Author Topic: Failing Win XP HDD  (Read 4383 times)

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Online soldarTopic starter

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Re: Failing Win XP HDD
« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2024, 10:12:47 am »
I tried the WinXP install disk trick but did not get anywhere. This is very frustrating. I remember with Win95/98 I had 4.3GB HDD and would clone them as backups easily and often. I could just plug in any of the HDD and it would work. I do not remember how I did the cloning or what software I used. I can't believe how complicated the same basic thing has become. I mean, I have cloned the partition and all the files are there but the partition will just not boot.

Each image/restore/clone, whatever, takes like 4 hours and I have done quite a few in the last few days only to discover at the end of each run that it did not work. This is a big waste of time.

gnome-disks reports the cloned HDD/partition is MBR, NTFS

It mounts and data is accessible. If it is connected the computer knows it is there and it is like it is trying to boot but the screen goes blank and stops there and just freezes.  It is not a case of not even knowing it is there.

Very, very frustrating.

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Offline m k

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Re: Failing Win XP HDD
« Reply #26 on: May 16, 2024, 06:19:53 pm »
Get new disk more than double size of original boot partition and use its second partition as a thrdplace.

No need to try any fancy stuff, backup image can go back to primary partition with simple dd command.
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Offline golden_labels

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Re: Failing Win XP HDD
« Reply #27 on: May 16, 2024, 10:33:32 pm »
soldar:
I wasn’t able to visit this thread often enough in recent days, so I didn’t read all posts in full. Perhaps this is why I’m a bit confused, but I have a feeling it’s not only that.

What are you trying to achieve, exactly? Because it seems that at one time you want to clone and boot (and it fails), at other you just want to have a backup copy (possibly with compression). Which one is your goal?

You were also suggested to use ddrescue. The use of a tool of this kind is critical here, because the disk reports unstable sectors. They aren’t going to be readable and must be skipped while cloning. I do understand you may be confused by its interface and there is nothing wrong with that. Quite opposite: since your data is at risk and a mistake can be catastrophic, doubts are highly advised! Ask 20 times to be sure! :) But there are people on the forum and we’ll happily clarify things and doubts. You may use a different program, but that gives a rise to two issues: whether they even deal correctly with such sectors and if you can find anybody knowing them well enough to help.

If there was no unstable sectors, the answer would be trivial:
Code: [Select]
cp /dev/old_hdd /dev/new_hdd… and cleanly reboot. One may issue that to ensure the entire write is complete before the reboot starts:
Code: [Select]
blockdev --flushbufs /dev/new_hddBut, as long as the reboot is clean, it’s only moving the write to an earlier time, speeding up the shutdown process itself.





« Last Edit: May 16, 2024, 10:44:14 pm by golden_labels »
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Online Whales

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Re: Failing Win XP HDD
« Reply #28 on: May 17, 2024, 07:54:17 am »
I remember with Win95/98 I had 4.3GB HDD and would clone them as backups easily [...] I can't believe how complicated the same basic thing has become. I mean, I have cloned the partition and all the files are there but the partition will just not boot.

You're talking about two separate things.

Cloning a whole disk is simple and reliable.  I recommend this method.  You will end up with a bootable Windows XP system.  This is what you describe as working from your Win95/98 experiences.

Cloning a partition will not give you a bootable system.  I do not recommend this method.  It sounds like this is what you are currently trying.


Quote
gnome-disks reports the cloned HDD/partition is MBR, NTFS

That doesn't mean you have the right MBR.  If you only clone the partition then you will have a blank/useless boot sector in your MBR.

Additionally you might run into problems such as VBR preservation (I can't recall if WinXP uses a VBR) or having critical/immutable files at the right addresses.
 
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Online soldarTopic starter

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Re: Failing Win XP HDD
« Reply #29 on: May 17, 2024, 09:22:23 am »
I remember with Win95/98 I had 4.3GB HDD and would clone them as backups easily [...] I can't believe how complicated the same basic thing has become. I mean, I have cloned the partition and all the files are there but the partition will just not boot.

You're talking about two separate things.

Cloning a whole disk is simple and reliable.  I recommend this method.  You will end up with a bootable Windows XP system.  This is what you describe as working from your Win95/98 experiences.

Cloning a partition will not give you a bootable system.  I do not recommend this method.  It sounds like this is what you are currently trying.


Quote
gnome-disks reports the cloned HDD/partition is MBR, NTFS

That doesn't mean you have the right MBR.  If you only clone the partition then you will have a blank/useless boot sector in your MBR.

Additionally you might run into problems such as VBR preservation (I can't recall if WinXP uses a VBR) or having critical/immutable files at the right addresses.


Thanks. I think you might have found the cause.

