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Troubleshoot Vista Disk-Related Problems

For problems involving BitLocker see Troubleshoot Vista BitLocker Problems.

If you are experiencing disk problems during an installation or upgrade then also see Troubleshoot Vista Installation Problems.

 
The hybrid sleep feature and the hibernation feature in Windows Vista may become unavailable after you use the Disk Cleanup Tool

After you use the Disk Cleanup Tool in Windows Vista, you may experience the following symptoms:
  • You cannot see the Hibernate option in Power Options.
  • When you use the sleep feature, the computer does not recover its settings if power is lost.
Windows Vista support for large-sector hard disk drives

Hard disk drive manufacturers will soon start producing hard disk drives for which the physical sector sizes are larger than the traditional 512 bytes per sector. For example, sectors may be 1 kilobyte (KB), 2 KB, or 4 KB. This change will enable manufacturers to improve the capacity, the performance, and the reliability of their hard disk drives. This article discusses Windows Vista support for large-sector hard disk drives.

Important: Dynamic discs are only supported in Windows Vista Ultimate, in Windows Vista Business, and in Windows Vista Enterprise. Generally, dynamic discs are not supported in Windows Vista Home Basic or in Windows Vista Home Premium. However, when you upgrade your computer from Windows XP Media Centre Edition to Windows Vista Home Premium, some dynamic discs are supported.
After you connect an external hard disk drive or a USB flash drive to a computer that is running Windows Vista, the Import option in Windows Media Centre may not be available

After you connect an external hard disk drive or a universal serial bus (USB) flash drive to a computer that is running Windows Vista, the Import option in Windows Media Centre may not be available. The Import option is used to copy files from removable storage devices to a computer for use in Windows Media Centre.
The computer stops responding or you receive a "Low Disk Space" error message when you try to create a slide show on a DVD or to create a DVD in Windows Vista

In Windows Vista, when you try to use the Create CD/DVD feature in Media Centre to create a slide show on a DVD or to create a video DVD, the computer stops responding. Or, you receive an error message that resembles the following:

Low Disk Space
Incorrect report on disk free space under DFS

The Disk Free Space reported in Windows Explorer or in a Command Prompt on a Distributed File System (DFS) client for a DFS share is always the Disk Free Space of the drive containing (hosting) the DFS root.
Power consumption may be more than expected on a portable Windows Vista-based computer that uses a SATA hard disk that does not support Host-Initiated Link Power Management

Power consumption may be slightly more than expected on a portable Windows Vista-based computer. This problem occurs if the following conditions are true:
  • The computer is using a Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) hard disk that is using a SATA Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) driver.
  • The hard disk supports Device-Initiated Link Power Management (DIPM) but does not support Host-Initiated Link Power Management (HIPM).
  • The computer is idle and running on battery power.
This problem may cause a slightly increased drain of battery power.
You cannot remove the volume after you convert the Windows Vista installation partition from a Basic Disk volume to a Dynamic Disk volume

After you convert the disk partition on which Windows Vista is installed from a Basic Disk volume to a Dynamic Disk volume, you experience the following symptoms:
  • If you try to reinstall Windows Vista, the Delete command in the Where do you want to install Windows dialog box is unavailable. Therefore, you cannot remove the Dynamic Disk volume.
  • If you right-click the volume in the Disk Management tool in Windows Vista, the Convert to Basic Disk command is unavailable. This issue occurs because Windows Vista must delete the contents of a volume to change the volume to a Basic Disk volume. Windows Vista cannot delete the contents of the partition on which it is installed.
A hard disk or a removable media appears as a RAW volume after you try to complete a full format in Windows Vista

After you try to complete a full format of a hard disk or a removable media in Windows Vista, the full format is not completed. When you try to access the hard disk or the removable media, neither can be accessed. The hard disk or the removable media is a RAW volume.

