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zainka
14-05-2008, 08:30 AM
Hi

Hope that title didn't become to non-informative but i did not get any better idea...

First a few words aboute my system:
Asus P5GZ-MX motherboard with 1GB Geil ddr2 sdram
Western digital caviar HDD WD2500KS
Windows 2000
Linux ubuntu feisty fawn (problem not seen on this but then again, used rarely)

I have 4 partitions
1: system partition with w2k - NTFS
2: FAT32 partition
3: ext3
4: swap


My problem is that from time to time a folder and some or all of its files gets overwritten with rubbish and destroyed. Also the filename may get destroyed and overwritten with illegal symbols not generally allowed for filenames (then the content is also destroyed). This happens only with files or folders which are accessed but not everytime. But once happend to a file, it is unrecoverable. I do start to see an certain pattern when it happens which is that it most often happens when the system is heavily loaded with much HDD activity ongoing. Like when doing backup using cobian backup and accessing several files at the same time. or loads/store images and videos and documents at the same time. Also note that most files corrupted also increase in size and may be reported as several megabytes / hundreds of megabytes or even 1-2 GB.

If I run chkdsk it detects errors related to the files and folders I find to be corrupted and it can convert them to files with legal names which I may delete but not fix the errors. (For the system partition I have to reboot to do this).

My problem is that I am not sure if I should replace the motherboard, memory or HDD. And, I do not understand what is happening to my system. I am also looking for a sort of program that may monitor disk activity and disk controllers to see if it can catch any errors.

If anyone do, please do not hesitate to answer.

kjaada
14-05-2008, 12:02 PM
(QUOTE)
My problem is that I am not sure if I should replace the motherboard, memory or HDD. And, I do not understand what is happening to my system. I am also looking for a sort of program that may monitor disk activity and disk controllers to see if it can catch any errors.

There is not a problem with any of the above.I am pretty sure it is something you are doing wrong in yr operating of the files.Is it a particular folder or random.Is it a folder you have recently used.
There are so many questions that could be asked but you are going to have to narrow it down.
Have you done a defrag ? What is the used capacity of yr HDD and how big is it.How many HDD's do you have ? The questions are endless

kahawai chaser
14-05-2008, 12:17 PM
You could try these advanced analysis programs to see what's running and possible interrupts: process explorer (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx) and whats running (http://www.whatsrunning.net/whatsrunning/main.aspx)

Other utilities here (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb545046.aspx)...

As mentioned above, their could be all sorts of reasons for your issues...

Agent_24
14-05-2008, 01:06 PM
bad memory can cause corrupt files... tried memtest?

zainka
14-05-2008, 10:42 PM
There is not a problem with any of the above.I am pretty sure it is something you are doing wrong in yr operating of the files.Is it a particular folder or random.Is it a folder you have recently used.


Hi and thanks for the answer, but you need to clarify what you mean with what I possible do wrong when operating the files and why you can state that this is the problem.... I have used the same way of working for years and have had no such problems like that ever ever (i am a sw developer and embedded electronic system designer working on ARM and AVRs, using several types of programs during developement process on a daily basis, accessing several types of files). I have never seen it on any other peoples computer either. A bit fast with the conclusion there I think.

The files is mostly text files (ascii text files) or images (jpeg), or folders containing these, which is accessed by textpad or an image viewer like faststone. One thing I did not mention was that the problems may also happen to files which I do not access in a folder i currently work in (i.e. I am working with other files in same folder) but still all or some of the files is messed up. But yes, it is happening in folders which I access but not necessarily limited to write access

Yes I have run defrag and as I stated in my first post there is one HDD with 4 partitions. The partition size is app: 40GB (NTFS) for system partition and 120GB for partition 2 (FAT32). The rest is saved for Linux.

