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  1. #1
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Bad links in lost chain at .....


    I am running Win2k Pro SP4 on an older computer (433 Celeron). I am using it as
    a storage computer. I have 3 harddrives - a small 6.4gb with the OS and two
    others (80gb and 160gb). The 80gb was almost full (under 500mb left) and the
    160gb drive had 50gb of files on it. For some dumb reason I decided to copy
    all the files from the 80gb drive to the 160gb. It said that it would take
    about 130minutes. When I came back 4 hours later, the computer had locked up
    (trying to copy the same file over and over - had copied about 80% of the
    files). I could not stop the process - only option was to reboot.

    When I rebooted, scandisk took over. For the last 2 days I have a scrolling
    message on the screen that says "bad links in lost chain at cluster
    ********* corrected" (last check is was at 4,900,000 and counting).
    Sometimes there is a line where the word "truncated???) is at the end of it.
    I had read a couple of places on the web that mentioned that 160gb
    harddrives had either 4.1mb of clusters (can't be true since I am at 4.9mb)
    or 41mb of clusters (which means the computer has another 37mb more to go -
    or another 18 days - YUCHHHHH).

    If I were to stop the process, would the only files lost be the ones that I
    was trying to copy from one drive to another? Would the files that are on
    the 80gb be OK? Would the files that were on the 160gb drive originally
    (50gb) be OK? Would the only ones that would be toast be the ones that were
    to be copied? Would they be converted to chk files?



  2. #2
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Wardrobe Malfunction Junction, Derry
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Bad links in lost chain at .....


    Your wanting to allocate files to your newly acquired real estate that way is perfectly understandable. It makes it easier to search for these errors if you can give me a number associated if there is one with this message and the complete error message word for word, but having said that, a number of things can be going on to give these type disk errors. When you try to boot are you getting a blue screen or some other screen that is scrolling this message?

    A lost cluster is a cluster that the operating system has classed as being in use, but actually contains no data. The Chkdsk utility is designed to search for lost clusters and make them available to the file system again.

    Often what contributes to this is a dirty shut down of a computer--with applications running, and sometimes when this happens, it's not because the user intended it to. When a program is opened, Windows doesn't close the program at that time. It can store it in physical RAM, the swap file, or the temp directory, and then procrastinate and wait until shutdown until it writes the info back to the normal place. In improper shut downs, Windows doesn't write open files back to the disk--it doesn't get a chance to. This is when problems arise. You get orphaned file fragments, lost clusters and other problems. They are reported to chkdsk, the Windows 2000 incarnation of ScanDisk, as bad sectors when they aren't. Lost clusters make up a chain of clusters that have not been incorporated into a file--orphaned clusters. The lost clusters are usually not important data but they could be. Another way to lose clusters is to pull a floppy, (remember those?) or a CD out of a drive while the light is still on.

    I'd try this in this order:

    1) Use the F8 key to boot to the Windows Advanced Options menu and select Last Known Good Configuration--could work, but often it doesn't.
    2) Boot to the recovery console and run chkdskr /r from the recovery console. Won't take that long and may help fix this because it is the most effective switch for locating bad sectors and will fix them and it is often most effective from the Recovery Console.
    3) If you were able to get to Windows, I'd have you run a "chkntfs" command from the command prompt, but my understanding is you can't. Chkntfs can disable the repeat automatic running of chkdsk you're seeing now.

    These links may be helpful:

    Fixing Clusters, Chkdsk and Associated Commands Lounge Thread
    Win 2K Recovery Console
    Description of the Win 2K Recovery Console
    Last Known Good
    Starting Win 2K With Last Known Good
    307852: HOW TO: Start Your Computer by Using the Last Known Good Configuration Feature in Windows XP


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