Continual CHKDSK errors

pts.
Tags:
CHKDSK
Disk drives
RAID
Storage
I've recently scheduled a daily procedure (CMD) to run on a test group of PCs (including one server with mirrored drives) that runs CHKDSK early every morning. While running under Windows, if it finds errors, it will shutdown/restart and CHKDSK /F will be run to repair the errors. Out of a group of 10 PCs, I'm finding 3 with CHKDSK errors every night. I don't know if the errors are always the same since the errors are sent to the console. I will modify the procedure to keep a log file of the errors in the future. In one case, Dell tech support ran through their boot diagnostics and found no errors on the hard drive. Several years ago (late DOS and early Windows), when hard drive failures were more common, I would have considered this a hard drive going bad and replaced it. However, with complexity of Windows, I think there may be other things which could cause this symptom. I've searched Microsoft knowledge base and Google for suggestions for this symptom with no success.

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Look in your event logs to see if the errors are being placed there. I’ve been told that is where they are recorded when they occur, but I’ve not had a problem with a CHKDSK since I learned of this.

I’d play it safe and replace the drives if they are giving you continual errors. CHKDSK should mark the sectors as unusable and not check them again, so youwould be seeing new errors. However, usually when I see errors in CHKDSK, the Dell utility will also see errors.

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It is not actually advisable to check the hard disk for errors continuously. Remember that the hard disk drive is spinning disk and continuous spinning of the platter inside the disk could cause further hardware damage. Performing checkdisk once a month would do the job.

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  • Ve3ofa
    Have you enabled S.M.A.R.T.
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  • Ve3ofa
    Have you enabled s.m.a.r.t monitoring in the bios? Have you checked the drives with a smart disk tool? This will show you if the drives are failing.. sometimes this warning comes just a little too late..
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  • JWhatley
    Thanks for the suggestions. The one time I've checked, the System Event log doesn't report anything about CHKDSK running. I've heard it may be reported in the Event log before and I'll check to see if there is something else I need to do to make this happen. Although I'm aware of SMART disk monitoring, I don't know much about it and I'll look into this as well. I'm not sure all of the PCs support SMART.
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  • JWhatley
    CHKDSK does not log its results. When a drive is marked dirty, AUTOCHK runs at the next boot. AUTOCHK logs the results (very similar to what is displayed when CHKDSK runs) in BOOTEX.LOG in the root of the drive being checked. When Windows boots, it moves the contents of BOOTEX.LOG into the Event Application Log with a source of Winlogon. There are three files that consistently cause CHKDSK to exit with a code 3 (errorlevel 3) on at least 3 of 10 computers. These don't seem to be serious but just part of the way Windows works. I'm not sure why some computers always need these files "repaired" and others don't. The first two files have something to do with indexes, but so far I haven't been able to find out what these files are for: Cleaning up ### unused index entries from index $SII of file 0x9. Cleaning up ### unused index entries from index $SDH of file 0x9. Cleaning up ### unused security descriptors. Therefore, my conclusion is that continual CHKDSK errors are not necessarily an indicator of impending hard drive failure without checking the Event Application Log for AUTOCHK logs. I've recently found freeware (personal use only) for monitoring SMART results, but haven't used it yet: http://www.passmark.com/products/diskcheckup.htm
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  • Lirria
    When you run CHKDSK in XP at boot, it creates an event log entry in the application section under a source of Winlogon and event id of 1001 usually looks like this: Event Type: Information Event Source: Winlogon Event Category: None Event ID: 1001 Date: 10/31/2006 Time: 12:18:25 PM User: N/A Computer: Computername Description: Checking file system on C: The type of the file system is NTFS. Cleaning up minor inconsistencies on the drive. Cleaning up 6 unused index entries from index $SII of file 0x9. Cleaning up 6 unused index entries from index $SDH of file 0x9. Cleaning up 6 unused security descriptors. CHKDSK is verifying file data (stage 4 of 5)... File data verification completed. CHKDSK is verifying free space (stage 5 of 5)... Free space verification is complete. 78108029 KB total disk space. 17970008 KB in 53725 files. 18016 KB in 4671 indexes. 0 KB in bad sectors. 128749 KB in use by the system. 65536 KB occupied by the log file. 59991256 KB available on disk. 4096 bytes in each allocation unit. 19527007 total allocation units on disk. 14997814 allocation units available on disk. Internal Info: 70 eb 00 00 27 e4 00 00 b2 2d 01 00 00 00 00 00 p...'....-...... 72 05 00 00 00 00 00 00 de 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 r............... b0 15 40 02 00 00 00 00 c0 48 e9 1b 00 00 00 00 ..@......H...... 00 30 87 01 00 00 00 00 a0 e1 d0 8e 01 00 00 00 .0.............. d0 eb ff de 04 00 00 00 d0 2f 10 8f 06 00 00 00 ........./...... 99 9e 36 00 00 00 00 00 a0 38 07 00 dd d1 00 00 ..6......8...... 00 00 00 00 00 60 cd 48 04 00 00 00 3f 12 00 00 .....`.H....?... Windows has finished checking your disk. Please wait while your computer restarts. For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp. Lirria
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  • Pagos86
    All the while I thought that if chkdsk discovers the errors, it shouldn't bump into them again. And that there's a need to buy a new hard drive if certain chkdsk errors persist. Thanks to this post, for it made some clarification and a better understanding of the process.
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  • valmsmith
    I have a brand new SATA drive on my raid array, and when I have it plugged into the system it runs chkdsk on every boot up and causes some minor problems with iExplorer. Chkdsk has yet to find ANY errors on the drive other than for what it is causing by the delays in the PC booting up. If I "Daisy Chain" another PATA drive to the IDE headers, there is no problem, ONLY when I run a drive on the SATA headers. Btw, this is a relatively old PC It is a Shuttle XPC, running a 32 bit Sempron chip, with WindowsXP-SP3, 2GB DDR2 RAM with ATi daughter card for graphics, and the "onboard AC-97 audio, with Creative Arts 5.1 speaker system.
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