Disk faults

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OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#3
It's not a hard disk fault I'm talking about, more likely the file system has got itself in a twist and needs purging of errors. The CF has the tools you need, DO NOT try anything else. Above all, NEVER use Spinrite or other low-level tools on a modern HDD!
 
#4
It's not a hard disk fault I'm talking about, more likely the file system has got itself in a twist and needs purging of errors. The CF has the tools you need, DO NOT try anything else. Above all, NEVER use Spinrite or other low-level tools on a modern HDD!
I ran the tool and it output this, is this a format job or can it be recovered ?
Code:
Checking partition tables...                                                                                                   
Warning! Main partition table CRC mismatch! Loaded backup partition table                                                     
instead of main partition table!                                                                                               
                                                                                                                              
Warning! One or more CRCs don't match. You should repair the disk!                                                             
                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
MBR Status: MBR only                                                                                                           
GPT Status: damaged                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                              
MBR only disk with damaged GPT. Manual intervention required!                                                                 
Aborting.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
fix-disk: session terminated with exit status 1                                                                               
                                                                                                                              
Press return to continue:
 
#7
So far I formatted the hardrive from the box and reinstalled. All seems to be working and fixdisk reports no errors.

Not fitted a new HDD yet. If that's what your asking. I need to read up on that before hand.
 
OP
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#8
It's the "GPT" business that is confusing me - that's for drives over 2TB and is definitely not supported by the standard Humax firmware.
 

martinr

Forum Supporter
#9
.... Above all, NEVER use Spinrite or other low-level tools on a modern HDD!
Why is that? Was Spinrite ever the magic tool that the testimonials Steve Gibson put forward claimed it was?

I gave up listening to Steve Gibson some years ago unable to work out whether he just liked the sound of his own voice, or if he was a snake oil peddlar, or if he was indeed some sort of expert.
 
#10
It's the "GPT" business that is confusing me - that's for drives over 2TB and is definitely not supported by the standard Humax firmware.
I used the GPTF because the error fixdisk reported was due to that and said it needed a manual intervention [whatever that means].
What happened was it did its stuff, fixdisk said all good, and the box works. So all is good.
 
#11
Why is that? Was Spinrite ever the magic tool that the testimonials Steve Gibson put forward claimed it was?
I gave up listening to Steve Gibson some years ago unable to work out whether he just liked the sound of his own voice, or if he was a snake oil peddlar, or if he was indeed some sort of expert.
Yeah I agree, I do like to listen to SN, but must admit SR has never fixed a disk for me. He says its good on SSD too!
I have had more success with HDRegen, If my qnap's are on yellow warning then it may 'fix' the disk, but if its on 'red abnormal' then the drive is toast I have found out. Provided your happy the drive is FUBAR and dont need the data on it, then you may as well SR and HDR on them, you have nothing to lose - its already gone.
 

martinr

Forum Supporter
#12
I used the GPTF because the error fixdisk reported was due to that and said it needed a manual intervention [whatever that means].
What happened was it did its stuff, fixdisk said all good, and the box works. So all is good.

Looks like I went down the exact same route as you (right down to that manual intervention message - whatever that is!) about 3 weeks ago, I think I ended up wiping the hard drive using GParted in Ubuntu, and starting over again.
 
#13
Looks like I went down the exact same route as you (right down to that manual intervention message - whatever that is!) about 3 weeks ago, I think I ended up wiping the hard drive using GParted in Ubuntu, and starting over again.
Did your box not work after ? or did it not function correctly after ?
 

martinr

Forum Supporter
#14
Did your box not work after ? or did it not function correctly after ?
I can’t be sure but it seemed to me that running fixdisk made the box very unstable; at times it crashed early on during boot up. Perhaps that’s because I should have run fixdisk through a Windows laptop rather than a mobile device, which would sometimes time out. But also the box would sometimes crash early on in fixdisk. In the end I fitted a new HDD and that solved the problem.

After about 3 weeks of working on it, I decided the 2 most important tools by far were patience and perseverance.
 
#15
I can’t be sure but it seemed to me that running fixdisk made the box very unstable; at times it crashed early on during boot up. Perhaps that’s because I should have run fixdisk through a Windows laptop rather than a mobile device, which would sometimes time out. But also the box would sometimes crash early on in fixdisk. In the end I fitted a new HDD and that solved the problem.
After about 3 weeks of working on it, I decided the 2 most important tools by far were patience and perseverance.
Oh right - ok. FWIW fixdisk completed for me with no errors, after using the GPTF. If I have problems, I will have another go. Still toying with the idea of putting a 3TB drive in for a laugh. I have 1 or 2 kicking around but not of the correct type.
 

martinr

Forum Supporter
#16
Oh right - ok. FWIW fixdisk completed for me with no errors, after using the GPTF. If I have problems, I will have another go. Still toying with the idea of putting a 3TB drive in for a laugh. I have 1 or 2 kicking around but not of the correct type.
If nothing else, it won’t be time wasted. I learned a lot from my troubleshooting, whereas beforehand I was very unfamiliar with the developments of the CFW in the last few years. It was like starting from scratch. But the forums posts and Black Hole’s guides came in very handy. Sometimes it’s good to jump in at the deed end and have to swim!
 
