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System Volume Information- Folder And Files

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
The plot thickens. Went for a drive to the store, about two miles away. More than enough time to make the problem happen. Yet with another flash drive with the same data, it never did. On the return home I decided to move the drive back to the original port where the trouble began. Nada. Nichts.

If the problem does occur again, that's when I'll hit nav+back+mute on my car's audio system. Until then I can only surmise the possibility that it's either the drive (which I continually check its integrity) or that system volume information file that has never been present on the other flash drive I'm presently using.

Interesting though to begin reading about the possibility of my original flash drive possibly failing after so much regular use over more than five years. Especially with focus on thermodynamic exposure over time. Even though Linux continues to call it "undamaged" upon analysis through my "disk" program. Oh well....

Normally I only use UBS flash drives to archive and back up data. -Seldom used. But this one drive has been used extensively and every day to play music in the car. So I'm in uncertain territory as to how a much used drive may be prone to some kind of failure, unless the problem remains with the audio system itself.

Right now I feel like an old Soviet bureaucrat looking for a scapegoat.

"Comrades, give me a name! Someone give me a name!" Oh well....as long as it works I can't fret so much. :rolleyes:
 
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MildredHubble

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I guess depending on how overworked the ICs in the drive are, it's possible that it's just wearing out over time. USB drives are weird beasts. It's essentially a NAND Flash RAM and there's a controller chip that "pretends" to be a mass storage device. It takes requests from the computer or host device and reads them from the NAND. So it is possible I guess that it may check out from a drive scan because of the way it presents to the OS.

I guess you could try h2wtest to do a more in-depth scan of the drive. Though this will erase the contents. It will fill the drive and read back the data to make sure you get back exactly what was written to it. It usually used to test potentially counterfeit drives that over state their capacity.

I hope you find who is to blame comrade Judge! :)
 

Outdated

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Just to confuse the situation even more there's a couple of other parameters to consider too. :(

Tarnish. This happens a lot in the tropics and not usually an issue in temperate climates. Heavy air pollution might produce the same effects. In the tropics even household power points get a layer of grime build up on the connection points. People clean them with fine sand paper.

Another common issue I came across fixing people's computers - simple human nature. We don't push plugs in straight and square like a machine would, the nature of our wrists and joints means that we tend to "scoop" the way we insert a USB. This eventually gouges out the connections in the laptop, or stereo. A temporary way to help this situation is to (very gently) bite the usb plug end to close it over slightly and make it a tighter fit. Same deal here with mobile phone connectors.
 

MildredHubble

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Just to confuse the situation even more there's a couple of other parameters to consider too. :(

Tarnish. This happens a lot in the tropics and not usually an issue in temperate climates. Heavy air pollution might produce the same effects. In the tropics even household power points get a layer of grime build up on the connection points. People clean them with fine sand paper.

Another common issue I came across fixing people's computers - simple human nature. We don't push plugs in straight and square like a machine would, the nature of our wrists and joints means that we tend to "scoop" the way we insert a USB. This eventually gouges out the connections in the laptop, or stereo. A temporary way to help this situation is to (very gently) bite the usb plug end to close it over slightly and make it a tighter fit. Same deal here with mobile phone connectors.
Very true! I forgot to mention that sometimes the metal shielding can get a bit bent and doesn't grab the socket positively as you mentioned.

Biting the end of the metal shielding can help or a firm press can make the whole thing clasp a lot better. Even if you badly deform the metal you can gently push it out a bit with say a popsicle stick or screwdriver as long as you aren't too rough with it. I would recommend you test insert the drive into something like a cheap USB hub before you try to insert it into anything mission critical. Even if you've gone a bit far with deforming the metal, the process of pushing it in to the socket tends to force it into the right shape.
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Drove eight miles up and back to the store using the newer USB flash drive. The one that was never formatted or introduced into the Windows 10 environment. So no system volume information folder was ever there. Played music without incident. I did use h2wtest to check the offending drive, but the program only scanned about a tenth of the 16GB flash drive, and no errors were detected. Inconclusive at best.

Interestingly enough, the last time the glitch happened with my original flash drive, apparently I didn't delete the system volume information folder. Funny still to realize that the original failing drive was a San Disk, while the new one that works is a Onn drive from Walmart. But I have used the original drive for the last five years, nearly every day.

