Did chkdsk damage my partition?


C

Chris Redmond

Windows XP Pro w/ SP2
Windows froze when shutting down. After waiting several minutes, I hit the
power
button. After booting up again, I ran chkdsk /f /v /x on all partitions (all
NTFS).
The only message that has me worried is the one for C:

---

A disk check has been scheduled.
Windows will now check the disk.
Cleaning up minor inconsistencies on the drive.
Cleaning up 639 unused index entries from index $SII of file 0x9.
Cleaning up 639 unused index entries from index $SDH of file 0x9.
Cleaning up 639 unused security descriptors.
CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
Usn Journal verification completed.
CHKDSK discovered free space marked as allocated in the
master file table (MFT) bitmap.
Windows has made corrections to the file system.

11719385 KB total disk space.
6644468 KB in 43136 files.
16048 KB in 3785 indexes.
0 KB in bad sectors.
74833 KB in use by the system.
2048 KB occupied by the log file.
4984036 KB available on disk.

4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
2929846 total allocation units on disk.
1246009 allocation units available on disk.

---

Did chkdsk actually fix a problem or did it destroy files or mess up the
MFT? The
reason I'm worried is that I've had to run chkdsk after an improper shutdown
countless times, and it never did anything besides cleaning up about 3 unused
index entries.
This is a fresh installation and I just spent over 16 hours installing my
programs
and I'm not done yet. So I need to know if I should keep going or... start
from
scratch again :( I don't see anything wrong with the installation so far,
but I really
need to know if chkdsk messed up anything now. Running chkdsk on C: in
read-only mode doesn't report any errors.

I found a related KB article at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/831374 but C:
has only 41,123 files and I'm running XP SP2, with all updates installed
before
running chkdsk, so I don't think it could be a false positive.

Please help and thank you in advance.
 
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A

Anteaus

Chris Redmond said:
Did chkdsk actually fix a problem or did it destroy files or mess up the
MFT?

It certainly can do, and IMHO there are arguments against this automatic mode.

One of the key issues is that, unlike DOS/9x Scandisk, it gives the user no
hint that a problem has occured, and that 'sticking plaster' has been put
over bad sectors or MFT corruption. This fact can only be determined by
delving into system logs.. which of course you will only do if you are aware
of the problem's existence. Which you probably won't be, unless you watch
each bootup closely.

By the time the user realises they have a failing disk, their data may
already be chewed to shreds by chkdsk's repeated attempts at 'repairs' to the
filesystem. (Which functionally amount to chopping-out the bad parts of a
file and stitching the remainder back together, a singularly useless process
when applied to any kind of binary file.)
 
A

Anteaus

I would add, to set your mind at rest here that in your case, the deleted
data is amost certainly that of temporary files which weren't properly
closed. Thus, nothing to worry about.
 
D

Dave Cohen

Anteaus said:
I would add, to set your mind at rest here that in your case, the deleted
data is amost certainly that of temporary files which weren't properly
closed. Thus, nothing to worry about.
I don't think chkdsk messes up files. It tries to restore the integrity
of the file system after something else has messed it up.
Fortunately, most times a sudden system shutdown doesn't seem to cause
real serious problems as seems to be the case here. Do not interpret
this to mean flicking the power switch should become a normal procedure.
Dave Cohen
 
C

Chris Redmond

Thank you for the replies!


Anteaus said:
I would add, to set your mind at rest here that in your case, the
deleted data is amost certainly that of temporary files which
weren't properly closed. Thus, nothing to worry about.

So both those messages most likely refer to temp files being
deleted, even the master file table being altered?
I've sifted through the Event Viewer items marked "Warning" and
"Error" and I don't see anything out of the ordinary. I also took a
look at the boot log, but it's just a list of drivers being loaded
or skipped, so I don't think it's useful in this case. The system
boots normally and I haven't noticed any applications acting up.
Is there anything else I could do to determine if I'm likely to run
into a problem?


Dave Cohen said:
I don't think chkdsk messes up files. It tries to restore the
integrity of the file system after something else has messed it
up.

I'm worried because I still have nightmarish memories of ScanDisk
from the days of DOS, when fixing the MFT always meant losing data.
From what I've searched on the web, it doesn't look like that
scenario is impossible with chkdsk.
 
T

Twayne

Thank you for the replies!
So both those messages most likely refer to temp files being
deleted, even the master file table being altered?
I've sifted through the Event Viewer items marked "Warning" and
"Error" and I don't see anything out of the ordinary. I also took a
look at the boot log, but it's just a list of drivers being loaded
or skipped, so I don't think it's useful in this case. The system
boots normally and I haven't noticed any applications acting up.
Is there anything else I could do to determine if I'm likely to run
into a problem?




I'm worried because I still have nightmarish memories of ScanDisk
from the days of DOS, when fixing the MFT always meant losing data.
From what I've searched on the web, it doesn't look like that
scenario is impossible with chkdsk.

If you have a bad disk drive to start with, or severely damaged file
tables, it can indeed confuse chkdsk badly enough to trash the drive.
It isn't chkdsk's fault though; when that happens the drive was already
about to go belly up. Trying to fix it and getting erroneous data in
the process just finished up the job a few days sooner.

--
Twayne

Tired of MS Office and their shananigans?
Try this free replacement:
http://www.openoffice.org
 
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C

Chris Redmond

Twayne said:
If you have a bad disk drive to start with, or severely damaged file
tables, it can indeed confuse chkdsk badly enough to trash the drive.
It isn't chkdsk's fault though; when that happens the drive was already
about to go belly up. Trying to fix it and getting erroneous data in
the process just finished up the job a few days sooner.

Since this is a brand new drive and I've tested it with the
manufacturer's utility, and nothing seems wrong with the Windows
installation either, everything should be OK.


Thanks, everyone!
 
C

Colin Barnhorst

Then check the cable connections. I don't believe you mentioned if it is an
IDE or SATA drive but if it is IDE and you are using a ribbon cable make
sure that it is an 80-wire cable and not an older 40-wire cable.
 
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C

Chris Redmond

Colin Barnhorst said:
Then check the cable connections. I don't believe you mentioned if it is an
IDE or SATA drive but if it is IDE and you are using a ribbon cable make
sure that it is an 80-wire cable and not an older 40-wire cable.

Are you saying the chkdsk output I included in the original post
indicates a hard drive problem? I think there may have been some
confusion the moment I mentioned the old Win 3.11 drive that had
its MFT frequently messed up by ScanDisk.

It's a brand-new SATA II drive on a brand new cable, it passes the
full test with the manufacturer's utility, and there have been no
other alarming chkdsk messages. I was concerned because in the 6
years I've ran XP, I've never seen chkdsk make corrections to the
file system. I was worried it corrupted the partition, the way
ScanDisk used to in MS-DOS 6.22.

But as I said, I see no signs of problems, so everything should be
OK.
 

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