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  1. #1
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    The well known "George Breese" explains Data Corruption on Large Disks and a fix!

    REVISITED:

    Hi Everyone,

    Well I thought it time to update everyone on the SATA and IDE HDD corruption issues. It seems that Via's latest SATA driver 220d has fixed the corruption problems once and for all. I won't go into any detail but the info below is for the most redundant and outdated. The process to follow to get a stable system is as follows.

    1. Download and install the latest Via SATA drivers. This post will point to the download page as pointing the file will date with time. At the time of writing it is version 220d and it seem really solid. http://www.viaarena.com/?PageID=310

    2. Bios version 1006 final is rock solid as well. There is a new beta bios on th Asus site 1007.003 beta which has an updated raid bios as well but I have not tested this yet.

    3. Via 4in1 drivers. I am running 4.49 as they are stable with the above bios and SATA drivers. I find the latest 4.51 unstable on my setup but that just might be me. Anyway you can get the latest 4in1 or Hyperion drivers as they are now called here. http://www.viaarena.com/?PageID=300 If you want older drivers then you can get all versions of the older drivers at www.guru3d.com

    4. I am still running the MS Win Xp hotfix for large drives which can be found here. http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;[LN];331958 It might not be needed now Via have got their act together but I am running it and it is stable. It updates the atapi.sys file which when updated allows MS Win XP to work with disks larger than 137GB. I have a 120GB hdd with a 8mb onboard cache. The hotfix forces the flush cache command to happen on the disk before shutdown and hibenation etc so in my books it is worth installing as the fix wont be perminant until SP2 comes out sometime this year.

    Last words. I am finally happy to say that my 2 systems are now rock solid and never crash since the latest SATA 220d drivers have come out. Others are finding the same as you can see by reading the official VIA forums who were experiencing the same problems and finding the 220d drivers fixing all. See http://forums.viaarena.com/messagevi...E=&STARTPAGE=2

    I will post this elsewhere where relevant.

    Enjoy SATA and IDE data corruption free computing from here on in. By the way that doesn't mean that if you are OC that it won't still happen. My system is running stock.

    Shaun

    Hi All,

    A number of people are having data corruptions on these forums and all over the web actually. You can follow the posts on the problem here http://www.amdforums.com/showthread....hreadid=268068

    I thought George's post was worthy of it's own section so I have posted it here. At the bottom of George's email is my intial quetion to him if you care to read. I have asked George to keep us in touch with any further news on the subject and given him this link.

    I am on a mission to get the bottom of this. I wrote to the famous George Breese see http://www.georgebreese.com/net/software/#PCI who you might remember wrote a little program called "pci latency patch" which fixed the problem people were having with Soundblaster live cards, and data corruption on the early Kt133 mb's. He also has written speed enhancements for raid boards up to the KT400. Anyway I mailed him and asked his advice on the problem and the gentleman he is he wrote a detailed explaination of the problem and a workaround. Read and enjoy.

    (I am going to publish this as a separate post as George might add to it over time as he does further testing.)

    Hi Shaun

    Before I beginÖ I need to offer a quick comment. My 0.20b21 patch doesnít recognize the VT8237 on your A7V600 as a new-generation chip, so the patch will treat it as an old one. This could cause problems. Iíll eventually have time to post an update to the patch for the sake of the VT8237, but until then I think you should be very careful using my current stuff.

    48-bit LBA is an extension to the LBA scheme thatís used in all current IDE disk drives. LBA allows the OS to refer to disk sectors by a simple number, whereas the OS used to calculate the physical location in terms of head number and track number on the disk platter. When disks over 137GB in size became available, the LBA numbering scheme didnít support a large enough number to represent all the sectors on the disk. By extending the LBA numbers to 48 bits, the OS can now ask for sector numbers between 0 and two-to-the-47th-power. (I may have a digit incorrect here or thereÖ)

    I believe that Iíve seen the problem youíre describing, and on much smaller hard disks. The problem arises when a ďSCSIĒ disk driver is running the IDE controller. Windows 2000 and XP support two models for disk drivers. One model is specifically for PC/AT compatible IDE controllers, usually built into the motherboardís Intel/VIA/SIS/Nvidia chipset. The other model was originally meant for SCSI controllers, but non-PC/AT-compatible IDE and IDE/RAID must use this model as well because itís the only other model available.

