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Strange Problems with Pendrives

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#1
LoneCrusader

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I'm having a strange problem with one of my flash drives.

Running Win98SE, NUSB 3.3 installed. (also verified this same error on 2 other computers running NUSB)

I have 2 flash drives, one is 256mb and the other is a new Kingston 16gb Data Traveler.

When I first installed NUSB, they both worked fine, and I could read/write to/from both of them. A few days ago, I tried to use the 16gb disk and it is recognized properly as a disk drive, but when I click on it in Windows Explorer it says

"The disk in drive G is not formatted. Would you like to format it?"

The other (256mb) flash disk is not affected. The 16gb disk shows up fine in Windows XP and in openSUSE 11, is read/writable and shows as being formatted with FAT32.

Any ideas on why this disk is suddenly not recognized properly by Win98?



On a last note, I did notice that the 16gb disk now has over 2gb of data on it. Could this be causing some sort of error based on the 2gb file size limit (the data is NOT in one file though) ?? I know that the size of DVDs are incorrectly reported as 1.99GB, but all of their data still shows up and is accessible. Thought this info might be of assistance.


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#2
RodgerOver

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Hi LoneCrusader,

I have EXACTLY the same problem (3 month old 8 GB Kingston Data Traveller and several years old 1 GB Extrememory USB keys). But I do not have NUSB installed, but the WINTRICKS Driver from this Italian guy: http://www.wintricks...usbpen98_2.html (you need to klick thorugh the whole explanation to find the dwonlaod link at the end).

I believe it's a default of the Data Traveller which has to do with different international setups. (At the beginng everything worked fine, like also described by LoneCrusader). But after three month, the Data Traveller gave the same message than the one described by LoneCrusador). I managed to get the key to work again with USBDeview (please google) and recovered my saved files (you need to restart after having used USBDeview), but I wanted to clean the whole thing up and formatted it (after having recovered my saved files with USBDeview), but then the volume was reduced (something like 2 GB less). So I made a THOROUGH scandisk (native windows 98SE tool - takes many hours, because you have the double size, do it overnight). Somewhere in the process there was a question "whether I had a different international language setup". Unfortunately, I clicked to ignore (I am used to this kind of message, because my computer is multilanguage - German, French and English), but I remember that it proposed a solution to this .. can't remember. At the end scandisk said that everything was ok, but asked whether it was a problem, if the key was not labeled. At the very end I saw several (no even a lot of) folders on the USB key, which all had names in (I beleive) Chinese letters. I thought that this was necessary to have them and did not delete them. But now the Data Traveller is not recognized at all anymore. If I click on my removable disk shortcut on my desktop with the data traveller pluged in, it says that there is no USB key ???

However if I use my old 1GB Extrememory, everything is ok !

Does anyone has an idea, how to resolve this strange thing ?

Could it be that the key is not recognized, because it has no label ? I think I will try to repeat the whole procedure again (beginning with USBDeview) and then when it asks for the label, put in the name "Data Traveller" ? Do I need to add "8 GB" to the labeling. Does someone has a Data Traveller can and give me the exact labbeling when the key is plugged in ?

Thank you for your help.

Roger

Edited by RodgerOver, 11 December 2009 - 04:08 PM.


#3
pjmelect

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I run a San disk 8Gig stick with NUSB3.3 with over 2 Gig of data without any problems.

Edited by pjmelect, 11 December 2009 - 08:27 PM.


#4
dencorso

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@RogerOver and LoneCrusader:
Before anything, apply KB240075 UHCD.SYS hotfix and see whether that solves your problem.
If that's not enough, post here the VID and PID of your Kingston pendrives, and we'll see what can be done.
ChipGenius http://www.mydigit.c.../ChipGenius.rar, run under Win2k/XP (not under Win98), is probably the easiest way to find out the VID and PID of your Kingston pendrives, BTW.

