transactional ntfs + sata + safe removal

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mysteryman
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transactional ntfs + sata + safe removal

Post by mysteryman » Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:01 am

I noticed today that sometimes sata drives refuse to remove both through usbsafelyremove as well as device manager.

By using procexplorer I found out why. I'm still researching, but due to vista being kindof new I have not found out how to fix it.

During one of these attempts the following handles were open by the process 'system'.
H:\
H:\$Extend\$RmMetadata\$TxfLog\$TxfLog.blf
H:\$Extend\$RmMetadata\$TxfLog\$TxfLogContainer0000000000000000000001
H:\$Extend\$RmMetadata\$TxfLog\$TxfLogContainer0000000000000000000002
With a little digging, I found out this was part of vista's new "transactional ntfs' filesystem. Does anyone know how to disable this for a single partition (or flush it to the point the handles all clear)? Without forcing these transactions to flush, the only alternative is to restart the computer. I don't like doing that :)
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Igor
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Re: transactional ntfs + sata + safe removal

Post by Igor » Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:17 am

mysteryman wrote:I noticed today that sometimes sata drives refuse to remove both through usbsafelyremove as well as device manager.

By using procexplorer I found out why. I'm still researching, but due to vista being kindof new I have not found out how to fix it.

During one of these attempts the following handles were open by the process 'system'.
H:\
H:\$Extend\$RmMetadata\$TxfLog\$TxfLog.blf
H:\$Extend\$RmMetadata\$TxfLog\$TxfLogContainer0000000000000000000001
H:\$Extend\$RmMetadata\$TxfLog\$TxfLogContainer0000000000000000000002
With a little digging, I found out this was part of vista's new "transactional ntfs' filesystem. Does anyone know how to disable this for a single partition (or flush it to the point the handles all clear)? Without forcing these transactions to flush, the only alternative is to restart the computer. I don't like doing that :)
We also have 2 Vista systems but have never encountered this problem.
How do you copy data to your SATA drive? Do you use some specific software to work with your drive?
mysteryman
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Post by mysteryman » Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:30 am

This time specifically I had just purchased the drive, formatted it fresh, then copied a large amount of data (450GB) to it from the drive it will be replacing. I didn't use any special program to do it. Just explorer. The fact there were so many files, or it took so long might have something to do with it.

Have you tested ejecting any sata/esata in vista? Most external drives that aren't sata/esata are fat/fat32. This problem would only affect ntfs (and possibly only ones that have been formatted in vista?). Transactional ntfs was created for vista, and obviously would only support ntfs.

I'll let you know if I come up with any more theories... and I'll try to leave my pc up (with the problem happening) as long as possible to test.
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Igor
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Post by Igor » Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:37 pm

mysteryman wrote:This time specifically I had just purchased the drive, formatted it fresh, then copied a large amount of data (450GB) to it from the drive it will be replacing. I didn't use any special program to do it. Just explorer. The fact there were so many files, or it took so long might have something to do with it.

Have you tested ejecting any sata/esata in vista? Most external drives that aren't sata/esata are fat/fat32. This problem would only affect ntfs (and possibly only ones that have been formatted in vista?). Transactional ntfs was created for vista, and obviously would only support ntfs.

I'll let you know if I come up with any more theories... and I'll try to leave my pc up (with the problem happening) as long as possible to test.
Mysteryman, thank you for the information and sorry for the long response. Honestly we haven't tested ejecting Sata drives in vista, because we do not have a required hardware at the moment. But we will fix this mistake in the nearest future.
Ase
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Post by Ase » Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:24 pm

Igor wrote:
mysteryman wrote:This time specifically I had just purchased the drive, formatted it fresh, then copied a large amount of data (450GB) to it from the drive it will be replacing. I didn't use any special program to do it. Just explorer. The fact there were so many files, or it took so long might have something to do with it.

Have you tested ejecting any sata/esata in vista? Most external drives that aren't sata/esata are fat/fat32. This problem would only affect ntfs (and possibly only ones that have been formatted in vista?). Transactional ntfs was created for vista, and obviously would only support ntfs.

