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Windows 7: Windows recovery disk corrupts 4TB hard disks

07 Jan 2014   #1

Windows 7 64bit
Windows recovery disk corrupts 4TB hard disks

I want to at least share this experience so people may avoid data loss and maybe find a solution.

My old server is 8 years old and it was time for a replacement. I got an ASUS Z87-K motherboard with an I3-4130 CPU and 8GB RAM to be used as a home file server. Boot disk is a 500GB WD drive (From 2007) and 4 brand new 4TB WD green hard drives to be used in a RAID5 setup.

I installed WIN7 x64 and updated with SP1 and latest updates (Had some issues getting the system to install from USB stick and had to learn about the new UEFI bios but I managed). Drivers & stuff installed from the ASUS DVD. Updated bios to version 0903 from the ASUS website. Installed the latest Intel RST drivers from the Intel website.

Copied the data from the old server to the 4TB drives (no raid setup yet, GPT partions of 4TB). All seemed well. Then I wanted to prepare/test recovery options just in case the old disk would fail. Whatever I tried i cannot get the rescue disk to restore a system image I made with windows backup. (Issue still to be solved - all kinds of issues - usually incompatible windows version when booting the rescue disk.)

When I booted back to windows from the hard disk windows started a checkdisk on the data disks and found all kinds of errors. Note: The disk having less then 2.2TB of data had no issues. The data on the full drives seemed to be there but content was corrupted and unusable.

Thinking about bad luck or issues with the old 2.2TB limit I reformatted and copied data back over to the 4TB drives. I rebooted several times and did checkdisks to verify the disks - no issues.

I decided to try recovery again and after several tries booting from rescue partitions, DVD's, USB sticks with no or little success I booted from the hard disk again. Again it started a checkdisk and again got corruption on the 4TB disks. This time the recovery disk complained about disk errors on the directories last copied and probably over the 2.2TB mark.

Reformatted and copied data again. Checkdisk no issues. Suspecting driver issues on the windows 7 recovery disk I booted from a recovery disk. As usual it complained about the windows version or something and failed to continue. rebooted from the harddisk and sure enoug the system did a checkdisk.

My conclusion: If you have an x64 windows 7 SP1 and large Hard disks then the recovery disk or the original (win 7 no SP1) will corrupt a 4TB hard drive when it scans for the presence of a system image.

Can anyone confirm this issue and maybe have a solution?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2014   #2

Windows 7 64bit

I can confirm that if you boot the recovery disk or original install disk and choose the repair option it will corrupt the 4TB GPT disks as soon as it starts to scan for an image or OS to recover on that disk.
I slipstreamed the Intel RST drivers into a windows install DVD, booted from USB and no corruption anymore.

This leaves the second problem of the repair disk giving all kinds of errors when trying to restore a system image. Probably also something with the disk drives as i can install and now boot the recovery environment when i detach all other (4TB) drives. It finds the windows install and I can restore an image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows recovery disk corrupts 4TB hard disks

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