Copying files to RAMdisk results in inaccessible folder

Started by doveman

Copying files to RAMdisk results in inaccessible folder   09 October 2012, 20:50

I just tried SoftPerfect RAMDisk with my 16GB system and created a 10GB RAMdisk to copy my DCS World folder to. During the copy process, an error appeared that files were corrupt and checking the RAMdisk showed that that the folder was now inaccessible and non delete-able and so I had to unmount the RAMdisk and re-mount it (now empty) to clear that problem. Trying again gave the same result.

The same procedure had already worked fine with RAMdisk Enterprise but that's lacking in features when it comes to loading images from disk into the RAMdisk so I'd like to be able to use SoftPerfect instead.
SoftPerfect Support forum - Andrew avatar image

Copying files to RAMdisk results in inaccessible folder   09 October 2012, 21:38

What file system are you using?

If NTFS, could you please also try FAT32 and let me know if it helps?

Copying files to RAMdisk results in inaccessible folder   09 October 2012, 22:37

I honestly can't remember which I used, so I'll test again with both.

Copying files to RAMdisk results in inaccessible folder   09 October 2012, 23:43

I tried again with NTFS first and whilst copying 9.45GB data, it got down to 1.6GB to go before failing with
"Error 0x80070570: The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable"

Then I tried FAT32 and was able to copy the files to it OK but I'm unable to run the game from it and strange things happen (basically it crashes before loading). I was able to run the game from the RAMdisk Enterprise NTFS disk. That has various settings to reserve parts of the RAM, etc and although I didn't change them and left them on default, perhaps the problem is that SoftPerfect is trying to use some RAM that it shouldn't be?

I found the Load/Save image functions a bit confusing. After copying my files to the RAMdisk, there didn't seem to be anyway to then save it as an image and instead I had to Create a (blank) image, then point my RAMdisk to that, then unmount my RAMdisk (losing the contents) then re-mount it (now using the image), format it (it got created as RAW despite choosing FAT32) and copy my files to it again and unmount it, which then saved it as I'd ticked the option to do so.

EDIT: Forgot to mention, if I create an image (FAT32, 10,000MB) and then try to mount it, it causes my PC to BSOD. Event Viewer shows:

The computer has rebooted from a bugcheck. The bugcheck was: 0x0000000a (0x0000000000001000, 0x0000000000000002, 0x0000000000000000, 0xfffff800042a2ff5). A dump was saved in: C:\Windows\Minidump\100912-25927-01.dmp. Report Id: 100912-25927-01.

I've attached a zip of the dmp referred to.

If it helps, this is what the RAMdisk Enterprise settings default to (other than drive letter and size)
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Attachments:
open | download – 100912-25927-01.zip (34.4 KB)
SoftPerfect Support forum - Andrew avatar image

Copying files to RAMdisk results in inaccessible folder   10 October 2012, 00:19

Thank you for the detailed info. Is this happening on Windows 7 64-bit?

Copying files to RAMdisk results in inaccessible folder   10 October 2012, 00:31

Yes, W7 x64 Ultimate.
SoftPerfect Support forum - Andrew avatar image

Copying files to RAMdisk results in inaccessible folder   10 October 2012, 15:11

Thank you, we have reproduced the problem and are currently investigating it.

I will post an update here as soon as I have more information.

Copying files to RAMdisk results in inaccessible folder   10 October 2012, 20:45

That's great, thanks. I'll keep an eye out for it.
SoftPerfect Support forum - Andrew avatar image

Copying files to RAMdisk results in inaccessible folder   11 October 2012, 15:51

Please try the latest build.

Hope it works now.

Copying files to RAMdisk results in inaccessible folder   11 October 2012, 22:23

Thanks. Sadly not though. The first thing I tried after installing was mounting the image I created previously and it BSOD with the same IRQL error again. It doesn't seem to have created a minidump I can give you this time unfortunately.
VD

Copying files to RAMdisk results in inaccessible folder   12 October 2012, 03:21

> The first thing I tried after installing was mounting the image I created previously and it BSOD with the same IRQL error again.

