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 Post subject: Windows XP file system diagnostic utilities
PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2004 5:56 pm 
Coppermine
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Does anyone know where I can find and download any utilities for diasgnosing the Windows XP file system on my pc?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2004 10:34 pm 
Northwood
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check out www.majorgeeks.com and see if you can find the program you are looking for here. good luck


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2004 8:41 pm 
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You can usually download diagnostic software from your hard drive manufacturer. Both Seagate and Western Digital have diagnostic software that checks their respective drives and the file structure. The error check function in Win XP will also check for file structure problems.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2004 4:13 am 
Coppermine
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I downloaded software from Seagate. It tells me the hard drive itself is fine, though there appear to be some minor problems with the file structure. I have run chkdsk, chkdsk/f, and chkdsk/r so many times it's not funny. They continue to indicate an error, but do not fix it. The error appears to be that free space in the MFT area is shown as allocated.

Boot time defrag and defrag of the MFT have done nothing to resolve this either.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2004 9:16 am 
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I think this might answer your question: Because of the importance of the MFT to NTFS and the possible impact on performance if this file becomes highly fragmented, NTFS makes a special effort to keep this file contiguous. NTFS reserves a percentage of the volume for exclusive use of the MFT until and unless the remainder of the volume is completely used up. Thus, space for files and directories is not allocated from this MFT zone until all other space is allocated first. Here's a link for more of the explanation: http://forum.osnn.net/showthread.php?t=2242


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2004 9:24 am 
Coppermine
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So, why am i getting the error message after I run chkdsk, and why won't it fix the error?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2004 5:01 pm 
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After digging around, there seems to be a known problem with NTFS that causes the MFT allocation error. Are you having any performance or space loss issues with your disk? Which version of XP are you using? One last thing, have you run the GUI version of check disk, and if so, what does it report?

Basically, without any associated hard drive errors, this is a Windows glitch that doesn't appear to be of concern.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2004 5:18 pm 
Coppermine
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I'm using XP Home. I haven't had any performance issues. What is the GUI version of chkdsk?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2004 6:53 pm 
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Open my computer, rt click on your hard drive, choose properties, go to the tools tab, click the check now button, check both boxes,(auto fix errors and Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors), click scan. A dialog box will pop up asking if you want to schedule a scan on your next start-up, hit yes. Now shut down,(don't restart), then start your system again. Note: Some older versions of Zone Alarm will not allow chkdsk access to the drive on start up. If this happens you have to disable the load ZoneAlarm on start up option in the program, just remember to re-enable it later.

The NTFS system has some well documented, but poorly managed issues.
One was corruption of data on shutdown/hybernation in drives larger than 160gb. http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;[LN];331958. There have been some who feel this also affected smaller drives. It also has issues with frequent errors in the security discriptors found with check disk and other diagnostic programs. Check disk is known to have problems checking an active drive. Whenever a file in use is written to by a program, check disk thinks there is corruption because the files values have changed, this will give you the MFT allocation error.

If you have SP2 installed, the 160gb issue patch should already be installed. If you run check disk from the GUI on start-up and it doesn't find errors, don't sweat it, it's a glitch. I know I didn't ask, but you also have to make sure you've scanned for any viruses with the most recent virus definitions.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 2:12 pm 
Coppermine
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I have done just what you described, except I restarted rather than shut down and then reboot. I'll try that. I am curious - why does that matter?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:39 pm 
Coppermine
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Ok. I ran chkdsk from the GUI - shut down the system, waited a few minutes and then rebooted. When it was done, I ran chkdsk from the dos cmd. I got the same error message I've been getting. Here it is:

CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 3)...
File verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 3)...
Index verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 3)...
Security descriptor verification completed.
Correcting errors in the Volume Bitmap.
Windows found problems with the file system.
Run CHKDSK with the /F (fix) option to correct these.

78148160 KB total disk space.
11871216 KB in 65549 files.
23688 KB in 3317 indexes.
0 KB in bad sectors.
191508 KB in use by the system.
65536 KB occupied by the log file.
66061748 KB available on disk.

4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
19537040 total allocation units on disk.
16515437 allocation units available on disk.

As I said, I have run chkdsk/f and chkdsk/r repeatedly - to no avail. Any more ideas?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 8:40 pm 
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Okay, sounds like it's just a NTFS glitch. You can try to run recovery console from the XP cd. Follow the instructions here: http://www.wown.com/j_helmig/wxprcons.htm. You want to run the chkdsk/f from the recovery console.
You can seriously hose your OS installation if you're not careful with the recovery console. .

This should fix the allocation errors. Keep in mind that this is a glitch and they will probably return. Blame MS. One other thing some people have had success in fixing this by turning off the indexing service. It's not a sure thing, but it doesn't really hurt anything. Searching the disk takes longer, but you gain some system resources. Your choice.

For more info on Recovery console read this:http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb%3Ben-us%3B314058
You might want to print it before you start.

I want to say again that this problem is considered an annoyance, not a major issue. So relax and don't sweat it too much. If you enjoy playing with your system, knock yourself out. Just be careful with your data,(back it up 1st)

To the Mods: I know this is starting to sound like a fix it post, but it is a common issue with NTFS in WinXP. Your call. Thanks


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 2:46 pm 
Coppermine
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Thanks! I may as well ignore it for now. I plan on doing a clean install of XP late fall anyway - my once a year (sorta spring) cleaning.


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