Spin Rite unable to detect drive within FreeDOS!

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Spin Rite unable to detect drive within FreeDOS!

Postposted on Sat Jul 24, 2010 5:40 pm

Hello everyone,

I'm trying to run Spin Rite on an older HP Pavilion 762n but I can't get past the "Discovering System's Mass Storage Devices....". I can boot this computer normal and the drive is there...although the drive is frightfully slow and the programs are constantly going into "not responding" mode. When I access the BIOS, however, I am unable to move around once inside...as if the USB keyboard isn't working...of course, I can ctrl, alt, delete to get out of the BIOS no problem with the same keyboard! Is this some kind of hardware failure, or BIOS failure perhaps?

Thanks in advance for any advice,

Trellot
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Re: Spin Rite unable to detect drive within FreeDOS!

Postposted on Sat Jul 24, 2010 5:58 pm

You probably need to use a PS/2 keyboard: older systems don't see the USB keyboard in the BIOS (the Ctl+Alt+Del combination sends an interrupt, not a conventional key code, so it will work regardless). It is possible there is a setting to make the BIOS look for a USB keyboard instead, but you will need a PS/2 keyboard to enable it ;)

It sounds like the hard drive (or, more correctly, the IDE channel the hard drive is on) is in PIO mode; you might want to try going into device manager, deleting the IDE channel, and having Windows re-detect it. Windows automatically downshifts through DMA modes all the way to PIO as it encounters errors in the disk subsystem, so if you have a flakey hard drive (or cable, or controller, or motherboard port) you`ll end up in PIO mode eventually. And PIO mode is SLOW.
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Re: Spin Rite unable to detect drive within FreeDOS!

Postposted on Sat Jul 24, 2010 6:15 pm

Here's a quick update: I took the drive out of the HP computer and plugged it into mine. I was able to get into Spin Rite and it detected all the drives I have. On the HP 80g Maxtor drive, Spin Rite is reporting "Invalid Partition for Drive Size" - "You should NOT PROCEED to use SpinRite on this drive until you have verified and corrected the disparity between this drive and the BIOS's or BIOS extension's understanding of the drive size."

So, should I plug it back into the HP and do like you were saying, UberGerbil?

Thanks,

Trellot
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Re: Spin Rite unable to detect drive within FreeDOS!

Postposted on Sat Jul 24, 2010 6:16 pm

Well if there's something wrong with the partition table it's not going to matter which computer it is in. But it could be something else.
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Re: Spin Rite unable to detect drive within FreeDOS!

Postposted on Sat Jul 24, 2010 6:58 pm

There's a chance that TestDisk can recover your partition table. It's sometimes (not always) worked for us.

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk
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Re: Spin Rite unable to detect drive within FreeDOS!

Postposted on Sun Jul 25, 2010 1:16 am

UberGerbil wrote:you`ll end up in PIO mode eventually. And PIO mode is SLOW.


What is PIO mode, btw?
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Re: Spin Rite unable to detect drive within FreeDOS!

Postposted on Sun Jul 25, 2010 1:24 am

Programmed Input/Output contrasts with Ultra Direct Memory Access (which comes in several revisions, each faster than the previous one).

With PIO, your CPU can spend a lot of time waiting for your hard-drive. With UDMA, the hard-drive data transfer is offloaded from the CPU so that it can move on to other tasks.
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Re: Spin Rite unable to detect drive within FreeDOS!

Postposted on Sun Jul 25, 2010 1:37 pm

Yeah, and if you want more details Wikipedia covers it I think. (Incidentally, it's the reservation of physical memory addresses so that devices can independently transfer data in and out of the memory map seen by the CPU that is the reason we "lose" the top of the 32bit memory space so that you only have ~3.2GB available in a 4GB system when running in 32bit. Considering how slow PIO is, it's a fair trade I'd say.)
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Re: Spin Rite unable to detect drive within FreeDOS!

Postposted on Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:29 pm

In a nutshell: In PIO mode the CPU is responsible for moving each byte of data to/from the drive. In any of the DMA modes, special dedicated hardware in the disk controller moves the data directly to/from system RAM. PIO mode causes the entire system to become sluggish whenever the disk is being accessed, because the CPU is forced to spend most of its time just moving data around.
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Re: Spin Rite unable to detect drive within FreeDOS!

Postposted on Sun Jul 25, 2010 9:36 pm

Thanks everyone for the education on PIO mode. I am sure that is the mode this HP system was using!

