Windows 7 and NTFS vs. me

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Windows 7 and NTFS vs. me

Postposted on Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:13 pm

A long while back, more than a year ago now I believe, Windows 7 told me it wanted to check my Windows install drive. So I let it do so, since usually that meant something was screwed up by a hard lock & reset or other unusual event, which had happened a great deal when I first got the motherboard and was seeing how far I could OC the system. The chkdsk failed, and I had to reset from that to get out of it, after having waited for an extended period.

It's getting to be quite a while since that bug in the Windows utility occurred, so I decided last week to check if it has been repaired yet. Here's what resulted:
Code: Select all
One of your disks needs to be checked for consistency. You 
may cancel the disk check, but it is strongly recommended 
that you continue.
Windows will now check the disk.

CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 3)...
File record segment 266336 is unreadable.
  591104 file records processed.
File verification completed.
Deleting orphan file record segment 266340.

And there it has sat for days. Which is to say, they haven't done a thing.

It may well be there's a physical error on the drive (a 1 TB WD Black). But just sitting there doing nothing and allowing no way out is hardly appropriate. I have a 2 TB WD Black that I can probably copy the drive's contents to eventually, though it's currently my rarely-connected Hackintosh drive and will have to be carefully dealt with.

My question: can anyone advise me on what software is available to correct the situation where Windows sees that problem, and if possible fix it, or at least one of those two? Any help would be appreciated.
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Re: Windows 7 and NTFS vs. me

Postposted on Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:43 pm

IIRC the last time I hit this issue I fixed it by connecting the drive in question to another system as a data drive, and re-running the disk check from within Windows.
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Re: Windows 7 and NTFS vs. me

Postposted on Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:19 pm

It's a little unclear to me if you're running chkdsk from within Windows or during boot. If you're running it from within Windows, there is a possibility that Windows is somehow locking that file segment. You might want to try scheduling it to run at boot. I usually do this by marking the partition as "dirty" using from a command prompt which will force chkdsk /f to run the next time you boot:
Code: Select all
fsutil dirty set c:


Failing that, I'd do what JBI suggests.
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Re: Windows 7 and NTFS vs. me

Postposted on Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:50 pm

just brew it! wrote:IIRC the last time I hit this issue I fixed it by connecting the drive in question to another system as a data drive, and re-running the disk check from within Windows.

That's the solution I'd use... if I still had another system running Win 7 around that I could easily pop it into. But I've gotten rid of that system, and was looking for software that would boot into itself or a Linux system or some such and run so it would be easier. The only choice available to me so far is connecting the 2 TB drive and booting from that one instead, if I have Win 7 on it (it's been long enough that I forget). The other systems I have are either XP and more or less dead, or a diskless Linux box I used to use notfred's diskless folding client on. I had planned on making it into a Hackintosh, but never did. If Win 7 isn't on that 2 TB drive, I'll have to put it there and then move forward. But I was trying to avoid this taking a long time. :wink:

mortifiedPenguin wrote:It's a little unclear to me if you're running chkdsk from within Windows or during boot. If you're running it from within Windows, there is a possibility that Windows is somehow locking that file segment. You might want to try scheduling it to run at boot. I usually do this by marking the partition as "dirty" using from a command prompt which will force chkdsk /f to run the next time you boot:
Code: Select all
fsutil dirty set c:


Failing that, I'd do what JBI suggests.

It's been a while, but my memory is that Windows won't let you chkdsk the boot/OS drive unless it's during boot, which is how it was most recently done here. Maybe I'm wrong, since I tend to forget details lately.

Thanks for the replies.

I'll hopefully remember and update this thread with whatever I accomplish this evening some time in the next couple of days.
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Re: Windows 7 and NTFS vs. me

Postposted on Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:03 pm

Ragnar Dan wrote:It's been a while, but my memory is that Windows won't let you chkdsk the boot/OS drive unless it's during boot, which is how it was most recently done here. Maybe I'm wrong, since I tend to forget details lately.
Yeah, that's what I was getting at but didn't gather that from your OP. Looks like my suggestion won't work since that's exactly what you were doing.

