Phantom disk

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Phantom disk

Postby CyberSimian » Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:19 am

Just before Christmas the power supply in my PC died, and I am now trying to recover from that. A new power supply has been installed, but I am experiencing a problem with one of the disks. I think that it may have been damaged when the power supplied failed, as it is acting erratically, and seems to have caused BIBM a problem. The problem disk is a 750GB Seagate disk. The PC also contains two 2TB Western Digital Green disks, plus a CD/DVD drive (all are SATA).

When I enter BIBM's "Partition Work" panel, I see a phantom disk in the list of disks. The phantom has a size of 896 GiB. If I display the partitions on that disk ("Work with Partitions"), BIBM displays no partitions, the MBR is completely blank, and the string "* Errors Exist *" is displayed above the partition-list box.

If I enter the "Boot Edit" panel and edit a boot item, there is a space for this phantom disk in the list of partitions on the right, but it is completely blank. When I move the focus to the line for partition 0 in that disk, all of the buttons are greyed out. If I move the focus to the line above partition 0 ("labelled "HD 1"), two buttons become ungreyed -- "Retain" and "Ignore".

The above occurs both when the problem disk is enabled in the BIOS, and when it is disabled in the BIOS (I have tried both).

When the problem disk is enabled, BIBM sees the problem disk and correctly displays the 5 primary partitions on it (it is an EMBR disk). However, all of the MBR fields display as zeros (perhaps this is expected for an EMBR disk?), and Windows thinks that the disk is uninitialised.

How do I get rid of the phantom disk? (I have not yet made any changes in BIBM, as I want to try to recover the contents of the problem disk, if possible.)

Thank you.

-- from CyberSimian in the UK
CyberSimian
 
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Re: Phantom disk

Postby TeraByte Support » Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:48 am

If you see the correct partitions in partition work, then in the boot item,
you add the primaries to the slots in the boot item via boot edit. If you
edit with the drive not attached or no partitions showing, it won't show in
boot edit and if you save changes, it will be with nothing in there.

Some times a phantom drive can come from card readers or other devices
attached to the system and the BIOS has USB legacy support for disk drives
enabled.



"CyberSimian" wrote in message news:16187@public.bootitbm...


When the problem disk is enabled, BIBM sees the problem disk and correctly
displays the 5 primary partitions on it (it is an EMBR disk). However, all
of the MBR fields display as zeros (perhaps this is expected for an EMBR
disk?), and Windows thinks that the disk is uninitialised.

How do I get rid of the phantom disk? (I have not yet made any changes in
BIBM, as I want to try to recover the contents of the problem disk, if
possible.)

Thank you.

-- from CyberSimian in the UK

TeraByte Support
 
Posts: 2692
Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 3:37 pm

Re: Phantom disk

Postby CyberSimian » Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:16 am

TeraByte Support wrote:
> Some times a phantom drive can come from card readers or other devices
> attached to the system and the BIOS has USB legacy support for disk drives
> enabled.

I tried the following:

(1) Unplugged all SATA cables (so the system had no boot device).

(2) Unplugged all external USB devices (apart from USB keyboard needed to navigate BIBM, and USB floppy).

(3) Disabled in the BIOS all internal USB devices (including a four-slot memory-card reader), but left enabled the USB sockets (needed for keyboard and floppy).

(4) Booted from a USB floppy drive containing a diskette with BIBM 1.53.

In this situation, BIBM still detected a 896GiB drive (this time as drive 0), and stated that "Errors Exist" (!)

This has started happening only since I replaced the power supply after the original one failed. I have not changed any of the disks, although I have re-ordered them. None of the internal or external USB devices have changed. I seem to have fixed the Seagate 750GB disk by changing it from EMBR back to MBR, but I must check the SMART data to see if it is about to fail.

With all disks reconnected and booting from the hard disk, "Boot Edit" shows the phantom disk as disk 1 with all buttons greyed out. The three real disks appear as disks 0, 2, and 3, with appropriate buttons enabled as normal. I selected "Ignore" for the phantom disk in "Boot Edit", and Windows seems to boot satisfactorily. It all seems to be working OK so far, but it is nevertheless somewhat perplexing, since I did not have this phantom disk originally (where "originally" means "for about 9 years"). The system is a Dell XPS 420.

