Corrupt RAM Disk - Saving to Image

Started by Kris

Kris

Corrupt RAM Disk - Saving to Image   07 November 2012, 10:36

Hi,

I'm running two RAM Disks with 3.3.2 under Windows 8 64 Pro. One is 7,000mb, the other is 20,000mb.

Both of them are set to back up to an image that is stored on an internal SSD (Samsung 830 256GB). They are set to back up every 30 minutes.

I'm finding is that when the PC is restarted, the 20,000mb image is corrupted every time.

What might be the cause of this, and how can I prevent it?

Cheers
SoftPerfect Support forum - Andrew avatar image

Corrupt RAM Disk - Saving to Image   07 November 2012, 11:15

Please confirm the following:

1. Only the 20 GB image is corrupted, the 7 GB image works fine?

2. Are you using FAT32 or NTFS?

3. Did you format the images using the built-in Windows tools or choose to create them pre-formatted?
Kris

Corrupt RAM Disk - Saving to Image   07 November 2012, 21:26

Hi,

Both images were formatted as NTFS. I originally did this through the RAM Disk software, however after it loaded the drives with corrupt images a few times, I tried reformatting the mounted drives in Windows using the built in tools and then letting the results be saved back to the images on the disc. The results seem to have been the same either way.

Both images are used as the basis for boot time disks.

The 7 GB image is more reliable than the 20 GB, but not infalliable either.
The 7 GB primarily supports all the random things that happen (cache, temp directories etc).
The 20 GB primarily supports the Data repositry for BOINC (World Community Grid) and is used as a scratch disc for video editing and so forth.

I have just reformatted both using FAT32 (formatted through the RAM Disk software). Touch wood, these seem to be loading and unloading just fine (but I have only rebooted twice).
David.Dai

Corrupt RAM Disk - Saving to Image   20 November 2012, 13:29

this issue happened to me too.
I've been using it for several weeks. It works quite well until this morning I started my PC and found the RAMDISK drive not accessible. When I clicked on the RAMDISK drive it asked me to format the disk. It seems that the image is currpted.
SoftPerfect Support forum - Andrew avatar image

Corrupt RAM Disk - Saving to Image   21 November 2012, 17:18

Hi David, what file system were you using for that image, FAT32 or NTFS? Also, did you experience any crash or BSOD prior to that image being corrupted?
inTagger

Re: Corrupt RAM Disk - Saving to Image   29 October 2013, 06:49

I have the same problem, ram disk is not accessible anymore. How can I recover my files from the corrupted image, except opening it in a notepad and copy pasting from it?
Ben

Re: Corrupt RAM Disk - Saving to Image   29 October 2013, 07:19

Hi!

I've had this problem as well, but only since installing Win8.1.

Most of the time when I boot, the RAM disk is corrupted, so I need to restore it from a backup. (After that it works fine).

I'm going to try bumping up the "Save contents to associated image" option from 1 to 10 minutes and see how that goes.

Any other suggestions?

I saw in another thread a question about logon vs boot images. Which would you suggest?
inTagger

Re: Corrupt RAM Disk - Saving to Image   29 October 2013, 21:32

Quote

inTagger

I have the same problem, ram disk is not accessible anymore. How can I recover my files from the corrupted image, except opening it in a notepad and copy pasting from it?

Windows 6.3 Build 9600 (aka Windows 8.1) 64 bit.
SoftPerfect Support forum - Andrew avatar image

Re: Corrupt RAM Disk - Saving to Image   17 November 2013, 12:13

We seem to have found the bug, but could anyone who experienced image file size growth please confirm the following:

1. You had set up the RAM disk to periodically save data to an associated image file.

and/or

2. The image file became corrupted after the system had been restarted or turned off/on.

Thank you.
Kati

Re: Corrupt RAM Disk - Saving to Image   20 November 2013, 14:14

The "automatically save to image" function *is* broken on both Windows 7 x64 and Windows 8.1 x64. Thankfully I've not had any data corruption. However when it starts writing to the image file, if there is any activity on the ramdisk it will start throwing "disk is read only" I/O errors. I am running 3.4.3 x64 and have sent a separate ticket about this.
Kati

Re: Corrupt RAM Disk - Saving to Image   20 November 2013, 15:09

It seems like if I tell the disk to mount as a hard drive then this problem goes away. the automatic save-to-image feature should probably be disabled for non hard-disk emulation.