    In the PC/AT compatible IDE driver model, Microsoft supplies almost all of the drivers. The only thing that VIAís driver does in this case is to select which DMA mode to use for each drive. Since all of the rest of the drivers in this model are Microsoft-supplied and they all talk to each other, Microsoft has taught the OS to directly tell the drives to spin down and up. They can flush a drive and spin it down before finishing the Windows shutdown process, which means that no data is lostÖ Except when an LBA bug appears. J

    In the SCSI driver model, the OS doesnít know how to drive the controller hardware directly. The OS passes generic requests to the driver, and itís up to the driver to convert the request into something appropriate. But, the driver might not convert all types of requests. Iíve taken advantage of this fact before. For example, Windows 2000 Server sends commands to some hard disks to disable their onboard write-caching feature. The hard diskís performance suffers as a result. But Iíve worked around this by installing Promise IDE controllers, whose driver doesnít handle Microsoftís write-cache-disable command.

    Now that Iíve written all of thatÖ

    Iíve seen cases where disks would corrupt data at shutdown. The disks were on IDE controller cards that used the SCSI driver model. Either Windows failed to send a flush-and-power-down request to the driver, or else the driver didnít convert this request to a suitable IDE command.

    The real solution would be to rewrite the IDE driver. If the driver isnít converting the flush-and-power-down commands, it should be rewritten to do so. If Microsoft doesnít send such commands to disk drives on SCSI-model drivers, then the driver could hook into the OS to discover when the OS was shutting down, and issue the appropriate commands directly.

    Iíve been told that there is a workaround that can be used now, although I havenít had reason to try it yet. Disabling ACPI power management in Windows is supposed to solve the problem. I just installed a Silicon Image SATA-RAID controller and 10K RPM drive in my spare nForce2 PC last night, so I may need to test this workaround very soon!

    There are kazillions of discussions on the Internet, describing how to disable ACPI, so I wonít go into it here. I would suggest trying to run with ACPI disabled, if itís convenient for you (in other words, if your data is backed up).

    I hope this helps. -- George

    Hi George,

    I used your pci latency patch to solve data corruption on my old A7V133 but I am sad to say I am having massive problems on to near identical systems. Can I give your patch a go once again even though I am using the A7V600. You seem to know a great deal about via chipsets and would really appreciate any advice. My findings so fare are below and on the amdfourms link at the bottom. I realise you are a busy person but any response would be appreciated.

    Shaun Potts

    I have had a nightmare with two new systems using the Asus A7V600 systems using Seagate SATA 120Gb and 160Gb HDDís. The systems are perfectly stable when running but when I turn them off the HDD often corrupts. I eventually tracked down the cause and MS faulty solution to the problem. Even though the hotfix says for HDDís bigger than 137gb the flush hdd cached problem effects both disks as they have 8mb of cache on the HDDís. My guess is that the HDD doesnít finish writing to the MFT and other systems files before the power turns off.

    Here is MS links to the hotfix and so far they sort of work. WHAT IS 48bit logical addressing in plain English? Anything else I can do to stop corruption of system files. It is not a hardware problem as I have replaced MB, HDD and Ram which is the only hardware in the machine.

    ďThe ATAPI driver for Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) does not use 48-bit Logical Block Addressing (LBA) when it writes memory dump files or hibernation files. Additionally, the flush cache command is not issued to a large hard disk that has 48-bit LBA enabled when Windows XP enters standby or hibernation.Ē

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;[LN];331958 Hard Disk May Become Corrupted When Entering Standby or Hibernation or When Writing a Memory Dump
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;[LN];331958 The FLUSH CACHE Command Is Not Issued and the Hard Disk May Become Corrupted When You Enter Standby or Hibernate or (shutdown)

    Link to my a forum at http://www.amdforums.com/showthread....hreadid=268068 There are a great deal of people experiencing this problem so any advice explanation would be appreciated and added to the forum.

