Scandisk problems

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beaglehound

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Hi everybody. My operating system is Windows 98. This afternoon I ran my scandisk. After 4 hours it still didn't complete. There were 1,219,839 'clusters' to scan. My system boggled down 1,101,741. Even the little cd disc icon in the upper left corner of the screen stopped rotating.
Here's what I can't figure out. People have complained about getting a message box popping up saying 'scandisk has restarted 10 times. Either a program is running in the background or a program is writing to the hard drive while scandisk is operating.' This apparently can stop scandisk from completing its work. After reading several articles on what to do to prevent this from happening the following is what was recommended and what I did:
1. I ran disk cleanup
2. I brought up the 'Close Programs' box and deleted all programs except Explorer and Systray.
3. I set my screensaver to 'none'
4. I set my monitor to 'never turn off'
5. Firewall and AntiVirus programs were turned off. I even disconnected myself from the internet just in case.
6. Put 'Task scheduler' on pause.
6. I went to Scandisk and clicked on 'Thorough' and began the process.

Despite doing all of this I still got the message box saying a program was either writing to the hard disk or running in the background. WHAT PROGRAM?? for goodness sake? I sorry everybody but I'm really frustrated about this. I don't know what else I can shut down. Any suggestions that would help would very much be appreciated.

Beagle
 
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It's possible to troubleshoot that sort of thing by using utilities such as Filemon from System Internals which will tell you what processes are writing to files on the drive; however sometimes the simplist method, which you haven't mentioned trying, is to run Scandisk in Safe Mode.

You can get the System Intenals freeware here:

http://www.sysinternals.com/win9x/98utilities.shtml

However, you are saying the scan bogged down? Were you constantly getting the "restarting" message even after Scandisk had been running for a while? If not there is some other problem.
 

beaglehound

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Jul 15, 2003
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RollinHog, thanks for the reply.

No, I haven't tried running Scandisk in Safemode. After 6 hours of frustration I needed to walk away from my computer fpr awhile.

No the pop up message saying scandisk has restarted 10 times did not occur until Scandisk was about 2/3rds into the process. Maybe even further. I thought everything was going real well after shutting all the programs down before beginning the process. Before I used to get that message pop up constantly. When it wasn't showing up this time, I thought I had done things right.

I can try Scandisk in Safemode. I've forgotten how to get into safe mode. If I do try that method, can you tell me what I need to do (programs to shut down etc?) before trying the process again.

tia,

Beagle
 

beaglehound

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Sorry RollinRog for mispelling your name. A question I never asked in my last reply about Filemon. Actually I have 2 questions:
1. If I'm shutting down all the other programs, wouldn't I have to shut Filemon down too, before starting Scandisk? What help would Filemon be to me?
2. I went to the site you gave me and it says that to download Filemon, you have to have "Administrative Privilege". What is that?

Beagle
 
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Seems strange to have that begin about 2/3 through unless it was the screen saver, but that would be obvious if you were watching.

Administrative privelege is not something you need to worry about usually in win98, especially if you don't know what it is (would require that the Policy Editor be installed and utilized).

I'm not sure how much help FileMon would be to you since you won't be able use it effectively if the program writing is not taking place on a regular basis. The idea would be to close out all tasks as you did before, then run it (without starting Scandisk) and see if anything is continuing to write to the disk.

Anyway, to start in Safe Mode, just restart and press and hold the ctrl key promptly on restart. You will get a numbered boot menu with Safe Mode as an option. This bypasses all startups except core Windows files. Your screen display will be in low resolution mode.

You can run Scandisk from there.

In any case, it won't hurt to give us a copy/paste of a HijackThis Scanlog, which will show what is running in the background in most instances. Not everything shows up in the Close Programs window.

http://www.tomcoyote.org/hjt/
 

beaglehound

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Rollin'Rog:

I tried running Scandisk in Safe Mode. To be on the safe side, Iclosed everything down I could think of. Another member suggested I delete Applog files which I did. The only thing I didn't have stop was the clock on my screen. After activating Safe mode it did everything it was suppose to do a for about an hour and then the routine message "A program is trying to write onto the hard drive. Close all programs" appeared. I realized I hadn't shut down my screen saver. I not sure that was the problem because my screen saver is set for 5 minutes so there was lots opportunity for that pop up message to come on several times during the first hour. Nevertheless I closed down screen saver. Scandisk worked great and got up to 1, 101, 917 clusters of about 2.2 million then it just stopped. Completely stopped. In fact my machine froze. The clock wasn't working or anything else. I came back 30 minutes later and it was still the same. I had to hit the cancel button at 90% complete. I have absolutely no idea what the problem is or if if the problem even has anything to do with a program trying to write to the disk during scandisk. I wasn't even connected to the internet and I'm sure I had everything closed down that I was told to close down. Please post replies here as I'm not my email currently.

Beagle (the frustrated one)
 
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It sounds like the freeze is unrelated to the "program writing to the disk"; even when that happens Scandisk continues to progress slowly, it just restarts and has to rebuild its data base each time.

We can try doing a more thorough disk cleanup and then running scandisk in DOS with a "checkonly" switch. I'm wary of having it fix anything if you are not otherwise having problems.

Here are the instructions:

Click Start>Shutdown>Restart in MS-DOS mode.

At the c:\windows\> prompt enter each bold line:

smartdrv
deltree tempor~1
deltree temp
deltree history
deltree locals~1\tempor~1
scandisk /checkonly
exit


(you may get an error message on this last one (locals~1), just skip to "exit" if you do, it just means you don't have that directory)

Enter smartdrv first or the process will take a very long time. For each deltree, confirm by entering 'y' if the target directory is correct.

>> I have just added the scandisk /checkonly command to a standard DOS cleanup routine. You might want to empty your recycle bin before restarting in MS-DOS mode as I didn't include that.

See if scandisk will complete with the checkonly switch. Note any errors it finds for future reference.

It will not be necessary to disable anything before doing this as you will be in DOS.

Also, after scandisk completes, if it does, you may not have to enter exit, I don't recall whether it includes an option to automatically reboot. If it hangs you will have to ctrl-alt-del to reboot or manually power down if that doesn't work.
 

beaglehound

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Jul 15, 2003
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Rollin'Rog:

I went into MS-DOS and entered the first bold line:

smartdrv

and pressed entered.

Then I entered the next bold line as per your instructions:

deltree tempor~1

After pressing the enter button I received this question:

Delete directory "TEMPOR~1 and all its subdirectories?" [yn]

I didn't know what to do and didn't want to mess up my system by deleting directories without knowing what I'm doing. What am I suppose to do when I get that kind of a question?

tia,

Beagle
 
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Yes, confirm with a 'y' if the directory targeted is the one desired, eg "tempor~1" (which is your Temporary Internet Folder).
 
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What does it mean if you do all of this, but scandisk still hangs? Is is reparable or is the hard drive trashed? I am in the middle of all of this myself on one of my users' machines. Thanks!
 
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In that case I would suggest getting a diagnostic utility from the vendor's site for the hard drive and running that to check the drive's health.
 
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I think it might be more confusing to merge them; I'm just going to close this and edit the title of the other.
 
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