OP
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#17
Above all, NEVER use Spinrite or other low-level tools on a modern HDD!
Why is that? Was Spinrite ever the magic tool that the testimonials Steve Gibson put forward claimed it was?
Well, I might be out of date, but in my day Spinrite was a utility which optimised HDD operation at the lowest level, in the days when a HDD was fairly simple - just a means of positioning a read/write head over the disc and recording/reading 1's and 0's to it. It relied on having that degree of low-level access, and added a layer of sophistication over what the drive manufacturers built in.

Drives are not like that any more. To maximise the storage density, the manufacturers have tuned all the performance parameters to the point there is no slack to be removed by a third-party utility, and any interference risks buggering it up. Neither am I sure low-level formatting is available to the external world. Modern drives have "virtual" cylinder, head, and sector addressing to overcome limitations in the maximum values - there is a layer of electronics built into the drive which performs these translations (which never used to be there in the pre-SATA drives), so software running on the host doesn't actually "see" the raw disc surface at all.

This translation layer also handles defect correction. During manufacture, the disc surface is scanned in minute detail and any faulty sectors noted. That was always the case, but now instead of just marking those sectors "faulty, do not use" for the formatting tools to deal with, the translation layer is programmed to substitute good sectors into those cylinder-head-sector addresses from a pool of spare sectors. That means the drive will have the full specified capacity regardless of hard sector faults.

One last thing "old school" low-level tools could do is adjust the interleave. Tracks are read/written sector by sector. To access a particular sector, the system has to wait until that particular sector comes around and then it is read into / written from a buffer memory. Then the system has to prepare to read/write the next sector. If "Sector 2" is immediately adjacent to "Sector 1" on the track, chances are it will have already started passing the head (or already passed the head) by the time the system is ready for it, and the system will have a delay while that sector comes around again.

Interleaving puts "Sector 2" further around the track, so that it comes under the head just after the system is ready for it rather than just before. This dramatically improves the sustained data rate onto/off the drive, and of course all that is now built into the drive at manufacture and does not require third-party tuning. (Modern drives have large data buffers and the operating system interacts with the buffer rather than the disc itself - in the old days memory was expensive.)

The last thing you want to do is meddle with any of the above, even if the control electronics (built into the drive, between the system and the disc interface) will let you. Once upon a time, the control electronics was an adapter card in the PC and the drive was little more than a motor, a disc, and a head. Not so now - your only access to the drive is "high level", and it would be foolish to try to circumvent that.

Forensic disc recovery/analysis now bypasses the drive's internal electronics by opening up and connecting directly to the drive components, so that the lab can actually see the "real" untranslated view of the disc surface.
 
OP
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#18
Provided your happy the drive is FUBAR and dont need the data on it, then you may as well SR and HDR on them, you have nothing to lose - its already gone.
Fair point, although it is lost time if hopeless.

I can’t be sure but it seemed to me that running fixdisk made the box very unstable; at times it crashed early on during boot up.
fixdisk can't cure everything, but you do need to ensure you have the latest.

Perhaps that’s because I should have run fixdisk through a Windows laptop rather than a mobile device, which would sometimes time out.
No, fixdisk is buffered through abduco so the session continues even if your terminal times out (or you exit).

Still toying with the idea of putting a 3TB drive in for a laugh.
This will need the CF extensions for handling GPT drives. Note GPT drives are not compatible with standard Humax firmware (ie without CF). See https://wiki.hummy.tv/wiki/Very_Large_Hard_Drive

If you've been playing with the "gptf" menu option on a sub-2TB drive, you've probably unnecessarily converted your drive to GPT (and reformatted it in the process). Questions posted on this forum (instead of blindly poking things) might have guided you to a recovery rather than a reformat.
 
#19
If you've been playing with the "gptf" menu option on a sub-2TB drive, you've probably unnecessarily converted your drive to GPT (and reformatted it in the process). Questions posted on this forum (instead of blindly poking things) might have guided you to a recovery rather than a reformat.
To be fair, I am never taking the CFW off. I have had the box years, so well out of warranty & I cant see a use case for it with out the CFW. I have even considered getting a second box purely because of the CFW. Its like having an electric car, once you have experienced it - you can't go back to the old way.
All my recordings are backed up every night [there is a silly reason for this]. Provided the GPT format does not adversely affect operation, it should be good ??

When all is said and done you are quite correct about blindly poking things, my only defence is that the maintenance mode mentions the words format hard drive, and does not explain what GPT is, for all I knew that was the disk format anyway - lol.
 
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