Maybe that's the lesson. That time, high and low outdoor temps and constant usage just plain take their toll on a USB flash drive. Not offending content on a drive, but the drive itself. I can live with that. Infinitely better than an expensive car audio system failing. Still, it annoys me when I can't determine what the actual problem really is.

ROTFL...then again it could still be that damn Windows folder interfering in a non-Windows, presumably Linux OS. Beats me.... o_O
 
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Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Wow. I finally figured out what the problem was. With a newly formatted USB flash drive, the problem happened again as I left my cousin's house when it was around 36 degrees fahrenheit. The flash drive had worked fine up to now, but this time I was able to add a new variable to the equation- lower temperatures usually around or under 40 degrees. For once I didn't feel like a dog chasing its tail! I was onto something.

Once I started hunting for information regarding temperature issues connected with my infotainment screen, I was able to determine precisely what the problem was.

-It didn't have anything to do with Microsoft's System Volume Information folder.
-It didn't have anything to do with the data on the flash drives.
-It didn't have anything to do with the integrity of the flash drives, of which all three are fine.
-It didn't have anything to do with FAT32 formatting through either Linux or Windows.
-Geez...it didn't even have anything to do with the audio system at all.

Turns out I stumbled onto a Mazda TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) that cited a defective SD card that keeps my navigation functions can fail in cold weather, causing the infotainment screen to go black.

My car is technically eligible for this repair, though I'm stil not sure if it would cost me anything outside my warranty. I know if you were to lose that SD flash drive, they charge over $500 to replace it. The new SD card is supposed to be 16Gb where the original one is only 8Gb.

The last thing for me to do is to take out the SD card and verify it's one on the TSB that needs replacing.
 

Xerces Blue

Evil Overload
Considering some of the things Microsoft is putting in windows 11, I wouldn't be surprised if they would make their file system poison to other systems.
They want it so you are required to have Microsoft approved hardware.
They want to make dual boot systems a thing of the past.
They want hardware locked so you can't run other OS.
They want a monopoly.
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Considering some of the things Microsoft is putting in windows 11, I wouldn't be surprised if they would make their file system poison to other systems.
They want it so you are required to have Microsoft approved hardware.
They want to make dual boot systems a thing of the past.
They want hardware locked so you can't run other OS.
They want a monopoly.
No question that Micro$oft is employing such tactics to keep you from gravitating to a competitor. However....

Ironically this problem has allowed me to observe that anytime I format and install files onto any USB flash drive, the operating system in question seems to take "ownership" of the flash drive. By this I mean that it if and when you connect that flash drive to another operating system, it claims it is "damaged" and in need of repairing.

Particularly frustrating if your flash drive is a 2.0 version of high capacity, where it takes Windows 10 a long time to scan, only to tell that there's nothing wrong with the drive, and that it then allows the file manager to display whatever contents are on that drive.

In Linux Mint 20.3 or Mint 21.0, the same USB flash drive will simply open into its file manager (Nemo). Though if you use the "Disk" utility to scan the same USB drive in Linux, it will claim the drive is in need of "repairing". Even though the drive appears to be totally operable whether you opt to "repair" it or not. Without having to reformat (FAT32) the flash drive.

That in a technical sense they all seem to want to maintain control over the removable drives of your choice. Equally so, when I boot up in Windows 10 or Linux Mint 20.3, my motherboard's bios automatically picks up the bootable (and removable) SSD drive and opens accordingly. Yet for Linux Mint 21.0, I must still manually boot that SSD into my bios first, to reiterate that particular drive as a default drive in the boot process. Go figure.

At least in all of this I've learned three basic, but valuable pieces of information:

1. That if you run multiple operating systems based on removable drives, it's best to keep whatever flash drives you use separately. Even if they involve common files like MP3s.

2. That any flash drive you open into the Windows 10 OS automatically creates one of those "system volume information" folders and files on the drive. (It is for the system restore utility.) While my car's computer infotainment system can see that folder and list it as if it were a music folder, it doesn't appear to interfere with the OS in any way, despite my initial suspicions. Though just seeing a folder name partially blurred out on my infotainment LCD screen irritates me, so I am prompted to delete that folder and file on any flash drive I use for MP3 files in my car.

