLP (System Locked Pre-activation). The key used in that case is the same on all systems from that mfr., and will not work with "normal" Windows Retail, Upgrade, or OEM System builder discs. In systems pre-activated with SLP, the key on the physical COA is not used, and is instead provided as a sort of "back-up" in case one does have to install from a normal (i.e. not the mfr. product recovery) disc in the future. If the COA sticker is defaced in that case, then the COA key is lost forever since it would not have been used or entered anywhere on the system.

But that won't affect the system in question in this thread. According to the link provided, that system originally shipped with Windows Me, so if XP is installed on it now it would most likely have been done using a standard (non-SLP) Windows version and COA key. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:06 pm 
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Scott, I used TestDisk, but it didn't seem help. I now have the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows, but I didn't find anything in it that seemed really helpful to my particular situtation. Looks like I'm going to reformat and repartition that hard drive, plus install Windows XP on it.

BTW, do you know of any free software stuff that would accept files originally created via Quicken or Family Tree Maker?


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:26 pm 
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Unfortunately I do not know of anything like that. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:15 pm 
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Generally speaking, if the box the program came in has either "Norton" or "Symantec" printed anywhere on it, you're screwed.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:20 pm 
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Believe it or not, even after reformatting and repartitioning the hard drive multiple times along with using a zero-fill operation, I still get the message "A disc read error occured." Why could that be? Should I use a zero-fill operation on the entire drive?


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:35 pm 
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Which XP disc are you installing from? Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:39 pm 
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A Win XP Pro disc that says on it, "For Windows Genuine Advantage Kit." It has Service Pack 2.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:02 pm 
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During the clean install process, did you boot from the XP s/SP2 install CD, delete all partitions on the drive, then install Windows into "Unpartitioned space"? Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:54 pm 
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Just now, basically, I booted from the CD and attempted to install on unpartitioned space (there were no partitions on the drive), yet I still get hit with that aforementioned message.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:02 pm 
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At what point during the install process do you see that message? Please give as many details as possible. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:23 pm 
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After your latest post in this thread, Scott, I basically went through the same process again (I did have to delete a partition the latest time around) and I STILL came up with the message. It pops up when the PC reboots after Setup copies files to the Windows installation folders.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:32 pm 
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Maxirad wrote:
Should I use a zero-fill operation on the entire drive?



Why would you zero fill only part of the drive?. That doesn't make any sense. When you zero fill a drive its the entire drive, not only part of it.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:27 pm 
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Do you have a known good HDD available? Wipe it and try to install XP on it. If it installs OK then the problem could be with the drive.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:21 pm 
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OK, I think I understand what is going on here. According to the manual for that system, it dates from the year 2000, and from what I can tell it uses an Intel D850GB motherboard.

Unfortunately a system that old has several limitations, one of which is a lack of BIOS support for large ATA hard drives. Even the latest Intel or Gateway provided BIOS (which are roughly equivelant) for that board does not support 48-bit Logical Block Addressing (LBA), which means that you cannot easily use internal drives over 137GB (128GiB). To verify this, with a drive larger than 137GB (128GiB) installed, if you check the BIOS Setup (CMOS RAM settings) I'm guessing that the BIOS will only report the capacity as 137GB (128GiB). In other words, the BIOS will only recognize up to that amount of any drive larger than that.

Ideally in a system like that you would install a bootable drive not larger than 137GB (128GiB). Once XP (with SP1 or later) is installed, you should then be able to install and recognize larger drives, since once it is loaded, XP w/SP1 or later does provide 48-bit LBA support.

As an alternative, you might be able to get away with creating a 137GB (128GiB) or smaller primary bootable (system) partition on which to install XP (with SP1 or later integrated). Then, once installed, you can create a 2nd partition to use the rest of the drive. You *might* even be able to get away with expanding the 137GB (128GiB) or smaller bootable partition to use the entire drive (using Parted Magic), but that is exactly where your problems started in the first place... Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:41 pm 
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Scott, I managed to successfully install Win XP Pro w/ SP2 on a small-enough partition (131069 MB, if I'm not mistaken). After downloading a bunch of updates along with SP3, I used Parted Magic to resize the system partition--with apparent success! No offense, but I wish you had urged me NOT to use PartitionMagic 8.0 earlier. However, I wish I had used Parted Magic this past Monday, when I apparently messed up the hard drive's bootability. My dad was the one who bought PartitionMagic 8.0 (secondhand, like he has very often bought stuff). Could you possibly tell me what known issues PartitionMagic had before it stopped being made?


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:23 pm 
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Quote:
I wish you had urged me NOT to use PartitionMagic 8.0 earlier...

I kinda did, but it didn't seem like you were listening. <g>

Quote:
Could you possibly tell me what known issues PartitionMagic had before it stopped being made?

I thought I had mentioned something about that as well?

But hey, live and learn! In any case, thanks for letting me know the outcome, and I'm glad it all worked out in the end. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 9:56 pm 
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No hard feelings, Scott. I performed the botched partition expansion with PartitionMagic 8.0 on Monday, June 28. Things could have been worse! The versions of Quicken and Family Tree Maker that were on that hard drive were old anyhow. Should I even bother trying to reinstall Microsoft Office XP when there's OpenOffice.org?


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 Post subject: Re: Unsuccesful operation involving PartitionMagic 8.0
 Post Posted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 10:03 pm 
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I highly recommend OpenOffice.org, and install it by default on all of the systems I build and/or load for both myself and my clients. Scott.


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