Now, I'm no Linux guy but I suppose that fsck (er... it got censored. I think you guys know the one) can't do much with fixing NTFS?
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Re: Windows 7 and NTFS vs. me

Postposted on Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:23 pm

ntfsprogs has ntfsfix. It's not a replacement for chkdsk, but it will at least clear the dirty bit letting Windows boot up.

You could boot from the Windows 7 disc and run the recovery utilities that it provides, since you don't have another Windows system around.

There are also the WD Data Lifeguard Diagnostic tools. There is one version that will run from an DOS environment. You might want to take an image of the the drive before running the tools to make sure nothing gets messed up.

If you take an image of the drive using dd, you can boot the image using KVM. I'm not sure how much that helps, but it might be an option if you just want that Windows install to boot.
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Re: Windows 7 and NTFS vs. me

Postposted on Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:22 pm

Flatland_Spider wrote:ntfsprogs has ntfsfix. It's not a replacement for chkdsk, but it will at least clear the dirty bit letting Windows boot up.

You could boot from the Windows 7 disc and run the recovery utilities that it provides, since you don't have another Windows system around.

There are also the WD Data Lifeguard Diagnostic tools. There is one version that will run from an DOS environment. You might want to take an image of the the drive before running the tools to make sure nothing gets messed up.

If you take an image of the drive using dd, you can boot the image using KVM. I'm not sure how much that helps, but it might be an option if you just want that Windows install to boot.

Not having kept up with Linux, maybe I can get a live disc or something with ntfsfix on it.

I tried the Win 7 install disc, and it let me try Startup Repair, and > 45 minutes later I clicked on "Finish" which it claimed if things were repaired it would boot into Windows normally. Well, no, because it would do that anyway, since the problem wasn't that I couldn't run Windows, it was that it wanted to automatically run chkdsk and would lock up eventually if I let it run. And to run the install DVD I have to reboot and tell the system I want to boot from the DVD drive instead of the main HD. So, whatever it's supposed to do, it appears not to be doing it. It's leaving it marked needing a repair of the file system or drive itself.

So I'm left with either the Linux route, or I can take the 1 TB drive to the family member I gave the Win 7 Pro system to, and make it chkdsk it from inside Windows there. I suspect it will be noticeably faster, too, and maybe will fix the problem, though after my experience last night I'm not too hopeful.

Thanks for the info.
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Re: Windows 7 and NTFS vs. me

Postposted on Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:43 pm

The auto repair wasn't what you wanted from WinRE.

You needed to open up a command prompt and run chkdsk from that pre-boot environment.

Honestly, I don't think that's gonna fix the issue. I feel like you should run a SMART check of the disk.
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Re: Windows 7 and NTFS vs. me

Postposted on Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:07 pm

My boss is in love with SpinRite for everything:

http://www.grc.com/sr/spinrite.htm

It ain't free, though.
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Re: Windows 7 and NTFS vs. me

Postposted on Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:23 pm

Scrotos wrote:My boss is in love with SpinRite for everything:

http://www.grc.com/sr/spinrite.htm

It ain't free, though.

I've got a copy, but about all it ever tells me is "he's dead, Jim".
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Re: Windows 7 and NTFS vs. me

Postposted on Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:44 pm

It also is in desperate need of an update. Wikipedia has multiple cites detailing difficulty with large drives and UEFI firmware.

I'd recommend RIP Linux or Knoppix and using Smartmontools.

The manufacturer provided utilities can work too, but at least with the Live Distro you can surf the web while you wait. :P
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Re: Windows 7 and NTFS vs. me

Postposted on Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:37 pm

Ryu Connor wrote:The auto repair wasn't what you wanted from WinRE.

You needed to open up a command prompt and run chkdsk from that pre-boot environment.

Honestly, I don't think that's gonna fix the issue. I feel like you should run a SMART check of the disk.

I tried that this evening, and it first said my system drive was unreadable after having read it and listing its contents, so I restarted and decided just to do "chkdsk /f [drive letter]:" without having tried "dir" first from its root, and it told me a great amount of the drive had errors. It started around where the original post indicates the problems showed up, but kept going past 300,000 and I killed it at that point and then hit reset, since I didn't want it to mark the entire disk dead so I can't get data off of it. I dunno what harm that test has done, if any, but that's the end of Windows getting its shot, I think.

