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Unable to run either ScanDisc or Defrag


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#1 twinsdad

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 05:43 PM

Six year-old Compaq running W98SE. Browser is Firefox, firewall is ZA, AVG updated every day or two. 13GB HD, 1/2 empty. 128MB RAM.
Regular maintenance every 10-14 days is to first download updates for AVG, SpyBot S&D, AdAware, etc., then go into safe mode to (in following order) run CCleaner (which is also run before every shutdown), then ScanDisc, then AVG, SpyBot, AdAware, and finally, do a defrag. Have been doing this for months without notable problems.
Tried above this morning, but when ScanDisc started it almost immediately froze at the "one bar" point during "Checking File Allocation Tables". No cursor movement possible. First Control+Alt+Delete produced nothing, second C+A+D produced a BSOD indicating task manager busy. Waited for a few minutes without change, then used tower switch to shut down. New start into safe mode (using F8) went OK, but same early freeze again trying to run ScanDisc..
Another start into safe mode, again ran CCleaner but skipped ScanDisc and ran AVG, SpyBot and AdAware without incident. Then tried a defrag but it almost immediately froze, again with no cursor control and having to use tower switch to shut off. Two more attempts in safe mode just trying to run either ScanDisc or defrag, same problem.
Puter is otherwise working fine, fast starts into normal desktop, folders open, music plays, internet connection and surfing seems same as always. Anybody got any ideas what's going on here? :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 Joshuacat

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 06:04 PM

Have you tried the scandisk outside of Windows? It has been a while, but I believe that you boot into safe mode command prompt, and type at the DOS prompt scandisk.exe

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#3 twinsdad

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 06:10 PM

Joshuacat: I have not, totally ignorant about DOS (and many other things). Is there any likely harm trying your suggestion, i.e. if ScanDisc freezes in there, will I be able to safely escape and restart?
"Love to eat them mousies, mousies what I like to eat; bite they little heads off, nibble on they tiny feet". B. Kliban

#4 Herk

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 06:21 PM

Yeah, boot to a command prompt. From the prompt, you can control how you want Scandisk to run. Since you're having a problem, it might be a good idea to do a surface scan. So type this command, along with the switches:

scandisk /autofix /nosave /surface

That will cause it to automatically fix errors, to not save lost chains which you'll never figure out anyway, and do the surface scan as well. Plan on a few hours.

Running in DOS is the safest and best way to run Scandisk on 98, IMHO.

#5 Joshuacat

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 06:25 PM

You shouldn't have any problems, but I hate to say that and you have a problem as a result of my advise. Let's just say, that if it was my computer this is what I would do.
If it does totally freeze, and I would give it some time, you should be able to reboot without a problem. Let us know what you you do and the result.

Joshuacat :thumbsup:

Edited by Joshuacat, 17 May 2005 - 06:32 PM.

JC

#6 twinsdad

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 06:38 PM

So type this command, along with the switches:


Herk: What is meant by "along with the switches"?
"Love to eat them mousies, mousies what I like to eat; bite they little heads off, nibble on they tiny feet". B. Kliban

#7 twinsdad

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 06:40 PM

And a follow up: Is there a correlation between inability to run ScanDisc and Defrag? Is that a clue re some common problem? And how come everythings working OK otherwise? I'm gonna go crazy, just watch! :thumbsup:

Edited by twinsdad, 17 May 2005 - 06:41 PM.

"Love to eat them mousies, mousies what I like to eat; bite they little heads off, nibble on they tiny feet". B. Kliban

#8 Leurgy

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 07:08 PM

Its common for defrag not to run if it detects errors that need to be fixed by scandisk first. It will give you an error message telling you your drive has errors and to run scandisk first, but it doesn't sound like yours is getting that far.

Do a search for scandisc.log and see if there are any errors in there. Another thing you could try is running scandisk but uncheck "automatically fix errors" and in that case your log will show the error or you might get a message. That would give us some clues.

Herks suggestion is a good one. Use your special F8 key and pick Safe mode command prompt and at C:\> type in:

scandisk /autofix /nosave /surface

Exactly like that including spaces. If it stalls take out the autofix part, and try again. If that doesn't work check your scandisk log again.

