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Interpreting CHKDSK results?


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#1 kvon

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 07:31 PM

Hello,

I'm wondering if anyone can tell me the finer points of interpreting CHKDSK results... I have an old hard drive that I'm preparing to sell - have wiped it clean & reformatted - it's completely blank, no OS, no nuthin. Ran CHKDSK, trying to determine if it's 100% functional or there's any bad sectors etc., ran it from Windows Recovery Console with the /R option. Here's the reults:

149914620 kilobytes total disk space.
149844056 kilobytes are available.

4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
37478655 total allocation units on disk.
37461014 allocation units available on disk.

So my question is - is this normal for a completely blank hard drive? If I read it right, there's 70,564 kb of disk space unavailable for some reason - that's 69MB (sounds like a lot), or 0.05% of the total available disk space (sounds like not so much). I don't know if this is some sort of operating overhead space for the file system, or if it's bad sectors. And if it's the latter, well the drive is just over 2 years old - does that sound like a normal failure rate, or should I not sell it? (Don't wanna sell junk on eBay - have a pretty decent seller's reputation to protect :-)

Any insights appreciated!
Thanks...

Edited by kvon, 08 February 2011 - 07:33 PM.


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#2 hamluis

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 07:48 PM

Chkdsk is not a good tool for checking the functional status of a drive...it's primarily a file repair/move tool made for routine problems one might expect to occur on Windows install.

The key thing with chkdsk...is when it reports "unrecoverable errors" or something analogous...that usually means either the file system or the hard drive has problems that chkdsk cannot overcome...and you need a bigger stick :).

The hard drive manufacturers' utilities...available at most respective hard drive manufacturers' websites...is the tool that really should be used to assess the functionality of a hard drive.

Free Hard Drive Testing Tools - Hard Drive Diagnostics - http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/tp/tophddiag.htm

Louis

#3 kvon

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 11:20 PM

Thanks for the reply Luis, good info...

I'm not real inclined to spend the time to download & install another diagnostic unless I really need to. (Spent too much time getting CHKDSK to run - long story). Wondering if the info presented in the CHKDSK results tells me anything useful? For starters, should a clean, NTFS-formatted hard drive have 100% of its allocation units available? If the answer to that is yes, then probably the discrepancy reported by CHKDSK is due to bad sectors, and that may be all I need to know. Also, doesn't the formatting process take care of bad sectors? Meaning that they're functionally removed from the file system - although they may also be a harbinger of accelerating hard drive failure...

Hmmmm...

(The drive isn't worth that much - I may just want to take a sledge hammer to it & toss it in the trash).

Thanks again!

#4 Bill253

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 12:35 AM

kvon,

I don't think you have too much to worry about - think more along the lines of losing 0.05%.

Two things come to mind:

First - you have formatted the drive, that's some information on it.
Second - probably more important, is the difference between drive manufacturers using true metric system measurements 1KB=1000Bytes
while file systems report in binary measurements 1KB=1024Bytes.

See the Wikipedia explanation under Capacity Measurements here. I've seen similar explanations elsewhere.

Chkdsk would have reported any bad clusters found.

Bill253

#5 Allan

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 08:15 AM

Just to clarify some information in this thread, checkdisk (with a repair switch) will check for and attempt to repair bad sectors on a hard drive (along with directory errors, lost clusters, cross linked files, etc). But I certainly agree it is not as thorough as certain diagnostic tools provided by hd manufacturers.

Edited by Allan, 09 February 2011 - 08:27 AM.


#6 hamluis

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 09:17 AM

And...chkdsk will only check for bad clusters...if the /r switch is used.

Running chkdsk /f or just plain chkdsk...will not necessarily note/mark bad sectors on a hard drive. Formatting does note/mark bad sectors on the specs for that partition/drive.

Louis




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