Note: A RAW volume is a volume that has never been formatted and does not contain a file system. Examples of file systems are FAT, FAT32, and NTFS. Typically, programs that do not require a file system write to a RAW volume. These programs perform direct I/O operations to the RAW volume.
The disk-drive numbers on a Windows Vista-based computer may not correspond as expected to the SATA channel numbers

Consider the following scenario. You have two Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) hard disks attached to channels SATA0 and SATA1 on a Windows Vista-based computer. However, Disk 0 may not be assigned to the hard disk on SATA0, and Disk 1 may not be assigned to the hard disk on SATA1. You expect the disk-assignment numbers to match the corresponding SATA channel numbers.
Windows ReadyDrive does not work in Windows Vista if the first partition of a hybrid hard disk drive has less than 32 MB of free space

In Windows Vista, Windows ReadyDrive does not work if the first partition of a hybrid hard disk drive has less than 32 megabytes (MB) of free space. When this problem occurs, the operating system does not recognize the hybrid hard disk drive. Instead, the operating system uses this disk drive as a traditional disk drive.
The option to upgrade a basic disk to a dynamic disk is not available on a portable computer

When you try to use the Windows Disk Management (Diskmgmt.msc) console to upgrade your laptop or portable computer from a basic disk to a dynamic disk, you cannot do so. If you move an existing Dynamic disk from another system to a laptop, the disk will appear as foreign in Disk management. However, the option to import it will be dimmed.
You receive a "Disk read error has occurred" error message when you use the Winnt32.exe program to reinstall Windows XP on a computer that has both Windows XP and Windows Vista installed

When you use the Winnt32.exe program to reinstall Microsoft Windows XP on a computer that has both Windows XP and Microsoft Windows Vista installed, you receive the following error message:

Disk read error has occurred.

Additionally, the computer stops responding (hangs).
Error message when you try to move a folder to a mount point folder that is located on the same disk in Windows Vista: "Access Denied"

When you try to move a folder in Windows Vista to a mount point folder that is located on the same disk, you receive the following error message:

Destination Folder Access Denied – You need permissions to perform this action

This problem does not occur when you move the folder to a mount point on a different disk. Additionally, this problem does not occur when you copy the folder to the mount point folder instead of moving the folder.
Problems with the network, hard disk drive, or storage drivers cause a program to stop unexpectedly in Windows Vista

You start or run a network-capable program in Windows Vista. Then, the program stops unexpectedly (crashes) in either of the following cases:
  • When the program tries to read valid data from a remote storage medium.
  • When the program tries to write valid data to a remote storage medium. Additionally, you receive an error message that resembles the following:

Program_name has caused an error and must be closed.

We apologize for the inconvenience. If you were in the middle of something, the information you were working on might be lost. Please tell Microsoft about this problem.

We have created an error report that you can send to help us improve Program_name. We will treat this report as confidential and anonymous.

To see what data this error report contains, click here.

All dynamic disk volumes are removed and then re-created when you restore a computer by using Complete PC Restore together with the "Format and repartition disks" option in Windows Vista

Consider the following scenario. You restore a computer by using the Windows Complete PC Restore program in Windows Vista. You use the Format and repartition disks option. In this scenario, all dynamic disk volumes are removed and then re-created. This behaviour occurs even if the dynamic disk volumes are not included in the restore process.
You receive an error message when you try to save a file to a hard disk drive or to a flash device in Windows Vista

In Windows Vista, when you try to save a file to a hard disk or to a flash device, you may receive one of the following error messages:

Message 1
X:\Folder\FileName You don’t have permission to save in this location. Contact the administrator to obtain permission. Would you like to save in the Documents folder instead?

Message 2
Access to X:\Folder\FileName was denied.
You cannot access a locked Sony USB hard disk drive in Windows Vista

Windows Vista does not recognize a locked Sony USB hard disk drive. Therefore you cannot access the drive.

This problem occurs because the USB device sends an incorrect status code to Windows Vista. Also, the device sends no additional sense code information before the device is unlocked. Therefore, Windows Vista does not recognize the device.
Performance is slower than you expect when you read from or write to an IEEE 1394 (Firewire) hard disk that uses a VIA Technologies 1394 host controller in Windows Vista

Consider the following scenario. You connect an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 1394 hard disk to a Windows Vista-based computer that uses a VIA Technologies 1394 host controller. However, performance is slower than you expect when you read from the hard disk or write to the hard disk. For example, you may experience decreased reading and writing performance of approximately 20 percent in Windows Vista when you compare it to Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2 in the same test environment.
You cannot install Windows Server 2003 successfully after you use Windows Vista or Windows PE 2.0 to create partitions on a hard disk

You use Windows Vista or Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) 2.0 to create partitions on a hard disk. After you do this, you try to install Microsoft Windows Server 2003 on the hard disk without using Windows Server 2003 to repartition the disk. In this case, you cannot install Windows Server 2003 successfully.

