HELP - disk needs to be checked for consistency??

Discussion in 'Computer Science & Culture' started by Jeff 152, Apr 15, 2010.

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  1. Jeff 152 Registered Senior Member

    Hi everyone,

    So recently my laptop has started doing this annoying thing where when I boot up it says "One of your disks needs to be checked for consistency." It then says I can skip it by pressing a key but its recommended I don't, and it gives me a 10 second countdown to skip until it will start. Except when it gets to 1, it freezes and nothing happens and I can't do anything but hit the power button off. Its the same thing every time I boot up, and I have tried pressing a key to skip the disk check but nothing happens - I just have to wait the 10 second countdown to the freeze.

    However, since I have now tried several times, every once in a while (maybe every third time) it doesnt freeze on the countdown and instead boots into windows and everything works fine. I took advantage of these opportunities to back up all my data, however, it wont let me do a system restore (it says the disk has errors) and the drive doesnt even show up in the disk defrag list.

    So does anybody have any ideas of what I should do?

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  3. Neverfly Banned Banned

    It may be the activators on the drive locking up.

    These often get "sticky" on an older drive, since, while everyone monitors the tempurature of their CPU, no one seems to pay any mind at all to the temp of a hard drive.
    So they roast. Usually around 60 degrees C.
    I keep mine optimumly cooled at 30 degrees C.

    It's best to try to not go above 45 degrees C.

    That's one possibility.

    Another may be corrupted files in your OS.
    Since you backed everything up, why not do a wipe and reload on your OS (Wouldn't hurt) and see how it runs after that?
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  5. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Not sure this relates to your problem. It is from a log I keep (Windows XP System). I was able to stop disk checking for several disks. Partition C on my first disk was okay. I am not sure that the following will fix the problem for Drive C.

    4 December 2006
    Some updates have occurred, including one relating to Java.

    Chkdsk still runs on startup. Very annoying. Canceling the process by using any key saves time, but does not make the problem go away.

    This is alleged to be caused due to dirty bit being set.
    C:\Windows\System32\fsutil.exe can query & set the dirty bit, but does not provide for turning it off. (Fsutil dirty query D: )

    chkntfs /D & chkdsk C: /F are both alleged to turn off the Dirty Bit. Chkdsk worked for all but Partition C. Not sure about chkntfs (I solved my problem without using it).

    10 December 2006
    Chkdsk D: /F turned off the Dirty Bit. Verified via Fsutil dirty query D:
    Chkdsk did not run last time system was started.

    BTW: I make byte by byte images of all critical partitons on my system & use them for recovery if something goes wrong. The log tells me what will be missing when I restore using an image.

    Drive images have saved me a few times when visting grandchildren have managed to get me infected with malware. A really messed up system cannot be relied upon to restore properly from a backup.
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  7. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Jeff152, I used to get the same problem with a relatively new PC.

    Three things may have caused it:
    1) I dropped the Hard-drive prior to installing it into the box - so I'm sure I've got issues there.
    2) My WinXP disk is old and scratched, and I had issues installing it, so the install might be corrupted.
    3) A dodgy program that may be installed and affecting your registry (although given your symptoms I'm not sure this is the issue). But when you do get into the OS, run msconfig (I think) and see which programs are set to run on start-up - and any you don't recognise you should check on t'internet whether they are harmful or not. If they are then remove them etc.

    But to be honest, it seems like an HDD issue - whether physical issue or corrupt install.
    First thing would be to backup of all critical / personal files and do full clean reinstallation of the OS.

    If it still doesn't work then likely to be a H/W issue.
  8. Jeff 152 Registered Senior Member

    Ok I have kind of good news. I have stopped getting the "disk needs to be checked for consistency" message at bootup. However, I know there is still something wrong for 3 reasons.

    1. I can not backup my hard drive
    - While I have an external hard drive and I am able to copy individual files and folders to it (So I have backed up all of my important documents and music and stuff), I am unable to actually run the backup procedure from the Windows Backup, so I can't set up automatic backups or create a system image.

    2. My drive doesn't show up in the Disk Defragmenter
    - Curious to see if Defragging would do anything, I opened it up only to find that my primary hard drive is not listed as a drive I can defragment. The recovery partition is listed, but the main C drive is not.

    3. The command prompt line "fsutil dirty query c:" returns "Volume - c: is Dirty"

    I am deciding between using the recovery disk to wipe the hard drive and reinstall windows or calling Dell to see if they will come replace the hard drive (it should be covered under my hardware warranty)

    Any thoughts? Does this sound like an issue that just reinstalling windows will fix, or does it sound like an actual hardware failure?
  9. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

    If it is still under warranty, I would contact Dell for a replacement. Sounds like your drive could be on it's last leg. You did well by backing up all your critical files, because you never know when it could go.
  10. Gustav Banned Banned

    boot from a repair disk that has chkdsk

    hiren or ubcd outta have something
  11. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Jeff 152: I am surprised that fsutil indicates C-Drive is dirty, but you get no message during bootup.

    Try chkdsk C: /F

    You might get a message saying that you cannot do this. Do you want to schedule it the next time you boot? Say yes.

    Try searching for "dirty bit" This might provide further information.

    That dirty bit will interfere with all sorts of activities.
  12. coolplay Registered Member

    you could also go to the web site of your hard disk manunfacturer and download the diagnostic sofware they probably have available for you to test..

    I would recommend to mount the concerned hard disk on another computer for doing so (in slave mode) and of course backup all you can prior doing so
  13. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    Although it's likely that he's dealt with the problem, harddisk errors can usually occur if a computer isn't shutdown properly and if it isn't shutdown properly multiple times.

    When a computer shuts down, it attempts to do so gracefully, however some impatient people will just yank out the power cord or hold the power button in for 5 seconds. In this case the system has had a chance to close off processes correctly, or clean caches, when it comes to booting backup the cache's then are either repaired or cleared and the bootup process replaces them (increasing the bootup time).

    In the instance of multiple shutdowns from not booting up properly, this can cause fragmentation of the pagefile since the system is trying to remember what states(multiple occurances) it was in prior to immediate shutdown.

    When this occurs the system will slowly but surely attempt to repair if it does a check. The check will run, when it finds an error it will attempt to fix it then the check will start from scratch again to check the error correction. It will appear like a hang sometimes, however to identify if it's hung you'd have to watch the harddrive light as it will be flickering if in use.

    Ideally always shutdown your computer properly, if you have the money and feel like a bit of weight lifting I'd suggest getting hold of a UPS pack (Uninterrupted Power Supply), just remember that these types of pack need a fair bit of power so don't stick them on an extension lead or surge protected lead, otherwise you might find it plays up.

    The UPS isn't so much meant for running computers continuously, but they are meant to grant a computer or server a gracing period to shutdown gracefully, this is why UPS system usually have heartbeat monitors.
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