Scandisk gone mad?

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsme.general (More info?)

My wife's PC has developed a ScanDisk problem. Although it shuts down
correctly, on boot up it automatically runs ScanDisk because of improper
shutdown. It then runs ScanDisk in thorough mode and stops while checking
the file allocation table with the following message:

"ScanDisk detected an error while reading one of the system area sectors on
this drive.

The disk is seriously damaged and may need to be replaced. The damaged
portion of the disk contains critical information about the location of
some or all of the files on the drive......."

Apart from this problem at start up which I can kill with ESC, all
applications work correctly. My gut feeling is that ScanDisk is wrong and
there is no serious problem with the disk. (I have, of course, backed up
critical data just in case.)

Has anyone seen this problem before?

Terry
7 answers Last reply
More about scandisk
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsme.general (More info?)

    Terrycymru <me@privacy.net> wrote:

    >My wife's PC has developed a ScanDisk problem. Although it shuts down
    >correctly, on boot up it automatically runs ScanDisk because of improper
    >shutdown. It then runs ScanDisk in thorough mode and stops while checking
    >the file allocation table with the following message:
    >
    >"ScanDisk detected an error while reading one of the system area sectors on
    >this drive.
    >
    >The disk is seriously damaged and may need to be replaced. The damaged
    >portion of the disk contains critical information about the location of
    >some or all of the files on the drive......."
    >
    >Apart from this problem at start up which I can kill with ESC, all
    >applications work correctly. My gut feeling is that ScanDisk is wrong and
    >there is no serious problem with the disk. (I have, of course, backed up
    >critical data just in case.)
    >
    >Has anyone seen this problem before?
    >
    >Terry

    Yup. Seen it several times, usually just a short while before the
    drive went clunk, grind, smash and joined the dearly departed.

    Go to the drive manufacturer's web site and download their diagnostic
    test utility (free) and run it to check out the drive. Use the full
    (non-destructive) diagnostic test option if there are different
    choices.

    You could try using Spinrite (www.grc.com) to repair the damaged
    sectors. However the cost of Spinrite ($89 US) is probably more than
    the price of a new hard drive.

    Another thing you could try to do is to use a partitioning utility
    such as Partition Magic (Symantec) or BootItNG (www.bootitng.com) to
    reduce the size of the existing partition by creating about 40 mb of
    unused space at the beginning of the drive. That will relocate the
    system area sectors away from the existing known damaged sectors and
    may allow you to continue using the remaining sectors. I say 40 mb
    because the system sectors (mainly the file allocation table) on a
    large drive can use as much as 16 mb of space and there are 2 copies
    of it.

    Good luck


    Ron Martell Duncan B.C. Canada
    --
    Microsoft MVP
    On-Line Help Computer Service
    http://onlinehelp.bc.ca

    In memory of a dear friend Alex Nichol MVP
    http://aumha.org/alex.htm
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsme.general (More info?)

    Another free HD test tool:

    DISKTOOL v1.2 (49KB)
    Platform: Dos
    This is a generic hard disk testing tool. It works on ALL disks that are
    controlled by the BIOS, ATAPI/SCSI/RAID. It accesses the drive by INT13 and
    INT13 extensions. You can customize how the tests are run, in what order,
    how many loops... You can also run it in "batch" mode, for burn-in testing.
    http://www.nu2.nu/utils/

    I recommend following Ron Martell's advice to get the drive to a state where
    it can be copied ASAP to a new HD, which becomes your new bootable drive.
    --
    Jack E. Martinelli 2002-05 MS MVP for Shell/User / DTS
    Help us help you: http://www.dts-L.org/goodpost.htm
    In Memorium: Alex Nichol
    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/expertzone/meetexperts/nichol.mspx
    Your cooperation is very appreciated.
    ------
    "Ron Martell" <ron.martell@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:gk7s91hbkjpdhk9h9umm6mr34tbubfcfnn@4ax.com...
    > Terrycymru <me@privacy.net> wrote:
    >
    > >My wife's PC has developed a ScanDisk problem. Although it shuts down
    > >correctly, on boot up it automatically runs ScanDisk because of improper
    > >shutdown. It then runs ScanDisk in thorough mode and stops while checking
    > >the file allocation table with the following message:
    > >
    > >"ScanDisk detected an error while reading one of the system area sectors
    on
    > >this drive.
    > >
    > >The disk is seriously damaged and may need to be replaced. The damaged
    > >portion of the disk contains critical information about the location of
    > >some or all of the files on the drive......."
    > >
    > >Apart from this problem at start up which I can kill with ESC, all
    > >applications work correctly. My gut feeling is that ScanDisk is wrong and
    > >there is no serious problem with the disk. (I have, of course, backed up
    > >critical data just in case.)
    > >
    > >Has anyone seen this problem before?
    > >
    > >Terry
    >
    > Yup. Seen it several times, usually just a short while before the
    > drive went clunk, grind, smash and joined the dearly departed.
    >
    > Go to the drive manufacturer's web site and download their diagnostic
    > test utility (free) and run it to check out the drive. Use the full
    > (non-destructive) diagnostic test option if there are different
    > choices.
    >
    > You could try using Spinrite (www.grc.com) to repair the damaged
    > sectors. However the cost of Spinrite ($89 US) is probably more than
    > the price of a new hard drive.
    >
    > Another thing you could try to do is to use a partitioning utility
    > such as Partition Magic (Symantec) or BootItNG (www.bootitng.com) to
    > reduce the size of the existing partition by creating about 40 mb of
    > unused space at the beginning of the drive. That will relocate the
    > system area sectors away from the existing known damaged sectors and
    > may allow you to continue using the remaining sectors. I say 40 mb
    > because the system sectors (mainly the file allocation table) on a
    > large drive can use as much as 16 mb of space and there are 2 copies
    > of it.
    >
    > Good luck
    >
    >
    > Ron Martell Duncan B.C. Canada
    > --
    > Microsoft MVP
    > On-Line Help Computer Service
    > http://onlinehelp.bc.ca
    >
    > In memory of a dear friend Alex Nichol MVP
    > http://aumha.org/alex.htm
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsme.general (More info?)