So you think the best course of action is to buy an identical HDD and clone?
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Online Whales

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Re: Failing Win XP HDD
« Reply #30 on: May 17, 2024, 12:38:53 pm »
That's the simplest solution.  But make it a bigger disk (there is seldom such thing as identical size between models and brands) and I would always recommend an SSD.

If your existing disk is rather large (eg 1TB) then this will probably be costly (2TB!).  If an SSD is too expensive then perhaps buy a HDD.  You can always try a migration to a smaller SSD another day.

It might (emphasis on might) be possible to get the same sized disk (or maybe a smaller one) if you don't mind the last (non-Windows-system) partitions getting truncated and corrupt.  I vaguelly believe that your windows partition is only 300GB and the rest of the space is a movies partition, or something similar?  You may have to manually fix the partition table on the clone (eg delete the truncated partition in gparted) to make Windows stop complaining or crashing from the strangeness.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2024, 12:52:43 pm by Whales »
 
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Offline radiolistener

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Re: Failing Win XP HDD
« Reply #31 on: May 17, 2024, 12:47:36 pm »
if reallocated sector count don't grows with time it can work for a long time. But if it grows, the disc will become almost unusable pretty soon.

I have one Hitachi HDD which has some minor reallocated sector count within first year of using. But it didn't grow. This hdd still works after about 15 years of almost every day usage.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2024, 12:50:29 pm by radiolistener »
 

Offline coromonadalix

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Re: Failing Win XP HDD
« Reply #32 on: May 17, 2024, 01:03:31 pm »
simplest solution is:   buy a drive  XP will accept in size a redo a full install

xp sp3 pack is available and post sp3 updates too    ....  i'll never clone a drive who may have growing problems, if its the case

and if it was in a instrument or a machine,  put the drive in an external dock, copy windows folder elsewhere,  and other folders who could contain drivers

that way you may be able to recover special drivers ...


if you clone a drive in RAW  mode  you may end up with some problems   even if you think the mbr could be repaired in some ways ... or else ...
 

Online soldarTopic starter

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Re: Failing Win XP HDD
« Reply #33 on: May 17, 2024, 05:42:19 pm »
if reallocated sector count don't grows with time it can work for a long time. But if it grows, the disc will become almost unusable pretty soon.

I have one Hitachi HDD which has some minor reallocated sector count within first year of using. But it didn't grow. This hdd still works after about 15 years of almost every day usage.
Just this morning I was having a friendly chat with my neighborhood corner computer store guy and he said the same thing. He said he has a system he uses just for entertainment and has some bad sectors but he decided to just wait until it fails and it's been working fine like that for over 8 years. So I guess my drive could totally fail tomorrow or it could continue to work for years.

For now the alarm message is about one (1) reallocated sector.

It is probably a good idea for me to watch that number and see how it evolves.
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Offline Monkeh

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Re: Failing Win XP HDD
« Reply #34 on: May 17, 2024, 05:47:36 pm »
For now the alarm message is about one (1) reallocated sector.

No, it's for 0x7c8 reallocated sectors. That's 1,992 of them. And 0x68 (104) pending sectors it can't read (ie. data is gone) and will reallocate on write if it has any spares left.
 

Online soldarTopic starter

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Re: Failing Win XP HDD
« Reply #35 on: May 17, 2024, 06:05:00 pm »
For now the alarm message is about one (1) reallocated sector.

No, it's for 0x7c8 reallocated sectors. That's 1,992 of them. And 0x68 (104) pending sectors it can't read (ie. data is gone) and will reallocate on write if it has any spares left.


Oh, Ok, thank you for the heads up. I see it now. Oh, wow, that sounds pretty bad.

I am going to try to use that computer as little as possible and try to replace the disk as soon as possible.

Still, I have backups of all data files and I am just trying to save the OS install. If worse comes to worst I will just reinstall.

The prices of drives are much cheaper in the USA so I will have to wait until someone can bring me one.
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Online soldarTopic starter

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Re: Failing Win XP HDD
« Reply #36 on: May 18, 2024, 12:18:18 am »
Ha! I just remembered I have an unused 3TB HDD.

My video security NVR recorder failed about a year ago and I thought it was the HDD so I bought another one. It turned out the HDD was fine and it was the wall wart PSU that had failed so I have the brand new, unused, 3TB HDD in a box.

I will be trying to clone in it and see how that goes.

Interestingly, the original NVR HDD has been going strong 24/7 for more than 12 years now.
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Offline Halcyon

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Re: Failing Win XP HDD
« Reply #37 on: May 18, 2024, 02:18:40 am »
For cloning on old machines, I typically just boot off a boot disk and use good old Norton Ghost 5.1c (one of the few good applications Norton actually developed). You can image either directly to another disk or to an image for use later. Does exactly what it says on the tin.
 
