Disk Concepts and Troubleshooting

There are various causes of disk problems and means of recovering from them. The following are tools that you can use to troubleshoot disk problems:

  • DiskProbe can be used to examine and change information on individual disk sectors.

  • DiskMap can be used to display the layout of partitions and logical volumes on your disk.

Neither of these tools is designed for use with dynamic disks because they cannot read the dynamic Disk Management database. DiskProbe can change the values of individual bytes in any sector on a dynamic disk, but it cannot navigate the structure of a dynamic disk, so it might be impossible to find the sector that you want to view or edit. Therefore it is generally recommended that these tools only be used on basic disks.

DiskProbe is part of the Support Tools collection in the \Support\Tools folder on the Windows 2000 product CD. For more information about using DiskProbe, see the document Dskprtrb.doc in the C:\Program Files\Support Tools folder.

DiskMap is one of the Resource Kit tools on the Windows 2000 Resource Kit companion CD. For more information about using DiskMap, see the document Diskmap.doc, installed with the Resource Kit tools into the C:\Program Files\Resource Kit folder.



Be extremely cautious about making any changes to the structures of your hard disk! DiskProbe does not validate the proposed changes to records. Incorrect values in key data structures can render the hard disk inaccessible or prevent the operating system from starting.

You can easily make changes that have serious consequences, resulting in the following error messages:

You cannot start any operating system.

A volume is no longer accessible.

You have to recreate and reformat all of the partitions and logical volumes.

DiskProbe displays a messages asking you to verify any change that you want recorded to disk. Please carefully consider any changes before accepting them.

With careful use of such disk tools as DiskProbe, you can solve problems whether they occur through human error, hardware problems, power outages, or other events. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with these tools in a test situation. Testing is especially important if your configuration has legacy spanned or striped sets.



Using DiskProbe, you can save, restore, find, examine, and change the bytes of any sector on the disk, including the MBR and the boot sector. The MBR of disk 0 is used to start Windows 2000–based computers, and the system and boot volumes of disk 0 must be defined in the partition table, making the boot sectors easily located, regardless of the disk configuration used. As a result, DiskProbe can be used to back up and restore these disk structures on computers using dynamic disk.