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  1. #1
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    Can't make new folder

    Hi Loungers,

    We finally have Win XP (Prof) up on our PC. <img src=/S/hairout.gif border=0 alt=hairout width=31 height=23> Created 2 admin users, call them A and F.

    Have a first hard disk partitioned into 3 logical drives: C, D, E.

    C, of course, has Win XP, drivers and other "system" related things.

    D has nothing (except for what looks like 2 folders for restore purposes). It's purpose is to serve as a backup of things from our new 2nd hard drive.

    E has a bunch of folders that was copied from our old hard drive (no longer installed) using Drive Image. E is a FAT32 partition while C and D are NTFS.

    The ultimate goal is to delete E and combine the space of D and E to make 1 bigger partition for backups.

    What I am trying to do first is create a new folder under D to copy all the folders on E into. In Win Explorer, I select D in the folder pane, go up to File and click on it. The system seems to freeze. I can end the task but my screen then goes blank except for the wallpaper. No task bar, no desktop icons.

    If I try creating a new folder under C or E, no problem.

    I can do this on both A and F users with same results.

    However, if I turn off the system and turn it back on, I can now create a new folder on D.

    The above behavior, including the ability to finally create a new folder on D, is not what I've heard in terms of the "stability" of XP. Any clues? What is special about D that seems to freeze things up? Are there bugs with the XP version of Win Explorer?

    Thanks.

    Fred

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Can't make new folder

    Can I check that I have understood the symtoms correctly. Does the D drive sometimes work, but sometimes cause an explorer hang, and when it hangs a power cycle always causes it to start working again for a while?

    Last time I saw symptoms like this it was a hardware problem caused by a faulty fan and overheating components.

    StuartR

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    Re: Can't make new folder

    Hi Stuart,

    I think you almost have it.

    I could see the D drive in Win Explorer. There was nothing on it since we had just installed the disk and partitioned it. So when you say "D drive sometimes work", there's not much to work with yet.

    C had Win XP and lots of drivers; E had lots of useful folders. C, D, E are on same physical drive.

    When clicking on File with D selected in the folder pane, the system would freeze. Restart didn't seem to help. But power down and back up did solve the problem.

    Clues?

    Fred

  4. #4
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    Re: Can't make new folder

    This definitely sounds like a temperature or power related hardware problem. These can be tricky to diagnose unless you have a generous supply of spare parts to enable you to try swapping things. A good start would be to take a piece of paper, about 1/2 cm wide, and put it just between the blades of each fan in turn. Listen to see if they are turning properly, if one sounds weak then suspect it.

    StuartR

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Can't make new folder

    I hope you and Stuart don't mind if I jump in here with a question. When you created the three partitions on the drive, what software did you use to do the job? Since you mention Drive Image, do you have their "other" product, Partition Magic? The only reason I ask is that because you continue to have this problem ONLY on the D drive and the C and E are always accessible, I wonder if there could be a problem with the partition's structure (D that is). I guess the first thing I would try is to open a CMD prompt and run a CHKDSK /F on the D: drive to see if there are any messages. If that doesn't yield anything and you do have Partition Magic, you could open it, not to make any changes yet, but to see if it will report all three partitions being "clean." You see, there's a thought running round in my head about the fact that you put the current data on the E: partition using Drive Image. Something could have gotten "slightly" snaggled in that process that's impacting the D: drive.

    By the way, I share Stuart's concern about power since I just recently (stubbornly) replaced a power supply in a machine of mine with 4 physical hard drives after having repeated crashes on DIFFERENT drives.

  6. #6
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    Re: Can't make new folder

    Hi Big Al and Stuart,

    Thanks guys. I'll check some of the power items, especially the strip of paper suggestion, later this morning. This is coming to you from our other PC.

    I should have also mentioned the PC is about 1-1/2 yrs old. So I would not suspect the power supply yet but who knows.

