WARNING: Don't use Partition Magic to resize clusters in C: drive!


R

Robbie Hatley

WARNING to users of the NTFS file system (Windows NT, 2K):

So you converted you C: drive from FAT32 to NTFS, and now you're stuck
with 512byte cluster sizes? And you want to increase it to 4096 bytes to
improve
efficiency and reduce size and fragmentation of the MFT? (8 times fewer
disk
accesses per file.) And you notice that Partition Magic offers a cluster
resize
feature, so you decide to use that?

DON'T DO IT! I just did that, and it runs to 100% completion, but then
fails
with "Error 1562: No directory buffer", leaving your partition in a
half-converted
state. It doesn't undo the parital conversion, nor does it complete the
job.
Your disk will now be not only unbootable, but unreadable, because the MFT,
directories, and data have all been scrambled.

After the disaster, I did some web research that indicated that Partition
Magic
can't change cluster size on disks with a pagefile, compressed files, or
"sparse"
files. Unfortuately, boot drives usually do have a pagefile and some
compressed
files (update-uninstall subfolders in C:\WINNT). If you try to use
Partition
Magic's cluster resize on such a drive, it will destroy your file system.
So why
doesn't the software check for these well known issues? How hard is it to
see
if there's a pagefile or compressed files or "sparse" files? Not hard at
all. But
the checks are not there. This is a major unfixed bug. It still exists in
the most
recent Partition Magic being sold in stores today.

Symantec (the current owner of Partition Magic, which they acquired from
PowerQuest) doesn't have any information on this error (or most other
errors,
and there are THOUSANDS) on their web site, other than to say "run chkdsk".
But if you run "chkdsk /r" (run Win2K CD, select repair (R) and console
(C)),
it will repair the MFT and directories by setting the length of all files to
zero,
and disconnecting all the directory entries from the actual data.

If you buy some good data-recovery software, you may eventually get some
of your data back. But some will be gone forever, and you'll need to
delete,
recreate, and reformat on the partitiion, reinstall Windows, reinstall all
of the
critical updates, reinstall all your drivers, reinstall all your OS
settings, reinstall
all of your software, and reinstall all of your software settings.

BAD SHOW, POWERQUEST AND SYMANTEC! BOO! It's bad enough
that you, Powerquest, ****ed up and made software that trashes peoples
computers; but still worse, you, Symantec, took this dinosaur and kept right
on selling it to the people with all of its bugs unfixed! You greedy
bastards!
If you're going to take peoples money, fix your ****ing software so it
doesn't
destroy peoples computers! Thanks so much!

That being said, Partition Magic is still a very useful piece of software.
I can
do many difficult tasks quickly and easily which other software just can't
do.
And it's orginal owners manual (the one from Powerquest, not the dumbed-
down shit that Symantec replaced it with) is worth the price of the product,
because it gives a deep explanation of hard disks, partitions, logical
drives,
master boot records, boot sectors, etc.

BUT IT'S NOT SAFE. It's dangerous, buggy software that can (and often
does) destroy your data (including your entire operating system and all of
your software) quickly and easily. SO ALWAYS BACK EVERYTHING
UP BEFORE USING THIS PRODUCT. I wish I could say I did, but I
only did a partial backup, now I'm struggling with the data-recovery
process.
Sigh.
 
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J

James

Robbie said:
WARNING to users of the NTFS file system (Windows NT, 2K):

So you converted you C: drive from FAT32 to NTFS, and now you're stuck
with 512byte cluster sizes? And you want to increase it to 4096 bytes to
improve
efficiency and reduce size and fragmentation of the MFT? (8 times fewer
disk
accesses per file.) And you notice that Partition Magic offers a cluster
resize
feature, so you decide to use that?

DON'T DO IT! I just did that, and it runs to 100% completion, but then
fails
with "Error 1562: No directory buffer", leaving your partition in a
half-converted
state. It doesn't undo the parital conversion, nor does it complete the
job.
Your disk will now be not only unbootable, but unreadable, because the MFT,
directories, and data have all been scrambled.

After the disaster, I did some web research that indicated that Partition
Magic
can't change cluster size on disks with a pagefile, compressed files, or
"sparse"
files. Unfortuately, boot drives usually do have a pagefile and some
compressed
files (update-uninstall subfolders in C:\WINNT). If you try to use
Partition
Magic's cluster resize on such a drive, it will destroy your file system.
So why
doesn't the software check for these well known issues? How hard is it to
see
if there's a pagefile or compressed files or "sparse" files? Not hard at
all. But
the checks are not there. This is a major unfixed bug. It still exists in
the most
recent Partition Magic being sold in stores today.

Symantec (the current owner of Partition Magic, which they acquired from
PowerQuest) doesn't have any information on this error (or most other
errors,
and there are THOUSANDS) on their web site, other than to say "run chkdsk".
But if you run "chkdsk /r" (run Win2K CD, select repair (R) and console
(C)),
it will repair the MFT and directories by setting the length of all files to
zero,
and disconnecting all the directory entries from the actual data.

If you buy some good data-recovery software, you may eventually get some
of your data back. But some will be gone forever, and you'll need to
delete,
recreate, and reformat on the partitiion, reinstall Windows, reinstall all
of the
critical updates, reinstall all your drivers, reinstall all your OS
settings, reinstall
all of your software, and reinstall all of your software settings.

BAD SHOW, POWERQUEST AND SYMANTEC! BOO! It's bad enough
that you, Powerquest, ****ed up and made software that trashes peoples
computers; but still worse, you, Symantec, took this dinosaur and kept right
on selling it to the people with all of its bugs unfixed! You greedy
bastards!
If you're going to take peoples money, fix your ****ing software so it
doesn't
destroy peoples computers! Thanks so much!

That being said, Partition Magic is still a very useful piece of software.
I can
do many difficult tasks quickly and easily which other software just can't
do.
And it's orginal owners manual (the one from Powerquest, not the dumbed-
down shit that Symantec replaced it with) is worth the price of the product,
because it gives a deep explanation of hard disks, partitions, logical
drives,
master boot records, boot sectors, etc.

BUT IT'S NOT SAFE. It's dangerous, buggy software that can (and often
does) destroy your data (including your entire operating system and all of
your software) quickly and easily. SO ALWAYS BACK EVERYTHING
UP BEFORE USING THIS PRODUCT. I wish I could say I did, but I
only did a partial backup, now I'm struggling with the data-recovery
process.
Sigh.
A good rant but I have used PM since 1.0 and never had any of the
problems you indicate here. Of course I don't use NTFS either since it
is not readable by other OS's. The kiss program still does work and
while fat, fat16 & fat32 are not particularly space conserving formats
and do not allow some of the "neat" features of NTFS at least they can
be read by other OS's & a host of 3rd party utilities in the event of a
complete Wx meltdown. To reduce the slack on the new large drives I do
extensive partioning to many smaller drives along with zip and/or rar
compression for photo folders and others where small files tend to
reside. Using Win Commander I can "even" look at, & open, the files in
a zipped or rar file just as though it is a regular folder. Just like
an NTFS compressed folder without the proprietary format getting in the
way. I understand that for corporate servers there are definate
advantages to NTFS but for the average home users there really are more
potential problems than cures. Just my spin on the former rant about
PM, any version.

James
 

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