3. To delete those "system volume information" folders and files, you must access the Windows Command Prompt (right-clicking administrator privileges) and at the prompt, first type in the drive letter ("J:") Windows 10 uses to read the flash drive. Once that's typed, enter it and you get another prompt. At the second prompt including the flash drive letter, you add to the prompt:

rmdir "system volume information" /s /q -then enter it.

Once that's done you can go back into your file manage to access the flash drive, have "hidden files" showing and you will see that this folder has been purged. Of course keep in mind that if you plug in the same flash drive again into Windows, it will put the damn folder right back and you'll have to go through all this to delete it over again. Another incentive for keeping those flash drives separately from different operating systems.
 
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Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I took out the SD card that handles the navigation and map features. Checked the serial number and it indeed is on the list of defective cards that can malfunction in colder weather. But the real bummer is twofold:

1) My car has been out of warranty for two years.
2) This technical service bulletin was published internally while I owned my new car for only about six months. And they never notified me of the possibility that this component would eventually fail in cold weather.

This morning I drove to the store, without any USB flash drive, and the system went black. Couldn't even access the navigation screen, so it appears the Technical Service Bulletin was spot-on about what was happening.

The new card that is supposed to replace the defective one is 16Gb rather than 8Gb. This amounts to probably a $5 card...but they charge a fortune for the navigation software on it. I'll be contacting the dealer, but the bulletin seems pretty specific about requiring to be within the warranty to cover it.

I may just settle for running it without the offending card, even though it means no navigation functionality. But then I've been reading maps for decades...and frankly hardly ever use this function. I'd much rather have the USB audio system and radio working anyways. But dammit all...this was their failure. They openly admitted that there was a manufacturing error that resulted on the SD cards being susceptable to cold weather resulting in shutting down the LCD screen and then rebooting. They should honor giving me a new card with the software on it, free of charge. But I seriously doubt they will.
 
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Outdated

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I understand your frustration. Living in Dundee a lot of people had similar troubles with their marine navigation systems. Me being the only computer geek for 150 Ks meant they all came to me. I had a couple of successes but also many failures in copying from old cards to new cards.

I did this in Linux using the command dd. Type "man dd" in your terminal for more information. The way it functions is to copy Exactly, that includes copying the format, etc. So your 16 Gb card would end up being formatted to the exact size of the original card.

I'm glad you found a definitive answer though, not knowing would drive me mental.
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I understand your frustration. Living in Dundee a lot of people had similar troubles with their marine navigation systems. Me being the only computer geek for 150 Ks meant they all came to me. I had a couple of successes but also many failures in copying from old cards to new cards.

I did this in Linux using the command dd. Type "man dd" in your terminal for more information. The way it functions is to copy Exactly, that includes copying the format, etc. So your 16 Gb card would end up being formatted to the exact size of the original card.

I'm glad you found a definitive answer though, not knowing would drive me mental.

As I went to bed last night, I suddenly realized that the Technical Service Bulleting emphasized that only the hardware (SD flash drive) was the problem. Not the data on it that doesn't appear to have been corrupted.

I don't expect anything helpful from the car dealer other than that which nets them another huge amount of cash. So here's what I'm going to try. To simply insert the card into my PC's card reader, and try to copy everything that is on it to my Linux hard drive. Then copy the files to a new SD flash drive that isn't so susceptible to low temperatures and see if I can get my navigation functions fully restored. The original flash drive seems almost identical to the one in my DSLR, though it's an 8Gb drive.

Otherwise my only other options appear to be either drive without the navigation feature, or to reboot the system each and every time I get into the car, having to simultaneously depress the back+nav+mute buttons. Seems from what I found online, most owners are opting to just press the combination of buttons all the time.

I know when I bought the car new, the dealer emphasized to me, "Don't lose that SD Flash Drive!" Apprently they charged $500 just to replace it. So I'm guessing they'd probably want me to fork over even more money for the damned thing, just for a flash drive that isn't defective. The hell with that. :rolleyes:
 
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Outdated

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
A simple copy of the software will likely fail, been there done that. They often use a funky format on their cards to try and prevent you from copying them. Try the simple copy method first, if that fails try plugging 2 card readers in to linux and using the "dd" command, that copies the format as well.
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
A simple copy of the software will likely fail, been there done that. They often use a funky format on their cards to try and prevent you from copying them. Try the simple copy method first, if that fails try plugging 2 card readers in to linux and using the "dd" command, that copies the format as well.