    Jack and Ron: Thanks for your advice and useful links.

    The drive is a Maxtor so I've downloaded their own PowerMax diagnostic
    utility which confirms there is a problem. It also offers to try a repair
    but with the risk of making things worse. I'll try in a couple of weeks or
    so when I've got more time.

    Terry
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsme.general (More info?)

    In light of the Maxtor utility report, I recommend copying the problematic
    drive to a new drive ASAP, in the hope that the new HD will be bootable.
    Once you have this reasonably good working copy, you can experiment with the
    dying drive to attempt a repair, perhaps with the Maxtor utility. If it
    fails, you have the working copy, on a known good drive, with which to
    proceed and restore as needed.

    Use the problematic drive as little as possible in the meantime. Just
    booting Windows, causes numerous writes to the drive, any of which can
    overwrite critical system files in a failing, dying drive.
    Do not make things any worse!
    --
    Jack E. Martinelli 2002-05 MS MVP for Shell/User / DTS
    Help us help you: http://www.dts-L.org/goodpost.htm
    In Memorium: Alex Nichol
    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/expertzone/meetexperts/nichol.mspx
    Your cooperation is very appreciated.
    ------
    "Terrycymru" <me@privacy.net> wrote in message
    news:1iqxr70xqchd7.1u0ie7kku10n4.dlg@40tude.net...
    > Jack and Ron: Thanks for your advice and useful links.
    >
    > The drive is a Maxtor so I've downloaded their own PowerMax diagnostic
    > utility which confirms there is a problem. It also offers to try a repair
    > but with the risk of making things worse. I'll try in a couple of weeks or
    > so when I've got more time.
    >
    > Terry
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsme.general (More info?)

    "Terrycymru" <me@privacy.net> wrote in message news:1iqxr70xqchd7.1u0ie7kku10n4.dlg@40tude.net...

    > The drive is a Maxtor so I've downloaded their own PowerMax diagnostic
    > utility which confirms there is a problem. It also offers to try a repair
    > but with the risk of making things worse. I'll try in a couple of weeks or
    > so when I've got more time.

    Agree with Jack..you might not have a couple of weeks. If there's anything
    of importance on the disk you need to get it off of there. N O W.
  6. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsme.general (More info?)

    On Sat, 4 Jun 2005 20:35:26 -0400, Bill Blanton wrote:

    > Agree with Jack..you might not have a couple of weeks. If there's anything
    > of importance on the disk you need to get it off of there. N O W.

    Don't worry guys. Everything of importance has been backed up already!

    Terry
  7. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsme.general (More info?)

    Your mother is a wonderful woman. She didn't raise no fool.
    --
    Jack E. Martinelli 2002-05 MS MVP for Shell/User / DTS
    Help us help you: http://www.dts-L.org/goodpost.htm
    In Memorium: Alex Nichol
    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/expertzone/meetexperts/nichol.mspx
    Your cooperation is very appreciated.
    ------
    "Terrycymru" <me@privacy.net> wrote in message
    news:12yfc1m729pw0$.x8ntlc18eyl5.dlg@40tude.net...
    > On Sat, 4 Jun 2005 20:35:26 -0400, Bill Blanton wrote:
    >
    > > Agree with Jack..you might not have a couple of weeks. If there's
    anything
    > > of importance on the disk you need to get it off of there. N O W.
    >

    > Don't worry guys. Everything of importance has been backed up already!
    >
    > Terry
    >
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