Disappearing Files on 3rd Internal SSD when accessed from 2 different Windows installs - Help!

torrent439

Standard Member
Hi,

I have a laptop which has 3 internal disk drives as below:

Work Drive 1 - 1TD SSD Windows 10 install (work)
Personal Drive 2 - 1TD SSD Windows 10 install (personal)
Shared Drive 3 - 250GB SSD Used for copying/moving/storing data which will be accessed by both the above drives (work and personal).

Work Drive 1 and Personal Drive 2 are treated as completely isolated systems from one another (I specify which to boot at the bios and the other drives port is disabled at that point so it's not seen by the laptop/motherboard anymore (bios > port enable/disable setting)).

To setup Shared Drive 3, it was plugged in, I then booted up windows on Personal Drive 2 and used Disk Management > Initialise disk > GPT
After the above setup of Shared Drive 3, it was available in My Computer/This PC as a drive, this is exactly what I wanted (a drive in My Computer to quickly drag files to/from in order to share data between Work Drive 1 and Personal Drive 2)

The problem I noticed shortly afterwards is that, when I copy files onto it from Work Drive 1 to Shared Drive 3 and then power off the laptop, when I then boot up Personal Drive 2, the files aren't there on Shared Drive 3 anymore!!! (even though the drive has other files I had previously moved onto it)

Is this a Permissions issue? do I need to enable some sort of sharing option on the drive? (since it was setup/initialised using only Personal Drive 2 and not the Work Drive 1)

I basically want Shared Drive 3 to act EXACTLY like a USB stick would (without the need to eject since it's an internal drive)

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

torrent439

Standard Member
Any ideas anyone? :(

Really confused... I just deleted a file from the Shared Drive 3 (and emptied Recycle Bin) then logged in from the other windows, checked Shared Drive 3 and the file was still there!
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
I have seen this before but with usb drives when either the drive gets put in a read-only mode but the os does not recognize this. Or when the disk is damaged.

Either way file operations appear to complete correctly but a reboot then resets it back to how it was.

Are the files still there when got reboot back into that machine you deleted them from?
 

torrent439

Standard Member
I have seen this before but with usb drives when either the drive gets put in a read-only mode but the os does not recognize this. Or when the disk is damaged.

Either way file operations appear to complete correctly but a reboot then resets it back to how it was.

Are the files still there when got reboot back into that machine you deleted them from?

Just logged into the other windows and you're right, the deleted file is now back on there too! even though it was also deleted from the recycle bin, and it can also be opened and I can see the same data inside as before it was deleted (notepad file with a few lines of text).

Additionally, a recent file which I had also created 2 days ago has now also disappeared and can't be seen from either system.

I also have two suspicions:

1 - Corrupt disk drive (certain sectors corrupt etc)

2 - Read/write access, permissions issue (I did initialise the drive from one system so not sure if the other system likes that - i.e. seeing a new storage drive it didn't see before, though I'd assume that windows should just see a drive as storage like a usb etc, regardless of if it's connected to a usb port or an internal M.2/SATA port).

When you said "gets put in a read-only mode" - is there any way to change/disable this?

Thanks
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
When you said "gets put in a read-only mode" - is there any way to change/disable this?

If Windows puts it into a readonly mode then you should not be able to do anything and it will tell you or prevent you from copy and pasting\deleting etc.

If there is a physical hardware issue with the controller\disk then Windows might not know. I suspect it is this but you would need to download tools to test the SMART status of the drive which should tell you. Something like CrystalDiskInfo would be the one to use. Run this and get a screenshot and put it back here to see.

How old is the drive and have you used it before?
 

torrent439

Standard Member
If Windows puts it into a readonly mode then you should not be able to do anything and it will tell you or prevent you from copy and pasting\deleting etc.

If there is a physical hardware issue with the controller\disk then Windows might not know. I suspect it is this but you would need to download tools to test the SMART status of the drive which should tell you. Something like CrystalDiskInfo would be the one to use. Run this and get a screenshot and put it back here to see.

How old is the drive and have you used it before?

The drive is new, I've not used it before, this is the first time I'm using it. CrystalDiskInfo below:

CrystalDiskInfo_20200910235346.png
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
The drive is new, I've not used it before, this is the first time I'm using it
It’s weird that it has written more than the whole drive worth of data when it is that new. How did you format it? Does drive manger advise any partitions are read only?
 

torrent439

Standard Member
It’s weird that it has written more than the whole drive worth of data when it is that new. How did you format it? Does drive manger advise any partitions are read only?

I just plugged it in, booted into windows and then:
Computer Management > Disk Management > Initialise Disk > GPT
once I did the above and assigned it a drive letter, it then appeared under This PC/My Computer

I didn't partition it, just using the entire disk as one storage area
 

torrent439

Standard Member
Try turning it off and see if it fixes the problem.

Okay so I've reformatted the drive, initialised it again the same as before but this time, unticked the "Enable write caching on the device" option.

So far, no issues, I'll monitor and see if it occurs again - hope this is the fix!

