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Cannot Defrag Primary Drive - Stopped By Sa.dat


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#1 Lord

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 02:27 AM

In sequence here are my problems.

The computer started responding progressively slowly - until even the cursor movement was in sluggish steps
The hard disc used to run endlessly, even without any programme running
Start/ restart brought up blue screen with "needs to check C:"etc etc but would not continue with checking (would stop responding without the usual 1%... 2%.. etc. Aborting this check (after restarting) got everything working.
On more than one occasion - would not restart (stuck on "intel" screen with HDD screaming away)
Sometimes allowed screen which brought yo "safe mode" and "last good configuration" but this started a sequence of checking - that stalled after a point (needing a hard restart again.

And sometimes it starts again without apparent problem - presently this is so!

Am using AVG Free Edition (with manual update) --- shows up clean
am using Ad-Aware 2007 Edition --- catches minor stuff on every run, but without any serious warnings.


PRESENT PROBLEM (1):

After moving a large amount of data (clutter from Desktop) to partitioned drive - to free up space on C:
Tried to defragment the C: Drive --- Could not do so, stopped with message :
The Scan has been canceled because an error occurred in file : C:WINDOWS\Tasks\sa.dat

Noted : Could defragment other drives okay
Could not locate sa.dat using the search function
Located this file manually - and deleted it (maybe a mistake ???)
now : error message on running Defragmenter is :
The Scan has been canceled because an error occurred in file : C:WINDOWS\Prefetch\SVCHOST.EXE-3530F672.pf

From a preliminary check - found that da.dat related cases were linked to a "Alcan Worm" infection --- ???

Could you help ?

RELATED/ UNRELATED PROBLEM (2):
After having the startup come okay - noted that (besides on Firefox) - Internet access to all "mail related" sites was blocked/ not possible... this included IE (using ver 6) and MSN Explorer (would not open!) and also all Mesenger services (Yahoo Msgr/ MSN Msgr)...

Hence - do not know what else affected - infected, etc.

Could you comment & help sort out?

regards,

Y Lord.

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#2 Lord

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 01:05 PM

Hmmm - no reply for many days, since posting

I hope someone will help soon.

regards

#3 DaChew

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 01:19 PM

sometimes a post slips by and goes unanswered, yours could be caused by malware, shell errors, hard disk problems, who knows?

Has this computer had any major infections of malware in the past?

Have you run checkdisk?

Have you tried defragging from safe mode?

This is not a multiple choice quiz, please answer all three questions.

Edited by DaChew, 24 April 2008 - 01:22 PM.

Chewy

No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try.

#4 quietman7

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 01:40 PM

SA.DAT is a file that stores scheduler task information. If you have scheduled tasks, they will have entries in the C:WINDOWS\Tasks folder with a .job extension at the end of the task name.

This doesn't appear to be a malware issue so that is probably why no one answered earlier. Go ahead and answer DaChew's questions. If necessary we can always move this thread to the XP forum where some of the BC advisors may be able to provide some suggestions.

SA.DAT is a file that stores scheduler task information. If you have scheduled tasks, they will have entries in the C:WINDOWS\Tasks folder with a .job extension at the end of the task name.

This doesn't appear to be a malware issue so that is probably why no one answered earlier. Go ahead and answer DaChew's questions. If necessary we can always move this thread to the XP forum where some of the BC advisors may be able to provide some suggestions.
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#5 Lord

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 12:00 PM

sometimes a post slips by and goes unanswered, yours could be caused by malware, shell errors, hard disk problems, who knows?

Has this computer had any major infections of malware in the past?

Have you run checkdisk?

Have you tried defragging from safe mode?

This is not a multiple choice quiz, please answer all three questions.


Thanks for the reply - in ans to your queries:

A.) No malware on this computer in the past - at least none that I was aware of.

B.) Checkdisk does not run - It gets initiated every time the computer starts, (with comment that one of the discs need to be checked...) but either does not complete (gets stalled) or completes with report of a number of things cleaned/ fixed... but goes thru the same cycle in the next startup.

If I try the C:>properties>tools>check disk selection - it brings up warning box that says it will schedule the check disk on next startup...
On this startup, it goes directly to the checkdisk.... but gets stalled at "0 percent complete" [need to restart manually].

C.) Safe Mode - does not start - I have used the F8>Safe mode option.... the screen fills up with white text lines -- and after scrolling a screen or two - gets stalled on a line : ".....WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\BTKRNL.SYS" [then need to manually restart again].

