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  1. #1

    Default OT - Windows OS Help Requested

    After a recent power outage that fried my upstairs stereo amp, I realized that I haven't ever done a backup on the studio machine I built last year. In order to make that more paletable, I bought one of these: https://www.vantecusa.com/products_d...ive+Enclosures
    and put a Samsung m.2 NVMe 970 EVO Plus in it.


    Then, of couse, I needed to partition and format it. So, not having done that in LTSC, I looked through W10 LTSC for that functionality. Where I believed I would find it I found something unfamiliar, but it was clearly made to setup a hard drive for use. But, it mentioned a drive 'Pool'. I'd never heard of that, but MS does seem to change the names and locations of things just to confuse me. And this one had three options. One of those was mirroring, and required two disks (RAID 2) and another one I now think was probably RAID 5. But, the third option was something it called 'Simple Spaces'. Of the three that seemed most likely and I chose it.


    So it ran for awhile on this external USB 3.1 NVMe drive and, when it was done, had created a new drive letter for it. I tested it out by copying the contents of my C: drive to it - and then deleting them. It was pretty fast, but nothing earth shaking - mostly around 500 MB per second. Still - good enough to copy my entire drive in just few minutes. Success, I thought, and mentally moved on to finding backup software that would not require me to be on the Internet to install.


    Then I attempted to eject the new USB drive. It told me that something continued to depend upon it. So, I waited a little while and tried again. No luck. Then I closed everything else on the machine until finally nothing else was open. Still it would not eject it. So, I went into shutdown and told it to restart. And when it had come all the way down - I pulled the USB plug out of the machine before it booted. And it hasn't booted since. I now suspec that 'Simple Spaces' was really striping (RAID 1). But - that's weird because there's only one drive in that machine and when it finished formatting, I had two drive letters and was able to copy from the original drive to the new one. What was it striping with?


    So, what I need help with is a way to revert my original hard drive back to the C: drive it was before I did all this. And - complete with all my files. Lacking that, just getting my files back. Does anyone have any ideas? (glancing sidelong at you Dell and Philip...)

  2. #2
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    Default Re: OT - Windows OS Help Requested

    John,

    I am completely losing you here. Would love to help, but I really need to understand the problem first.

    If I understand anything at all - it would appear that everything that you have done thus far is simply NOT GOING TO WORK!

    My recommendation to you is to simply STOP what you are doing before you do something that cannot be undone - or undone without incurring added costs.

    Let me ask one very important question..."Is the data on your studio computer important..and if so how important is that data?"
    * If that data IS important, then please stop dong what you are doing!

    If at all possible..call me..604-476-0812 anytime.

    Again, would love to help...
    Last edited by mr_es335; 03-31-2021 at 07:41 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: OT - Windows OS Help Requested

    Quote Originally Posted by mr_es335 View Post
    John,

    I am completely losing you here. Would love to help, but I really need to understand the problem first.

    If I understand anything at all - it would appear that everything that you have done thus far is simply NOT GOING TO WORK!

    My recommendation to you is to simply STOP what you are doing before you do something that cannot be undone - or undone without incurring added costs.

    Let me ask one very important question..."Is the data on your studio computer important..and if so how important is that data?"
    * If that data IS important, then please stop dong what you are doing!

    If at all possible..call me..604-476-0812 anytime.

    Again, would love to help...
    Yeah, I think I really stepped in it this time. And this is the first time since the eighties that I haven't known how to fix something I did to myself. This time I'm clueless. Maybe that means that it can't be fixed, but you and Philip seem to know Windows better than I do these days. So, I would appreciate any advice you can give me.

    As to how valuable the contents of the computers disk is, well, you know, there's nothing commercial on it. So, I don't have a business that depends on it. And there's mostly only a years accumulation of me putzing around - plus one project I did for my sister before the plague (were there ever days before the plague or is that just my imagination?) that I wish I could keep. But, I had the machine working pretty well for recording and had a lot of stuff installed on it. So, of course, I hope to get it back to its original state. Or, lacking that, at least get the wavs off of the drive. But, in a worst case scenario, except for the recordings, there's nothing I couldn't duplicate. If I had to start over - I could do that myself. But... I'm hoping you know something magic that I don't.

