Windows XP: How to cancel a chkdsk or scandisk scheduled upon reboot

If you have a chkdsk or scandisk scheduled to run on a drive after your next reboot, normally you’d be able to cancel it by pressing any key 10 seconds before the scan starts. Unfortunately, my bluetooth keyboard/mouse combo didn’t seem to work at this stage of bootup, so I was unable to cancel any scan. After some research I found out that the scheduled scan is simply a registry entry and that if you remove it, the scan wouldn’t execute next time you reboot. Here’s how:

  1. Start > Run > regedt32
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SYSTEM\\CurrentControlSet\\Control\\Session Manager
  3. Open the BootExecute key
  4. Remove the line that says: autocheck autochk /r \??\E: where “E:” is your drive letter
  5. Exit Regedit and reboot, and no scan will execute

Using a Seagate FreeAgent XTreme over eSATA with the ASUS P5B Deluxe motherboard.

Seagate FreeAgent XTremeI just purchased a 500GB Seagate FreeAgent Xtreme, hoping to take advantage of the super-fast eSATA port on the back of my ASUS P5B Deluxe motherboard. Sure I could have easily used the USB2 or Firewire 400 ports on the drive for a quick plug and play, but I wanted the blazing speed of eSATA. I’ve spent the last couple hours trying to get this thing to work right, so I figured I’d jot down my notes here in case any one else comes across the same problems.

First problem, the JMicron JMB363 SATA controller wasn’t enabled in my motherboard’s BIOS, so the drive wasn’t recognized. Easy enough: just go into the BIOS (hit DEL on bootup) and navigate the menus to Advanced > Onboard Devices Configuration > JMicron SATA/PATA Controller, and set to ‘ENABLED’. Set the JMicron Controller Mode to ‘IDE’.

With that enabled, Windows should now detect your drive. You should be able to see it under My Computer or in Disk Management as a Healthy Online drive. At this point, everything works fine as a drive, but I ran into a problem with the Seagate Manager software: Under the ‘My Drives’ tab, I received the error ‘No drives detected.’ Bummer. I ran Windows Update to make sure all my drivers were current (they were) and checked the ASUS site to see if there were any BIOS updates (there weren’t). At this point I was ready to give up on eSATA and just use the Firewire port. But after some detective work on the Seagate site, I found out that the JMicron JMB36X drivers need to be v1.17.46 or higher in order for the drive to work with Seagate Manager. Because this motherboard is a few years old, I was running an older driver. So after a few minutes of searching the JMicron site for updated drivers, I downloaded them, installed, rebooted, and PRESTO, my drive now works with Seagate Manager! Now all I need is a ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner.

One caveat to updating the JMicron JMB36X drivers: I had to re-activate my Windows install. So buyer beware for those of you running a ‘stealth’ copy of Windows XP.


Retrospect Express HD for Maxtor OneTouch: Assertion failure at tree.cpp-2528

My nightly backups kept failing with the following error:

Retrospect has encountered a serious error:
Assertion failure at tree.cpp-2528
A log of this error has been written to the file "assert_log.utx".
Please dell Dantz about this problem.

As with all Retrospect problems, the fix is easy. Simply remove X:\Retrospect Restore Points\RestorePoint.rbc (where ‘X’ is your external drive’s letter) and let Restrospect re-create it. This will often take several hours, so be patient. Once Retrospect has finished re-indexing everything, your backups should resume as normal.

Any time I have had a problem with Retrospect, it can always be fixed by re-building the .rbc file.

iPod on Windows XP: Delayed Write Failed (UPDATED)

A couple years ago I posted about a fix for Delayed Write Failed errors when updating an iPod on Windows XP. While my suggestions in that post worked for the most part, I still encountered the error from time to time.

So it’s been a couple years and now I NEVER receive this error. Here’s how I did it:

I used to connect my iPod to my PC via USB. However, I had purchased an external Firewire hard drive which required me to install a Firewire card into a PCI slot on my machine. The card had 4 Firewire inputs, and I needed to free up a USB port for some other peripherals that needed them. So I decided to move my iPod connection from USB to my new Firewire card (Koutech KW-582V2 – cost me $21 bucks from NewEgg).

Ever since then I have NEVER received the Delayed Write error. So if you’re having trouble updating your iPod and get the “Delayed Write Failed” error, perhaps it is your USB connection. Try moving your iPod to another USB port, and if you’re using a USB hub, try bypassing the hub and plug your iPod directly into your computer’s USB port. If THAT doesn’t work, try a Firewire port. If you don’t have one, grab yourself a Firewire card. You can get them cheap and are much more valuable than all the hair you’re pulling out trying to fix your Delayed Write Failed.

Retrospect Express HD for Maxtor OneTouch: “Can’t save setup…”

I was receiving the following error after completing the setup for Retrospect Express HD with my Maxtor OneTouch External Hard Drive:
Can't save setup, check the selected drive to make sure there is enough free space.
I had plenty of space on the drive, so I knew this couldn’t be accurate. After some research I found out that my config file was corrupt and it was an easy fix: Remove or rename the RestorePoint.rbc file in the Retrospect Restore Points folder on your external drive. Open up Retrospect Express HD and it will re-create a new config file, as well as re-create all your restore points. This can take a very long time (hours) but once it’s done you’ll be back up and running like new.


Windows & NTFS: Cannot rename file, or: Working with files containing double periods (..) in filename.

I had downloaded a folder from a friend’s FTP server titled “Orchestrated & Conducted by..” the other day. When attempting to browse inside the folder using Windows Explorer I was given the following error:
D:\Orchestrated & Conducted by.. refers to a location that is unavailable. It could be on a hard drive on this computer, or on a network. Check to make sure that the disk is properly inserted, or that you are connected to the Internet or your network, and then try again. If it still cannot be located, the information might have been moved to a different location.
Great. Unable to access a folder on my hard drive! I’m assuming it’s because of the “..” characters in the directory name. It is of course in Windows’ best interest for security reasons to not deal with any mischievous files trying to read the directory above it.

So I tried a few other things to access the folder. First I tried renaming the folder. Windows explorer lets me Right Click > Rename and even lets me type in a new name. However, when I press Enter to rename the file, I get the following:
Cannot rename file: Cannot read from the source file or disk.
Great. So I brush off my dusty old DOS skills and open up a command shell, navigate to the dir containing the bastard, and try it old school style:
D:\> rmdir "Orchestrated & Conducted By.."
The system cannot find the file specified.

Great. Now lets get medieval on this folder’s ass!
D:\> dir /x
Volume in drive D is Data
Volume Serial Number is BC1A-DBC4
Directory of D:\
01/03/2006 04:35 PM <dir> ORCHAS~1 Orchastrated & Conducted By..
0 File(s) 0 bytes
1 Dir(s) 35,736,907,776 bytes free
D:\> rmdir ORCHAS~1


So, if you ever have an unruly folder, the way to deal with it is to use 8.3 notation when handling your files. To see what a file or folder’s 8.3 notation is, simply type dir /x at the command prompt.

The funny thing is that I used to have 8.3 notation disabled for performance reasons but had recently re-enabled it because of a software incompatibility with Mozilla Firefox. I have no idea how I would have gotten rid of this loco folder if I hadn’t of re-enabled 8.3 notation.