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Thread: GPT Protective Partition - cannot assign drive letter or access it

  1. #1
    Z Man Guest

    GPT Protective Partition - cannot assign drive letter or access it

    I have an external two drive Firewire 800 chassis populated with two
    identical 300GB hard drives. I have been using one of the hard drives to
    back up the data drive on my Dell 1600 server (with one Xeon 2800GHz CPU)
    running Windows 2003 Server, Enterprise Edition. The other hard drive is
    empty.

    This afternoon, I tried to restore some of the data to another computer,
    running Windows XP Professional, SP2. The XP system can read the empty 300GB
    hard drive, but cannot access the other hard drive. I cannot assign a drive
    letter to the drive with my data. It says it is a GPT Protective Partition.
    My initial research discloses that this type of partition is associated with
    the 64 bit version of Windows, but I am running just standard stuff, as
    outlined above. Query: how can I access my data? How did this hard drive end
    up having a GPT Protective Partition? I certainly did nothing deliberately
    to cause this to occur. I have worked on hundreds of systems and have never
    previously run across this issue. Anyone?



  2. #2
    Darrell Gorter[MSFT] Guest

    RE: GPT Protective Partition - cannot assign drive letter or access it

    Hello,
    With Windows Server 2003 SP1, x86 also supports GPT disks. These are only
    supported as data disks, not as boot or system disks.
    You would configure them in Disk Management. Windows XP SP2 does not
    support GPT disks. The disks would have be configured as MBR disks, which
    would mean backing up all the data, converting the disk to MBR( the convert
    process erases all the data), then restoring the data.
    Thanks,
    Darrell Gorter[MSFT]

    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
    --------------------
    <From: "Z Man" <z1z@hotmail.com>
    <Subject: GPT Protective Partition - cannot assign drive letter or access it
    <Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2006 21:45:55 -0500
    <Lines: 18
    <X-Priority: 3
    <X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
    <X-Newsreader: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2900.2670
    <X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2900.2670
    <X-RFC2646: Format=Flowed; Original
    <Message-ID: <OdRIYdUJGHA.2696@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl>
    <Newsgroups: microsoft.public.windows.server.general
    <NNTP-Posting-Host: pool-71-251-13-237.nycmny.fios.verizon.net 71.251.13.237
    <Path: TK2MSFTNGXA02.phx.gbl!TK2MSFTNGP08.phx.gbl!TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl
    <Xref: TK2MSFTNGXA02.phx.gbl microsoft.public.windows.server.general:87439
    <X-Tomcat-NG: microsoft.public.windows.server.general
    <
    <I have an external two drive Firewire 800 chassis populated with two
    <identical 300GB hard drives. I have been using one of the hard drives to
    <back up the data drive on my Dell 1600 server (with one Xeon 2800GHz CPU)
    <running Windows 2003 Server, Enterprise Edition. The other hard drive is
    <empty.
    <
    <This afternoon, I tried to restore some of the data to another computer,
    <running Windows XP Professional, SP2. The XP system can read the empty
    300GB
    <hard drive, but cannot access the other hard drive. I cannot assign a
    drive
    <letter to the drive with my data. It says it is a GPT Protective
    Partition.
    <My initial research discloses that this type of partition is associated
    with
    <the 64 bit version of Windows, but I am running just standard stuff, as
    <outlined above. Query: how can I access my data? How did this hard drive
    end
    <up having a GPT Protective Partition? I certainly did nothing deliberately
    <to cause this to occur. I have worked on hundreds of systems and have
    never
    <previously run across this issue. Anyone?
    <
    <
    <


  3. #3
    Z Man Guest

    Re: GPT Protective Partition - cannot assign drive letter or access it


    ""Darrell Gorter[MSFT]"" <Darrellg@online.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:b9iilKeJGHA.1236@TK2MSFTNGXA02.phx.gbl...
    > Hello,
    > With Windows Server 2003 SP1, x86 also supports GPT disks. These are only
    > supported as data disks, not as boot or system disks.
    > You would configure them in Disk Management. Windows XP SP2 does not
    > support GPT disks. The disks would have be configured as MBR disks, which
    > would mean backing up all the data, converting the disk to MBR( the

    convert
    > process erases all the data), then restoring the data.