    I'll also mention another item that could support your theories:
    - Before putting in the 180 (master) and 250 (slave) GB drives, we had an 80 GB drive as our only drive. We started hearing clicking sounds. A friend suggested it might be either the floppy or the HD. After eliminating the floppy (took off the ribbon cable and still heard the clicking), we thought it might be the HD (also only 1-1/2 yrs old). Since we wanted to put in bigger drives and bring up Win XP (all at the same time), we decided to go for broke. But we had lots of problems, as you might suspect, so decided to put the 80 GB drive back in. When we did that, the computer would shut down after about 10 secs. That's when we brought it back to the dealer (local).

    A friend suggested the 80 GB drive might have been drawing too much current. Would this tie in to your theories on power supply or fans? I'm not sure so thought I'd ask.

    We do have Partition Magic and have used that for partitioning both the new hard drives (the latest PM8 since earlier versions couldn't seem to handle even the 180 GB drive). Things look pretty much OK in PM and it's Partition Info utility. However, we now have 2 different problems which might be more appropriate for a new thread.
    - PowerQuest's Partition Info is reporting that a partition is ending after the physical end of the drive on both the 180 and 250 GB hard drives. Maybe we didn't install the driver for the controller card for the 2 hard disks since their sizes are too big for the motherboard BIOS to handle (that is, both HDs are attached to the controller card). Wife said she installed the controller card driver when we installed Win XP but now she's not sure. Will try the driver later this morning.
    - The last partition on the 250 GB is about 33GB. Have never touched it. Yet, XP's drive management tool was reporting it as 100% full, as is the pie chart from the Properties of the drive. There were a few system/restore related folders on the partition. When I check the individual folders' properties, they have about 0 bytes. I decided to delete the partition and redo it with Partition Magic. Now it is ok (for now).

    Fred

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    Re: Can't make new folder

    Fred,

    I tend to agree with Big Al about something gone slightly wrong with the set up of the D drive.
    Since you don't have anything on the D drive yet. why not just re-partition & re-format it?
    You can use Fdisk, or any other utility to do it. It won't affect any of the other drives either.

    Bob
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  8. #8
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    Re: Can't make new folder

    <hr>...A friend suggested the 80 GB drive might have been drawing too much current... <hr>
    Well, I don't know about one drive drawing too much current, but I guess anything's possible. The reason I got the advice I did here in The Lounge is that I had FOUR drives in mine and even though I had a 250 watt power supply, someone suggested that could be the problem. How much wattage is your PS rated for? I replaced mine with a 300 watt and as I said - no problem since. I wouldn't think at this stage that your controller card is the problem. What brand is it? If it needed drivers I don't think you'd be up and running. Where I got a little lost is - do you NOW had the 180 and 250 drives back in the system. You might try Bob's suggestion about re-doing that D: drive and I'd even do it with PM 8 if I were you. I must admit to not having any experience with drives that BIG, but I have had PM report (erroneously) stuff about being past some boundaries.

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    Re: Can't make new folder

    Hmm let's start from the beginning.
    1. Possible hardware problem = Power Supply. I wouldn't recommend a PS less than 350w to drive a 180 and a 250g hd. Hard drives pull a lot of power, as Al found out.
    2. Motherboard/BIOS issues? Does the BIOS detect/report the hard drives properly? You may want to check into upgrading the BIOS
    3. Get the partitions correct. Your last statements about the 250g hd and that last 33g partition = not good.

    I'm confused by your posts about where c, d, and e are physically. Which drives are they on?

    good luck,
    kip

  10. #10
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    Re: Can't make new folder

    Bob,

    Too late on the D drive. After powering off, I was able to make a new folder but found it strange that XP acted up in this way before I powered off. Now the D drive has the DATA partition from our old drive as our 1st backup.

    Since you quoted Yogi, I thought I'd share my interpretation on one of his other famous Yogi-isms: when you come to a fork in the road, take it. New twist on interpretation: take either fork, doesn't matter. It's better than turning back the way you came or standing still pondering whether to go left or right.

