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  1. #1
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    W95 Defragger stopped in the middle

    Hi,
    Does anyone know or have any experience with what to do when a defragmenting program stops before it is finished? I have an old computer with Win 95B and the defragger did just that. A message came up to click help and then run Scandisk. I did this and scandisk started to come up but also froze before fully loading. Now, no matter how many times I reboot, the frozen scandisk screen comes up with nothing working. Tried using floppy boot disk and same thing happens - in DOS! I'm about ready to give up but thought I'd try asking here and see. I hate having to toss what I know is a good 20 Gig Maxtor hard drive. Fortunately I have everything backed up on the original 3.2 Gig hard drive.
    Also, if nothing can be done, how do go about reformating this drive? The way it is now, it's useless. I can't even use it as a slave drive, I tried and the dang scandisk screen comes up, even in another computer. Real mess ay? Hopefully not. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Might try GPARTED for working with the HDD, it's a downloadable .iso file used to burn a bootable CD for managing partitions. It can be used to delete/create partitions and format them.

    I've see the older defrag have issues but usually running scandisk with the options checked for full scan and recover. The computer has to be shut down and restarted, sometimes doesn't activate scandisk when merely restarting.
    Last edited by Berton; 2014-08-16 at 18:27.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berton View Post
    I've see the older defrag have issues but usually running scandisk with the options checked for full scan and recover. The computer has to be shut down and restarted, sometimes doesn't activate scandisk when merely restarting.
    I tried starting the computer from scratch (no reboot) and got nothing but a blinking curser in the upper left corner. I turned off the computer, connected the old hard drive up as a slave, turned on computer and booted to Windows Safe Mode. Scandisk came up automatically but with no settings available, and I let it run for about 15 minutes until finally I got the following message:

    Microsoft ScanDisk

    ScanDisk checked drive D for problems, with the following results:

    Directory structure

    ScanDisk did not perform any tests.

    File allocation table

    ScanDisk did not find any problems.

    File system

    ScanDisk did not perform any tests.

    Surface scan

    ScanDisk did not perform any tests.

    ScanDisk encountered a data error while reading the FAT entry for cluster 1249445.

    After that I was able to get to the root drive C and could read all of the data on the old drive (D). I tried running scandisk on the old drive again on full or thorough scan. It ran and ran and ran finally about 20 minutes later I got the same message as above. Apparently Scandisk is not up to the task of repairing this drive or so it would seem. At least I know now that most of my data and Windows files are still intact, but that's it.

  4. #4
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    Boot to a DOS prompt (don't run Windows 95) and then run CHKDSK D: /F <enter>. This will fix any disk errors. After that, you should be able to run defrag from within Windows 95.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2014-08-18 at 16:20.

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    Okay, I booted to straight DOS and a C:\ prompt and typed CHKDSK D: /F as you said. A message came up telling me that Chkdsk had done nothing and that I should use Scandisk because it is so much better. So I did, and it ran for about 4 to 5 minutes (in just plain check mode, no fix) then a message came up that I had a serious problem with a sector and it gave me a long number in the millions. When I run scandisk in auto-fix mode, it simply reports that there is a serious problem and it can't fix it. When I got out of scandisk, I typed win and Win98SE on C: came up okay on my other old computer. I was then able to go to D: and see all the files and folders on the Win95 disk. So, I'm wondering what if anything can be done more than that. Can a Defrag program really damage a hard drive so badly?

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    Can a Defrag program really damage a hard drive so badly?
    Defragging an HDD is the act moving parts of files closer together then moving files around so as to eliminate unused space between them and can result in errors, especially if an HDD is failing. CHKDSK and SCANDISK should mark sectors that are bad which prevents writing to them but is not 100% fool-proof.

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    you have an error on the HD that cant be handled normally

    if you can get an external HD working then back up everything you can

    imho and you need to verify this with an expert
    you could do a low level format of the original HD
    to flag the bad sectors and avoid using them
    then reinstall win98se
    and put your data back from the external disk

    you may well lose some files if they were using the bad sectors
    but should get most everythign back

    if you coudl find a new HD that would work I would install that and then reinstall win98se instead of using the old HD
    but if not you should be okay for a while

    but keep imaging the system and backing up data
    as these disks are getting old and will fail sooner than later

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    Thanks speedball. I'm in the process of getting all the files I want off of the damaged 20Gig Maxtor drive. I was hoping there might be some sort of program like Norton Utilities Disk Doctor that might help me but that would probably cost a lot. The nice thing about a 20 Gig HD is that it will work in all but the oldest computers. I was hoping I could fix it but every time I put it in a computer, Scandisk comes up runs for a few minutes and tells me there's a problem, then I can get out of scandisk and look at and copy files off of it. Sorry to have to ask, my memory of DOS is rusty, how should I do a "low level" format? One last thing I should explain - when the W95 defrag program stopped, it was writing a row of red blocks and stopped with those red blocks still there. Not sure if that makes any difference or not but I haven't mentioned it before. Thanks.

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    Well, persistence sometimes pays off. I hooked the 20 Gig Maxtor drive up as slave to my Win98 computer and ran Scandisk again in the full or thorough scan mode. I waited, and two messages came up telling me it was fixing this and that, and about 45 minutes later it appeared that nothing was happening. After an hour or so I saw that the hard drive light was no longer blinking and nothing was happening so I canceled it. Everything appears to be okay now and the 20 Gig Maxtor is now back in the Win 95 computer working as well as it did before.

    So - it appears that this mess is over with and the problem solved! Thanks to all for the help.

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