To Agent_24 and kahawai chaser, thanks for the tips, I will seek into them, but I did run memtest not so long ago, but this was a built in bios controlled memtest which did not detect any errors. I will try to use some other tools.

kjaada
15-05-2008, 05:36 AM
(quote)
. I have never seen it on any other peoples computer either. A bit fast with the conclusion there I think.(end quote)
Your qulifications throw a different light on the problem.
I think the lack of answers here shows this is a very rare problem.Could it be to do with a security setting or app ?

kjaada
15-05-2008, 05:40 AM
I just put scrambled files in to Google and there are heaps there you could look at.
Good luck

Agent_24
15-05-2008, 12:18 PM
To Agent_24 and kahawai chaser, thanks for the tips, I will seek into them, but I did run memtest not so long ago, but this was a built in bios controlled memtest which did not detect any errors. I will try to use some other tools.

http://www.memtest.org/ much better than BIOS memory test

the_bogan
15-05-2008, 12:33 PM
I had this happen last time I tried out Ubuntu. I put it down to the different harddrive formats. (Mixing NTFS and FAT32)

zainka
15-05-2008, 02:15 PM
I had this happen last time I tried out Ubuntu. I put it down to the different harddrive formats. (Mixing NTFS and FAT32)

Hi, thanks for your reply. Did this happen when you where using Linux and accessing NTFS/FAT32 partitions? I haven't been using Linux for a long time now so I do not think this is the problem here since the problems occoures while accessing files on NTFS/FAT32 drives from w2k, though I have heard others having problems accessing NTFS drives from Ubuntu (but FAT32 i thought should be okay...).

Agent_24:
I used memtest which came with Ubuntu earlier today (memtest86 ver 1.32 i think) but no errors where detected.

I did a few more tests to day heavily loading my cpu and HDD access. I did this by applying three differet tasks at the same time. First task was activating cobian backup to backup a 3Gig folder and zipping it to an external USB HDD, this includes read and write operations and queries. Secondly I made total commander dor a file search for *x*.* which results in many read operations, and final started a build operation for one of my project which I added an error in (a header file calling itself) which caused the compiler to go nuts reading an writing to the disk.

While all this activity was ongoing, the task manager showed 99% CPU laod constantly and I also had diskmon and filemon running, but no errors where detected. This test went on for app. 10 minutes. I also opened and closed different programs and browsed web sites with lots of scripts and applets, but no errors where detected. I run chkdsk on system partition and FAT partition after the test, but no errors where found, unluckily, making the test almost a waste.

I have one suspect though which is the backup utility. I earlier had problems with the external HDD disk beeing pretty filled up, making no room for the backup zip file (which may get as big as 2GB) I start to wonder if the backup utility is causing this problem when it runs out of disk space on the target disk, i.e. it have some kind of a bug. I have used Cobian (cobian.se) for a couple of years with no problems, but then again, I have never run out of space before. It will take some time to test this, but Ill report.

the_bogan
15-05-2008, 02:53 PM
Sorry, I don't recall exactly.

It was definitely while I viewed the folders in Ubuntu, I think they were on a FAT32 partition

Agent_24
15-05-2008, 03:06 PM
I always heard that NTFS support in linux was unofficial, what with it having to be reverse engineered as microsoft didn't give out the documentation.

Not sure how it stands now but I'm pretty sure it works just as well in linux as it does in windows

Graham L
15-05-2008, 06:21 PM
The problem is not in the files themselves. They'll probably be OK, if you can access them.

It's the directories which are being clouted. The huge file sizes and the illegal characters are the clue to that. :D I used to see this in DOS systems.

It probably can't be two programmes writing different versions of the directory, because that would just cause missing files. Perhaps one programme is writing to another programme's buffers?

Bad memory is another possible cause, but Memtest says it OK.

I would not want to do anything causing disk operations while defragging a disk. I'd be inclined to not do anything while doing a backup, either. Unless there's proper file locking in the OS, it's very dangerous. A lot of commercial systems are backed up in the middle of the night, when noone's using the system.

the_bogan
15-05-2008, 08:38 PM
I always heard that NTFS support in linux was unofficial, what with it having to be reverse engineered as microsoft didn't give out the documentation.

Not sure how it stands now but I'm pretty sure it works just as well in linux as it does in windows

Damnit, and here I am remembering reading some documentation that said the drive had to be NFTS to install Ubuntu...

zainka
16-05-2008, 10:39 PM
...
I would not want to do anything causing disk operations while defragging a disk. I'd be inclined to not do anything while doing a backup, either. Unless there's proper file locking in the OS,
...