Can you please compress and upload this image file to any file-hosting service?

Copying files to RAMdisk results in inaccessible folder   12 October 2012, 04:32

Sure. I didn't think it would compress much as I thought I'd added the DCSW files to it before saving but I guess not as it's compressed from 10GB down to 11.7MB.

I've uploaded it here [link].
VD

Copying files to RAMdisk results in inaccessible folder   12 October 2012, 05:25

Please try the updated module for x64 systems. Download and copy it to the application's installation folder, typically C:\Program Files\Softperfect RAM Disk (confirm overwrite if asked), then reboot system and try mount your image once again. Thank you for your feedback.

Copying files to RAMdisk results in inaccessible folder   12 October 2012, 06:11

Thanks. I tried that but when launching Softperfect after rebooting it said "Initialistation of vvlib failed" and all the buttons are greyed out in the interface.
VD

Copying files to RAMdisk results in inaccessible folder   12 October 2012, 06:55

Oh, sorry, forgot to say: before booting the system you must disable verification of digital signatures for drivers by pressing F8 just before the "Starting Windows" string on the black screen appears and select "Disable driver signature enforcement". This is because the updated module was not yet signed (it can't be signed right now). This must be done this time only, to be able to check the update. So, now reboot system, disable driver signature enforcement in the F8 menu (otherwise the updated driver will not start) and try mount your image again.

Copying files to RAMdisk results in inaccessible folder   12 October 2012, 07:02

No worries. I normally run in Test Mode anyway but haven't got round to enabling that since re-installing W7, so I'll do it the F8 way for now. Thanks.
SoftPerfect Support forum - Andrew avatar image

Copying files to RAMdisk results in inaccessible folder   12 October 2012, 10:53

There is one more fix in the updated build. Could you please once again install it, reboot and let me know how it works for you?

Copying files to RAMdisk results in inaccessible folder   12 October 2012, 11:32

Hi

The last one no longer BSOD when mounting the image but it doesn't load it into RAM either, as can be seen by the fact that my free RAM doesn't go down. Running CrystalDiskMark on it gives Seq Read/Write speeds of around 80MB/s, which is the speed of the drive the image is saved on.

If I create a new disk with Add without creating an image, that does decrease the free RAM by the size of the RAMDisk and CDM shows speeds around 3500MB/s.

Is this perhaps what you've fixed in the latest build?
SoftPerfect Support forum - Andrew avatar image

Copying files to RAMdisk results in inaccessible folder   12 October 2012, 11:46

It seems you're just mounting the image, without making an image-based RAM disk. Here is how it can be used:

1. Create an image file via Image - Create Image in the main menu. This creates an image file on the hard disk.

2. Then you have optional steps 3 and 4.

3. Populate your image file with your data. For this, choose Image - Mount Image. This makes the image file accessible via a drive letter. It's still on the hard disk, not in the RAM yet.

4. Once you have copied all your files to the image, unmount it with Image - Unmount Image.

5. Create a RAM disk associated with the image file, which now has your data in it if you did (3) and (4). For this, choose Disk - Add Boot Disk and select your image file. This makes a RAM disk associated with your image file.

Please let me know how it works for you.

Copying files to RAMdisk results in inaccessible folder   12 October 2012, 12:47

Ah, I see. I assumed Mount Image would mount it to a RAMDisk. When adding a disk pointing to an image it says Mounting and then has the option to Unmount, so you can see how I got confused.

Using the Add Disk method and then pointing to the image, it works for a new NTFS 10GB image I created but it takes quite a while to mount. With the old image that I sent you, which is FAT32 that mounts a lot quicker. Both images are empty at the moment.

Regarding Add Disk and Add Boot Disk, if I use Add Disk and point to an image, when I Unmount it, it leaves an entry for it under "Disks mounted at logon" and the File System changes from FAT32/NTFS to RAW and then I have to Delete that. Obviously I don't want it to mount at logon or I would have used Add Boot Disk, so could it Unmount and Delete the entry when doing Unmount when Add Disk was used rather than Add Boot Disk?