    Shaun
    Last edited by shaunpotts; 01-03-2004 at 07:09 PM.
    Gospel Communications
    Web Site: http://www.gospel.org.au

    Gigabyte GA-K8N Ultra-9
    GEIL 3200 DDR RAM 4 x 512 total 2gig
    Win XP Pro SP2, Albatron Geforce 7800GT-SH
    AMD x64 3500+ Venice Core not O/C
    Pioneer DVR-109 Dual Layer Burner
    Soundblaster Audigy 2 Sound Card, Logitech Z560 4.1 Surround Sound,
    2x Segate Serial ATA 160mb HDD Raid, Philips 202P Brillance 22" Montor, Gtr 480w power Supply

  2. #2
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    I wanted to offer a couple of notes. For starters, those "J" characters are smileys.

    Now, it's time to offer a disclaimer. I replied to shaunpotts' message using only my own memory of the situation. I've been spending my nights taking care of a baby boy who *still* won't sleep through the night, so I'm slightly paranoid and I don't trust my own memory.

    How hazy is my memory? Well, for example, it's entirely possible that I've already tried the workaround that I mentioned below. I know I'd seen data corruption at my workbench when testing a Silicon Image Sil0680 RAID controller, which uses the SCSI driver model. But, at that time, did I try the workaround or not? Hmm.

    So, I stand by what I wrote. But I'll lie awake tonight, waiting for my son to wake up one more time, and wondering whether I remembered everything correctly.

    I'll close this posting with some small notes.

    * LBA supported addressing 2^28 sectors, or 137 GB. 48-bit LBA supports 2^48. So if you multiply 137 gigabytes by 2^20, you get... Um, er... Carry the seven... Oh, heck, call it a million times more storage space.

    * When you choose to disable ACPI, it's best to do it during Windows installation. But, I've become accustomed to disabling it through Windows Device Manager instead. There's an occasional problem with the Device Manager method, so I recommend backing up the hard disk first.

    * The LBA issues that Shaun and I discussed here are not specific to VIA chipsets. They could happen on any computer, as long as 48-bit LBA drives and/or IDE-or-RAID-or-SCSI controllers with SCSI drivers are installed.

    * I rarely visit forums nowadays. If you want to contact me, please use email. Registered members of this forum will find my email address in my user profile.

    * No, I'm not upset at Shaun for posting this. But, I'm "infamous"? Gee, I tried to be nice to everyone...

    * Babysitter urgently needed. Apply at my email address. The closer to US ZIP codes 13350-13357, the better.

  3. #3
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    Hi George,

    The "Imfamous" was a typo and has been fixed. Sorry I meant the opposite. Happens sometime.

    I have two boys 7 and 5 and had many a sleepless night with them. I now have a 6 week old girl and can relate to the lack of sleep. Don't loose any sleep over this. We all understand that it is "use at your own risk" advice on this forum. After about 10 installs of Xp another won't hurt.

    I should have added that in a number of other aticles and posts on the internet I had others confirm that disabling ACPI worked for this problem and it had been tested. I have just done it. I will let others know of whether the fix works as a long term solution until stable drivers come out.

    Here is a link which has a detailed list of steps to follow to disable ACPI in the device manager. http://www.tweakersasylum.com/tapage...x/00000001.htm I followed this and so far so good. Had to install all the drivers again as the article suggests though. No real hassle.

    Spotts
    Last edited by shaunpotts; 10-31-2003 at 09:34 PM.
    Gospel Communications
    Web Site: http://www.gospel.org.au

    Gigabyte GA-K8N Ultra-9
    GEIL 3200 DDR RAM 4 x 512 total 2gig
    Win XP Pro SP2, Albatron Geforce 7800GT-SH
    AMD x64 3500+ Venice Core not O/C
    Pioneer DVR-109 Dual Layer Burner
    Soundblaster Audigy 2 Sound Card, Logitech Z560 4.1 Surround Sound,
    2x Segate Serial ATA 160mb HDD Raid, Philips 202P Brillance 22" Montor, Gtr 480w power Supply