#5
RodgerOver

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Thanks Dencorso,
tried the Microsoft fix and the pendrive was recognized :) , but as an unknown device :( . Tried to reinstall the driver but it does not want to accept the driver (??). What is also strange (and that is perhaps the reason why the driver does not want to install) is that in the Device manager, the pendrive is now shown under USB controllers (crossed out, i.e. showing a sign that somethhing is wrong) and not under Disk drives anymore. Tried also ChipGenius (under WIN 98SE !), but it gives the following message:
Device Name:

PnP Device ID: VID = PID = (Invalid)
Serial Number: (Invalid)
Revision: (Information not returned)
Device Type: Generic USB Host Controller - USB2.0 High-Speed
Chip Vendor: (No match record)
Chip Part-Number: (No match record)
Product Vendor: (No match record)
Product Model:
Tools on Web: (N/A)

Then tested with the old pendrive, same message. So I think I need to find a computer with at least WIN 2000.

Roger

#6
RodgerOver

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Also found this link: http://www.nsharp.or...ive-or-usb-key/
(Data traveller is often mentionned !)
Roger

#7
dencorso

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On a last note, I did notice that the 16gb disk now has over 2gb of data on it. Could this be causing some sort of error based on the 2gb file size limit (the data is NOT in one file though) ?? I know that the size of DVDs are incorrectly reported as 1.99GB, but all of their data still shows up and is accessible. Thought this info might be of assistance.

It's unrelated. But RLoew has released a freeware fix for the DVD issue. You can get it at his site: RLoew's Software Homepage. As for the pendrive, I'd suggest first you try the fix I suggested two posts above. If it doesn't work, save the 2GB of data elsewhere and accept Windows offer to reformat it. If it gets working again, OK. If not we can look deeper at it. Good luck.

@RogerOver: ChipGenius doesn't work well on 98 anyway, but it even might detect the VID and PID for you, all the same, but it didn't. USBVIEW.EXE v. 5.1.2600.2180, available at MDGx's, on the other hand, works OK under 9x/ME and can tell you the VID and PID, too. Do try it. Unless the pendrive isn't getting even mounted, it should work.

#8
LoneCrusader

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Ok, tried the KB240075 UHCD.SYS hotfix, didn't change anything.

Here's the readout from ChipGenius:

Device Name: +[G:]+USB Mass Storage Device(Kingston DataTraveler 2.0 USB Device)

PnP Device ID: VID = 0951 PID = 1603
Serial Number: 000AEB91BD07F980A50F09D5
Revision: 1.00

Device Type: Standard USB device - USB2.0 Full-Speed (USB1.1)

Chip Vendor: skymedi(??)
Chip Part-Number: SK6281/SK6211

Product Vendor: Kingston
Product Model: DataTraveler 2.0

Tools on Web: http://bbs.mydigit.c...ad.php?tid=4345


While in XP to run ChipGenius, I verified again that the drive was read/writable in XP, no data loss or problems of any kind.

I remember when I first put the new blank drive in Win 98, it showed up with 14.(xxx something) GB free, so I assumed there wouldn't be any problems, guess I was wrong.

#9
dencorso

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With VID = 0951 PID = 1603 and a Skymedi controller, yours is a bona fide DataTraveler, so my suspicion it might be an el cheapo contrafaction turned out to be wrong. However, it may be formated as FAT-32 but may have a XP boot sector and/or Boot Sector (PBR). That might possibly be the problem. You may correct that with MBRFix, take a long breath and delve into cannie's tutorial, looking for info on MBRFix and its use. Also you may search the forums for posts by jaclaz on MBRFix. Give it a try, with MBRFix you may substitute the MBR and PBR, without having to reformat.

#10
jaclaz

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However, it may be formated as FAT-32 but may have a XP boot sector and/or Boot Sector (PBR). That might possibly be the problem.