I haven't tried the latest build yet though, so maybe you've changed that already.

Rather than do optional steps 3 and 4 I tend to do it a different way, which is to Add Disk and point it to a created but empty Image, which is then mounted in RAM, then copy the files to the RAMDisk and then use the Save Contents to Image option. Obviously copying the files into the RAMDisk rather than into an image running from a HDD is a lot quicker but as the RAMdisk still needs to be saved to Image it might not be any quicker overall. I tend to find myself changing files on the RAMDisk and needing to save the Image at the end of a session anyway, so that way tends to work out better for myself anyway.
SoftPerfect Support forum - Andrew avatar image

Copying files to RAMdisk results in inaccessible folder   12 October 2012, 13:34

There is some NTFS read/write overhead, you may want to use FAT32 for speed, if none of your files is over 4 GB. It affects only initial image creation and initial loading of the image to a RAM disk.

When you unmount a logon-time image-based disk, it shows RAW because the image file is closed and the application doesn't know what file system is in there. May be, we should display a blank line in this case, I will rectify this.

Also you do not need to delete a logon-time disk. If you unmounted it manually, it will not be automatically mounted on startup. Yet if you want to delete it, you don't have to unmount it first, it will be unmounted automatically.

If the Save Contents to Image is ticked, it will be saved to the associated image file on unmount and on shutdown. It's differential write, which means only changed blocks (since last image file read or write) will be saved, thus saving you time.

Copying files to RAMdisk results in inaccessible folder   12 October 2012, 16:04

Thanks. I compared a 10GB FAT32 RAMDisk image and a 10GB NTFS one and did find the FAT32 one a bit faster. Note my Seq and 512k results are about half what an Intel system would give as RAM runs a lot faster on those.

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The latest version's working nicely for me thanks.

Whilst the empty FAT32 image mounted to RAM very quickly and the empty NTFS image took a long while (maybe 1min+), once I'd filled them both with 9.5GB of files, they both take just as long as each other to mount to RAMDisk. I can only guess that a NTFS formatted image writes data to various sectors, whereas a FAT32 formatted image doesn't, meaning that it can load the latter to RAM much quicker. Anyway, that doesn't really matter, was just interesting to note.

I see that I don't need to Unmount then Delete the RAMdisks and can just Delete which removes them from the list. From what you're saying though, I can Unmount it and leave it in the list so that it's easy for me to re-mount it when I want?

I think the Save Contents to Image option is a bit fiddly, as if I don't tick it when doing Add Disk and then go into properties and tick it, it warns me that it is going to unmount and remount the RAMdisk. It does say "Unless the disk is associated with an image file, all it's contents will be lost" and even though it is associated with an image file, it still made me a bit nervous that I might lose the changes to the files if I proceeded. I've learnt now this is not the case but it would be nice to have a Save/Update Image option when right-clicking on a RAMdisk in the list, so that users could Save it at any time without having to unmount it.

Lastly, can you confirm that SoftPerfect RAMDisk works in a way that prevents any of the RAM used being paged out? I only ask because IMDisk doesn't unless I use awealloc, as explained in this thread [reboot.pro] which describes the different methods used for IMDisk and awealloc and this post [reboot.pro]
VD

Copying files to RAMdisk results in inaccessible folder   12 October 2012, 23:48

> Lastly, can you confirm that SoftPerfect RAMDisk works in a way that prevents any of the RAM used being paged out?

Yes, it does. Physical memory is allocared directly, so it can't be paged out.

Copying files to RAMdisk results in inaccessible folder   13 October 2012, 01:15

Great, thanks. I'll definitely be using this instead of IMDisk/awealloc from now on then as it's much faster (not to mention easier to use) smile
Michael

Copying files to RAMdisk results in inaccessible folder   01 November 2012, 08:35

3.3.2 still corrupts 5GB NTFS disks. But mount->write data->unmounts->mount again helps.

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