I also have yet to see any data errors, and am still unconvinced there's a real problem, though I haven't looked around all over the drive since the latest chkdsk. Nevertheless, I'm ready to at least copy all the data off the drive (3 NTFS partitions) to a new one and see what I can do with it inside Windows after killing its partitions and scanning it and whatever else I can come up with, perhaps including a WD utility.

As for SMART checks, I could swear that was available in BIOSes back in the day, but I'm unable to find anything like that now. I expect software somewhere can do that, but hell if I know where to get it.

Scrotos wrote:My boss is in love with SpinRite for everything:

http://www.grc.com/sr/spinrite.htm

It ain't free, though.

I had a copy, once, but it's probably been ~15 years at this point. It never seemed to do much that I could tell.
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Re: Windows 7 and NTFS vs. me

Postposted on Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:36 pm

Ryu Connor wrote:It also is in desperate need of an update. Wikipedia has multiple cites detailing difficulty with large drives and UEFI firmware.

I'd recommend RIP Linux or Knoppix and using Smartmontools.

The manufacturer provided utilities can work too, but at least with the Live Distro you can surf the web while you wait. :P

RIP Linux is gone, according to your TR link's Wikipedia link.

I'm getting a bit fatigued, with a shortening temper, so I'll look at this again tomorrow. So far, though, I'm thinking it's time to buy another hard drive. It's too bad I can't find a reasonably priced SSD yet. :wink: I'd also like if there were more manufacturers of good reputation than there seem to be.
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Re: Windows 7 and NTFS vs. me

Postposted on Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:40 pm

Ragnar Dan wrote:Not having kept up with Linux, maybe I can get a live disc or something with ntfsfix on it.


Trinity Rescue Kit has ntfsfix on the disc, and I believe Finnix does as well. Those are the main two that I use.

If you want something with a GUI, as the previous two are CLI centric, CrunchBang makes a good platform for rescue attempts since it's lightweight, and there is always Knoppix.
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Re: Windows 7 and NTFS vs. me

Postposted on Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:46 pm

Ragnar Dan wrote:I tried that this evening, and it first said my system drive was unreadable after having read it and listing its contents, so I restarted and decided just to do "chkdsk /f [drive letter]:" without having tried "dir" first from its root, and it told me a great amount of the drive had errors. It started around where the original post indicates the problems showed up, but kept going past 300,000 and I killed it at that point and then hit reset, since I didn't want it to mark the entire disk dead so I can't get data off of it. I dunno what harm that test has done, if any, but that's the end of Windows getting its shot, I think.

I also have yet to see any data errors, and am still unconvinced there's a real problem, though I haven't looked around all over the drive since the latest chkdsk. Nevertheless, I'm ready to at least copy all the data off the drive (3 NTFS partitions) to a new one and see what I can do with it inside Windows after killing its partitions and scanning it and whatever else I can come up with, perhaps including a WD utility.


RIP Linux

It's best to let chkdsk finish. It leaves the partition in a much more confused state then when it started.
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Re: Windows 7 and NTFS vs. me

Postposted on Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:56 pm

Flatland_Spider wrote:RIP Linux

It's best to let chkdsk finish. It leaves the partition in a much more confused state then when it started.

Yeah, I was wrong about RIP Linux. It's just not considered significant enough to keep wikipedia's page. :roll:

I'd have let chkdsk finish if it didn't look as though it was going to destroy my main drive. I should've backed it up more recently than I have, but that not being the case, I killed the DOS prompt. I'll let it finish after I get the data I want off of the drive. A week or so after I decide which HD to buy (?), and get it settled, that is.
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Re: Windows 7 and NTFS vs. me

Postposted on Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:35 pm

Ragnar Dan wrote:As for SMART checks, I could swear that was available in BIOSes back in the day, but I'm unable to find anything like that now. I expect software somewhere can do that, but hell if I know where to get it.

I like HDAT2 which is bundled on UBCD.

Ragnar Dan wrote:I'd have let chkdsk finish if it didn't look as though it was going to destroy my main drive. I should've backed it up more recently than I have, but that not being the case, I killed the DOS prompt. I'll let it finish after I get the data I want off of the drive. A week or so after I decide which HD to buy (?), and get it settled, that is.
Letting chkdsk finish in your case may take more than a week. :o :P
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