Yes, It very well might be the directories that is clouted since the thing causing my troubles does not require a file to be open to destroy it. However, I have never missed a file or folder, or or got new once which I do not reckon.

I still use w2k SP4 but will update to XP in a not to distant future and I am not to familiar in how Microsoft is handling these things. But, what makes me worry is why I started to see this cinda problem now and not earlier even though I still use the same set of programs as before and I also had a much tougher schemes for backing up stuff than now, and some times i even backed up some part of my data in which I was not working, while working on other parts.


...
It's the directories which are being clouted. The huge file sizes and the illegal characters are the clue to that. :D I used to see this in DOS systems.
...


Do you think it would be related to FAT file systems only or could it be that NTFS could be affected by this behavior as well??

:badpc:

Graham L
17-05-2008, 03:35 PM
The appearance of the results would be much the same whatever the filesystem. A directory is just a file containing data in a fixed format. If "anything" is written over it, the system still "knows" it's a directory, and tries to use it as one.

I worked out how FAT worked when I needed to transfer files from PDP11 using RX50 floppies to IBM PCs. Writing IBM (DOS) floppies on the PDP11 (RT11) was surprisingly easy. Although MS didn't make information available, I found all I needed in a CP/M book. :cool:

But I found what corrupted directories looked like on PCs. :thumbs: The illegal characters, and huge file sizes were typical.

zainka
22-05-2008, 08:04 AM
Okay,,, all this is fince, but why now... why does this start to happen to my system now... :illogical I cant figure it out and it makes me suspicious to my system since it is not reliable anymore. Maybe there is some rare corrupted os thingys.

Anyway it will not be forever since I am about to switch to win XP in the nearest future and I will do a complete re installation of the system then. Hopefully this will also get rid of the problem.

I am also switching to a even bigger HDD and I had plans of using the old caviar as an internal backup disk , but I am not sure if I dare do that anymore since I dont know if it was a sw fail, user fail (i.e. me!), motherboard and diskdriver fail, or a HDD fail which caused the troubles.

My bright future will show! :banana

Breg
Vidar (z)

Thanks for the contributions so fare

Agent_24
22-05-2008, 11:54 AM
Damnit, and here I am remembering reading some documentation that said the drive had to be NFTS to install Ubuntu...

Ubuntu likes to use the Ext3 filesystem by default - It would never say you should use NTFS...


Okay,,, all this is fince, but why now... why does this start to happen to my system now... :illogical I cant figure it out and it makes me suspicious to my system since it is not reliable anymore. Maybe there is some rare corrupted os thingys.

Anyway it will not be forever since I am about to switch to win XP in the nearest future and I will do a complete re installation of the system then. Hopefully this will also get rid of the problem.

I am also switching to a even bigger HDD and I had plans of using the old caviar as an internal backup disk , but I am not sure if I dare do that anymore since I dont know if it was a sw fail, user fail (i.e. me!), motherboard and diskdriver fail, or a HDD fail which caused the troubles.

My bright future will show! :banana

Breg
Vidar (z)

Thanks for the contributions so fare

Maybe you installed a bad program or a broken update to a program? Perhaps drivers also, have you checked those (especially chipset/storage drivers)

Run the latest version of memtest overnight just to make sure it's not your RAM

If the drive really is corrupting the data like that (which is unlikely) you should notice other things - like bad noises coming from the drive etc... and SMART should be throwing a fit by now

zainka
22-05-2008, 07:15 PM
Maybe you installed a bad program or a broken update to a program? Perhaps drivers also, have you checked those (especially chipset/storage drivers)


I push a button on that one, especially when it comes to the disk drivers. I used the drivers which came with the motherboard and updates of those.

I will run memtest to night (it was version 1,70, which came with ubuntu and which I used. I am not sure of how well this version supported i945GZ chipset, but I will download and use latest version (2.01) tonight)

Thanks

Breg
Vidar (z)