HDD emulation is "slower", but in what respect? It's probably still ridiculously fast compared to the typical SATA drive. I guess I'll run some tests to see what the difference actually is.
SoftPerfect Support forum - Andrew avatar image

Re: Corrupt RAM Disk - Saving to Image   21 November 2013, 10:41

It's by design. Writing to the disk is blocked when the data is being written to a file (as otherwise it would result in an inconsistent image).

The HDD emulation is slower because there's an extra layer than reads and writes go through. Slower by how much, it depends on a few things, but by all means it's faster than a SATA SSD.
Asagrim

Re: Corrupt RAM Disk - Saving to Image   14 February 2014, 18:17

I have image corruption issues all the time as well to this day. Does the "hard disk emulation" option get rid of this problem entirely, or does anyone still experience data corruption issues?

Also how does hard disk emulation affect random 4K r/w performance? I have a software that creates a single temp file, that contains up to thousands of appended temporary files it constantly modifies (rewriting the file entirely), so i'd want to make sure, that hard disk emulation doesn't nullify the benefit of not having to wear down my NAND cells too quickly.

Thanks!
Marzl

Re: Corrupt RAM Disk - Saving to Image   02 December 2014, 00:31

Quote

David.Dai

I've been using it for several weeks. It works quite well until this morning I started my PC and found the RAMDISK drive not accessible. When I clicked on the RAMDISK drive it asked me to format the disk. It seems that the image is corrupted.


Exact same problem here. I had version 3.4.5 when it happened. I just updated to current version (3.4.6) to see if this would magically solve it. It didn't.
The RAM Disk software seems to load the image file correctly (green icon in GUI), but the drive is not accessible as mentioned above. Is there a check to see if the image file is really corrupt and is there any way to repair it?
SoftPerfect Support forum - Andrew avatar image

Re: Corrupt RAM Disk - Saving to Image   02 December 2014, 10:05

We've got reports of this supposedly caused by either CCleaner or TuneUp. Do you have any of these utilities installed?

As to checking whether the image was really corrupt, just open it in any HEX-editor and see whether it looks like it contains a file system and files or it's just blank (all zeros).
Marzl

Re: Corrupt RAM Disk - Saving to Image   03 December 2014, 04:17

I used the export function to create an XML file which I took to create a new RAM disk. The corresponding image file is 4 KB larger than the old (broken) one, i.e. the old image file has a size of 8.388.616 KB while the new one has a size of 8.388.612 KB. I don't have neither CCleaner nor TuneUp installed. Finally I used HxD hex editor to check for the file for zeros. Yes, zeros almost everywhere, only a few bytes in the beginning are not zeros. Looks like, there isn't anything to be repaired ...

The longer I think about it, I think I narrowed my problem down. I was running out of space on my drive C: the other day. C: is where I save the image file to. I changed my RAM recently to 16 GB and presumably in the moment the RAM Disk Software tried to save the image file to C:, Windows took the chance of free space and increases the file size for pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys leaving not enough space for the RAM disk image file.

My presumption is that if the software is set up to write the image file every X minutes, it'll delete the image file right before it writes it again. It could be that moment the hard drive runs out of space so the file could not be written safely. At least that would be plausible to me. Is there check in Softperfect RAMDisk whether there is enough space left at all on the harddrive when re-writing the image file?
SoftPerfect Support forum - Andrew avatar image

Re: Corrupt RAM Disk - Saving to Image   03 December 2014, 14:10

It does not re-write the image file actually. It does differential writes, that is only writes blocks that have changed in memory since the file was last read or flushed to the disk. I'll ask our RAM Disk developer to comment on this.
VD

Re: Corrupt RAM Disk - Saving to Image   03 December 2014, 15:38

Quote

Marzl

Finally I used HxD hex editor to check for the file for zeros. Yes, zeros almost everywhere, only a few bytes in the beginning are not zeros.


I couldn't reproduce this issue. Could you give us more detailed information about your system's version, installed applications, loaded modules, etc. You can run msinfo32, then select Save from the File menu and send us the .nfo file by email or post it here. Also, can you remember the options that you have specified while creating RAM disk at the time when the issue has occurred?

Quote

Marzl

My presumption is ... it'll delete the image file right before it writes it again.


No, RAM Disk does not delete image file before writing, because each time it only writes modified blocks. Furthermore, you can't delete image file while it is mounted as it is opened and locked by the kernel process, and thus this can't result in a corrupted image.
Jorge

Re: Corrupt RAM Disk - Saving to Image   20 February 2015, 07:49

Hi,

I've just had the same problem. I've been using SoftPerfect RAM Disk for 2 months more or less and it is the second time that it happens to me. I've checked the old file and it has some information so I would like to recover it. How can I do it?