-- from CyberSimian in the UK
CyberSimian
 
Posts: 81
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Re: Phantom disk

Postby TeraByte Support » Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:32 pm

redetect the drives in the BIOS.

enable BIOS (direct) and if it can talk to it, you should see the name/model
of the drive.

send a partinfo listing (free downloads).


"CyberSimian" wrote in message news:16194@public.bootitbm...

TeraByte Support wrote:
> Some times a phantom drive can come from card readers or other devices
> attached to the system and the BIOS has USB legacy support for disk drives
> enabled.

I tried the following:

(1) Unplugged all SATA cables (so the system had no boot device).

(2) Unplugged all external USB devices (apart from USB keyboard needed to
navigate BIBM, and USB floppy).

(3) Disabled in the BIOS all internal USB devices (including a four-slot
memory-card reader), but left enabled the USB sockets (needed for keyboard
and floppy).

(4) Booted from a USB floppy drive containing a diskette with BIBM 1.53.

In this situation, BIBM still detected a 896GiB drive (this time as drive
0), and stated that "Errors Exist" (!)

This has started happening only since I replaced the power supply after the
original one failed. I have not changed any of the disks, although I have
re-ordered them. None of the internal or external USB devices have changed.
I seem to have fixed the Seagate 750GB disk by changing it from EMBR back to
MBR, but I must check the SMART data to see if it is about to fail.

With all disks reconnected and booting from the hard disk, "Boot Edit" shows
the phantom disk as disk 1 with all buttons greyed out. The three real
disks appear as disks 0, 2, and 3, with appropriate buttons enabled as
normal. I selected "Ignore" for the phantom disk in "Boot Edit", and
Windows seems to boot satisfactorily. It all seems to be working OK so far,
but it is nevertheless somewhat perplexing, since I did not have this
phantom disk originally (where "originally" means "for about 9 years"). The
system is a Dell XPS 420.

-- from CyberSimian in the UK

TeraByte Support
 
Posts: 2692
Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 3:37 pm

Re: Phantom disk

Postby CyberSimian » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:55 am

TeraByte Support wrote:
> redetect the drives in the BIOS.

I entered the BIOS, disabled all of the SATA ports, and saved the changes. Then I re-entered the BIOS and enabled the three SATA ports that have hard disks. Result: BIBM when booted from the hard disk still showed the phantom disk at position HD1.

Note: as well as the usual basic BIOS, this system has an additional Intel BIOS for RAID support. I am not using RAID, and have not made any changes to the RAID settings (I don't want to corrupt the existing disks).

> enable BIOS (direct) and if it can talk to it, you should see the name/model of the drive.

I tried this, but I did not see the name/model of the drive in "Partition Work" for ANY of the drives (phantom and real). This is using BIBM 1.41.

> send a partinfo listing (free downloads).

For a test, I clicked "Retain" for the phantom disk in "Boot Edit", and then booted Windows 7. "Disk Management" showed no sign of the phantom disk. I ran "partinfw", but that showed no sign of the phantom disk either -- it showed three disks, numbered HD0, HD1, and HD2.

I then booted IBM PC DOS 7.0 from a diskette, and ran "partinfo". This also showed no sign of the phantom disk, BUT it numbered the disks HD1, HD2, and HD3; i.e. HD0 was missing from the listing.

I have previously noticed that:
(1) BIBM 1.41 booted from the hard disk shows the phantom disk as HD1 (boot disk is HD0).
(2) BIBM 1.53 booted from diskette shows the phantom disk as HD0.

I have the partinfo listing from PC DOS. Do you want me to send it to you?

Final note: the Dell has BIBM 1.41 on the hard disk, because I have forgotten how I managed to install it (and so have not yet updated to the current version). The system will boot from a disktette, but BIBM (boot manager plus disk imaging) is now too big to fit on a diskette. I have a USB memory stick with BIBM on it, but the Dell is reluctant to boot from it.

-- from CyberSimian in the UK
CyberSimian
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:13 am

Re: Phantom disk

Postby TeraByte Support » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:42 am

you can use the diskinfo utility from dos and will tell you as much as it
can of each BIOS drive and if can access direct.



"CyberSimian" wrote in message news:16235@public.bootitbm...

