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Windows 7: Removing bad storage drive destroys libraries - DIFFICULT!

13 Aug 2015   #1
Ohmster

Windows 10 Pro via free update.
 
 
Removing bad storage drive destroys libraries - DIFFICULT!

I am pretty good at Windows and have decades of experience. But this, is a super difficult issue that has me stumped for days. There is a lot to read, I am sorry, but the issue is: I cannot remove an old hard drive without destroying the media libraries for Media Center and Media Player.

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP-1

My Videos, My Pictures, My Music moved off Drive C to other mechanical storage drives, one is failing, and if I remove it, I lose my libraries for Media Player & Center.

I have several hard drives and have partitioned off the 1Tb drives to 4 smaller partitions, all for storage, a very long time ago. I wanted an SSD, moved my folder storage off drive C to other partitions on mechanical drives, then cloned drive C to a 500Gb SSD, and rebooted. I recreated the folders for all of the standard storage such as My Videos, My Pictures, My Music, and My Documents on other mechanical drives such as Drive E:\My Videos, etc.. This way I have little to no storage on Drive C which is now my SSD. This worked perfectly for over a year. I have 3 other mechanical drives.

Disk 3 - A 1TB drive partitioned to 4 logical drives; drives E, I, J, & K
Disk 0 - A 1TB drive partitioned to 4 logical drives; drives H, L, M, & N
Disk 2 - A 1TB drive partitioned to 2 logical drives; G, & O

Disk 1 - A 500Gb SSD drive which holds the system disk, drive C

Previously I had My Videos swapped to Drive E:\My Videos, M:\My Music, M:\My Pictures. My Documents still resides on drive C.

Disk 3 is failing. Any sort of write operation fails, chkdsk cannot fix the disk. I moved My Videos to drive O:\My Videos. Changed all library locations to update the changed locations as well as the "user" folder shortcuts. All library data has been copied to another drive, drive O. All well and good.

When I actually pull Disk 3 because all data has been backed up to other drives, I completely lose my video library. Media Center and Media Player lose the video libraries, Media Player loses all libraries. I have tried to change the locations of the libraries in Media Center, the change fails to stick. With failed drive removed, Media Center will no longer give me "Manage Video Library", nothing happens. (Screenshot shows what no longer is available after pulling drive E.) All media is lost in Media Player, although it still resides on it's library targets in Explorer. I had to change security settings on the new target, Drive O, because only System had access, now Everyone has read an execute access. This got rid of the "Unresponsive" label I got in Media Player when managing the library on this drive. But still, if I pull the failed drive from the system, my media libraries are lost for Media Player and Media Center. Plug the failing drive back in, the media libraries are restored to Player and Center.

I have been at this for days, I cannot imagine I overlooked anything, yet this issue persists. There are some game shortcuts on the desktop that are unresolved because some games were installed to the failed disk.

Bottom Line: If I pull the now backed up failing drive (No write capacity), I lose my libraries in Player and Center. What else is there left to check? This is NOT an easy problem to fix! Help.

EDIT: I did find some library links in the user folder that were not properly set. I mean the *real* library links with the Location tab in properties. I had some shortcuts created to "My Videos" but the actual library link itself was not changed properly. I made the change and deleted the shortcuts. Have not tested it yet as this is a BIG hassle. Rebooting, unplugging the drive, watching my libraries fail, rebooting, putting the drive back, and rebuilding the libraries again for now.

EDIT 2: The My Music, My Pictures, and My Videos folders are all *gone* again, in a space of a couple of hours! I just saw them, set the locations correct, and deleted the shortcuts I made before because I could not find them. They are gone again. The mystery deepens...

...no wonder nobody is helping. This is a TOTAL PITA! I got back the missing "Magic Folders" in my user folder. Thanks to a very, very good tutorial here:
Repair missing User folders in Windows 7 | Scottie?s Tech.Info

It is almost 5:00 AM, will work on this more tomorrow.




Attached Thumbnails
Removing bad storage drive destroys libraries - DIFFICULT!-win7001.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Aug 2015   #2
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Well I'm not sure I can help you.
Those that can will need to see some information.
Please completely (exactly) this tutorial by Golden.

Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2015   #3
Ohmster

Windows 10 Pro via free update.
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
Well I'm not sure I can help you.
Those that can will need to see some information.
Please completely (exactly) this tutorial by Golden.

Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image
You want a disk manager shot? Sure, here ya go. The failing drive, Disk 3, is still attached. There is no Drive F, that used to be Drive K, until I tried to format it and failed, leaving raw space, now "Drive F".

I am still rather confused about the missing Magic Folders; My Pictures, My Music, and My Videos. I just rechecked and set the location on them and a few hours later, poof! They were gone. I checked the registry, all good, and setting the permissions in a command prompt did bring them back. Have not tried to pull the drive since. Every time I disconnect that failing drive, I lose My Pictures, My Documents, & My Videos in Media Player and Media Center. Just, ...gone.

Things I have done, since posting:
  1. Removed any of the "drives" (partitions) of the bad drive from Indexing Options.
  2. Set security permissions on the replacement drive to "Everyone: Read & Execute". Previously ONLY System had total access, nothing else. Gave me "Unresponsive" in Media Center libraries.
  3. Set attrib for user, "Magic Folders" My Videos, My Music, & My Pictures, thus restoring them back to the user folder.
Have not shut down and disconnected the drive yet to test again. Will try that this afternoon.


Attached Thumbnails
Removing bad storage drive destroys libraries - DIFFICULT!-win7002.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

13 Aug 2015   #4
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Did you change your first post? I could swear the last time I read it you state your partitions were logical.

I have no idea what Magic Folders are or is.

If it was my computer I would start with saving all wanted data from the drive causing problems to a external drive.

Then I would unhook all drives.

Then install the drive with Reserve and Windows 7 (C) to make it Drive (0)

Then start the computer to make sure it will boot.

Then I would check the bios and make sure that Drive (0) is set first to boot. In this case I don't know what is on the other drives that might get in the way of booting.

Now I would install the other good drives. Boot the computer again. Take a look again in Disk Management again and see if every thing worked out properly.

At this point I would go into Windows Explorer and check if all Disks are indicated there and are accessible.

Partition (F) on Disk 3 should be Simple, Basic, NTSF like the other partitions. You can have 4 Basic partitions on one drive.

Before going any farther I see a known problem.
Torrent partition. Which rings a large bell giving a warning of infections.

I would scan all drives with my anti virus program and several other security programs.

Well actually if it was my computer their would not be anything on the computer that came from a torrent.

Let me know if you like my ideas. I can continue with ideas if need be. (If it was my computer)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2015   #5
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Also, why are you using so many partitions? Organizing data by partitioning locks you into a fixed amount of storage space that will eventually require you to resize partitions as some of them run out of room while others have unused space, adding unnecessary complication. Folders are far better since they will occupy only the drive space they need for their content, leaving the rest of the space on the drive available for the folders to expand into as needed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2015   #6
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Thank you Lady Fitzgerald for dropping by.

She does a lot of this kind of thing with several drives and backup than I do. Give head to her suggestions.

I agree with the Lady. To many partitions.
Folders was one of the next steps if everything suggested worked out.

Folders are much easier to manage and less constraining.
Windows Explorer can be use to move things around if need be.

I'm thinking that once the suggestion have been done and no data or drives are lost, their is a lot more to do such as folders, defrag, and indexing of the hard drives if it was my computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2015   #7
Ohmster

Windows 10 Pro via free update.
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
Did you change your first post? I could swear the last time I read it you state your partitions were logical.

I have no idea what Magic Folders are or is.

If it was my computer I would start with saving all wanted data from the drive causing problems to a external drive.

Then I would unhook all drives.

Then install the drive with Reserve and Windows 7 (C) to make it Drive (0)

Then start the computer to make sure it will boot.

Then I would check the bios and make sure that Drive (0) is set first to boot. In this case I don't know what is on the other drives that might get in the way of booting.

Now I would install the other good drives. Boot the computer again. Take a look again in Disk Management again and see if every thing worked out properly.

At this point I would go into Windows Explorer and check if all Disks are indicated there and are accessible.

Partition (F) on Disk 3 should be Simple, Basic, NTSF like the other partitions. You can have 4 Basic partitions on one drive.

Before going any farther I see a known problem.
Torrent partition. Which rings a large bell giving a warning of infections.

I would scan all drives with my anti virus program and several other security programs.

Well actually if it was my computer their would not be anything on the computer that came from a torrent.

