Multiple boot and NTFS problems -- Vista, Ubuntu/GRUB, CHKDSK

Posted: 01-10-2009, 04:10 AM

I have a dual-boot (Vista/Ubuntu) system, with 2 system hard drives.
Each drive has both Vista and Ubuntu, in multiple partitions, and m
intent is that the second hard drive should be a bootable mirror of th
first, for both Vista and Ubuntu. This seemed like a very good idea a
the time -- in the event of a drive problem on HD-0, I simply would boo
from HD-1, for both Vista and Ubuntu. I could then replace HD-0 an
clone back to it, but in the meantime, keep working or playing o

It doesn't seem like it was such a good idea now, because (1) it seem
that Vista always boots from HD-1, no matter whether I order it to boo
from HD-0 or HD-1 and (2), much worse, I am having persistent an
recurrent MFT BITMAP corruption on the Vista data partitions on bot


My system is an HP m9040n with a Q6600 Core2 Quad CPU, 3 GB RAM, and
320 GB hard drives, running 32-bit Vista Home Premium. I used BootIt-N
and Acronis Disk Directory to do the partition work, Clonezilla fo
making a complete clone from HD-0 to HD-1, and to make clone images to
500 GB USB drive for image backups. Also used Acronis True Image fo
some partition backups. Used SyncToy to keep slave Vista partitions i
sync with master Vista partitions. Intended to do simila
synchronization for Ubuntu using rsync, but haven't gotten that far.
Also used JungleDisk for Internet backup of user files. (I'm big o
backup. When you comprehend all the problems I've been having, you ca
see why!) BTW, the reason I didn't consider a soft RAID-1 solution i
that I know of no such software that would work for both the ntfs an
ext3 partitions

The first attachment, Partitions.jpg, is an Acronis Disk Directo
screen shot showing all the partitions on both drives. The Ext
partitions are for Ubuntu, obviously. I kept the original Vista instal
on HD-0, repartitioned using BootIT NG, and went to some trouble to pu
most subfolders of Users\* onto the Vista Data (E drive. I installe
Ubuntu and set up the Ubuntu users, etc. in the Ext3 partitions. Then
used Clonezilla to clone the entire thing to HD-1. I booted from HD-1
in both Vista and Ubuntu, and all seemed fine. (Many steps and stumble
left out, of course.) For multiple boot control, I used GRUB

The second attachment, menu.lst, contains the non-boilerplate parts o
my GRUB menu.lst file, showing GRUB boot commands for al
configurations. As you can see, it has entries for booting from each o
the primary partitions on both HD-0 and HD-1

Things seemed to be going fairly well, but then I moved and the syste
was dormant for about 3 months. After I got it back up a couple o
weeks ago, I started noticing problems

Problem 1: Why can't I get Vista to boot from HD-0? Or is it bootin
from HD-0 and assigning the system disk letter to be G:? Is this
Vista problem or a GRUB problem

Multiple boot into Ubuntu seems to work fine, with the single anomal
that, when booted from HD-1, df tells me that /dev/sda4 is mounted on
when I am convinced (because of Used/Available figures) that it i
actually /dev/sdb4, as it should be -- see attachment dfLies.txt. (sd
is HD-0 and sdb is HD-1

However, no matter whether I use the GRUB entry for HD-0 Vista or th
GRUB entry for HD-1 Vista, the results, as displayed by Acronis, are th
same -- C: is assigned to the first partition on HD-1 and E: to th
second partition. I believe that C: is always my Vista system disk, an
I haven't tried to play any games with changing letter assignments t
partitions. (If I am wrong on this, please correct me, because the
maybe the Vista dual boot is working!) BTW, uncommenting the ma
commands on the HD-1 Vista entries has no apparent effect

Problem 2: MFT BITMAP attribute corruption

Starting a week ago, when I tried to use SyncToy beta to synchroniz
some folders between C: and E:, E: has had persistent and recurring MF
BITMAP errors. I have run CHKDSK many times, and most often it says i
fixed the problems -- a second run finds the same MFT BITMAP corruptio

Using Acronis Disk Director/True Image, I backed up the entire
partition to an external drive, reformatted the partition and restored.
At this point, the corruption problems had disappeared, but they came
back after I did another SyncToy run or two. I am running SyncToy
beta, downloaded last August. I am a suspicious that SyncToy might be
causing the problems, but I don't really think so.

Another possibility is that Vista somehow is confusing the Vista Data-1
partition on HD-1 with the Vista Data partition on HD-0, so writing
inconsistent information to the BITMAP attributes, sometimes on HD-0 and
sometimes on HD-1. Originally, the partition labels were identical
between HD-0 and HD-1 -- I assumemd that any reasonable system could
keep them straight, since the most fundamental address, the hardware
address, was different. I changed the partition labels on Jan. 4, and
things have not improved -- but maybe the damage was already done by
then? Seems farfetched, but I am grasping at straws here!

From what I understand from an earlier post/reply, CHKDSK can't correct
BITMAP problems. (If not, why does it say that it did correct them!?!
Arrrggghhh!!!) Is there any utility that can?

Anyone have any idea what might be really going on? I'm willing to do
the backup/reformat/restore exercise again, but if the errors just come
back an hour later, what's the point?

For anyone who wants to be truly bored, the last attachment,
Problems090103.txt, details the saga.

Thanks for any help or pointers you might give me.


|Filename: Partitions.jpg |
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Multiple boot and NTFS problems -- Vista, Ubuntu/GRUB, CHKDSK

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