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Thread: Chkdsk hangs

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    Chkdsk hangs

    Chkdsk hangs at stage 5, 14 % complete, doing a full check including fixing faulty sectors. Any suggestions. The machine works normally otherwise (so far as I can see)
    David P - The Truth Is In Redmond

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    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Some times it takes hours stuck at the same %. At least it has for me. I give it time and it usually completes. I learned this the hard way after trying to recover from a clobbering by W10 to my WXP W7 disks.
    David

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    I agree with wavy, as long as you can see disk activity happening, just let Chkdsk do it's thing. It has found some bad sectors and is probably trying to relocate data found there to a better spot. This process can take hours. I just let it run overnight because watching it is like watching paint dry!

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    Well, Stage 5 "Free Space" got to 60% in 8 hours. It has now taken 24 hours to go to 62%. At this rate I need to wait 3 weeks for completion !! I have a new larger hard drive for the machine, BUT Window System Image fails with a message to run Chkdsk. I am getting desperate here?
    David P - The Truth Is In Redmond

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    Could be a disk on it's way out. Use a SMART utility to view the drive status.
    The manufacturer will have one on their site.
    CrystalDiskInfo.
    Passmark DiskCheckup.

    Time to backup.

    cheers, Paul

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    Ideally use the drive maker's diagnostic app.
    • Be ready to jot down a diagnostic code (on some).
    • Set up a log file on a USB flash drive before running SMART and basic tests.
    • Do not perform any write tests without backing up the drive first.
    • If the app offers to "fix" the drive I'd say no, back out and get a backup image of the drive before allowing the diagnostic app to fix (write) anything.

    And if you cancel out of Chkdsk then check the log. It may indicate a heck of a lot of bad sectors = failing drive.
    Last edited by Fascist Nation; 2016-02-19 at 12:33.

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    It's a judgement call and one that only you can make. How valuable is the data on that drive? Sometimes the best thing to do is to make a quickie file-level copy of the most important stuff and, assuming that works, quit using the old drive immediately. Make sure to give thanks to the tech gods (a sacrifice of a failing hard drive is most appropriate at this stage).

    The problem is that you can't know beforehand how extensive the drive damage is or what files are affected. The nature of the file system interface is actually meant to hide the physical details of file storage. The only way to find out for sure is to run a utility like ChkDsk and see what it finds.

    I would point out one thing. It is normal for ChkDsk to slow down dramatically when it is processing bad sectors. However it's unlikely that the entire 38% remaining unprocessed is all bad sectors. In fact hard drive damage is normally highly localized and once ChkDsk has gotten beyond the zone of damage, the pace of activity speeds up dramatically.

    I don't think I've ever seen a drive more than 10% damaged. It's usually more like 5% or less. The reason is that most hard drive damage is caused by head crashes into the disk surface. And while those can theoretically happen right up to 100% damage on the disk surface, the reality is that the computer will stop working long before that happens.

    The slow processing of damaged sectors is entirely because files are found there and ChkDsk is repeatedly reading the damaged sectors, trying to get a good read. If it cannot get a good read then ChkDsk will be forced to do something drastic, either substitute a sector of zeros (or blanks), or truncate the file at the point of damage, or simply delete the file entirely as unrecoverable. Thus the incentive is high to try many, many times to read those bad sectors.

    For the moment my recommendation stands. ChkDsk is making progress and you need to let it complete it's work. Only if you cannot spend that much time should you step in and stop the process.

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    Star Lounger hammondmike's Avatar
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    Possible Solution

    Have you tried the FREE Tweaking.com--Windows Repair? It runs in Safe Mode and uses Chkdsk and SFC to locate problems and fix them, if possible. It has saved my bacon several times, and prevented the need to do a Full Image restore. It is constantly being updated, so be sure you download the latest version.

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    I could have written that question two weeks ago! I knew I had a failing 3TB drive, so I picked up a 4TB replacement with the intention of disk imaging the 3/4 full 3TB then restoring it on the 4TB one. Alas the imaging software wouldn't work. I finally booted into safe mode on Friday night, which disables the task manager, and let that chkdsk run. For almost 72 hours! (It finished sometime Sunday night/Monday morning but I didn't turn the screen on till noon on Monday!)

    I installed the 4TB and painfully made a folder by folder copy of the files to the new disk. Luckily I used a multi-file copier and didn't rely on Windows copy. Then I compared the actual files, with a binary file comparison tool. The copy/compare took about 20 hours to complete and I had to recopy about 5 files that were not the same. (Even though the copy tool said they were!)

    After switching drive letters (so everything would point to the new drive) and rebooting, I fully, not quickly, reformatted the old drive. And yes that failed due to some really bad sectors it couldn't relocate.

    At that point I did what I always do with my old disks, opened them up, removed the platters (easier said than done) and added them to my disc-platter mobile (no CDs allowed)!

    So yes, just let 'er run! It will finish, and pretty quickly after it hits the last bad sector!

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpollock View Post
    Well, Stage 5 "Free Space" got to 60% in 8 hours. It has now taken 24 hours to go to 62%. At this rate I need to wait 3 weeks for completion !! I have a new larger hard drive for the machine, BUT Window System Image fails with a message to run Chkdsk. I am getting desperate here?
    Keep the check disc going, no guaranty it will repair, but the alternative is a clean install on a new drive.
    It sounds like your latest image is affected too, and that's a big bummer. If you have an older image without the error I'd try that.
    My only other recommendation is spin rite, but that too will take a few days to run & there are zero guarantees.

    At least with the check disc there is the possibility that the sector the error is located on is taken out of use.
    If that is the case then re-image the drive and then restore that image on another known good drive ASAP.

    At any rate be prepared for the worst (full clean install) to a new drive.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2016-02-23 at 15:42.
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    After several reboots, Chkdsk finally finished, but had found so many bad sectors & files on the disk that it was mainly unusable. Ended up with restoring the system to a new drive with the manufaturer's "Factory Reset" disk set and completing the rebuild manually. Moral: - run Chkdsk more often than once a year and DO keep a current disk image available
    David P - The Truth Is In Redmond

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    Thumbs up on SpinRite, it's an oldie but a goldie. However it is even slower than ChkDsk because it is more thorough in it's error handling. SpinRite will attempt to build a statistical profile out of multiple partial reads on a damaged sector, something I've never seen any other tool do. It's all in aid of recovering as much data as possible.

    The conundrum is, for a lot of files, getting them back from the damaged drive isn't worth much. If you can get a file copy from an install disk for instance, who cares about the damaged file? As long as it isn't a critical operating system file and you are still booting from the damaged media, it doesn't matter.

    Again though, you don't really know where the damage is and how that maps to the logical disk format. Not until you run a recovery program. So you almost always commit to the long recovery process and hope for the best.

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpollock View Post
    After several reboots, Chkdsk finally finished, but had found so many bad sectors & files on the disk that it was mainly unusable. Ended up with restoring the system to a new drive with the manufaturer's "Factory Reset" disk set and completing the rebuild manually. Moral: - run Chkdsk more often than once a year and DO keep a current disk image available
    You don't really need to run chkdsk regularly so much as monitoring the drive's health regularly.
    There are a number of utilities out there and you won't necessarily have to have it run continuously in the background, just run it monthly.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

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    I use CrystalDiskInfo running in monitor mode. Saved me from a bad drive recently.

    cheers, Paul

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