Logical Partitions, Drive Letter Assignments, and Corrupt Disk Error

#1
I have a number of questions here, all related to one central issue which may be outside the scope of EasyBCD and dual booting support, but I can hopefully get some help answering them...

I have installed Vista Ultimate in a multi-boot setup of the following characteristics: A single 500 GB SATA drive; an original XP installation on the first primary partition of the disk - this partition contains all my boot files; a second XP installation on a logical drive in an extended partition; the Vista installation on a logical drive in that extended partition; and a data partition on a logical drive in that extended partition.

I am getting a repeated error message from Vista after I install drivers or make system changes (such as network domains, new user accounts, etc.) and then restart the system. The error message is that "The disk structure is corrupt and unreadable." It then recommends running chkdsk to correct errors. When I run ckdsk it deletes a number of index entries, then aborts with the message that "there is insufficient disk space to fix MFT". The system then boots into Vista and VIsta runs fine except that certain disk activity (on any drive) generates the "disk structure is corrupt and unreadable" message.

If I run chkdsk from the XP installation, it fixes the errors and everything runs fine again until I make changes within Vista.

So my questions are these:
1. Is the fact that Vista is installed on a logical drive in an extended partition a possible cause of this issue?
2. My understanding is that the only primary partition required is the one with the boot files, and that other OS's can be installed on logical drives - am I incorrect in my understanding of this?
3. Is there any confusion being generated by the assumed drive letter assignments? Both the original XP and the new Vista installations see themselves as the C drive when they are active, and assign the other OS's to another drive letter. My data folder is consistently identified as drive 'W'.
4. If these are not the cause, is anyone aware of what may be the cause?
5. Should I just delete the Vista installation and start over? I haven't installed any applications or spent a lot of time on this install, and am reluctant to do so while this problem is still present.

Thanks for your help.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Hi Kelley,
1) No problem Vista being on a logical drive
2) Correct
3) No problem
4) How big is your Vista partition ? how much free space available ?
Try Control Program / System / Performance / Advanced Tools / System Health Report and see what it finds.
 
#3
My Vista partition is 75GB with about 61GB free.

I ran the health report, and indeed the report indicated that the driver for the mass storage controller was not loaded. I thought this was odd, since on a previously deleted installation of Vista (which eventually hosed itself so badly that I had to delete it), this was not an issue. Anyway, I downloaded the Intel storage matrix driver and ran the installation program. Unfortunately this did not solve the problem - the OS still did not see a driver for the mass storage controller.

However, subsequently, a pop-up indicated a compatibility issue with the TI flash media driver. So I downloaded the latest TI flash media driver, and this solved the problem of the system not recognizing the mass storage controller driver. But, alas, this did not solve the disk corruption problem, which continues to arise reliably on every other session. And now, Vista will no longer allow me to get Windows updates. It appears that Vista is a self-hosing OS.

Having spent in the neighborhood of eight to ten hours with this issue, I'm thinking my best bet is to just go ahead and reinstall the OS instead of wasting more time on it. It would be nice to know, though, what the problem is, and whether I'm going to just go through the same exercise the next time around.

I did read somewhere that this problem may be related to the fact that the disk that I am working off of is a 'Basic' disk and not a 'Dynamic' disk. I personally doubt this is true, since I've never had to work with a Dynamic disk previously, and don't understand why this would be the case. However, I know there are greater minds than mine that would know whether this is true or not. I have never really understood the purpose of a dynamic disk, and I fear the consequences of converting to it.

Thanks for any insight into this mystery of the cosmos.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
My Vista is on a basic disk (though a primary partition), that's not a problem.
Vista for me, has been solid as a rock, completely stable and reliable. The only problems being lack of 64bit drivers when I first installed it, and the complete refusal of Ati HP and others to support hardware that works perfectly on XP, on Vista. (The reason why I originally dual-booted, and why I'm here at all).
Since you're not heavily invested in your Vista yet, and haven't spent weeks customizing it, you're probably right to think that a complete fresh install is the option of choice
Incidentally, your Vista is 200% bigger than mine, so if you have "insufficient space", I'm completely b*gg*r*d.
 
#5
I reinstalled Vista last night and everything seems to be working OK so far. Unfortunately, I'm really feeling gun-shy about running this installation, waiting for the dreaded corrupt disk message. At least going thru the first exercise prepared me for the two driver issues that I might not otherwise have been aware of.

Thanks for your assistance.