Thank you Bolosun :thumbsup:
 

Bolosun

Active Member
As written, if it works, switch it back and retest. It should not cause an issue with it enabled, but obviously it is not completing writes, so you could have a h/w fault. Assume you have tried different cables and ports etc?
 

torrent439

Standard Member
As written, if it works, switch it back and retest. It should not cause an issue with it enabled, but obviously it is not completing writes, so you could have a h/w fault. Assume you have tried different cables and ports etc?
It's a laptop and has no cables, it's just direct slots on the motherboard. It only has 2 slots for M.2 drives so I can't really try another one, unless I switch the two drives around since current configuration is:

M.2 SLOT: Work Drive 1 - 1TD SSD Windows 10 install (work)
SATA SLOT: Personal Drive 2 - 1TD SSD Windows 10 install (personal)
M.2 SLOT: Shared Drive 3 - 250GB SSD Used for copying/moving/storing data which will be accessed by both the above drives (work and personal).

So both M.2 slots are occupied so only thing I can do is switch them around.

Since the issues with files disappearing didn't occur straight away, I just want to give it a few days to confirm it's fixed/sorted based on the "Enable write caching on the device" setting that's been disabled.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
I'll try enabling it again and testing, but will leave it for a few days to confirm that it's definitely sorted, because it was weird when it did happen as some files would disappear and the rest would remain there

Write caching though is a near real-time thing though so it is either going to do it or not, it would certainly not be a matter of days, it if was minutes, I would be concerned.

Either something went fairly fundamentally wrong with the initialisation\formatting or there is a possibility there is an underlying hardware issue that SMART is not detecting (a controller issue). By repartitioning etc it could be that you have either kicked it back into life or moved the problem. You may then incur in the future. Presumably, you have a backup of these files?
 

torrent439

Standard Member
Write caching though is a near real-time thing though so it is either going to do it or not, it would certainly not be a matter of days, it if was minutes, I would be concerned.

Either something went fairly fundamentally wrong with the initialisation\formatting or there is a possibility there is an underlying hardware issue that SMART is not detecting (a controller issue). By repartitioning etc it could be that you have either kicked it back into life or moved the problem. You may then incur in the future. Presumably, you have a backup of these files?

I also wondered if maybe there was a problem during the first time the disk was initialised - if that's all it was then no problem, all good as long as it's sorted and doesn't happen again.

But if it's a problem with the SSD itself and initialising it again has just moved it, which means it will likely happen again in the future then it's an problem...

I'm tempted to actually return the SSD since I can still get a refund if I say it's faulty and just buy another, just to be safe. That way, if it happens again, at least I know it's not the SSD itself.

Yep, I'm backing up the files on the drive every time I change something on it as I'm paranoid now that I'll lose something any minute.
 

Bolosun

Active Member
With the cache enabled, the o/s does not wait for the h/w to acknowledge the write, it just assumes it has been done. With it disabled, it waits for the acknowledgement before carrying on. It could be a SSD or controller issue, the controller not flushing the writes as it should. If it only happens on 1 SSD, I would replace it.
 

torrent439

Standard Member
With the cache enabled, the o/s does not wait for the h/w to acknowledge the write, it just assumes it has been done. With it disabled, it waits for the acknowledgement before carrying on. It could be a SSD or controller issue, the controller not flushing the writes as it should. If it only happens on 1 SSD, I would replace it.

Oh right, so that's how the write cache works!

Yep, my thinking also. That's what I'll do, return this one while I can still get a refund for claiming it's faulty and purchase another different one. When I initialise the new one, I'll leave settings as default, so the write caching enabled and see if anything similar happens. Hopefully it was just a faulty SSD and that's all.

Thank you guys for all the help so far, really appreciated! :)
 

Bolosun

Active Member
Just done some re-reading on enabling cache on SSD's. Not all SSD's have a cache, as technically they are a big cache device. The cache in the drives (assuming they have some) are acknowledging the write but then flushing the cache when it either full or when the drive is not busy. Look at the spec of your drive and see if it has a cache or not.
You could try running the Write-VolumeCache from a power shell. Open a cmd window with administrator privileges, then type powershell, hit return. You are now in the powershell. Then type Write-VolumeCache d (or what ever your drive is)
 

torrent439

Standard Member
Just done some re-reading on enabling cache on SSD's. Not all SSD's have a cache, as technically they are a big cache device. The cache in the drives (assuming they have some) are acknowledging the write but then flushing the cache when it either full or when the drive is not busy. Look at the spec of your drive and see if it has a cache or not.
You could try running the Write-VolumeCache from a power shell. Open a cmd window with administrator privileges, then type powershell, hit return. You are now in the powershell. Then type Write-VolumeCache d (or what ever your drive is)

So the SSD (kingston SA2000M8250G) doesn't say anything about cache in the datasheet:
https://www.kingston.com/datasheets/SA2000_en.pdf

Tried running the Write-VolumeCache command and it doesn't seem to do anything, it just becomes unresponsive for a few seconds, tried it twice and no message after it processes the command:

2020-09-16 11_57_28-Window.png
 

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