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Thread: Scandisk

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    Scandisk

    Hello Loungers,

    I wasn't sure if this was a Windows or a Hardware post, so I just picked Hardware since it deals with the harddrive. I am using Windows XP and have an 80 GB harddrive. Does anyone know how long a scan disk would take? I suspect it would take at least two hours, so I want to run it overnight. I'm just afraid that if I do it that way, when I wake up, it will be done and Windows will be back to an ordinary desktop and so I won't be able to see the results and if Windows tries to communicate with me during the scandisk (e.g., "corrupt file found. Delete or Quarantine?" or something similar). Do you know if any such messages show up and furthermore, if it is possible to view all of the results of the scandisk (any errors found, corrupt files, etc.) the next morning?

    Thank you for your help!

    John

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    Re: Scandisk

    I just want to make sure you're really talking about checking the integrity of the hard drive's files and file structure and NOT doing a virus scan or a malware scan. The reason I ask is that there is no longer a scandisk command in Windows XP. Instead we now use the <big>chkdsk</big> command for doing this job. If we're on the right track, let's continue. Running a chkdsk command on the boot drive, normally C: drive, will require you to reboot the computer to do the scan but the scan shouldn't take so long that you can't sit and watch it progress. Even a drive that has a few bad files shouldn't take an extended amount of time to check.

    To do this, go to Start, Run and open a command window with cmd. In that window type: chkdsk c: /f and press enter. You should get the message that you need to restart. Say Y and then type exit to close the cmd window. You can now restart your computer and you should be able to see the progress of the chkdsk. However, when it finishes it will not pause for you to read the statistics info, so here's how to see that. After your machine is finished booting, again go to Start, Run and enter eventvwr and run that command.

    Once you get the Event Viewer open, click on Application in the left pane and look for winlogon in the Source column of the right pane. If you double click that entry, you should see the results of what chkdsk found and corrected. Keep us posted and good luck.
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    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Scandisk

    Alternatively/additionally, you can redirect the screen content you would normally see during a scan to a text file - see <post:=678,999>post 678,999</post:> .

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    Re: Scandisk

    I've never known CHKDSK ask any questions while it's operating - it thinks it knows what to do, and does it.

    A CHKDSK C: /F /V /R test I just did on a PC with a 40 GB partition, 13 GB used, took just under 24 minutes, the greater part being on the final two stages, verifying file data and free space. If there are significant problems with the disk, the CHKDSK can take ages...

    Here's the output from the Event Viewer location to which Big Al points:
    <pre>Checking file system on C:
    The type of the file system is NTFS.
    Volume label is PC22_C.
    Cleaning up minor inconsistencies on the drive.
    Cleaning up 812 unused index entries from index $SII of file 0x9.
    Cleaning up 812 unused index entries from index $SDH of file 0x9.
    Cleaning up 812 unused security descriptors.
    CHKDSK is verifying file data (stage 4 of 5)...
    File data verification completed.
    CHKDSK is verifying free space (stage 5 of 5)...
    Free space verification is complete.

    41945714 KB total disk space.
    13499760 KB in 90117 files.
    36844 KB in 6435 indexes.
    0 KB in bad sectors.
    166302 KB in use by the system.
    65536 KB occupied by the log file.
    28242808 KB available on disk.

    4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
    10486428 total allocation units on disk.
    7060702 allocation units available on disk.</pre>

    More information than you'd ever want to know!
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    Re: Scandisk

    In my version of XP, when in a CMD window, the running of CHKDSK always requests permission to run at the next boot, if you are checking the C: drive. Therefore, if I type chkdsk c: /f > c:checktst.txt and press enter, the blinking underscore remains on the screen until I hit Ctrl-break. Then, an examination of the output file shows:
    <hr>The type of the file system is NTFS.
    Cannot lock current drive.

    Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another
    process. Would you like to schedule this volume to be
    checked the next time the system restarts? (Y/N) <hr>
    So, it would seem fruitless to use such a procedure unless accompanied by a more thorough "script" to complete the process. Your help for what else must be done would be appreciated.

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    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Re: Scandisk

    I suspect the confusion is between <UL><LI>doing an (immediate) CHKDSK of a non-system disk, which is susceptible to the console-output-capture BATch file advocated by Leif, and <LI>a (delayed) CHKDSK of a system disk, which needs a reply of Y (which you can make if you like without seeing the prompt!).[/list]The request for a boot-time CHKDSK gets converted to a setting for AUTOCHK to happen at the next reboot (and therefore my /V and /R parameters are probably ignored in this circumstance). There's lots about the matter in this Microsoft Windows 2000 article. I can't see any obvious way of capturing the console output from AUTOCHK (and not much need to when you can look for the Event Log record referred to by Big Al).
    BATcher

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    Re: Scandisk

    Thanks for those insights! I guess the reason that I never look for alternative ways to do the job is that it's a weekly routine with me. On Saturday, when I'm getting ready to make my backup image of my primary drive, I usually empty my browser cache, run XP's disk cleanup to get rid of "most" temporary files (we all know it doesn't get 'em all) and then do my chkdsk c: /f from the command window. On my 80 gig system drive, which has 30 gig used, the time after reboot that the chkdsk runs is always about 5-10 minutes, so I usually just have another cup of coffee or step outside for a smoke and then check the event viewer when the boot process is complete. I guess maybe I'm lucky because I keep a pretty clean machine and run my virus scans and malware scans on a regular basis as well.

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    Re: Scandisk

    I suspect you're probably interested in doing the more thorough kind of disk-check bigaldoc has in mind.

    But just so you know: If you want to do a simpler one that just checks for cross-linked clusters (or whatever they're called) and various other file-integrity type issues that can be checked without doing a hard-core physical scan of the disk, that's also available. If you right-click on the C: drive in Explorer and choose Properties, then Tools, and then Error-checking -- AND if you leave the 2 checkboxes unchecked -- the resulting check only takes a few minutes, and doesn't require a reboot.

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    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Re: Scandisk

    Isn't that just the GUI version of CHKDSK C: (without the /F) parameter?
    BATcher

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    Re: Scandisk

    I believe the Error-checking I described uses Chkdsk, but I don't know anything (offhand) about Chkdsk's parameters. The GUI method (with the check boxes unchecked) is the only disk-check I perform on a regular basis. I've run the more thorough Chkdsk in the past, but only after I've experienced one or more signs of trouble.

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    Re: Scandisk

    YES. <img src=/S/clever.gif border=0 alt=clever width=15 height=15>
    BOB
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    Re: Scandisk

    Thanks everybody, but I got confused at the part about GUI and /F parameter. Here is what I am doing:

    - Open Windows Explorer and get to the C drive.
    - Right-click and select “Properties.”
    - Select the “Tools” tab.
    - Click “Check Now.”

    If I leave the two checkboxes marked, does this get me to the same place that Big Al is referring to?

    Sincerely,

    JMT

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    Re: Scandisk

    I don't ever do it that way, since I prefer the command prompt window, but YES, I believe it does, given this message when I just tried it. It requires a reboot since the C: drive is in use and locked otherwise.
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    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Scandisk

    It's certainly the way I do it, it leaves no room for error with typos.

    When I run a regular chkdsk, I tend to set it to check all my partitions in one go for convenience. To ensure the check can not run immediately, I open a file such as a Word document on the drive in question and this prevents Windows from running the chkdsk immediately.

    I then reboot, and chkdsk will run on all drives while I can get on and do something useful <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

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    Re: Scandisk

    Thanks all, I think we are now on the same page. Leif, does the function you are referring to allow you to see the progress while it is happening? The last time I ran it the progress was showing but no programs were accessible.

    Regards,

    JMT

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