  4. #4
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    Now this is interesting because my raid card uses the Silicon Image 0680 chip and the reason I gave up on it was because of data corruption after a while. I remember that in Device Manager, it should SCSI so I think this is the problem even though I'm using an nforce2 mobo, 8RDA+ to be precise. If I understand correctly, I should disable ACPI in the Device Manager but can someone tell me where and how to do it? Thanks.
    AND Phenom X3 8650
    Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H mobo
    Sapphire HD3870 vid card
    2 GB PC 6400 DDR2
    74GB Raptor
    320 Seagate SATA HDD
    500W Fortron Blue Storm PSU

  5. #5
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    Follow the link in the above post.
    spotts
    Gospel Communications
    Web Site: http://www.gospel.org.au

    Gigabyte GA-K8N Ultra-9
    GEIL 3200 DDR RAM 4 x 512 total 2gig
    Win XP Pro SP2, Albatron Geforce 7800GT-SH
    AMD x64 3500+ Venice Core not O/C
    Pioneer DVR-109 Dual Layer Burner
    Soundblaster Audigy 2 Sound Card, Logitech Z560 4.1 Surround Sound,
    2x Segate Serial ATA 160mb HDD Raid, Philips 202P Brillance 22" Montor, Gtr 480w power Supply

  6. #6
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    Oh, thanks Shaun. Guess George isn't the only one needing more sleep. BTW, have you tested the advice yet?
    AND Phenom X3 8650
    Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H mobo
    Sapphire HD3870 vid card
    2 GB PC 6400 DDR2
    74GB Raptor
    320 Seagate SATA HDD
    500W Fortron Blue Storm PSU

  7. #7
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    I have one machine running the ms hotfix which is still running ok and the other with ACPI disabled. Both working fine but the ms patch seemed to fix most things. I thought I would just do a comparision. I haven't had a crash at all on shutdown but more time like a week or so is needed to test the long term stability of the fix.

    I will post any changes in the systems or problems as soon as they occur. I hope I don't have to.

    spotts
    Gospel Communications
    Web Site: http://www.gospel.org.au

    Gigabyte GA-K8N Ultra-9
    GEIL 3200 DDR RAM 4 x 512 total 2gig
    Win XP Pro SP2, Albatron Geforce 7800GT-SH
    AMD x64 3500+ Venice Core not O/C
    Pioneer DVR-109 Dual Layer Burner
    Soundblaster Audigy 2 Sound Card, Logitech Z560 4.1 Surround Sound,
    2x Segate Serial ATA 160mb HDD Raid, Philips 202P Brillance 22" Montor, Gtr 480w power Supply

  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    Thanks for the link themortarman. This link shows you how to do a fresh install with ACPI disabled. What is strange is that my A7V600 was picked up as a "ACPI Uniprocessor PC: Use for a ACPI multiple-processor board but with a single processor installed" Yet from the list below it should be ACPI. That might be where the problem lies. Can anyone else with an A7V600 confirm under the device manager if thier's is APCI Uniprocessor as well?

    I just had a look at two other pc's and they are "Advanced Conguration and Power Interface (ACPI) PC:" So I wonder why the Win XP install picked the Asus A7V600 up as a "ACPI Uniprocessor PC: Use for a ACPI multiple-processor board but with a single processor installed."

    Anybody else know about this. You can check by opening the Control Panel and then System and then Click the hardware tab and choose the Device Manager button. Then double click the icon at the top of the list called Computer and it will tell you your computer is one choices in the list below.

    It might be that the Windows XP installation has picked up the Asus A7V600 as being a different machine than it is and chosen the wrong power features for it thus turning off the HDD early on shutdown. Just a thought.