Thanks and regards,
Jorge
SoftPerfect Support forum - Andrew avatar image

Re: Corrupt RAM Disk - Saving to Image   21 February 2015, 16:22

Try a third-party disk mount utility that supports entering an offset, like OSFMount, in which you need to enter the offset of 4096 bytes to the data when mounting the image file. An image file is essentially a 4K header followed by raw disk data.

If OSFMount cannot mount the image at the 4096 bytes offset, I am afraid the file system and data may be damaged beyond repair.
Jorge

Re: Corrupt RAM Disk - Saving to Image   23 February 2015, 03:29

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for the information but it did not work.

Regards,
Jorge
Marzl

Re: Corrupt RAM Disk - Saving to Image   08 July 2015, 22:40

Hi, folks!
Sorry for that huge delay. I ran msinfo32 but saw a lot of personal data I don't like to share (paranoia :-/).

OSFMount solved it for me.

Although I set up a new RAM disk the last time, I still had a backup of the broken image file. Today that newer RAM disk broke, too, most likely by a different issue (will answer in a different thread). I tried OSFMount but it didn't work for the current RAM disk. Out of curiosity I tried it on the backup and that worked out great.

Marzl
sabl

Re: Corrupt RAM Disk - Saving to Image   09 July 2015, 12:24

Have you tried the guide that I wrote for partially recovering files?
Marzl

Re: Corrupt RAM Disk - Saving to Image   09 July 2015, 18:48

Quote

sabl

Have you tried the guide that I wrote for partially recovering files?


I just gave it a try, but it didn't work. OSFMount did not recognize the file system properly. In your screenshot under "File system (detected)" it says "NTFS/HPFS/exFAT", here it says "N/A". When I tried chkdsk as was suggested as next step it returned "CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives".
sabl

Re: Corrupt RAM Disk - Saving to Image   10 July 2015, 16:13

That sucks. Did you try using Recuva with the Deep Scan? It's supposed to be filesystem agnostic maybe it's worth a try?
Person

Re: Corrupt RAM Disk - Saving to Image   23 November 2015, 10:09

I had this issue with 3.4.6 under Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. The disk itself doesn't become corrupted, but files inside do. A simple chkdsk fixes it, but of course you may lose files still (thankfully not too much of an issue for me, though very annoying sometimes). I am not sure that I've seen the problem in 3.4.7 under Windows 10 yet, but I'll report if I do.

I also couldn't uninstall the software to upgrade on Windows 10 and had to manually delete the registry entries and go into safe mode to delete the driver files.
RD

Uninstalling RAM Disk   23 November 2015, 12:35

Quote

Person

I also couldn't uninstall the software to upgrade on Windows 10 and had to manually delete the registry entries and go into safe mode to delete the driver files.


The article How to uninstall RAM Disk completely in SoftPerfect's KB helped me with RAM Disk uninstallation. I hope you too will find it useful.
Person

Re: Uninstalling RAM Disk   25 November 2015, 04:16

Quote

RD

The article How to uninstall RAM Disk completely in SoftPerfect's KB helped me with RAM Disk uninstallation. I hope you too will find it useful.

Thanks. smile

Regarding the issue I posted earlier:

Today I found this warning log in my event viewer (drive H is the RAM drive):
Quote

The system failed to flush data to the transaction log. Corruption may occur in VolumeId: H:, DeviceName: \\Device\\00000072.
({Write Protect Error}
The disk cannot be written to because it is write protected. Please remove the write protection from the volume %hs in drive %hs.)


It appears I have received this quite a few times during apparently normal operation.
SoftPerfect Support forum - Andrew avatar image

Re: Uninstalling RAM Disk   25 November 2015, 09:45

Quote

Person

Today I found this warning log in my event viewer (drive H is the RAM drive):

The system failed to flush data to the transaction log. Corruption may occur in VolumeId: H:, DeviceName: \\Device\\00000072.
({Write Protect Error}
The disk cannot be written to because it is write protected. Please remove the write protection from the volume %hs in drive %hs.)

It appears I have received this quite a few times during apparently normal operation.


It's by design. Writing to the disk is blocked when the data is being saved to to an image file file (as otherwise it would result in an inconsistent image).

If this is not suitable, I would recommend not to use an image file and use a file-level backup utility like Robocopy or Unison.
Person

Re: Corrupt RAM Disk - Saving to Image   26 November 2015, 14:17

That is good to know. smile My image just became corrupted and unrecoverable just now using the latest version 3.4.7. I recently had just recreated it under the new version, and let the new version format it and everything. Automatic save feature set to 5 minutes, and not a removable drive. :/

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