Nowadays storage devices are the main devices other then Smartphone we rely on. No matter how much amount of data is generated daily worldwide, we mostly care about the storage space, device and our data in those devices.
Even if one of the drives is completely full, we attach a new one and keep on storing the data.
To differentiate between the storage devices on our machines, each device is tagged with a unique number called Disk Signature for the unique identification of the disks to avoid Disk Signature collision problem.
This identification process is done by the Master Boot Record (MBR) partition to keep the record of the device which carries the boot files of the OS.
Then what is Disk Signature Collision problem? Why does it occur?
Disk Signature Collision Problem
In today’s world, disk cloning is quite a common practice for upgrading the disk to a bigger one. Disk drives are mostly cloned to make a similar copy of the drive to use both, clone copy and original drive together.
Many virtualization tools are also used to virtualize the physical HardDisk. The physical HardDisk is virtualized to create a virtual HardDisk.
These virtual HardDisks are then used for the creation of several virtual machine clones. Since these disks are identical copies of each other, there are some chances that these copies will have identical disk signatures.
Now, when one uses both the disks having identical signatures at the same time, he/she may run into the Disk Signature Collision problem. Then how to avoid or solve this problem?
How to Fix Disk Signature Collision problem in Windows 10
The thing which you should know is the occurrence of Disk Collision is very very rare in Windows. As the system doesn’t allow two disks to have a similar disk signature.
Even if the two are same by any chance then the system doesn’t allow them to function together.
If we take the example of Windows XP or Windows Vista, the disk signature collision would happen almost never.
The system would automatically change the signature of the disk which has a duplicate signature.
In Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10, the Disk Signature Collision is handled a bit in a different way.
When the disks have an identical signature, the secondary disk which creates the collision is turned offline. The secondary disk is unmounted for use until the collision is fixed.
When the collision occurs, you may encounter these errors in Windows 10:
- The boot selection failed because a required device is inaccessible.
- This disk is offline because it has a signature collision with another disk that is online.
- The disk is offline because it has a signature collision.
To solve this issue, one can use the command line utility known as diskpart in Command Prompt or Windows PowerShell. Or one can use Master Boot Record in the Windows Registry. Or one can also make use of Windows Disk Management Utility to change the signature.
So how to fix the problem?
Solve Disk Collision with Disk Management
- Press Windows key + R on your keyboard. The Run window will open up.
- Type diskmgmt.msc and hit enter.
- Look for an offline disk.
- Right click on the Disk which is marked Offline and Select Online.
Selecting the Online option will generate a new disk signature.
Solve Disk Collision with Diskpart
- Press Windows key + X on your keyboard. The Quick Link menu will open up.
- Select Windows PowerShell(Admin) or Command Prompt(Admin) whichever is available on your machine.
- Type Diskpart and press enter.
- Type the following command to get the list of all the disks available on the system:
- Mark the disk whose status is offline and enter the following command:
Select disk diskname
- Type the following command to display the disk’s signature:
- To change the disk’s signature and set the disk online, type the following command:
uniqueid disk ID= 1234ABCD
Note:- The ID you are entering should be in hexadecimal format. If the ID you have entered is wrong then the following error will be displayed:
The specified identifier is not in the correct format. Type the identifier in the correct format: in hexadecimal form for an MBR disk or as a GUID for a GPT disk.
As soon as the above procedure is done, the disk will be online. Restart your machine after the above process.