I wouldn't be surprised if the SD card is proprietary with some kind of copyguard used. Especially knowing how much they charge for replacement cards. Right now though it seems daunting just to find a 16Gb SD card anywhere over the counter. And if it doesn't work, I should be able to use the SD card in my DSLR.

The important thing is that the offending software is no longer installed, so when it gets really cold it shouldn't impede other functions like my USB player and FM/AM/XM radio. As far as the navigation feature goes, truth is I almost never use it. Dangerous to spend more than a few seconds looking at an LCD screen on the dashboard anyways. If I really need instructions in getting somewhere, I usually just print my own directions off the Internet.

One thing for sure, I have no intention of paying over $500 for a $5 SD replacement card and software I already paid for in buying my car. Nope-nope-nope. Though I just read some interesting things that implied that I can clone the software, given the license information is part of the software matched to the vehicle. So we shall see...when I can find a 16Gb SD card.
 
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Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Nope. It wouldn't let me copy at least two files in two different subdirectories onto my hard drive in Linux. Never got the opportunity to add them to a fresh new SD card.

Gave some thought to trying it in Windows 10, but I can't imagine it working. Interestingly enough, I reinstalled the original SD card and it all worked fine. Though the temperature was 52 degrees...hardly cold. I guess tomorrow will tell me where I stand when it will be considerably colder when I need to go to the post office.

I tried to reset it all in the car, but the system wouldn't reset. I guess there has to be some kind of glitch present to hit the back+nav+ mute buttons at the same time. Maybe this is a good thing. Withdrawing the card for a few days might have helped. And if the screen goes black due to the cold, perhaps then I can reset it again.

The bad news is that I discovered that the SD card doesn't merely control the navigation functions. It also controls the front and rear collision warning features, as well as display traffic signs in the heads-up display. Things that have been important to me. I can live without all the high-tech stuff if I have to. Just don't feel like paying so much money just to replace something that should have come as a timely formal recall where the car company notifies me of THEIR defective part. When they knew, and my car was only a few months old, rather than a few years old and now off warranty.
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
This just keeps getting weirder. I think something in this twisted equation changed when I withdrew the SD card and reinstalled it. It presumably failed as before, about 120 seconds after starting the car. Of course, I then simultaneously hit the three buttons to reset the system and all was well- for the timed being.

Then the next morning after sub-freezing temperatures, I started the car and got down the hill to the approx. spot and time I expected the system to fail. And it didn't. Drove the car for a bit and two other times later that day and it didn't fail. WTH ?

Wondering if somehow I reseated the SD card to function properly? I have no idea, but that would certainly be a welcome conclusion to this saga. That the cold weather might have gradually contracted the card (or its external plastic cover) enough to weaken its connection. (I never got the particulars from Mazda on exactly how the manufacturing defect impacted this SD card.) The card has a protective soft plastic cover that fits snugly over its slot.

Could simply pushing on this cover to make it tighter and cut off the card from the elements have helped? Makes me wonder that in occasionally taking out my USB flash drive next to this card, that I may have inadvertantly messed with the card and its protective cover. Which actually makes sense...

Well, this morning was even colder than yesterday. Should be interesting to see what happens after I start my car.

But I'm beginning to think more about those posters online who claimed that a proper reset "fixed" the problem. Though temporarily or indefinitely is anyone's guess right now...lol. Dontcha just love this high-tech? :eek:
 
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Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Ok, it's gotten really cold now. And yesterday morning sure enough, the LCD screen went black momentarily at the usual point in time....about 120 seconds after I started the car. Of course I then hit the three buttons to reset the system, and all was well. Presumably until I start the car this morning as well, where it all goes full circle.

Leaving me with few options:

1) Get used to hitting the three buttons and holding them down for at least ten seconds. (Only one problem, I can't really do it while moving given this is a 6-speed manual transmission. My multitasking isn't so good that I can press and hold three buttons while also shifting my car!

2) Plead with my dealer to replace the SD card at no additional charge in accordance with their own Technical Service Bulletin, citing that this is a manufacturers' error, and not wear & tear or negligence on my part. But the car has been past the warranty for some time now...so I see this as a longshot.