TeraByte Support wrote:
> redetect the drives in the BIOS.

I entered the BIOS, disabled all of the SATA ports, and saved the changes.
Then I re-entered the BIOS and enabled the three SATA ports that have hard
disks. Result: BIBM when booted from the hard disk still showed the phantom
disk at position HD1.

Note: as well as the usual basic BIOS, this system has an additional Intel
BIOS for RAID support. I am not using RAID, and have not made any changes
to the RAID settings (I don't want to corrupt the existing disks).

> enable BIOS (direct) and if it can talk to it, you should see the
> name/model of the drive.

I tried this, but I did not see the name/model of the drive in "Partition
Work" for ANY of the drives (phantom and real). This is using BIBM 1.41.

> send a partinfo listing (free downloads).

For a test, I clicked "Retain" for the phantom disk in "Boot Edit", and then
booted Windows 7. "Disk Management" showed no sign of the phantom disk. I
ran "partinfw", but that showed no sign of the phantom disk either -- it
showed three disks, numbered HD0, HD1, and HD2.

I then booted IBM PC DOS 7.0 from a diskette, and ran "partinfo". This also
showed no sign of the phantom disk, BUT it numbered the disks HD1, HD2, and
HD3; i.e. HD0 was missing from the listing.

I have previously noticed that:
(1) BIBM 1.41 booted from the hard disk shows the phantom disk as HD1 (boot
disk is HD0).
(2) BIBM 1.53 booted from diskette shows the phantom disk as HD0.

I have the partinfo listing from PC DOS. Do you want me to send it to you?

Final note: the Dell has BIBM 1.41 on the hard disk, because I have
forgotten how I managed to install it (and so have not yet updated to the
current version). The system will boot from a disktette, but BIBM (boot
manager plus disk imaging) is now too big to fit on a diskette. I have a
USB memory stick with BIBM on it, but the Dell is reluctant to boot from it.

-- from CyberSimian in the UK

TeraByte Support
 
Posts: 2692
Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 3:37 pm

Re: Phantom disk

Postby CyberSimian » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:52 am

TeraByte Support wrote:
> you can use the diskinfo utility from dos and will tell you as much as it
> can of each BIOS drive and if can access direct.

I booted IBM PC DOS 7.0 from a diskette and ran the DISKINFO tool.

DISKINFO detected the floppy drive, plus FOUR hard drives. So it looks as though DISKINFO has detected the phantom drive (item 1 in the listing; item 0 = floppy). I will send the listing.

-- from CyberSimian in the UK
CyberSimian
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:13 am

Re: Phantom disk

Postby Gary Seven » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:47 pm

Hey Ciber,

I didn't see in this thread if you tried clearing the CMOS or better yet, reinstalling your BIOS. It sounds like you're on a very old Dell (you really still using floppys??), so not sure you even have access to a BIOS you could reload? I suggest this because the behavior of your machine may point to BIOS corruption. Just thinking out loud here.
G7
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Location: Tarragona, Spain

Re: Phantom disk

Postby CyberSimian » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:31 am

Gary Seven wrote:
> I didn't see in this thread if you tried clearing the CMOS or better yet,
> reinstalling your BIOS ... the behavior of your machine may
> point to BIOS corruption.

Yes, this was the problem. :D

The Dell motherboard has an Intel ICH9R chip which provides hardware RAID support. The RAID chip has its own BIOS that controls the SATA ports, but the motherboard also has BIOS that controls the SATA ports. The user selects which BIOS is to control the SATA ports.

I use the RAID BIOS, but with non-RAID disks. The reason for this choice is that the RAID BIOS supports AHCI, which allows the external SATA port to work. The motherboard BIOS does not support AHCI, and this prevents the external SATA port working.

It seems that the motherboard BIOS became confused (I don't know how this happened), and thought that it was controlling the SATA ports, and responded to the BIBM query with the phantom disk. The RAID BIOS then responded to the BIBM query with information about the real disks.

The solution was to reset the motherboard BIOS to default, and then re-implement my BIOS settings. This eliminated the phantom disk.

I would like to thank Terabyte Support, who also pointed me in the right direction for solving this problem.

-- from CyberSimian in the UK
CyberSimian
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:13 am


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