NO.
He is NOT trying to boot.
He doesn't need the actual MBR CODE and PBR CODE.
All is needed is MBR DATA and PBR DATA.
If another system can access the filesystem (mind you NOT booting from the stick) these DATA must be correct.

@Lonecrusader
Start a new thread.
Use HDhacker on your XP or dd from Linux and post in a .zip file a binary dump of your MBR and PBR (in hdhacker respectively first sector of PhysicalDrive and first sector of LogicalDrive)

jaclaz

#11
dencorso

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Welcome onboard, jaclaz! :thumbup Your expertise is much needed here!
As for your suggestion to LoneCrusader to start a new thread, it's no longer needed, for I've just split all relevant posts into its own new thread.

#12
jaclaz

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for I've just split all relevant posts into its own new thread.


:thumbup

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#13
RodgerOver

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Hi,
found this: http://bbs.mydigit.c...d.php?tid=61480
and this: http://bbs.mydigit.c...2781&uid=495034
in the Chinese forum to which the link in LoneCrusador's last thread refers. Translated with Google. But I do not understand (at least not everything), because I do not have the technical knowledge.
At the end of the second link, repair tools can be even downlaoded, but one need to be registered in the forum ... and I do not really know how to log in a Chinese forum :whistle:
Roger

Edited by RodgerOver, 12 December 2009 - 01:36 PM.


#14
jaclaz

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At the end of the second link, repair tools can be even downlaoded, but one need to be registered in the forum ... and I do not really know how to log in a Chinese forum :whistle:

You may be luckier on a Russian site ;):
http://flashboot.ru/...php?name=iflash

JFYI, the good thing about Chipgenius is that it has a database with links to topics on the (Chinese) Forum:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=4661
but of course... it's Chinese ;)

jaclaz

#15
LoneCrusader

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Use HDhacker on your XP or dd from Linux and post in a .zip file a binary dump of your MBR and PBR (in hdhacker respectively first sector of PhysicalDrive and first sector of LogicalDrive)

jaclaz


Ok, I used HDHacker and got the Logical Drive no problem. (Text output had Kingston in it). The Physical Drive output I'm not 100% sure of, I couldn't select it by drive letter or type, just had numbers 0-9. Numbers 0, 1, 2 returned a sector output. The first one (0) was obviously my primary hdd because i saw some text in the output that obviously was my boot loader. The second (1) I assumed to be my second hdd, and the third (2) output must be the flash drive. :unsure: Hope this is what you needed.

Attached File  MBRPBR.zip   916bytes   7 downloads

#16
dencorso

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That's your pendrive all right! Now, one problem I can already see: the MBR has a single partition of type 1B (which means a hidden FAT-32 partition), no wonder nothing gets mounted. It ought to be changed to 0B. This is easy to solve, but I'll let jaclaz suggest what app you should use to solve it. I'd fix it with an hexeditor, but there are many less dangerous ways to do it.

#17
jaclaz

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Just in case:
http://www.boot-land...?...c=9916&st=6

There are a number of "strange things in the partitioning/formatting of that stick:
Partition type is 1B (hidden FAT32 CHS Mapped) as dencorso pointed out:
http://www.win.tue.n...on_types-1.html
The geometry is "queer", being HS 32/63 - which is unusual though the data in the MBR and bootsector are matching.
The CHS values are UNbalanced with the LBA ones:
CHS: (140+1)x(31+1)x63=284,256 sectors x512=145,539,072 bytes <- :w00t:
LBA 31,249,953+63=31,250,016 sectors x512=16,000,008,192 bytes <- which sounds like "right" :thumbup

The LBA is correctly aligned to Cylinder boundary, but the "virtual geometry" is:
(15500+1)x(31+1)x63=31,250,016
which corresponds to a "real" CHS data of:
0/1/1/1023/31/63

"Something" must have changed the data. :whistle:

I would try first thing to set the partition as visible: 1B->0B
Then I would try changing the partition type to a LBA one: 0B->0C
Then again I would change the CHS end Cylinder: 140->1023