/autofix /nosave /surface - those are called switches.

Relax, its nothing fatal.

if ScanDisc freezes in there, will I be able to safely escape and restart?


Just give it the old three finger salute in Dos to restart. Won't hurt anything. (Ctrl+Alt+Del)

:thumbsup:

Edited by Leurgy, 17 May 2005 - 09:09 PM.

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#9 Joshuacat

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 07:14 PM

Both utilities access your hard disk and all of its' elements -files, directories, etc.
Scandisk will check your drive and the file system for problems. Defrag puts your files and directories into contiguous order.

There are a couple of scenario's that may play out.

1. You will run the scan disk and everything will work in DOS without error. Go back into Windows, and you have the same issue with scan disk and defrag. From that, I would guess that there is something conflicting with scan disk/defrag.

2. Scan disk will find a problem and fix it. Both scan disk and defrag will work in Windows after that.

There are more...

Let us know what happens.
JC

#10 twinsdad

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 07:33 PM

Thanks everyone...I'm off to a school function. Will study and try suggestions early tomorrow AM and will send up a flare if problems.
"Love to eat them mousies, mousies what I like to eat; bite they little heads off, nibble on they tiny feet". B. Kliban

#11 Joshuacat

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 07:41 PM

Ok. You could start it before you leave and it might be done by the time you get home... :thumbsup: Good luck. :flowers:
JC

#12 twinsdad

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 08:27 AM

Thanks for all the assistance so far, here's what's happening:

1) In Safe Mode, tried to run ScanDisk with Autofix Errors unchecked but it froze same as before.

2) Search for scandisk.log found only one item which reads as follows:

Microsoft ScanDisk

Log file generated at 05:47AM on Wednesday, May 18, 2005.
ScanDisk checked drive C for problems, with the following results:
Directory structure

        ScanDisk did not perform any tests.
File allocation table

        ScanDisk did not perform any tests.
    File system

        ScanDisk did not perform any tests.
Surface scan

        ScanDisk did not perform any tests.


3) Went into Safe Mode Command Prompt, typed suggested code, hit "Enter", and immediately got the following message (had to transcribe to paper, unable to cut & paste, no mouse or arrow action, had to use three-finger salute to get out)

Scandisk is unable to check a drive because there is no extended memory driver loaded on your computer.
To check this drive, make sure that you have a HIMEM.SYS file on the disk from which you are starting your computer, and then Restart using the "Command Prompt Only" option (not "Safe Mode Command Prompt Only")
Depending on the location of the HIMEM.SYS file, you may need to add a line such as: DEVICE=A\HIMEM.SYS or DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS in the CONFIG.SYS file on your boot drive.


4) Typical fast startup into normal mode where I am now. Everything else seems functioning OK.

Would appreciate further suggestions. Absolutely no urgency as the beast is functioning and I'm again off to school (evaluating 3rd Grade teachers for twins next year) for a couple of hours. I'll leave a key under the mat in case one of you wants to stop by and fix things directly :thumbsup:

Edited by twinsdad, 18 May 2005 - 08:29 AM.

"Love to eat them mousies, mousies what I like to eat; bite they little heads off, nibble on they tiny feet". B. Kliban

#13 Leurgy

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 09:18 AM

I'll have my people contact your people. :thumbsup:

Try it again with a boot disk. Or use Command prompt only without the Safe Mode thing. That log doesn't show anything yet.

When you boot normally, the first screen you see is a screen that identifies your drives and shows a ram count. Hit the pause button and identify the hard drive for us or go into the bios and see if it is identified there. What model Compaq is this again?

When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail. Abraham Maslo

**** We use our powers for good, not evil ****

 Trying to remove your data from the web is like trying to remove pee from a swimming pool


#14 Jacee

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 10:32 AM

Hi twinsdad :thumbsup:

My 98se was very tempermental about running scandisk and defragging. I finally found that I had to disconnect from the internet and close all programs (running in the task bar) down. It always worked for me doing it that way....then I would reboot.

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#15 Joshuacat

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 10:37 AM

I think the link below covers most of the things that you have tried so far, except for booting up with a boot disk that Leurgy suggested.

Compaq Support
JC




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