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Burn-In-Test and Office Starter

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  • Burn-In-Test and Office Starter

    I'm encountering an issue (tested with versions 4 through 8.1) regarding the HDD test and Office Starter (possibly other versions of Office, as well, though only confirmed with this one). This particular version creates a drive "Q" that is not an actual drive, but is used for some background purpose by Office and/or the Click-To-Run that gets installed with Office.

    By default, I want BIT to test all HDD's in the system, and I have it configured as such. Unfortunately, it thinks the Q drive is a physical disk, and tries to test it; which causes an error that makes it think the system failed that test. Is there a way for BIT to detect that drive and automatically exclude it, or is there some option to force BIT to ignore that specific drive letter, while still testing all other HDD's?

    I've looked through the options, I've read through the PDF manual and I'm unable to find what I'm looking for. If I've overlooked something, I'd appreciate someone showing me, or at least pointing me in the right direction. Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    When most people talk about Office, they are referring to Microsoft Office (with Word, Excel, etc..). And I am sure Office doesn't create a virtual hard drive.

    So I don't know what the Office Starter thing is. Nor why it needs to create a hard drive.

    But to answer the question, there is no option to automatically include all hard drives, except for some that need to be excluded. (unless the drive appears to be an optical disk, or network drive, which are filtered out). I am guessing whatever this drive Q is, they have set it up to look like a physical disk.

    Given that Drive Q is setup to behave like a physical drive, then there is an expectation that it should behave like one, and pass the disk test.

    You can of course pick a list of drives to test manually.


    • #3
      Office Starter is basically MS Office 2010, but only Word and Excel. It's a free version that can be bundled by OEM's (such as ourselves), that has a small banner ad in the lower right-hand corner. I'm not sure why it creates the virtual drive, but the only way I've found to get around it showing up, is to simply hide the drive through a registry hack. Unfortunately, that only hides it in Explorer, not from other applications.

      You are correct, in that it is viewed as a physical drive by the system, though it has no format/partition. It's simply a non-accessible drive letter. I wonder if it's possible to look into that for future versions of B-I-T. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's run into this. Perhaps you could configure B-I-T to verify if the drive is accessible at launch, and provide an option to skip those drives before testing. I've configured the program in a self-extracting RAR file that extracts, runs and then deletes itself when closed; so changing the configuration is a little tedious.

      I supposed in the interim, I'll simply have to modify it each run on those particular systems. Given that we install it on most of our computers, however, that does tend to be a pain. And while I could configure it only to scan the C: drive, sometimes they have multiple partitions/drives to be scanned; and on occasion the main OS drive isn't even C, which is why I like to leave it set to scan all HDD's by default.

      Anyway, you've answered my question, I just hope you'll consider looking into this for future updates. Thanks.


      • #4
        Perhaps you could configure B-I-T to verify if the drive is accessible at launch
        Might be hard to tell the difference between a faulty physical drive and this Q drive.
        i.e. we would really want to find some other method to detect this as a fake drive, rather than relying on getting a write error during the test.

        I had a look around, but couldn't find any download for Office Starter. It is going to be hard to come up with a solution without being able the reproduce the problem. I don't think we are prepared to purchase a PC just to get the free software.


        • #5
          I could e-mail you the installer file, it's a very small executable that just downloads the rest of the program and installs it. It's an official installer from MS, it's just not widely distributed, since it's specifically intended for OEM installation.


          • #6
            You can EMail us the link if you like.

            In terms of new software development, not much is going to happen to after Christmas now.


            • #7
              I completely understand, and don't expect it to be an immediate fix. It will almost certainly take time to implement properly (just blocking drive 'Q' by default isn't necessarily the best option, since someone may use that drive letter for a real one). I'll e-mail the installer itself later, as there's no official download link online for it. There's a few unofficial ones, but I'd rather send you one I know for certain isn't a virus. Thanks.


              • #8
                After installing Office Starter to test this it looks like the Q: drive should appear with a size of 0.

                So it is possible to skip automatic testing of such a drive using the -N command line flag to exclude disk volumes that are less a specified size (eg -N 1) when used in conjunction with the "Automatically select all fixed drives" setting.


                • #9
                  Just wanted to confirm that it does indeed work. Thanks for looking into this, and I appreciate the fast response.