    Interesting. When I got to the the office today I attached the external
    Firewire 800 unit (with two 300GB hard drives) to my server and was indeed
    able to access both drives. When I clicked right on My Computer and clicked
    on Manage, I saw both drives and both had drive letters. Both looked
    absolutely identical. Nowhere did it inform me that one disk is a GPT disk,
    and the other is not. I am right now backing up my system to the one drive
    that I know XP can read, and when that has been completed, I will format the
    other disk on an XP system (to make certain I can read it).



  4. #4
    Darrell Gorter[MSFT] Guest

    Re: GPT Protective Partition - cannot assign drive letter or access it

    Hello,
    So while in Disk management, right click on the drive(not the volume, the
    drive)
    Under the the option to Convert to Dynamic Disk, there should be an option>
    If the disk is GPT the option would be convert to MBR
    Is the disk is MBR the option would be to convert to GPT.
    In either case the option is greyed out as long as there are partition on
    the drive. You have to remove all partitions from the drive before you can
    convert, thus the reason I for backing up first.
    I have Windows Installed on both disks so neither can be GPT so I do not
    recall where it shows it in the UI other than device manager.
    goto the disk drives in device manager:
    right click on the drive and choose properties
    then choose the volumes tab
    hit the populate button
    Note what is under partition style. This should tell you whether it's GPT
    or MBR.
    Thanks,
    Darrell Gorter[MSFT]

    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
    --------------------
    <From: "Z Man" <z1z@hotmail.com>
    <References: <OdRIYdUJGHA.2696@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl>
    <b9iilKeJGHA.1236@TK2MSFTNGXA02.phx.gbl>
    <Subject: Re: GPT Protective Partition - cannot assign drive letter or
    access it
    <Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 19:04:11 -0500
    <Lines: 22
    <X-Priority: 3
    <X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
    <X-Newsreader: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2800.1506
    <X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2800.1506
    <Message-ID: <#qo$2mfJGHA.648@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl>
    <Newsgroups: microsoft.public.windows.server.general
    <NNTP-Posting-Host: pool-71-247-240-172.nycmny.east.verizon.net
    71.247.240.172
    <Path: TK2MSFTNGXA02.phx.gbl!TK2MSFTNGP08.phx.gbl!TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl
    <Xref: TK2MSFTNGXA02.phx.gbl microsoft.public.windows.server.general:87533
    <X-Tomcat-NG: microsoft.public.windows.server.general
    <
    <
    <""Darrell Gorter[MSFT]"" <Darrellg@online.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    <news:b9iilKeJGHA.1236@TK2MSFTNGXA02.phx.gbl...
    <> Hello,
    <> With Windows Server 2003 SP1, x86 also supports GPT disks. These are
    only
    <> supported as data disks, not as boot or system disks.
    <> You would configure them in Disk Management. Windows XP SP2 does not
    <> support GPT disks. The disks would have be configured as MBR disks,
    which
    <> would mean backing up all the data, converting the disk to MBR( the
    <convert
    <> process erases all the data), then restoring the data.
    <
    <Interesting. When I got to the the office today I attached the external
    <Firewire 800 unit (with two 300GB hard drives) to my server and was indeed
    <able to access both drives. When I clicked right on My Computer and clicked
    <on Manage, I saw both drives and both had drive letters. Both looked
    <absolutely identical. Nowhere did it inform me that one disk is a GPT disk,
    <and the other is not. I am right now backing up my system to the one drive
    <that I know XP can read, and when that has been completed, I will format
    the
    <other disk on an XP system (to make certain I can read it).
    <
    <
    <


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