As a long time plus subscriber, I wouldn’t miss an issue. Good stuff… Anyway, I was thinking about automating both scandisk(Win9x)/chkdsk.exe (XP, 2K) and defrag on all of the computers in my office (all are Windows XP Pro SP2). I was going to have them run automatically, first scandisk on Tuesday night, then follow up on Wednesday night with defrag. I have done the research to determine exactly how to accomplish this via the Task Scheduler using batch files so no help needed there.
What I was wondering is what problems might be caused if the power should go out during either of these processes. I am a big believer in Murphy’s Laws, so sure as shooting, power will go out at the wrong time. I really would like to know what I can expect, with both a worst case scenario and normal scenario of the power going out. I am trying to weigh problems vs. benefits of running them regularly, or infrequently as I am currently doing.
We have a small office, so these get run when people call in sick or are on vacation. I just thought that if I automated them, my job would be easier. —Dan
Automating scandisk and defrag is a good idea. It assures that the maintenance is done frequently, saves time and makes sure the tasks are completed even when you’re not around.
A power failure can hose your systems whether you’re sitting there or not, whether the current process is automated or not— and whether you’re running a disk-maintenance utility or not. The solution is not to launch utilities manually or infrequently, but to protect your systems with a high-quality UPS. That way, you can use either the auto shut-down software included with the UPS, or what’s built into XP’s power management to terminate whatever processes are running, and perform a graceful shut down when the lights go out.