Update on this HP Maxtor hard drive issue:

UberGerbil wrote:You probably need to use a PS/2 keyboard: older systems don't see the USB keyboard in the BIOS (the Ctl+Alt+Del combination sends an interrupt, not a conventional key code, so it will work regardless). It is possible there is a setting to make the BIOS look for a USB keyboard instead, but you will need a PS/2 keyboard to enable it


Well went down to Frys and bought a PS/2 keyboard thinking that would fix the problem too, but it didn't work. I still get stuck on the main BIOS screen and can't move around to change anything. Here's one new bit of news: when I placed the Maxtor drive in my system to run Spin Rite, the program reported, "Invalid Partition for Drive Size" and the lettering was all "red". Ok, well I decided to put the drive back into the HP case and use the PS/2 keyboard but now the drive won't even boot up...it just freezes on a blank screen with a blinking cursor. All I want to do is change the bootup sequence to boot to the CD drive in order to format it and reinstall XP (there's nothing important on the drive).

Does this sound like something is wrong with the motherboard's BIOS...which might be the reason the partition table got messed up to begin with? Or, should I install the drive in my other system again and reformat/reinstall XP there?

Trellot
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Re: Spin Rite unable to detect drive within FreeDOS!

Postposted on Sun Jul 25, 2010 9:39 pm

If you're locking up in the BIOS, you've got hardware problems other than the hard-drive (processor, motherboard or memory). Try unplugging everything. You should be able to get into the BIOS and change settings even without the hard-drive or optical drive connected.
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Re: Spin Rite unable to detect drive within FreeDOS!

Postposted on Sun Jul 25, 2010 9:44 pm

Trellot wrote:Well went down to Frys and bought a PS/2 keyboard thinking that would fix the problem too, but it didn't work. I still get stuck on the main BIOS screen and can't move around to change anything.


Wrote too soon! Upon the second boot attempt, for some reason, the PS/2 keyboard worked. Now I am going to see about this drive. I will update with details soon.

Trellot
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Re: Spin Rite unable to detect drive within FreeDOS!

Postposted on Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:06 am

Ok. I was able to reformat the drive and install Windows XP...can't find the right chipset drivers for this dumb HP rig though, so I'll quit this thread, and start another in the motherboards and chipsets section...sigh!

Trellot
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Re: Spin Rite unable to detect drive within FreeDOS!

Postposted on Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:44 am

BTW, you should probably run the SeaTools diagnostics from Seagate's website (since Seagate now owns Maxtor) to see what SMART data and other diagnostic info the drive is reporting. Ultimately you're going to be reformatting this drive (either before or after extracting anything you want from it, though it doesn't sound like it has anything important) but it would be good to get a sense if it is a lost cause or not.
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Re: Spin Rite unable to detect drive within FreeDOS!

Postposted on Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:26 am

UberGerbil wrote:BTW, you should probably run the SeaTools diagnostics from Seagate's website (since Seagate now owns Maxtor) to see what SMART data and other diagnostic info the drive is reporting. Ultimately you're going to be reformatting this drive (either before or after extracting anything you want from it, though it doesn't sound like it has anything important) but it would be good to get a sense if it is a lost cause or not.


So, I'm running SeaTools on the hard drive right now, and so far it's passing all the tests. However, I've already reformatted the drive and reinstalled Windows XP. Even after doing all this I still cannot run Spin Rite! I subsequently ran Test Disk on the drive and it is reporting that the drive only has 240 heads, yet the drive thinks it has 255. Using the geometry changing feature on Test Disk, I switched the heads number back to 240. But still no Spin Rite. Anyone see a problem like this before? The drive appears to be operating beautifully without any problems. Is it safe to keep using this thing, or will it corrupt again and become slow like before due to misreporting on the partition table?

Trellot
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Re: Spin Rite unable to detect drive within FreeDOS!

Postposted on Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:41 am

I would believe the SMART (i.e. SeaTools) data over SpinRite. If the SMART tests are all passing clean (including the Extended Self Test) then you have a good drive.
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Re: Spin Rite unable to detect drive within FreeDOS!

Postposted on Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:01 pm

notfred wrote:I would believe the SMART (i.e. SeaTools) data over SpinRite. If the SMART tests are all passing clean (including the Extended Self Test) then you have a good drive.


I'm just curious why the drive would misreport its physical aspects and its geometric layout if it was in good health? I don't want to place it back in action, if down the road it's going to corrupt again, is all.

Trellot
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"Invalid Partition for Drive Size" Spinrite [FIX]

Postposted on Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:42 pm

[quote="Trellot"]Here's a quick update: I took the drive out of the HP computer and plugged it into mine. I was able to get into Spin Rite and it detected all the drives I have. On the HP 80g Maxtor drive, Spin Rite is reporting "Invalid Partition for Drive Size" - "You should NOT PROCEED to use SpinRite on this drive until you have verified and corrected the disparity between this drive and the BIOS's or BIOS extension's understanding of the drive size."
-------------------------
This is an old thread, but it comes up on Google, so I thought I'd post the fix I used for this here.

Gparted would also not recognize the partition as valid. So, in Windows Disk Management, I shrunk the size of the volume allot, leaving un-allocated space. Then, when I went into Gparted, it recognized the partition. So I had Gparted expand the partition using the un-allocated space. The final partition was smaller. Now, Spinrite finds no errors with the partition.
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