Finally, I would scratch the whole thing and re-partition/re-format it with the "usual" HS geometry of 255/63, using one of the tools listed here:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=9460

To do the changes manually, I suggest you the use of either beeblebrox (as it runs on BOTH 9x and NT based systems):
(site down) available through Wayback Machine:
http://web.archive.o...byu.edu/~codyb/
http://web.archive.o...byu.edu/~codyb/
http://web.archive.o...brox9xsetup.zip
http://web.archive.o...broxntsetup.zip

Or use tinyhexer, possibly using my Structure Viewers as help/guidelines:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=8734

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 13 December 2009 - 04:33 AM.


#18
LoneCrusader

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Ok Guys, thanks for all your help so far. :thumbup

I'm going to be needing my flash drive at college the next couple of days, and it's all a WinXP environment there, so I'm not going to run any more experiments just yet. As soon as that's over, Ill resume the quest to figure out what's going on with it.

@jaclaz
I have a question that's semi-related to this, but probably more appropriate in this thread. Will post there.
Flash Drives Wearing Out ?

#19
rloew

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The Geometry of 32 Heads and 63 Sectors is not unusual for USB Flash Drives. I have seen 16 Heads as well.

The most important fix for this Pendrive is changing the Partition ID, at offset 1C2H, from 1BH to 0CH.

To avoid potential partitioning problems in the future, the CHS entries should be corrected.
The CHS End Cylinder High 2 Bits and Sector, at offset 1C4H, should be changed from 3FH to 0FFH.
The CHS End Cylinder Low Byte, at offset 1C5H, should be changed from 8CH to 0FFH
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#20
LoneCrusader

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The Geometry of 32 Heads and 63 Sectors is not unusual for USB Flash Drives. I have seen 16 Heads as well.

The most important fix for this Pendrive is changing the Partition ID, at offset 1C2H, from 1BH to 0CH.

To avoid potential partitioning problems in the future, the CHS entries should be corrected.
The CHS End Cylinder High 2 Bits and Sector, at offset 1C4H, should be changed from 3FH to 0FFH.
The CHS End Cylinder Low Byte, at offset 1C5H, should be changed from 8CH to 0FFH


Whenever I'm finished with my flash drive at college this week I think I may just reformat it, from what you all are telling me it seems to have some bizarre settings.

@rloew - While you're here I'd appreciate your input on the question I asked jaclaz in the other thread. :)

#21
dencorso

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Whenever I'm finished with my flash drive at college this week I think I may just reformat it, from what you all are telling me it seems to have some bizarre settings.

There's no hurry to do it, so take your time. I see no need to reformat, however. Moreover, reformating per se wouldn't change anything, since the problems identified are all in the MBR. You'd have to repartition and reformat. But, just by repairing the problems found by jaclaz, through editing those three bytes as described by RLoew, you pendrive should be fine again, so repartitioning and reformatting seem to me a bit of overkill. Moreover, anyone of us might do it for you in the MBR image you attached and attach it back, so that all you'd need to do would be to write the MBR sector back, using HDHacker (just make sure you are writing to the right disk, before actually doing it).

#22
rloew

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The Geometry of 32 Heads and 63 Sectors is not unusual for USB Flash Drives. I have seen 16 Heads as well.

The most important fix for this Pendrive is changing the Partition ID, at offset 1C2H, from 1BH to 0CH.

To avoid potential partitioning problems in the future, the CHS entries should be corrected.
The CHS End Cylinder High 2 Bits and Sector, at offset 1C4H, should be changed from 3FH to 0FFH.
The CHS End Cylinder Low Byte, at offset 1C5H, should be changed from 8CH to 0FFH


Whenever I'm finished with my flash drive at college this week I think I may just reformat it, from what you all are telling me it seems to have some bizarre settings.