3) Make a formal complaint to North American Mazda pleading to have them waive the charge given my car is off warranty. After all, this Technical Service Bulletin was issued just a few months after I bought the car. And I was never formally notified. Had it been otherwise, I would have gladly brought my car in to have this part replaced.

4) Simply withdraw the SD card and do without navigation and some other safety functions like front/rear collision warnings and seeing speed limit and other traffic sign icons in my heads-up display.

From the online feedback I've read, it seems most folks logically settle for #1 given the ridiculous price to replace a $5 SD car and the software that frankly I've already paid for when I bought the car.
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Have to do some distance driving today, so I'll leave the Flash drive in my apartment where it remains at room temperature. See if I can easily adjust to using it without so many "bells and whistles".

Looks like I may contact the service manager of my car dealer, but face-to-face. I might have a better chance of mitigating my case with them than over the phone where I would likely not connect with the person I need to. But I already sense that I have no chance pleaded with them to overlook that my warranty ran out two years ago.

If I have to pay in excess of $500 for a $5 SD card, it will just have to wait. Later, or perhaps even indefinitely.
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Yesterday I needed to do some shopping in South Reno, and I decided to stop by my car dealer and personally deal with the service manager who always seems to be on top of every issue pertaining to Mazda. And I was right.

He filled me in on information well beyond the Technical Service Bulletin I downloaded. That the problem not only involved the manufacturing of an inferior SD flash drive subject to very cold (or very hot temperatures), but also that the limited capacity of the drive was causing a software bottleneck, also contributing to the onscreen functions crashing.

The bad news? As I anticipated, it wouldn't be covered given my warranty expired some time ago. Another thing the service manager told me was that those SD cards are not even handled at the dealer level. Apparently any computer operations are handled at the corporate level.

The good news? The service manager also explained to me something I was totally unaware of. That valid car owners can go online to the corporate website and request an upgrade of the software, which can be downloaded to at least a 16Gb SD flash drive. Of course, for some expense to car owners. I haven't yet looked up just how much they want for it. Though I did verify that an outright replacement of the SD card would cost around $468. Ouch-ouch-ouch.

So, for the timed being I'm in no hurry to get scalped by Corporate Mazda of North America. I can drive without the card, though I lose some functions. Just not the audio system. Eventually I might spring for whatever they charge for that replacement software.

Though the Service Manager suggested I try again to copy the disk data to a Windows hard drive. The one thing he didn't seem to be certain of. Something I haven't done yet. It would be most fortunate if I could download the existing data to a new 16Gb sd card, which in theory could solve the problem. However I suspect there will still be something proprietary that keeps me from trying. We'll see....
 

Forest Cat

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Turns out I stumbled onto a Mazda TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) that cited a defective SD card that keeps my navigation functions can fail in cold weather, causing the infotainment screen to go black.

My car is technically eligible for this repair, though I'm stil not sure if it would cost me anything outside my warranty. I know if you were to lose that SD flash drive, they charge over $500 to replace it. The new SD card is supposed to be 16Gb where the original one is only 8Gb.

So something in your car doesn't work because a flash drive can't handle 40 degree weather? Things like this makes me even more sure that computers was invented by the devil himself. It's just crazy, it takes so little to mess it up and we have to spend days and weeks and lots of money to get it fixed. This is one reason why I like old cars so much, no internet, no flash drives, no screens, nothing. Give me an old diesel pick-up truck with almost no electronics in it and I'm happy. :D
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
So something in your car doesn't work because a flash drive can't handle 40 degree weather? Things like this makes me even more sure that computers was invented by the devil himself. It's just crazy, it takes so little to mess it up and we have to spend days and weeks and lots of money to get it fixed. This is one reason why I like old cars so much, no internet, no flash drives, no screens, nothing. Give me an old diesel pick-up truck with almost no electronics in it and I'm happy. :D
Just another case where a huge corporation decided to cut corners choosing a substandard contractor rather than deal with a major manufacturer like San Disk who invented the blasted format. Who advertise their product is temperature-resistant within a realistic range with proven quality control.

Same old story. Where a ten-million dollar aircraft can be brought down with a failed ten cent part. :eek:
 

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