    Fred

  11. #11
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    Re: Can't make new folder

    Al,

    The PS, which is an Allied PS, is rated for 300 watts max. So if you're running 4 HDs off them, what else do you have - any CDs, etc? We have a CD and DVD (running off the disk controller on the motherboard on IDE2), Pinnacle break out box, Sound Blaster Platinum Sound Card and speakers, modem, floppy drive, HD shelf (with nothing in it right now), and lots of USB devices (2 printers, scanner, zip disk, tablet, camera memory card reader) some off a USB hub. Of course, not all of these things are running at the same time. We also have 1GB RAM on 3 memory cards (256 MB twice which were original plus 512 MB bought about a week ago). Do you think we're underpowered?

    On the controller card, not sure of the brand - can't tell. But it came with the 180 GB HD which was from Western Digital when we bought it about 4 months ago (yes, we're just installing it). When we bought the 250 GB HD about 2 weeks ago, it did NOT include a separate controller card. But both are in the PC now. As we speak/communicate, my wife is loading software which goes onto the 250 GB in the programs partition (F drive).

    On the driver issue: this is interesting. I went to install the controller-card drivers (that came on a floppy when we bought the 180 GB HD) this morning. XP reported that the drivers were the same as what was already installed. But my wife didn't remember installing them, altho she may have forgotten. So I told XP to just bug off and install the drivers from the floppy. We no longer have HD geometry errors or endCyclinder out-of-bounds problems - on either HD!

    It now looks like most of the problems of the past (unable to create folder; 100% full partition when we never loaded anything; partition boundary problems) are gone. Of course, we're finding new XP problems as we reload our SW. For all the comments on stability I've heard for XP (Prof), it doesn't seem as stable as I'd like. Better than ME for sure, but not up to the 5 9's reliability that phone companies talk about (not even 3 9's).

    Thanks to all that offered input.

    Fred

  12. #12
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    Re: Can't make new folder

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by fburg on 08-Feb-04 16:33. addition on item 3 on 33GB drive)</P>Kip,

    1. on the power issue: see my response of a few minutes ago to Big Al - 300 watts max with lots of devices. Per question to him, do you think we're underpowered, again considering not all devices run at same time?

    2. BIOS does report the 2 drives correctly as we boot up. Shows both drives off the Ultra card (I think that's the SW, not sure if it's also the HW) on IDE1 on the peripheral card with nothing off IDE2. It also shows the CD/DVD on the motherboard. As to an upgrade of that, we had thought of that. Went to the manufacturer's web site (BioStar). Saw where to download an update. But it looked like the instrucs and the download were faulty. The instrucs seemed to suggest something similar to an anti-virus config (engine with separate data files) but the download only had what looked like the engine. The download file was a self extracting zip of about 80 KB but there was only 1 file to extract and it was about 40 KB. Sent email to BioStar but no response. So decided not to pursue that avenue.

    3. I didn't like that 33GB HD being 100% full either. So I copied whatever folders I could (some I was denied access) to another drive, deleted the partition, and recreated with Partition Magic 8. As reported, it seems ok now.

    Edited: When XP would boot up, it would complain about this 33GB partition as having errors and it would try to correct them. Corrections would involve writing things to the partition. Of course, it couldn't do that since it was 100% full. Seemed like a circular issue until we deleted and recreated the partition. XP is now happy with this partition.

    4. As to the configuration and how they're being used:
    DISK 1: 180 GB (master on IDE1 on controller card)
    - C: (about 14 GB) for XP and associated "system SW" drivers and programs like Partition Magic
    - D: (about 146 GB) used to backup the F and G drives from Disk 2 using Drive Image images (rather than copying the full disk image)
    - E: (about 7 GB) for future use but partitioned now just to take up a letter.

    DISK2: 250 GB (slave on IDE1 on controller card)
    - F: (about 24 GB) for programs
    - G: (about 175 GB) for data, documents (wife makes movies)
    - H: (about 33 GB) for backup of C drives from Disk 1 using Drive Image per above.


    And now an important question for you: where did you get the quote from about fool proof and sufficiently talented fools? Love it and have to find a place to use it. Hmmm, I teaching a beginner's Windows class tomorrow and it's the 1st session. Maybe better not to insult them in the first class?

