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Windows ScanDisc


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#1 twinsdad

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 07:14 PM

Somewhere I read an elegantly simple explanation of the Disc Defragmentation process. It used the analogy of a library (the hard drive) starting out with all of the books (files) in order, but when books were withdrawn and later returned, they were placed randomly back on the shelves thus requiring much more time to find a particular book. Worse yet, returned books also might be broken up into chapters or even individual pages, and randomly replaced... thereby making the location process even more difficult and time consuming. The defragmentation process was, therefore, the restoration of the files and then placing them into the proper place on the hard drive. And in fact when you run Defrag and ask it to show you the details, you can kind of see it doing exactly that. Very cool to watch.

So my question here is: Is there a similar way to explain/describe what is happening during Scan Disc? In words that even I can understand? :thumbsup:
"Love to eat them mousies, mousies what I like to eat; bite they little heads off, nibble on they tiny feet". B. Kliban

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#2 Grinler

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 01:21 AM

Scandisk attempts to find usually two types of errors. One is defects in the actual hard disk platter (magnetic plate in the hard drive). If it finds a portion of the platter that is defective it will mark it so the operating system will not sure it.

It also checks your hard disk for lost clusters. Clusters are sections of your hard drive. The operating system assigns a number to each cluster, and then keeps track of files that are stored there by that number. Sometimes an operating system will specify a specific cluster is being used when there is not any data writen there. This is called a lost cluster and takes away from the available space on your hard drive because the oeprating system thinks its in use when it is not.

It is also possible for a program to crash and the operating system to lose track of the data stored in a cluster. This is considered a lost cluster as well. Scandisk will free up these lost clusters so that the storage space is available agian to the operating system. If it detects that there is data stored in that lost cluster it will make a file in your c:\\ drive that contains that data.

I know its not as simplistic as the above example, but imtired... hopefully this will still be understandable

#3 twinsdad

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 10:55 AM

Grinler: Thanks, It was most understandable. Sometimes I want to be like my eight year-old twins who still believe that gremlins make things work inside the tower. Heck, given some of the problems I see on your boards, maybe they are correct! :thumbsup:
"Love to eat them mousies, mousies what I like to eat; bite they little heads off, nibble on they tiny feet". B. Kliban

#4 JEservices

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 01:24 PM

Maybe I can help out.

Lets think of a freeway for a moment. All of the cars are depending on the road surface to be a smooth as possible so that their driving experience will not cause damage to their vehicle. On the road, there are signs to assist on direction: knowing when the next off-ramp is and where it will take you. There are also lines in the road to provide lanes for the cars to travel. Over time, the roads and signs need repair. Potholes, graffiti and maybe even a little construction to improve the way it looks. Before the repairs are made, the city has to take some time to assure that it is done properly: permits, contractors, ect. In the meantime, vehicles are still using the roads. Damage may be minimal, but results and be slow to realize. The potholes become bigger, causing damage to vehicles overtime (the suspension and such), or the graffiti may distract drivers and cause accidents. The results are the same: vehicles (in cases of accidents, people injured) are not being used to their potential. By the time that the repairs are finished, another portion of the freeway may need some repair.

Using these terms, the freeway is the physical surface of your hard drive-the platters. The vehicles is the data being moved around (ironically at nearly car-like speeds). The repair process would be the scan disk that is being ran. Even though the data on the disk is stationary during the scan disk process (think:traffic jam), some of the data is needed to run the scandisk application. When it finds a portion of the hd that is corrupt, it has to find another place to move the data and physically put it there. I dont know about you, but if I am in a traffic jam, I wouldn't mind being air lifted out of it :thumbsup:
We are all curious like a cat. We wonder, we ask, we learn.
Please post back when a suggestion works, so that others may learn.

#5 twinsdad

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 10:33 PM

Jason: Thanks, very helpful. I'm gonna Google it the next rainy day to get smarter. But in the meantime, I'll tell the kids that the gremlins hide in the potholes and bite the tires as the cars go past, that will keep them curious! :thumbsup:
"Love to eat them mousies, mousies what I like to eat; bite they little heads off, nibble on they tiny feet". B. Kliban




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