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Windows 7: EFI/GPT installation constantly polling RAW partitions

23 May 2016   #1

Windows7 SP1
EFI/GPT installation constantly polling RAW partitions

i've installed an EFI/GPT Win7-64Bit system (EFI boot, single HDD, System Builder, untouched SP1 ISO image beside placing bootx64.efi for EFI boot).

Beside normal NTFS partitions there are 2 RAW partitions in the system (in the middle and at the end of the HDD layout - that's probably why it can be heard very well here). Once the system is up Windows starts polling every 6 seconds to the first sectors of every RAW partition and never stops. It seems it tries to identify/mount the partitions all the time or something. Not only is that head clicking every 6 seconds annoying its also additional stress for the device mechanics. Western Digital had many crashed devices due to 8 second power savings in the past. This is even 6 seconds.

The accesses can't be seen on filesystem level (Procmon, Process Explorer...) but on TaskManager/RessourceMonitor you can see the data traffic on the graph that is in sync with the HDD head clicking every 6 seconds (see picture below). You need to let the system rest some time to see this fully idle state.

There is DiskMon that monitors HDD access by LBA sectors and there you can see the sectors accessed. If you follow these sectors with Winhex you land at the beginning of the RAW partitions.

In Virtualbox with MBR and RAW partition everything seems fine. It doesn't support booting Windows in EFI mode though so i cannot test that.

I already re-installed Windows with Win7SP1 stock image and fully updated. No change at all. The only thing i can think of is GPT.

Can anyone with GPT device and RAW partition confirm the problem?
Any idea how to fix this? Is it maybe possible to disable partition detection somehow? I'm out of ideas at the moment...

Attached Thumbnails
EFI/GPT installation constantly polling RAW partitions-hdaccess.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2016   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

The basic question is why there should be any RAW partitions at all. There is something wrong with your installation.

You are advised to reformat your HDD/SDD initialising it as a GPT - if need be by using Bootable Partition Wizard pen drive and booting from it . GPT specifications does not allow any hidden sectors/partitions in the contagious partitions in it. Once you format it as a GPT drive you shall have a 128MB Microsoft System Reserved (MSR) partition at the beginning and then the GPT partitions to the end. ( This 128MB MSR partition preceding the GPT partitions will not be visible in Windows Disk Management but you can see it in Partition Wizard). Reinstall Windows after this formatting.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2016   #3

Windows7 SP1

Thank you. I've found the solution. The partitions were created under Windows with MS specific partition type (Device Management). When booting on an EFI bootchain it leads to the behavior above. It's probably some kind of bug as it doesn't occur on old bootchain (BIOS/MBR with additional GPT HDDs) that is correct behavior. The solution is to set the partition type GUID to something else like 'Linux' (with Diskpart or similar).
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 May 2016   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

If it was a bug anyone and surely many, having a Windows 7 64bit UEFI boot installation would have reported it. Have you come across any such report? In the absence of any such authentic reports which definitely would have been brought to the notice of Microsoft, I would still consider your installation as faulty. Try installing on a HDD that is already initialised as a GPT and formatted as an experiment and check whether you have the same problems of creation of RAW partitions out of nowhere. There could also be a problem with the WD drive.Try installing on a Non-WD drive preformatted as a GPT drive..

If you still consider it a bug, you may raise a query in Microsoft forums indicating how exactly you performed the installation, including how your HDD came formatted from the factory (MBR/GPT), and why it is behaving like this.

EDIT:While I have put my views on it, you may do well to post the screenshots of how your system drive looks in Windows Disk Management as well as Partition Wizard Free Edition 9.1.
May be other experts here may examine it critically and opine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 EFI/GPT installation constantly polling RAW partitions

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