    Fred

  13. #13
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    Re: Can't make new folder

    Fred,

    Glad to hear you're making progress. I won't answer in detail, but on question #1, it's the corrollary to You Can't Have Enough RAM: More Power is Better. However it is sounding like your problems were related more to bad partitions or some such. The message here though is that just because you can buy great big hard drives doesn't necessarily mean that your computer will be able to handle them, either through the BIOS or through the power supply. And the funny thing is that often hard drives don't just fail when they are underpowered. Seems like some kind of "Insufficient Power" error message would be a good thing for the next generation of computing. If the BIOS is reporting the hard drives correctly, there's no reason to do an update. Some older BIOS's were not written to handle these big new hds, and require an update to get them to work correctly.

    You say in another response here that you are still having XP problems, and it is important to note that one of the reasons that XP is so stable is that it is quite picky about hardware and configuration. 98 would let you slide with a lot of things that XP won't, but of course then it would crash. It wouldn't be a bad idea to make sure your drives are up and running properly and then do a reformat/reinstall of XP and your programs. What XP really likes is a good clean slate to work from.

    As for the quote, it's from Jim Boyce's "Windows XP Power Tools", published in 2002 by Sybex. I think it was in a section on networking. I didn't use a more direct attribute here because, well he's Woody's competitor, right? The quote was too good to pass up, though. ( I consider myself quite sufficiently talented, by the way)

  14. #14
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    Re: Can't make new folder

    Hi Kip,

    Can understand more RAM is better, as said. Will have to see about how to do more power. Not as easy as adding a RAM card.

    The BIOS on our motherboard is not capable of handling the bigger drives. As mentioned, we tried the update approach with no success. Apparently, there must be something in the motherboard BIOS that looks for the controller card to see if there are bootable disks attached to it. So requests for data from a disk on the controller card (whether for booting purposes or for reading/writing data after booting) would still go thru the motherboard BIOS, I'm assuming, and then be passed to the controller card (which itself has a BISO). Not sure how the OS plays in this game since it isn't active when the motherboard works with the controller card to load the OS on booting.

    As to your suggestion of "reformat/reinstall of XP and your programs", not totally clear on what you're suggesting. We started with a blank HD#1, partitioned it as per previous msg, installed XP. Copied the data/My Documents from old HD (80GB) to HD#1 E drive as a temp holding area. Removed 80 GB HD and put in 250 GB HD. Partitioned HD#2 as per previous msg. Moved old data from E drive on HD#1 to G drive on HD#2, it's final destination. Also copied old data from E drive on HD#1 to D drive on HD#1 (hence the problem with creating a folder on D) as an initial backup of G drive (rather than going from G to D). Am now reinstalling all programs on F drive.

    It seems like we've tried to keep things as pure as possible and provide a pretty clean slate. Are you suggesting we do something with XP, like a reinstall on top of itself, when all of above is done?

    As for talented fools, I think I fit the bill also. People have said what we've attempted to do is really crazy.

    Fred

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    Re: Can't make new folder

    Howdy Fred... just catching up after being tied up with some household issues and saw your e-mail about your harddrive issues.

    A few weeks ago I installed a 160GB Western Digital as a secondary drive... a WD 60GB being the primary. At the same time I also installed a new firewire card and USB port hub.

    Within days I was having all sorts of BSOD running Windows XP Pro. Scared the living h... out of me as I had been running Win XP since its release without a single problem. The BSOD messages were happening when I was backing up my system or running the weekly Norton AV scan and didn't quite point to a harddrive problem... but after several days of hair pulling, it turned out that the 160GB was the source.

    During that time, I had tried stripping the system to its barest minimum. I was at the point where I was going to do a clean re-install of Win XP and all applications to try any resolve the problem when I stumbled upon the fact that there are potential problems with drives greater than 137GB. Turns out that 1) your BIOS has to support those larger drives and 2) Windows XP in its earlier stages did not support large drives. Windows XP SP1 will now support larger drives.

    Here's an Intel article that describes the issues with a bit more clarity.

    After ensuring that my BIOS was capable, and that all the appropriate patches were in place and also running the WD utilities, I was able to put my system back together and the BSOD is history. Thankfully, I never did have to re-install Win XP and all my hundreds of applications!!!

    Hope this helps..
    Regards,
    Bob

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