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Old 10-25-2012, 07:33 PM   #1
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Default Challenging Hard drive Question regarding Windows XP and 7 formatting

Hardware: A embedded computer system is using Windows xp as an operating system and it has a 40 Gb hard drive, whih has multiple partitions.

Symptom: The hard drive had 3.9 Gb of "missing" memory space on one of the logical drives.

Actions: Removed the hard drive from embedded system, connected hard drive to lap top computer (windows 7) as USB connected auxiliary drive to use lap top operating system to search the embedded system's hard drive for issues. Located a 3.9 Gb error log file which was deleted. Reinstalled hard drive into embedded system.

Result: The embedded system has windows xp operating system could not access the reinstalled hard drive. It saw that it was present but had a size designation of 0Mb. Investigation revealed that the lap top windows 7 had "upgraded" the partition format structure which could no longer be read by embedded system's windows xp. Windows 7 uses a "CHS" for drive partition format structure while windows xp uses an "LBA" drive partition format structure. There was no warning, information, or challenge question of any kind when the drive was installed into the Windows 7 environment.

Remedy: Unsuccessfully attempted to convert the "CHS" back to "LBA" format. Installed new blank hard drive into embedded system and reloaded ghost disk image. So the question is, how can I backwards format the structure of the hard drive without having to resort to clearing the drive.

Or please give me some suggestions on how to troubleshoot this problem so I can provide some more information.


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Old 10-26-2012, 02:59 AM   #2
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Default Re: Challenging Hard drive Question regarding Windows XP and 7 formatting


Can i ask why formatting the drive is such a problem if you have a Ghost image of the drive?

Also are you sure that the format of the drive has actually changed? I'm personally not convinced and would be more tempted to put it down to the 3.9Gb error log file that you deleted.

May seem like a harmless thing to do but essentially you've taken a system drive, put it into another machine and access files that the system intentionally hides from you, so that you don't do things like deleting them . . . . . . .

You deleted it and now the drive doesnt work, my guess would be it's the file that is causing you issues and your only shot is a re-format.

Moral of the story, 95% of the time if windows is hiding files (and i mean seriously hiding, not "show hidden files") from you then they are not meant to be deleted.

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Old 10-26-2012, 02:06 PM   #3
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Default Re: Challenging Hard drive Question regarding Windows XP and 7 formatting

Clarification to Original Issue: The deleted .log file was created/accessed from a user piece of software and had nothing at all to do with the OS. This error log re-stablishes itself from the user software and continues to add to this text file as a historical error log.

Clarification: The original symptom was that the OS would not boot because the OS could not create any temp files due to an available free memory size of 0 bytes. the entire free space had been filled by the user software creating its massive error log over the past 14 months of machine operating time.

Clarifiaction: My ghost disk image is slightly out of date with a critical HMI screen update that is a compiled piece of code from the machine builder when isntalled on the hard drive and cannot be file transferred. I need bootable access to the "failed" hard drive.

Clarification: the "Failed" hard drive is fully available to any other running operating system, all 4 partions with all files are readable and present. The new symptom arises only when an OS is in process of booting on the "failed" hard drive itself and it comes up with an unexpected "PARTITION" structure. The FILE structure was not altered.

Clarification: When using the "failed" hard drive to boot up and utilize its own instralled OS, the BIOS boot sequence diplays the drive as 0MB LBA Partioned drive and 40GB of CHS format partition memory space. As a comparison, this computer has an identical and seperate sister installation and when the sister executes its BIOS setup during OS bootup it reads its hard drive as 40 GB LBA partioned memory space and does not list the CHS format at all.

Searching other forums has confirmed other people with identical symptoms of the PARTITION format of a hard drive changing when connecting to a newer OS but none of them have had any success with "repair". My first choice would also have been to reinstall the ghost and forget about this interesting question but unfortunately I need the compiled source code that an equipment manufacturer placed onto THIS hard drive. Once the partition format is reconverted back to LBA format I will be able to create a current dated ghost disk image.

Any thoughts on converting the hard drive PARTITION format back to LBA without reformatting the drive ?
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