Let me know if you like my ideas. I can continue with ideas if need be. (If it was my computer)
The partitions are Primary. I did this years ago when I got a 1Tb drive for storage. At that time, I made a judgement error. Thinking that somehow if I broke the very large disk into smaller partitions, that a "drive" or partition corruption would isolate me from having the entire drive go bad. I was wrong, it was a bad idea and I did it again on the 2nd 1Gb disk. The 3rd disk, a 4 Gb drive was SO big that I broke it down to a backup partition for Windows Backup and the other half for storage.

"Magic Folders" is referred to in my link where I restored the missing "Magic Folders" (Term used in the tutorial because these are not just "folders".) in my user folder. My Pictures, My Videos, and My Music had just "disappeared" from the PC. They are called "Magic" because they are not folders, but library markers that look like folders. They have a Location tab in properties where you can relocate these "folders" to another disk. The 3 libraries mentioned have been relocated to different disks. Downloads, My Documents, and Desktop are also special folders.

I use torrents to download disk image files such as CentOS for my Linux computer, public domain movies, and other very large downloads because they come much faster on dsl with *many* sources such as a good torrent than a single server. I get over 20Mbps with a good torrent, cannot get speeds like that for a single server. I don't download pirate garbage with torrents and manage my PC well for viruses and other attacks.

Partition F on Disk 3 *was* a primary partition like the remaining 3 partitions. Once I had copied all the data from the entire Disk 3 (The disk with failing write access.) to large disk 0, I decided to try formatting the primary partition, it failed of course, and I am left with "Drive F, Raw Space". This entire disk if failing, can read only, any attempt to write fails, including formatting. This disk has to go. When it is unplugged, the Media Libraries fail for Media Player and Media Center. That is the issue. No music to play in Media Player, no videos to watch in Media Center, even if I add the new folder on Disk O to Media Center.

All data I wish to keep has been copied off the failing Disk 3. I cannot delete anything on this drive nor can I format it. I must pull it out of the machine. When I do, I lose my Media in Media Center and Media Player.

I appreciate the instructions Layback Bear, but the are long and confusing. Drive C is an SSD and already has a drive letter C. I cannot change it to drive O and then set the PC to boot from it, as there already is a drive O. I did correct 3 things since last check with drive unplugged, let me try again to see if it helped.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2015   #8
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Remove the failing drive. Just get it out of the way.

Drive numbers are created and selected as per what sata port on your motherboard you install the sata cable.

You just rearrange them so (C) is indicated as drive (0) in Disk Management.
Your motherboard manual would be handy to help select the proper sata port.

Sometimes the bios will see sata port (1) which Windows 7 will see as Drive (0).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2015   #9
Ohmster

Windows 10 Pro via free update.
 
 

Alright. The failing hard drive, Disk 3 has been unplugged. Media Center and Media Player both have retained their libraries. Meaning at this time, the issue is no longer present. I would love to say that it is "fixed" but I have seen this before an in a matter of hours, the libraries just "melted away" in Media Player and Media Center. Only time will tell. Disk Manager screen shot attached.

What has changed since last attempt to unplug the unruly hard drive?
  1. Removed any of the "drives" (partitions) of the bad drive from Indexing Options.
  2. Set security permissions on the replacement drive to "Everyone: Read & Execute". Previously ONLY System had total access, nothing else. The new drive gave me a "Unresponsive" label in Media Center libraries found in Media Player.
  3. Set attrib for user, "Magic Folders" My Videos, My Music, & My Pictures, thus restoring them back to the user folder.
Step 3 instructions can be found in this tutorial link. You need not read it, just scan it and you will understand. The part that helped me is titled "Last crazy step", scroll down to see this. It is *definitely* worth a look. It won't bite you, please have a look:
Repair missing User folders in Windows 7

If these libraries do not "fade away" in Media Player or Media Center by tomorrow, then the issue is closed and will be marked "Solved".


That is what I was trying to accomplish. The libraries were not disappearing from the PC, only disappearing in the two Windows Media programs and the special folders from my user folder. Now I am keeping my fingers crossed.


...phew! Everything is working properly. This is what I wanted. Now please, please, do not revert! This PC never shuts off, will report tomorrow if things are stable and close the thread. Or, report back later if it fails again. Wish me luck and thank you all for taking an interest.


Attached Thumbnails
Removing bad storage drive destroys libraries - DIFFICULT!-win7003.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2015   #10
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

If it was my computer I would swap the sata cables on the motherboard on what now is Disk 1 and Disk 0.
I would want my Windows 7 listed as Disk (0)
Or the first sata III port if a ssd is used.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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