Sunday, July 8, 2007

PartitionMagic Error #510

PartitionMagic 8.0: Partition Magic (note that it's spelled both ways, as one word or as two, on various webpages) Error #510: "The version of the file system is not supported." I got this when trying to delete a partition. When I used PM to check for errors, none were found. Symantec says, "An updated version of PartitionMagic is required to operate on this new version of the file system. Visit www.symantec.com for information about updated versions of PartitionMagic." It's a FAT32 partition, and PM 8 created it, so that's obviously not right. On this particular drive, I had no Linux partitions. I had two FAT32 partitions and one NTFS partition. One of the FAT32 partitions -- the one I was trying to delete -- had been an NTFS partition, but when I got the 510 error, I used PM to convert it to FAT32, in hopes that it would then be deletable. It wasn't. I did have two Linux partitions on another drive in the system. I'd had them there for a while. They had not previously been a problem. They were on a SATA drive. The one I was now trying to delete was on an IDE drive. So unless PM was just going out and looking for trouble, the existence of a Linux partition somewhere in the system did not seem to be the explanation for the error message. (See exjoburger's blog and kclee's post for more on that.) (For future reference, I also found a page for Partition Magic Gripes.) I think the problem originated when I was trying to install Windows XP Professional. At a certain point, there were lots of crashes and reboots -- some organic, some artificially induced by the typically impatient resident human who just wanted the machine to shut down and/or reboot immediately. Unlike PM, Cute Partition Manager (see the Wikipedia entry for PartitionMagic) said this, when I tried to delete the recalcitrant partition: "Error saving partition table. Reason: Physical sector address check failed." I had already run CHKDSK /R from the Windows XP CD Recovery Console. It had not solved the problem. Partition Logic 0.68 reported the partitions incorrectly, locked the CD drive, wouldn't let me reboot with Ctrl-Alt-Del, and wouldn't use my mouse, so I tossed it. The Hitachi Drive Fitness Test said the drive was fine. I downloaded and burned the ISO for GParted, which would supposedly include TestDisk. Somebody said TestDisk was also in Ubuntu, in which I am composing this message right now; but I can't find it. GParted is a raw program, of the type you'd expect from something as techie as Linux has been. While I was thinking of all the data I'd lose if the thing screwed up, it was flashing all kinds of rapid messages at me as it configured itself: FAILED this, SUCCESS at that. There was lots of FAILED. Then it came to a language selection screen, and I had to be impressed that apparently its instructions are available in 33 languages. But then I wound up at a place where I didn't even have a prompt, just a flashing cursor, at the bottom of a page full of "failed opcode was: unknown" remarks. The note at the top of the page said, "VESA should always work." So I typed VESA and hit Enter. It didn't work. It did give me a gparted ~# prompt, but I don't speak gparted, so I typed Exit. I thought that would reboot the system, but instead I was actually pleased that it put me at a screen with some instructions. They gave me the GParted homepage link, and also said that TestDisk (among others) was a program available at the console, which I think meant the keyboard. I typed testdisk and hit Enter. This gave me an option of choosing among several partitions, none of which was the right size to be the one I was looking for. So I chose Quit. That didn't quite do it, so I tried other combinations, including Ctrl-Alt-Del, which seemed to be the answer. Back in Windows XP Professional, I went into Computer Management. It gave me the option to delete the offending partition. I had either not known or forgotten this, else I'd have tried it first, but somebody mentioned it on a website I found along the way, and now its time had come. I right-clicked on the offending partition and chose the Delete Logical Drive option. I got a message saying, "The request cannot be completed because the volume is open or in use." But then I got an option to force deletion, and I said Yes, dammit, die! I bailed out of Windows to see how PartitionMagic (which I generally ran from the CD) would report the outcome. At startup, PM said it had detectged an error 111 on a certain partition, and it offered to correct it. I said sure. After a moment, I was in the main PM screen and, yes, that screwed-up partition was now unallocated space. Moreover, the adjacent NTFS volume, which PM had reported as having errors, had errors no more. The unallocated space was 40GB. I wanted to use the first 20GB of it in an NTFS partition. PM created that without a problem. I wanted to add the remaining 20GB to the adjacent partition, the one that had been NTFS all along. But when I tried to add it, PM gave me a 510 error. I tried again. This time, it worked. I checked all partitions for errors, on this drive and on the other drives in my system. This yielded an interesting result. The partitions on this drive, as I say, were now looking good. But so were the partitions on other drives! I had done nothing to repair them; but the process of repairing the one troublesome partition seems to have persuaded PM that the others were fine too. This made me think that I was getting the 510 error, not because of a problem on this particular drive, but because PM was unhappy with the existence of a Linux partition on another drive. It seemed to me that PM may proceed by polling all drives at the outset, and that this poll may inform PM that (a) there is a Linux partition somewhere in the system and/or (b) there is an improperly mounted partition somewhere in the system. Fixing an error in one place, it seemed, would remove the reports of errors elsewhere. This possibility raised the thought that perhaps one could eliminate errors on one disk by fixing them on another. Say you have a partition that you can't delete or resize because Linux thinks it has a 510 error or was improperly dismounted. Add another hard drive to the system, a drive that definitely does have such errors. Use PM, TestDisk, Computer Management, or other tools to repair the problem on that other drive. Now see if PM still thinks your original drive is messed up. It seemed to me that I was getting a lot of "improperly dismounted" error reports from PM in recent months. They may have been legitimate. But now I wondered if maybe some of them were false alarms. Back in Windows XP, I returned to the Twilight Zone. As soon as I booted up, the partition that I had deleted and recreated was there. Correction: it was *still* there. Files that I had placed on it before going out to PM and "deleting" it were sitting there in Windows Explorer, looking at me. I checked the partition's properties. Sure enough, it had been shrunk to 20GB. But PM had plainly not erased it. I told Computer Management to check the disk for file system errors. Computer Management took a long time, but ultimately it worked.

3 comments:

Anonymous

yeap it was linux. I had the 510 error and also had linux but on another disk so as I don't use linux that much I deleted it and like magic PM stops throwing errors
maybe I'll try reinstalling linux and setting PM to only treat those disks as read only

Lee Long

Very nice post n' Computer Management useful, too :)

Anonymous

I had a similar experience in WinXP Pro with PartionMagic (version 8) and Error 510. I had two large NTFS logical drives (side by side) that I wanted to Merge. PartionMagic8 refused to Nerge the righthand partition into the lefthand partition (or the left into the right), giving me Error 510. But the subsequent checks and tests I ran found no errors in the partitions. Using PM8 I : 1) tried to Delete the right partition and Resize the left into the newly empty space, with the same error. 2) converted the right partition to FAT32, tried everything again and got the same error. 3) was able to SHRINK the right partition down to a minimum size and expand the left partition into the new space but couldn't completely delete the right with PM8. Then I read this post and saw that Computer Management Deleted the partition under similar circumstances; I tried it with my leftover righthand partition and it was changed into unallocated space. Then in PM8 I expanded the left partition into the new unallocated space and everything seems OK. I haven't rebooted . . . PM8 did all the work on the partitions in Windows without making me shutdown Windows. All my partitions and data SHOULD be fine after I do reboot, I didn't get any ominous warnings. Finally, I also have various Linux partitions on the hardrives in my computer, including one adjacent to the right partition I was trying to get rid of. However, other than this particular Error 510 trouble PM8 hasn't flagged any persistent problems with my drives. Thanks for your post Ray W...