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Do no harm...

 
 
Casian Moscovici
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      21st Nov 2005
Hi all

I've been running a robust and problem-free W2K installation with all
updates installed for over a year. Ignoring the old adage, "if ain't
broke, don't fix it," I thought I'd be proactive and run a chkdsk to
catch any potential problems before they bite me.

To accomplish this task I went to the the Disk Management screen,
selected tools from the properties menu and invoked the check disk
routine. I checked off both boxes: automatically fix errors and scan for
and attempt recovery of bad sectors.

The computer rebooted as expected and began its scan. Here, I noticed
the first anomaly. I could not see a progress window. Since I have
disabled the gui boot all I see on bootup is a list of drivers. This
list remained on the screen while the scan was proceeding instead of
being replaced by the usual chkdsk progress display. Did this happen
because I disabled the gui boot, or was there something more sinister
going on?

The drive light flashed for about 5-10 minutes and then stopped, with
the static list of loaded drivers still visible on the screen. Was there
supposed to be some kind of prompt or instructions that I was not
seeing? After about 15 minutes I tired of waiting and rebooted. The scan
ran again upon reboot and the same thing happened. This time I let it
sit there for a much longer time.

I left the room for a few minutes and when I returned, it had booted to
a blue screen warning me that no bootable device was to be found.
Further testing and investigation with the Recovery Console revealed
that the Windows installation on the disk was no longer recognized. No
NTFS file system, no drive letter, no disk name, nothing.

The disk is a SATA drive that appears to be in good shape. I was able to
restore the system with Ghost from a mirror drive I had updated a few
weeks ago and it's running just fine.

So what happened? Like doctors whose first rule is to do no harm, one
would expect diagnostic software to follow the same credo. Even if it
runs into problems, it should not make them worse. I'm afraid to ever
run chkdsk again!

Your insights would be much appreciated.

Casian
 
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