    Spotts

    ACPI Multiprocessor PC: Use for a multiple-processor ACPI computer
    ACPI Uniprocessor PC: Use for a ACPI multiple-processor board but with a single processor installed
    Advanced Conguration and Power Interface (ACPI) PC: Use for a single processor motherboard with single processor.
    Compaq SystemPro Multiprocessor or 100% Compatible: Use for a Compaq Systempro computer.
    MPS Uniprocessor PC: Use on non-ACPI computers dual processor motherboard with a single processor installed
    MPS Multiprocessor PC: Non-ACPI computers with a dual processor running
    Standard PC: Any Standard PC, non-ACPI, or non-MPS. Could be a 386, 486, Pentium, Pentium II, or Pentium III
    Standard PC with C-Step i486
    Other
    Gospel Communications
    Web Site: http://www.gospel.org.au

    Gigabyte GA-K8N Ultra-9
    GEIL 3200 DDR RAM 4 x 512 total 2gig
    Win XP Pro SP2, Albatron Geforce 7800GT-SH
    AMD x64 3500+ Venice Core not O/C
    Pioneer DVR-109 Dual Layer Burner
    Soundblaster Audigy 2 Sound Card, Logitech Z560 4.1 Surround Sound,
    2x Segate Serial ATA 160mb HDD Raid, Philips 202P Brillance 22" Montor, Gtr 480w power Supply

  10. #10
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    Found this info in Link: http://support.microsoft.com/default...b;EN-US;237556 It seems that both ACPI Uniprocessor PC and Advanced Conguration and Power Interface (ACPI) PC use the same driver I think?

    See this:
    i386 source File Computer Type
    *hal.dll Compaq SystemPro Multiprocessor or 100% Compatible
    *halapic.dll MPS Uniprocessor PC
    *halapic.dll MPS Multiprocessor PC
    *hal.dll Standard PC
    *halborg.dll SGI mp

    spotts
    Gospel Communications
    Web Site: http://www.gospel.org.au

    Gigabyte GA-K8N Ultra-9
    GEIL 3200 DDR RAM 4 x 512 total 2gig
    Win XP Pro SP2, Albatron Geforce 7800GT-SH
    AMD x64 3500+ Venice Core not O/C
    Pioneer DVR-109 Dual Layer Burner
    Soundblaster Audigy 2 Sound Card, Logitech Z560 4.1 Surround Sound,
    2x Segate Serial ATA 160mb HDD Raid, Philips 202P Brillance 22" Montor, Gtr 480w power Supply

  11. #11
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    I booted that computer I'd mentioned, the one with the SATA 10K drive and Silicon Image controller. Right on schedule, it complained about some bad NTFS index entries. I've disabled ACPI through Device Manager, but I haven't enabled Legacy APM support yet because it isn't visible in the Non-PnP devices section of Device Manager. So, for now, I get to see the classic "It is now safe" message when I shut down Windows.

    Interestingly, when I shut down Windows in this configuration, I can hear the disk's heads moving around at least one time after the "It is now safe" screen appears.

    Given that extra little sound, I can now start wondering whether I'll lose data if I begin using APM to power down the computer.

    Aren't computers wonderful?

    (Even if that last bit of disk-access is merely a delayed writing of data from the disk drive's internal cache, I can still worry about it.)

  12. #12
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    ... Welcome to the forum GeorgeBreese.

  13. #13
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    Hmmm...
    That doesn't sound good. Unwanted clicking sounds are the reason I haven't installed the SW IDE drivers on my 8RDA+. These drivers are supposed to increase performance but it has a couple of bugs that include clicking sounds and a problem with warm reboots.

    I was hoping disabling the ACPI would cure the corruption problem but it doesn't sound like it has unless I'm misunderstanding what's happening.
    AND Phenom X3 8650
    Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H mobo
    Sapphire HD3870 vid card
    2 GB PC 6400 DDR2
    74GB Raptor
    320 Seagate SATA HDD
    500W Fortron Blue Storm PSU

  14. #14
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    Something else I just realised. If you do a new install with a raid card and want to use themortarman's HAL trick, which do you hit first, F5 or F6?
    AND Phenom X3 8650
    Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H mobo
    Sapphire HD3870 vid card
    2 GB PC 6400 DDR2
    74GB Raptor
    320 Seagate SATA HDD
    500W Fortron Blue Storm PSU

  15. #15
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    You should hit F6 1st if you need to install a SCSI driver for an add-on Raid or IDE controller card. I immediately follow that F6 input with F5 key.

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