@rloew - While you're here I'd appreciate your input on the question I asked jaclaz in the other thread. :)


You didn't say which question. I assume you are referring to your question about FileSystems that only Dencorso has replied to so far.
I have thought about Patching the FAT32 FileSystem to support >4GB files but have not run yet run the tests or done the analysis to see if it is feasible.
There may be limitations at higher levels, such as the 2GB Copy limit others have found.
I haven't found a source for documentation on Installable File Systems for Win 9X.
So far the only Patches I have written for VFAT.VXD are for the 1TB Partition Limit and support for 128KB Clusters. An experimental Patch is wating for Hard Drives larger than 2TB to become available.
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#23
LoneCrusader

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I assume you are referring to your question about FileSystems that only Dencorso has replied to so far.
I have thought about Patching the FAT32 FileSystem to support >4GB files but have not run yet run the tests or done the analysis to see if it is feasible.


Yep, that's the question. Patching the FAT32 filesystem sounds like a good idea if it's possible, however I can see how this might be a somewhat awkward process if one had to install the patched VFAT.VXD on each and every machine (And this would no doubt include 2K/XP/Vista/Win7 machines as well I assume) that he wanted to be able to write a 4GB+ file to or use a FAT32 formatted flash disk in for said purpose.

Is there a possiblility of writing a Windows 98 driver for exFAT? I have seen it mentioned on here before, not sure of the legalities involved, but provided it's not illegal I think it would be a very useful utility.
EDIT: Never mind, I see on Wikipedia that Microsoft is still charging a licensing fee for exFAT implementations.

Edited by LoneCrusader, 14 December 2009 - 01:52 AM.


#24
jaclaz

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The Geometry of 32 Heads and 63 Sectors is not unusual for USB Flash Drives. I have seen 16 Heads as well.


Well, no.

The 16/63 geometry is rather common, the 32/63 is far less common, but BOTH can be found on very small capacity sticks, I have never seen any of them on a "large" stick, this one is a 16 Gb one!

Usually whatever goes above the CHS limits for a given geometry uses NOT the "smaller" geometry:
http://www.boot-land...?...=9776&st=56

We have CHS limit at:
255/63->1024*255*63*512=8,422,686,720<-Current geometry on "modern" BIOS and OS, say since 1998
128/63->1024*128*63*512=4,227,858,432<- Rarely used (default in WinHex if I remember right)
64/63->1024*64*63*512=2,113,929,216<-Really rarely used (cannot remember a single system/OS that used it)
16/63->1024*16*63*512=528,482,304<-Old geometry and first HD size barrier
64/32->1024*64*32*512=1,073,741,824<- this was "old" NT 3.51/4.00 default
240/63->1024*240*63*512=7,927,234,560<- only stoopid laptops AFAICR


The CHS limit at 32/63 is obviously:
32/63->1024*32*63*512=1,056,964,608 >- as said very unusual in my experience

Is there a possiblility of writing a Windows 98 driver for exFAT? I have seen it mentioned on here before, not sure of the legalities involved, but provided it's not illegal I think it would be a very useful utility.
EDIT: Never mind, I see on Wikipedia that Microsoft is still charging a licensing fee for exFAT implementations.


Again, NO.
Read the related thread here:
http://www.msfn.org/...14-page-44.html
At least in Europe, there would be NO problems in writing an exFAT driver from a legal standpoint, for interchange use, and most probably the same would apply to the "fair use" provisions of the US Law.
The "licensing fee" is for devices using the filesystem, not for programs capable of reading/writing it.


jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 14 December 2009 - 03:07 AM.


#25
dencorso

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I haven't found a source for documentation on Installable File Systems for Win 9X.

Well, there is Inside the Windows 95 File System, by Stan Mitchell, available used at amazon.com at affordable prices. It's very comprehensive, and unique as a source, AFAIK. An one of the examples in the companion diskette is fsinfile, that implements a file system within a file, as a remote filesystem.




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