I hope this helps,

Presently I'm only using Firefox (which works okay) and Meebo for my IM activity.... (related to my Problem 2)

regards, Y Lord

#6 DaChew

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 03:33 PM

BTKRNL.SYS

supposedly a bluetooth driver? windows does funny things sometimes?

look at the properties of the file?
Chewy

No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try.

#7 Lord

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 12:14 PM

Heres what I did today --- I located and deleted the BTKRNL.SYS file.... I guessed a bit of a risk but as we dont use the BT... and when we do, its off a dongle, so the driver can be updated/found new at that time...

Started the Safe mode - it got stuck at another .SYS file for some 5-7 min --- but as i was not on the machine, started in the Safe mode okay after that.

In the Safe mode, The Defrag of C: started okay (with the "analysis") but seemed to have gone into a loop (with the HDD screaming away) with no visible thing happening (usual is "xx% complete", below)... I left it that way -- and the "1% complete" came up after some 8-10 min.... and went on upto about 25% (after THREE hours) when i finally stopped it coz i felt the HDD would burn itself out... or finally dislodge itself and spin across the room...

I then started in Normal mode -- and ran the Defrag again... once again - it went to about 15% complete in about TWO hours... and I left it like that the whole evening when i was out... Now its complete !!!! so at least, thats done.

Thanks - seems that part is done...

[[[[[[ The Check disk part at startup is still an endless loop... or gets completed, says its okay but warns and starts on next sttartup again--- I can bypass only if i Cancel !!! ]]]]

NOW -- could you help me with whatever is blocking my various Internet programmes (IE and MSN explorer , Yahoo Msgr and MSN msgr) from behaving notrmally --- as explained earlier, they WILL NOT go to any mail sites or their sign-in screens... but manage other sites okay.... I have no firewall up.... AND... Firefox works just fine !

any comments - help ??

regards

#8 DaChew

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 12:38 PM

Platform: Windows XP SP2 (WinNT 5.01.2600)
MSIE: Internet Explorer v6.00 SP2 (6.00.2900.2180)



from your thread last december


still the same computer? OS and IE version?
Chewy

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#9 Lord

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 12:49 PM

Windows XP SP2 Professional ver 2002. SP 2
Internet Explorer 6.0.2900.2180.xpsp_sp2_rtm.040803-2158

#10 Lord

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 12:57 PM

sorry, did not add.... the Dec post was for my brother's Laptop... this is my home desktop

#11 DaChew

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 01:13 PM

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?...b;EN-US;q318378

for starters?
Chewy

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#12 Lord

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 10:22 AM

Now - i have also run the Registry Mechanic - which found some 175 issues - and resolved them, things seem to have gotton far better now.... a direct outcome : the Hard Drive is not going into its crazy screaming routine any more !!!

Yes - it seems that reinstalling XP -- or attempting to repair it seem the only way to go.

Since I have the Checkdisk problem with both C: and D: drives (which i intend to reformat) - I'm wondering if i could install the OS XP on the E: drive.... (I basically have two partitions).

Would this be advisable? What is the significance of E: being NTFS and not FAT32 (which C: is) - I understand it does not make a difference with NT upwards, so XP should load and work okay.

Currently - I still have the problem at startup (checkdisk running) but the rest of the startup is half the time... no other startup problems. I still cannot use MSN Explorer/ both messengers - or go to any mail/ signup sites... (but all work okay on Firefox).

I would be doing the reinstallation only next week - so your feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks, in anticipation...

#13 DaChew

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 10:35 AM

windows should be installed only on the newest fastest most reliable drive on a system partition/primary/made active using the windows disk and set to boot first in bios with all other hard drives disconnected

the primary system partition can be as small as 25-40 gigs and is best formatted slow ntfs

these points and procedures are standard and not optional as experience will teach you
Chewy

No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try.

#14 Lord

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 12:25 PM

So does it mean its a good idea what I'm doing ? or should I stick to keeping Windows on the existing c: (after formatting it)?

I agree there are Ideal paths.... what I'm asking is what would be the best I should do - keeping in mind, that there may be some physical problems with either/or C & D drives.... which I'm not fully sure that the reformat will remove or quarantine.

#15 DaChew

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 12:41 PM

I would need more details on the other drive, if your old drive is going bad?

have you run a boot diagnostic on the drive, you can get one from the manufacturer

unfortunately there really are not many choices here, doing a clean install on a newer drive is the way to go, however
you need to make a primary partition and set active if you are going to install there

leaving the original drive in place just leaves the boot files on it and will mess you up

I would run windows as a repair disk on the original install and see if it fixes the problems first

I just finished installing windows for the fourth time on a computer, the hard drive turned out to be fine, the dvd-drive fine, the ram fine, the install disk fine, the power supply bad
Chewy

No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try.




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