I'll let you know if I come up with any more theories... and I'll try to leave my pc up (with the problem happening) as long as possible to test.
Mysteryman, thank you for the information and sorry for the long response. Honestly we haven't tested ejecting Sata drives in vista, because we do not have a required hardware at the moment. But we will fix this mistake in the nearest future.
Hi,

Just for info:

I use a Seagate 750GB USB drive, and the same problem is affecting me aswell almost 100% of times, even hours after I used the drive..

During betas it also included my other 500MB USB drives, so something has been fixed for the release, but not all the way.

Now 3 days after my post the 25th it starts to complaint the same on one of my 500 GB discs :(

Any fixes comming to this?

//Ase
wolfgang
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Post by wolfgang » Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:43 am

Do you have Acronis installed on your PC ? If yes, see my post http://safelyremove.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=179
//Wolfgang
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Igor
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Post by Igor » Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:46 am

Ase wrote:
Just for info:

I use a Seagate 750GB USB drive, and the same problem is affecting me aswell almost 100% of times, even hours after I used the drive..

During betas it also included my other 500MB USB drives, so something has been fixed for the release, but not all the way.

Now 3 days after my post the 25th it starts to complaint the same on one of my 500 GB discs :(

Any fixes comming to this?

//Ase
Unfortunately this is really a problem of Windows Vista and we ocassionally gets it on our computers. Sometimes it helps to press "Forced stop" button, but it doesn't work for every case. Currently we do not have a way to resolve this problem, but in closest future we will try to avoid it.
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Igor
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Post by Igor » Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:40 pm

Ase wrote: Hi,

Just for info:

I use a Seagate 750GB USB drive, and the same problem is affecting me aswell almost 100% of times, even hours after I used the drive..

During betas it also included my other 500MB USB drives, so something has been fixed for the release, but not all the way.

Now 3 days after my post the 25th it starts to complaint the same on one of my 500 GB discs :(

Any fixes comming to this?

//Ase
Ase, I was investigating this problem and also often was encountering this problem. However in every case pressing "Forced stop" button in our program helped me. What about you? Have you tried to press "Forced stop"?

P.S. Version of USB Safely Remove should be 4.0.9 or higher.
Techland
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Re: transactional ntfs + sata + safe removal

Post by Techland » Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:43 am

I have the exact same problem. I just was about to pay but it seems USB Safely Removal fails exactly at that point where I would need it most. I work 90% of my time on a laptop and have eSATA drives connected from time to time. These often can not be removed with the handles posted by mysteryman above.

I searched the web up and down and there have been mentioned some workarounds, like a special removal tool, stopping Windows search and indexing etc etc. I even learned about how to restart Explorer in Windows 7 the offical way (not killing the task). However, none of this removed the handles. The only solution is to shutdown the PC, or risk it and simply unplug.

Now what worries me is that this effect had been posted here on 2 Octobre 2008, and 2 years later the developers have not found out what's going on. I would have expected to at least see a workaround presented in USR.

And no, Forced Stop doesn't help. So what do we do from here?
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Igor
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Re: transactional ntfs + sata + safe removal

Post by Igor » Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:21 pm

Techland wrote:I have the exact same problem. I just was about to pay but it seems USB Safely Removal fails exactly at that point where I would need it most. I work 90% of my time on a laptop and have eSATA drives connected from time to time. These often can not be removed with the handles posted by mysteryman above.

I searched the web up and down and there have been mentioned some workarounds, like a special removal tool, stopping Windows search and indexing etc etc. I even learned about how to restart Explorer in Windows 7 the offical way (not killing the task). However, none of this removed the handles. The only solution is to shutdown the PC, or risk it and simply unplug.

Now what worries me is that this effect had been posted here on 2 Octobre 2008, and 2 years later the developers have not found out what's going on. I would have expected to at least see a workaround presented in USR.

And no, Forced Stop doesn't help. So what do we do from here?
Hi Techland,
We have tried to investigate the problem but haven't found a decision so far. The problem is somewhere in the Windows core and lasts from Windows 2000. This is not a problem of our code so it's quite hard to fix it.
CanyonCountry
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Re: transactional ntfs + sata + safe removal

Post by CanyonCountry » Mon Jan 03, 2011 6:38 pm

The problem with eSATA drives and Vista (and with Server 2008) occurs when the eSATA port is not flagged by the BIOS as removable. During bootup the OS determines which devices are marked as removable. I have read that here is information in the Registry indicating whether or not a port is removable, but I am not clear whether the OS uses that information or queries the driver and I have not found reliable information about fiddling with it.

