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Disk Signature Collision....

Discussion in 'PC/Windows/Linux' started by Butlerkid, May 16, 2018.

  1. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Karen
    I am using Windows 10.

    I have two 4 TB external Western Digital hard drives. At first I backed up to both drives, but over time I only used one of the 4 TB drives for backup. Now that drive - which I will refer to as H: - is full.

    I connected the unused 4 TB drive (I will refer this this drive as K:)  while the H: was also connected to the PC.

    The K: hard drive did not show up under This PC or in Explorer. In disk management I see that K: is kept off line because it has "a signature collision with another drive that is online".

    So, I Goolged the problem and found this article. I don't have the original OS disk. And right clicking on K: in Disk Management reveals options that are all grayed out.

    So....I disconnected both H: and K: and restarted the PC. Then I connected only the K: drive. It shows up as H: - not surprising! LOL!

    Can I just change the drive letter "H" to "K" to solve this problem?
    Exactly what steps do I need to take to resolve this problem?

    Thanks!

    Karen
     
  2. Walter

    Walter

    Jan 13, 2006
    Columbia, Maryland
    Walter Rowe
    It cannot hurt to try simply changing the drive letter. I'm guessing the drive remembers the last time it was mounted and tries to mount again the same way. Let us know how it works out.
     
  3. 480sparky

    480sparky

    May 27, 2013
    Cornpatch
    Yep. Change the drive letter. You might need another computer to do so.
     
  4. Growltiger

    Growltiger Administrator Administrator

    I deduce that at some point you cloned one dive to the other.
    I don't think the suggestions above will work. A signature clash is forbidden and will always cause problems.

    You need to change one of the disk signatures. It is easy and takes about 10 seconds, once you have the program to do it.
    I can't do it right now, be patient and I'll find a way to get it to you within the hour.
     
  5. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Karen
    No rush Richard. I have had the disks for quite a few years. I don't think I cloned the second disk....I'm not technically that smart! LOL! But I may have copied the contents of one disk to another. Regardless, somehow I have created a problem.

    I'm in no rush. Thanks so much for the help!
     
  6. Growltiger

    Growltiger Administrator Administrator

    Here you are, you have to run it as administrator. I have been using this program for years for a special purpose I won't bore you with. I am assuming the disk is formatted as NTFS; if it is ExFAT the program may not be able to do it. Try it anyway.
    Hard Disk Serial Number Changer

    The alternative is to reformat the disk and lose all the data on it.
     
  7. Growltiger

    Growltiger Administrator Administrator

    It uses the serial number to remember which drive letter you want assigned to it. So changing it will change the letter for both drives wheich won't solve the problem. The serial number is assigned randomly when the partition is formatted. Normally we are unaware of any of this and we don't need to worry about the serial numbers.
     
  8. Growltiger

    Growltiger Administrator Administrator

    Hold on. I've just seen that the website wants you to login to do the download. You don't want to do that. I'll sort something out shortly.
     
  9. Growltiger

    Growltiger Administrator Administrator

    You can download it from my web space. Tell me when you have got it, so I can delete it again.
    Download it here
     
  10. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Karen
    Thanks, Richard! I checked and the HD is formatted NTFS.

    I've downloaded and opened the s/w.

    First - my internals HD's are C:, E:, G:, and J: (yes, I have 4 internal HD's...)
    I also have D: and F: assigned for BluRay and DVD's
    And I is reserved by the OS as "System Reserved"

    My primary external HD is H:

    So - should I only plug in the second H: (what I've been calling K:)  and then select that in the upper left box where is says "Disk (Hard/Floppy)".......?????

    Thank you so very much for helping!
     
  11. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Karen
    BTW - I need to removed a lot of data from the HD in question....so reformatting the K: drive (second H: drive) is not a problem. And it may be easier to start with a clean HD anyway.

    AND - I did run dskchk on the HD. It seemed to pass, although the read out vanished so quickly off the screen I had trouble reading it. What I did get was Stage: 90% and Total 89%......whatever that means! LOL!
     
  12. Growltiger

    Growltiger Administrator Administrator

    You can change the signature on either of the two disks, and then reboot. So long as they have different signatures it will solve the problem, and allow you to plug in both. You should give each one a separate letter, you can easily do that.

    Now you have the software, I have removed it from my web space.
     
  13. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Karen
    I'm off to tennis right now, but will do this when I return.

    Much thanks!
     
  14. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Karen
    No joy. When I selected the H: drive (K: to avoid confusion!) I got a message saying "cannot write to this disk in drive"

    So I switched to the "original/good" H: drive and got the same message.

    If I re-format the newer external drive (K:) .....will that change the signature? Somehow I doubt it...:unsure: 
     
  15. Growltiger

    Growltiger Administrator Administrator

    You have to plug in just one of the disks and make the change.
    Did you remember to run the program as Administrator?

    Otherwise simply do a new format. That will fix it. I promise.
     
  16. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Karen
    I only plugged in one external HD.

    BUT - run as administrator? Uh...no ......:oops: ....BUT ...... when I did right click on the file and say "run ad administrator" - I still got the "cannot write to this drive" message.

    I'll try re-formatting it, since at this point I can't access it at all and all the data on it is old and already backed up on another external HD.

    Thanks, Richard!
     
  17. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Karen
    LOL!

    Well, I hooked up the second H: drive, reformatted it and changed the letter to K. Now I have a nice empty 4 TB drive! wooHOOO! Easy peasy!

    Uh....but.....

    I then hooked up H: It was NOT hooked up when I formatted the other HD! (I had planned to move part of my backups to the new formatted drive.)

    The external H:drive showed up as empty. NO H: identification shows up in disk management. No drive letter at all. And it says I have a signature collision! I looked in Explorer and the drive doesn't appear. I tried opening the s/w you gave me but the HD doesn't show up.

    So I re-started the computer and then connected only the H: drive. I brought up Disk Management....and it showed K: (empty) as connected!!!!!!!!!

    The computer insists these two separate 4 TB drives are the same drive! LOL!

    I could purchase another 4 TB external HD....but right now I do not have a back up that I can read.

    So I am going to see if I can start backing up my data to the newly formatted HD.....
     
  18. Growltiger

    Growltiger Administrator Administrator

    I can't really follow exactly what you are doing. Try this.
    Plug in just the problem drive. Go into Disk Management. Remove the partition entirely on that drive. Now create a new partition on the drive. Now format that partition.
    Surely that will fix it.
     
  19. 480sparky

    480sparky

    May 27, 2013
    Cornpatch
    Perhaps try the signature software one one of the drives, but through a computer that has never been connected to either drive.
     
  20. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Karen
    I formatted the duplicate H: drive - the one I've been calling K. Then I changed the letter designation to K: All went well.

    I unplugged the K: drive. But when I plugged in the original H:, disk management said I had a signature collision....AND....

    ...as of last night (I haven't checked yet this morning) the original H: is now being identified as K: I could not access the drive with Disk Management to format it.

    Overnight I backed up about 1.3 TB of data onto the K: And am now backing up another .5 TB of data. Once I get that done, I'll see about "fixing" the H: drive.

    Maybe I can have my husband format the drive on his Mac and that will solve the signature problem? What format should I use if he can't format NTFS on his Mac? ExFat?
     
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