HDD last sector uneadable under Vista... readable under Linux


A

Aramys

Hello,

I use a 160 Gb Seagate Momentus 7200.2 SATA HDD (ST9160823AS) in my Asus
F3Sa notebook and I have the following problem :

For security reasons, the encryption software I want to use check if the
last sector of my HDD is readable before installing. As it says there is
a problem, I wanted to check by myself using the following command :

dd if=[harddrive] of=[output file] bs=512 count=1 skip=[total guaranteed
sectors - 1]

Under Vista (see dd for Windows on Wikipedia), it returns an empty file,
meaning that the last sector is unreadable.

Under Linux, the very same command returns data without any problem. The
last sector is perfectly readable.

Thinking to a driver problem, I wrote to Intel (ICH8M chip) and they
replied "We understand your concern but the problem you described is
directly related to the motherboard or hard drive manufacturer, not
chipset software". Very strange as the problem does not exist under
Linux with the same hardware.

I wrote to Asus and they told to me to ask Seagate... I asked Seagate
and they explained to me the problem seems to be software/driver/OS related.

So... Now I'm stuck and I can't install my encryption software. What can
I do. Could it be a problem of Windows Vista ?

Aramys

PS : I use the latest computer bios, updated Vista and latest Intel
chipset driver. The HDD health has been checked with a dozen of Linux or
Windows tools. It's in perfect condition.
 
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M

Malke

Aramys said:
Hello,

I use a 160 Gb Seagate Momentus 7200.2 SATA HDD (ST9160823AS) in my Asus
F3Sa notebook and I have the following problem :

For security reasons, the encryption software I want to use check if the
last sector of my HDD is readable before installing. As it says there is
a problem, I wanted to check by myself using the following command :

dd if=[harddrive] of=[output file] bs=512 count=1 skip=[total guaranteed
sectors - 1]

Under Vista (see dd for Windows on Wikipedia), it returns an empty file,
meaning that the last sector is unreadable.

Under Linux, the very same command returns data without any problem. The
last sector is perfectly readable.

Thinking to a driver problem, I wrote to Intel (ICH8M chip) and they
replied "We understand your concern but the problem you described is
directly related to the motherboard or hard drive manufacturer, not
chipset software". Very strange as the problem does not exist under
Linux with the same hardware.

I wrote to Asus and they told to me to ask Seagate... I asked Seagate
and they explained to me the problem seems to be software/driver/OS
related.

So... Now I'm stuck and I can't install my encryption software. What can
I do. Could it be a problem of Windows Vista ?

Aramys

PS : I use the latest computer bios, updated Vista and latest Intel
chipset driver. The HDD health has been checked with a dozen of Linux or
Windows tools. It's in perfect condition.

You use different motherboard drivers in Linux than you do in Windows.
Apparently there is a problem with the Windows drivers since you know the
hard drive is fine. Suggest you contact the encryption software mftr.'s
tech support.


Malke
 
D

Dave Warren

In message <[email protected]> Aramys
Hello,

I use a 160 Gb Seagate Momentus 7200.2 SATA HDD (ST9160823AS) in my Asus
F3Sa notebook and I have the following problem :

For security reasons, the encryption software I want to use check if the
last sector of my HDD is readable before installing. As it says there is
a problem, I wanted to check by myself using the following command :

dd if=[harddrive] of=[output file] bs=512 count=1 skip=[total guaranteed
sectors - 1]

Under Vista (see dd for Windows on Wikipedia), it returns an empty file,
meaning that the last sector is unreadable.

Under Linux, the very same command returns data without any problem. The
last sector is perfectly readable.

Thinking to a driver problem, I wrote to Intel (ICH8M chip) and they
replied "We understand your concern but the problem you described is
directly related to the motherboard or hard drive manufacturer, not
chipset software". Very strange as the problem does not exist under
Linux with the same hardware.

I wrote to Asus and they told to me to ask Seagate... I asked Seagate
and they explained to me the problem seems to be software/driver/OS related.

So... Now I'm stuck and I can't install my encryption software. What can
I do. Could it be a problem of Windows Vista ?

I'm not particularly familiar with dd for Windows, but depending on what
exactly it's doing, this might be expected behaviour.

NTFS doesn't allow you to read from a file unless you're first written
to that particular part of the file. This avoids allowing any 'ol
program from reading deleted data back from the drive.

Unless dd uses some form of direct disk access, writes data first then
reads it back, or otherwise is aware of this restriction, this may be
normal behaviour.
 
A

Aramys

Malke,

Thank you very much for your answer. Unfortunately, the encryption
software dev team doesn't want to ear from users with this problem as
they state it's a hardware or driver problem.

Bests,

Aramys
 
A

Aramys

Dave,

Thank you very much for this very interesting hint. dd does low-level
copying. It allows you to make a byte-exact copy of the magnetic pattern
of an entire disk. It's completely independant form NTFS, FAT or any
other system. I'm pretty sure there is bug in Intel driver but I have to
prove it as they seem to be very self-confident.

Bests,

Aramys
 
M

Malke

Aramys said:
Malke,

Thank you very much for your answer. Unfortunately, the encryption
software dev team doesn't want to ear from users with this problem as
they state it's a hardware or driver problem.

Honestly, then I'd use different encryption software. It is *their* software
that doesn't work with Intel drivers. Intel is hardly going to re-write
their drivers for some encryption software company.

Malke
 
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A

Aramys

Yeah, but the problem is that I reproduce the problem using another
software so... By the way, the encryption software is TrueCrypt (open
source).

Bests

Aramys
 
M

Malke

Aramys said:
Yeah, but the problem is that I reproduce the problem using another
software so... By the way, the encryption software is TrueCrypt (open
source).

Then I'm sorry but I don't know. I know quite a few people who use TrueCrypt
without any problem so I don't know why you're having difficulties.

Maybe they have user forums?

I'm sorry I was unable to help you.

Malke
 
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A

Aramys

Don't be sorry. Thank you for your advices.

I posted on TrueCrypt forums but they don't want to hear about that
because they KNOW it's not related to TrueCrypt. They state it's related
to drivers, OS or motherboard/chipset. The thing is, now that I see I
have no problem under Linux, it can't be hardware related so it's either
Vista's or Intel chipset drivers fault. I tried Intel but they state
it's not their fault so...

Aramys


Malke a écrit :
 

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