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Offline Postal2

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Re: Failing Win XP HDD
« Reply #38 on: May 18, 2024, 07:59:12 am »
I have spent several, many, hours fiddling and got nowhere.

After many tries with Clonezilla I thought I had cloned a clone but it didn't work and I did another clone but it still does not work. This is extremely frustrating and a waste of time.

I plug in the disk with the clone copy but get the error "no such partition, entering rescue mode, grub rescue"

I am guessing I am doing something that makes the new disk have grub which it shouldn't. Linux has no place there.

Maybe the partition itself is OK but the boot record needs to be changed. How can I get rid of grub and make it bootable?

Very frustrating.
Problem of disk-cloning is cutting of unusable sectors. I wrote for myself intelligent skipping, but actual loud programs for cloning too bad to do this as I see.

The problem looks like this: one sector of 512 bytes is error, but whole buffer is discarded from stupid program, lost data.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2024, 08:09:58 am by Postal2 »
 

Offline m k

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Re: Failing Win XP HDD
« Reply #39 on: May 18, 2024, 08:45:25 am »
For generic old machine it's also good to remember that disk access has evolved.

When cloning happens there is a "natural" CHS to LBA change.
But different type of CHS can't take that LBA back.
Or can, literally, but sectors are misplaced.

If first cylinder is big enough the bad disk can even boot, sort of.

Some CHS limits
1024 * 16 * 63 => 1M * 512 bytes/sector
1024 * 255 * 63 => 16M * 512 bytes/sector
First is 0/0/1 and 255 is a bug

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cylinder-head-sector
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Online soldarTopic starter

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Re: Failing Win XP HDD
« Reply #40 on: May 18, 2024, 03:27:47 pm »
When it rains it pours.

I just now tried to start it up but before even finishing the self-test I got a message that it was overheating.

With all this messing with it I probably bumped the processor heat sink and it needs new thermal paste and reseating... which will have to wait because I do not have thermal paste. It is a good moment to give the heatsink a good cleaning. I remember the one that came with the Intel processor was not big enough and I replaced it with this one which is bigger.

I only need some thermal paste every few years and I end up throwing it away because I use a drop and have no use for the rest.

Is there anything I could use as thermal paste as a temporary thing?  Ketchup maybe?
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Offline golden_labels

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Re: Failing Win XP HDD
« Reply #41 on: May 18, 2024, 06:17:44 pm »
The problem looks like this: one sector of 512 bytes is error, but whole buffer is discarded from stupid program, lost data.
Exactly why we insist on cloning it using ddrescue. Or anything, where the right behavior can be guaranteed.

Is there anything I could use as thermal paste as a temporary thing?  Ketchup maybe?
Nothing works best, second to properly applied thermal paste. Just clean both surfaces, make sure they are dry, and mount the cooler. The CPU shouldn’t be overheating during normal operation just because there is no thermal paste.
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Online soldarTopic starter

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Re: Failing Win XP HDD
« Reply #42 on: May 18, 2024, 09:23:09 pm »
I reseated the heat sink with what thermal paste it had and after monitoring the temperature of the processor it seems fine.

I booted with Linux and tried to use clonezilla to clone the 1TB HDD to the 3TB HDD but It will not do it and gives me the error that MBR only supports up to 2GB.

I was hoping it could just clone the 1TB and pretend the rest of the (not needed) space does not exist. That the destination HDD is just 1 TB. How can I get around this?

It also insists on installing grub which I do not want or need.
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Offline PlainName

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Re: Failing Win XP HDD
« Reply #43 on: May 18, 2024, 10:12:04 pm »
An alternative means would be to use DriveSnapshot:

http://www.drivesnapshot.de/en/

This is what I used to use for disaster recovery, and it saved my bacon more then a couple of times. I would be tempted not to clone the entire disk but make images of each partition. DriveSnapshot will offer to restore the MBR even if you're restoring a single partition so you end up with a good clone but without having to do it all in one shot (a problem if you get disk errors partway through).

An important point, though, and one that you may have tripped over earlier: after doing a restore, if the system doesn't boot just check that the relevant partition is set active and bootable. A restore operation normally doesn't make the partition active even if it was your boot partition on the old system. Typically, if you get into that state you'll need a partition management tool.

Minitool do a decent GUI partition utility, but on XP now you'll probably need to use diskpart from DOS. A Minitool quick guide to that is here:

https://www.minitool.com/lib/hard-disk-active-partition.html
 

Offline m k

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Re: Failing Win XP HDD
« Reply #44 on: May 19, 2024, 11:19:20 am »
There is a difference between a format of floppy and hard disk.
Floppy is always a partition.