Windows Server 2003 Setup will successfully complete the text-mode part of Setup. However, after the text-mode part of Setup is complete, the computer cannot be restarted successfully to enter the GUI-mode part of Setup. Additionally, the computer may stop responding. You may receive an error message that resembles one of the following:

A disk read error occurred

Unable to load operating system

Error loading operating system


When you deploy a Windows Server 2003 sysprep image to a system, the system may continuously restart after you start the system for the first time. If you press F8 and then disable the "automatic restart" option, you may receive the following Stop error:

Stop: 0x000000ED (0X81F85678, 0xC000014F,0x00000000,0x00000000)
Unmountable_boot_volume


Additionally, if you view the disk in Windows PE 2.0, the disk may appear as "raw."
Disk enumeration optimizations are disabled on certain Windows Vista-based computers that are using a hot swappable drive bay

Windows Vista disk enumeration optimizations are disabled on certain Windows Vista-based computers that are using a hot swappable drive bay. This behaviour may cause some perceived decrease in performance on start times.
Event ID 12 and event ID 57 are logged in the System log when you "hot detach" a removable drive on a Windows Vista-based computer

When you "hot detach" a removable hard disk device from a Windows Vista-based computer, a Warning event that resembles the following may be logged in the System log:

Event ID: 12
The device device_name disappeared from the system without first being prepared for removal.


Additionally, if the disk is formatted by using the NTFS file system, a Warning event that resembles the following may be logged in the System log:

Event ID: 57
The system failed to flush data to the transaction log. Corruption may occur.


This issue may occur if the disk is "surprise removed." For example, this behavior may occur if you remove the disk without using the Safely Remove Hardware icon in the notification area to stop the disk first. This issue may occur even though the disk uses an interface that supports surprise removal, such as a universal serial bus (USB) interface or an IEEE 1394 interface.
The partition that hosts Windows Vista may disappear if you use Windows XP to create a partition on a computer that has both Windows XP and Windows Vista installed

If you use Microsoft Windows XP to create a new partition on a computer that has both Windows XP and Windows Vista installed, the partition that hosts Windows Vista may disappear.
A USB drive may not appear in the Windows Connect Now Flash Configuration feature of Windows Vista

A USB drive may not appear in the Windows Connect Now (WCN) Flash Configuration feature of Windows Vista when you click I have a USB thumb drive and then save the network settings. This behavior occurs if the USB drive uses the NTFS file system format.
An Ultra DMA Mode 5 (UDMA 5) device may perform only at the speed of an Ultra DMA Mode 2 (UDMA 2) device after you swap devices in Windows Vista

In Windows Vista, an Ultra DMA Mode 5 device may perform only at the speed of an Ultra DMA Mode 2 device after you swap devices. This problem occurs on an IBM ThinkPad mobile PC or on a Lenovo ThinkPad mobile PC if the following conditions are true:
  • You start the computer with an Ultra DMA Mode 2 device in the Ultrabay swappable drive bay. For example, you start the computer with an optical drive in the drive bay.
  • You eject the Ultra DMA Mode 2 device from the drive bay and insert an Ultra DMA Mode 5 device in the drive bay. For example, you insert a hard disk drive in the drive bay.
When these conditions are true, the transfer mode stays at the slower Ultra DMA Mode 2 speed. The system does not correctly use the faster Ultra DMA Mode 5 speed.
Error message on a Windows Vista-based computer that has a storage device inserted into a card bus adapter: "STOP: 0x00000050"

When you start a Windows Vista-based computer, you may receive a Stop 0x50 error message that resembles the following:

*** STOP: 0x00000050 (param1, param2, param3, param4)
PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA


This problem occurs on a computer that has the following hardware installed:
  • A card bus adapter
  • A storage device that is inserted into the card bus adapter
The storage device might be one of the following:
  • A secure digital (SD) card
  • A compact flash (CF) card
  • An external Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (eSATA) hard disk drive that is running in SATA Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) mode
Error message when you use Windows Vista: "An unauthorized change was made to your license"

When you use Windows Vista, you receive the following error message:

"An unauthorized change was made to your license."
To keep your system stable, you must go online and validate that your software is genuine:
- Validate Online
- Close