    Sorry that I lost you. OK - I'll try again. I was trying to initialize and format an external NVMe USB 3.1 drive. Think of that NexStar SX as a really big, really fast, USB thumb drive. So, I plugged the new external drive into a USB 3.1 port. And then I looked through LTSC for Disk Management. I think I probably went 'Control Panel'/'System and Security'/'Storage Spaces'/'Create a New Pool and Storage Space'. At least, that's where I'd find it on W10 Home.

    In Create a New Pool and Storage Space, there are three options. I wasn't thinking of this at the time, but now that I've had time to think about it, I think that the three options are probably Microsoft's re-labeling of RAID (redundant array of inexpensive disks). The three common versions of RAID are RAID 1, in which consecutive areas of files are 'striped' on two different drives such that you essentially have two hard drive read heads both pulling data for the same files at the same time - and then putting the data back together again before using it. The advantage of RAID 1 is that it's roughly twice as fast as a single drive - without having to put out the money for a crazy fast drive. Then there's RAID 2, in which two drives have exactly the same information on them, such that if one dies - you still have all of your data. RAID 2 is also called 'mirroring'. And finally RAID 5 in which the data is stored in such a way, on more than two drives, that if any one drive fails, the other two can keep going and you can hot swap a third drive in and have it reconstruct the contents of the failed drive without ever having to bring the system down. RAID 5 is faster than RAID 2, but more secure than RAID 1.

    At any rate, I looked at the options and chose 'Simple Spaces' which, in retrospect, is probably Microsoft's re-naming of RAID 1. It's weird though because RAID 1 requires at least two disks. And I only added one - and you can't accomplish RAID of any type with just one disk.

    I ran that option and, when it completed, without complaint, I had my original C: drive, plus a new (I think it was...) G: drive - which was the external USB drive. Thinking I'd been successful, I decided to test it out by copying the entire contents of my C: drive to the new G: drive. That seemed to work fine. It took it a few minutes to do that. And then I deleted the contents of the G: drive after it was complete.

    Feeling done, then, I attempted to eject the G: drive (just like you'd eject a USB thumb drive. Windows told me it couldn't do that because some files were still open on the G: drive. So, first I waited for a while, thinking that maybe the external drive hadn't caught up with writing all that data and then deleting it all. After a few minutes, I tried ejecting the drive again. Still failed. So then I closed everything that was open on the machine and tried to eject again. Still failed.

    In desperation, but believing that at the very worst I'd have to re-format the G: drive again, I decided to re-boot the machine. Rather than just shut it all the way down, I told it to Re-start. And, when it had gotten shut down all the way, but before it had come back up (there's a brief gap there) I pulled the plug to the external drive out of the computer's USB port.

    And then, instead of booting from the C: drive, as I was expecting, it failed. And I haven't gotten it to come back up since. This all happened a week ago or so. I've tried different ideas as to what to try in the meantime to make it work again. Like - plug the external USB drive back in and then boot. That failed. Change the boot order in Setup. Fail. Windows has automatically offered to try to fix it - but failed. So that's where it stands today.

    I hope that was clear, Dell. Let me know any questions you have.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: OT - Windows OS Help Requested

    John,

    I would really prefer a call...talking phone-to-phone is just so much better!

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    Default Re: OT - Windows OS Help Requested

    Any time I have had a problem like this I just remove the hard drive and put it in a USB hub and open it up on and get the files I want of it and start over.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: OT - Windows OS Help Requested

    Quote Originally Posted by John Ludlow View Post
    Yeah, I think I really stepped in it this time. And this is the first time since the eighties that I haven't known how to fix something I did to myself. This time I'm clueless. Maybe that means that it can't be fixed, but you and Philip seem to know Windows better than I do these days. So, I would appreciate any advice you can give me.