If a drive is not marked as removable during bootup, Windows latches onto what it thinks is a permanently mounted drive and uses it for Transactional NTFS. As best I have been able to determine there is no practical way to get the system to turn the drive loose once it is using it for Transactional NTFS without rebooting :? . I have read, but not confirmed, that Server 2008 R2 has a way to deal with this, but after much searching I have not found a solution for Vista when the BIOS does not indicate that a port is removable.

One workaround that has worked for me on Server 2008 is to ensure the eSATA drive is not mounted during stystem bootup. If the eSATA drive apears after the system has booted up it is not used for Transactional NTFS and can be removed with USBSR. I have not tested this in Vista, but I expect it would work the same.

...Jim Hansen
Canyon Country Consulting
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Igor
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Re: transactional ntfs + sata + safe removal

Post by Igor » Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:33 am

CanyonCountry wrote: One workaround that has worked for me on Server 2008 is to ensure the eSATA drive is not mounted during stystem bootup. If the eSATA drive apears after the system has booted up it is not used for Transactional NTFS and can be removed with USBSR. I have not tested this in Vista, but I expect it would work the same.
Hi Jim,
Thanks for sharing the information!

Actually this problem happen not only with SATA drives but with USB drives as well. Moreover it may happen even if you connect USB drive after the system has booted up.
JohannRSA
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Re: transactional ntfs + sata + safe removal

Post by JohannRSA » Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:41 am

Hi I have had this same problem with SBS 2008 86x SP2, using 2x Seagate 500gig cadies and a generic cadie with a 500gig seagate drive (all on the same server).

Each drive worked fine for a week or 2, then it will stop working correctly.
The AV and pastel backup tool have been set to ignor the drives, Windows index service is off and automatic update is disabled.

The only handles I can find (like OP) are the T ntfs ones on the system service. Savelyremove does not detect thease handles and does not give me the force romove option.

Thanks.
warleque
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Re: transactional ntfs + sata + safe removal

Post by warleque » Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:42 pm

I have found that if your (e)SATA drive is ‘removable’ or if you can set it to ‘removable’ (if you don’t have this option, you can try setting your drive controller to AHCI in BIOS. Keep in mind, if doing this and your (e)SATA drive is on the same controller as your operating system, your system may not boot until you load the specific drivers for your controller now that the boot drive will be AHCI and not native IDE).

If your drive is set to 'removable', you can set the drive to ‘offline’ status via disk management within computer management. This is done by right clicking on the drive number (box to the left of the volume and drive letter information). Once the drive is set to offline, you can safely remove it.

If you then want to re-attach the (e)SATA drive at a later time, you may have to first go into ‘device manager’ and ‘scan for new devices’ after attaching the drive if it is not automatically discovered. Once the drive is discovered, you will then need to check in ‘disk management’ to make sure the drive is ‘online’. If it is still in an ‘offline’ status, right click on the drive number (as done to set offline) and click online.

This will work the same with USB drives that are experiencing the transactional NTFS locking issue. In the case of a USB drive the process is the same, except the system should auto recognize the drive when plugging it back in due to most USB devices being ‘plug and play’.

Again, your mileage may vary and do this at your own risk if switching to AHCI. I have a newer Win7-64 system that this works flawlessly with and an older SBS2003R2 server that even with the controller set to AHCI, I do not have the option to set the SATA drive to removable...

It would be nice if a solution could be found that would allow for the use of USBSR as it would be far less complex…
skromnibog
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Re: transactional ntfs + sata + safe removal

Post by skromnibog » Fri Nov 25, 2011 8:27 pm

If a drive removal policy is set to "Quick removal" and you can't safely remove the drive, try setting the removal policy to "Better performance" with enabled write caching. For me it worked like charm, after disabling "Quick removal", safe removal works.
Of course the question is then if "Quick removal" and simply unplugging an external hdd is a better solution.
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