Partition doesn't include an information of boot or not, it's earlier in a chain of startup operations.
So with hard disks fdisk is needed once before all formats, fdisk creates that extra info.

A device has a block zero, fdisk creates an information of position of another block zero, that is a dynamic position and the one from where a partition starts.
So when doing an image of a partition the operation doesn't touch the information of what kind of a partition, if the image creating software doesn't do something extra.

Don't use an image creating software that does something you can't control.
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Online soldarTopic starter

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Re: Failing Win XP HDD
« Reply #45 on: May 19, 2024, 09:57:55 pm »
I have spent too many hours over several days and was ready to throw in the towel but I am giving it one last try.

Using ddrescue I am cloning the entire 1 TB drive to a 3 TB drive and it seems to be going along. The first 600 GB went reasonably well but then it slowed down to a crawl so I will leave it overnight and see what I find in the morning. At this rate it could take days. I assume it has slowed down because it is were the errors are and it is reading over and over. Still, the error count reads 0 so I want to think it is finally successfully reading everything. I know I shouldn't sell the bear before it hatches but a couple questions while I wait for this to happen:

The slowdown started at about 600 GB and the main OS partition is 336 GB. Does this mean the bad sectors are in the second, data partition and not in the first, OS, partition?

If this is the case, would it be relatively safe to use the disk using only the lower half?

In any case, if I manage to recover the entire disk, I would not want to leave it on the 3 TB drive. In fact I would prefer to separate the OS on to a separate, smaller drive. But I guess we'll cross that bridge if and when we get to it.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2024, 09:59:35 pm by soldar »
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Offline PlainName

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Re: Failing Win XP HDD
« Reply #46 on: May 19, 2024, 10:15:33 pm »
IMO if you're seeing errors it's a dead disk turning already. The error recovery stuff on modern drives (that is, more recent than MFM) is pretty damn good and pretends all is well until it can't cope anymore, and then it gives up. It's then that it lets on there's some trouble ahead.

Also, if there are disk errors I wouldn't clone a drive because it will stumble over the faulty sectors. Which may not actually be used for anything. And you spend a good proportion of the time copying sectors with no valid data on. That's why images are better: any decent imaging software will only image sectors that are used by the OS, so sectors without valid data don't waste time getting copied, nor do they take up space storing nothing at all.

Finally (probably) you can take an image and either browse it as if it were a virtual drive, or load it up as a virtual machine. Or both, if you're that way inclined. The image is also your backup so whatever happens after that doesn't really matter - original disk dies completely, you screw up a restore, PC blows up, whatever. Just do another restore from the image to a fresh disk. Once you screw up the original disk you're stuffed if you're relying on doing another clone.
 

Offline golden_labels

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Re: Failing Win XP HDD
« Reply #47 on: May 20, 2024, 02:30:30 am »
soldar: ddrescue will by default not waste too much time on sectors reported as unreadable. But the disk itself will spend some time retrying reading. Disks are optimized for reading long data streams, not retrying a single sector. Multiply the slowdown by each unreadable sector ddrescue tries to read.

Also note that ddrescue may be interrupted and, if needed, resumed. That’s what the mapfile is for. So, if you are impatient but certain it cloned the partition you care about, you may try this route.

PlainName: except that the “smart” cloning software mentioned in this thread so far is failing. Since nobody here knows, what exactly it does and if it’s even capable of working with damaged media, it’s impossible to debug the situation either.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2024, 02:32:57 am by golden_labels »
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Offline Postal2

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Re: Failing Win XP HDD
« Reply #48 on: May 20, 2024, 07:42:25 am »
I assume it has slowed down because it is were the errors are and it is reading over and over.
No. It is cloning program switches to 512 buffer size and no try back.

Also, if there are disk errors I wouldn't clone a drive because it will stumble over the faulty sectors.
No. You can use "Format" or create partitions outside of errors (mechanical HDD, SSD uses imitation of error).

But the disk itself will spend some time retrying reading.
No. Cloning program meet error, set buffer to 512 and re-read from point of error to the end as I see. Data of unreadable sector is set all 0 on clone-receiver.
 

Online soldarTopic starter

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Re: Failing Win XP HDD
« Reply #49 on: May 20, 2024, 07:55:42 am »
It took like 11 hours to do the part between 600 and 660 GB and it reports 374 errors and errsize 20914 KB.

4 hours for the first 600 GB and 11 hrs for the next 70 GB

I am hoping this is in the second partition and would not affect the boot or the OS.

I know in theory I can stop and restart the process but I would rather not take risks. And I am doing it from a live session of Linux Mint so I would have to copy the logfile to a pendrive before I shut it down. Not worth the risk. It has now resumed normal speed so if it does not hit any more bad spots I am hoping  it will finish in the next 2 or 3 hours.
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