    As to how valuable the contents of the computers disk is, well, you know, there's nothing commercial on it. So, I don't have a business that depends on it. And there's mostly only a years accumulation of me putzing around - plus one project I did for my sister before the plague (were there ever days before the plague or is that just my imagination?) that I wish I could keep. But, I had the machine working pretty well for recording and had a lot of stuff installed on it. So, of course, I hope to get it back to its original state. Or, lacking that, at least get the wavs off of the drive. But, in a worst case scenario, except for the recordings, there's nothing I couldn't duplicate. If I had to start over - I could do that myself. But... I'm hoping you know something magic that I don't.

    Sorry that I lost you. OK - I'll try again. I was trying to initialize and format an external NVMe USB 3.1 drive. Think of that NexStar SX as a really big, really fast, USB thumb drive. So, I plugged the new external drive into a USB 3.1 port. And then I looked through LTSC for Disk Management. I think I probably went 'Control Panel'/'System and Security'/'Storage Spaces'/'Create a New Pool and Storage Space'. At least, that's where I'd find it on W10 Home.

    In Create a New Pool and Storage Space, there are three options. I wasn't thinking of this at the time, but now that I've had time to think about it, I think that the three options are probably Microsoft's re-labeling of RAID (redundant array of inexpensive disks). The three common versions of RAID are RAID 1, in which consecutive areas of files are 'striped' on two different drives such that you essentially have two hard drive read heads both pulling data for the same files at the same time - and then putting the data back together again before using it. The advantage of RAID 1 is that it's roughly twice as fast as a single drive - without having to put out the money for a crazy fast drive. Then there's RAID 2, in which two drives have exactly the same information on them, such that if one dies - you still have all of your data. RAID 2 is also called 'mirroring'. And finally RAID 5 in which the data is stored in such a way, on more than two drives, that if any one drive fails, the other two can keep going and you can hot swap a third drive in and have it reconstruct the contents of the failed drive without ever having to bring the system down. RAID 5 is faster than RAID 2, but more secure than RAID 1.

    At any rate, I looked at the options and chose 'Simple Spaces' which, in retrospect, is probably Microsoft's re-naming of RAID 1. It's weird though because RAID 1 requires at least two disks. And I only added one - and you can't accomplish RAID of any type with just one disk.

    I ran that option and, when it completed, without complaint, I had my original C: drive, plus a new (I think it was...) G: drive - which was the external USB drive. Thinking I'd been successful, I decided to test it out by copying the entire contents of my C: drive to the new G: drive. That seemed to work fine. It took it a few minutes to do that. And then I deleted the contents of the G: drive after it was complete.

    Feeling done, then, I attempted to eject the G: drive (just like you'd eject a USB thumb drive. Windows told me it couldn't do that because some files were still open on the G: drive. So, first I waited for a while, thinking that maybe the external drive hadn't caught up with writing all that data and then deleting it all. After a few minutes, I tried ejecting the drive again. Still failed. So then I closed everything that was open on the machine and tried to eject again. Still failed.

    In desperation, but believing that at the very worst I'd have to re-format the G: drive again, I decided to re-boot the machine. Rather than just shut it all the way down, I told it to Re-start. And, when it had gotten shut down all the way, but before it had come back up (there's a brief gap there) I pulled the plug to the external drive out of the computer's USB port.

    And then, instead of booting from the C: drive, as I was expecting, it failed. And I haven't gotten it to come back up since. This all happened a week ago or so. I've tried different ideas as to what to try in the meantime to make it work again. Like - plug the external USB drive back in and then boot. That failed. Change the boot order in Setup. Fail. Windows has automatically offered to try to fix it - but failed. So that's where it stands today.

    I hope that was clear, Dell. Let me know any questions you have.
    You could try booting from your Win10 installation media and do startup repair and/or windows repair/repair install.


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