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The Dirty Bit in XP


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#1 johndrew

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 07:35 AM

Basically I have been having various minor problems with boot being slow and some icons not appearing on the Taskbar. I also had an 'experience' where my firewall (PC Tools Firewall Pro) suddenly decided to restrict sites I should have been able to get to such as MS Update and my ISP; this was cured by uninstalling the firewall and reverting to the Windows offering.

I did a check to see if the 'dirty bit' was set and found it was - the drive was 'dirty'. I ran chkdsk /f /r which has showed no problems with either the NTFS system or the drive, however when I check the dirty bit it shows the drive as still dirty. I should add that no automatic request for chkdsk to run has ever shown up during boot which would normally be the case if the dirty bit was genuinely set. I have also found that Windows defrag will not run as "Chkdsk is scheduled on volume C: ..." but this is less of a problem as I can use a third party item.

I am aware that MS has never revealed the location of the Dirty Bit and it appears no one has found it. I am also aware that many have tried to cure 'stuck-in' dirty bit indications with little success. Any help/advice/experience would be appreciated.

With thanks in anticipation.

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#2 Allan

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 08:23 AM

Boot to the recovery console and run chkdsk /r

#3 johndrew

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 08:56 AM

Many thanks for coming back so quickly.

Please can you advise the difference it makes in booting the PC from the Windows CD to get the Recovery Console to start and then running chkdsk /r as opposed to opening a Command Prompt and entering the command there which will cause chkdsk to run at the next boot? I would have thought the process would be identical.

#4 Allan

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 09:09 AM

Apparently running it from the command prompt isn't clearing the dirty bit. I want to run from the recovery console just to make sure checkdisk is running with the /repair (/r) switch. The worst that will happen is that there will be no change.

#5 johndrew

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 09:19 AM

Thanks Allan, I see what you are trying to achieve.

I will run from CD later today and post back with the result.

#6 johndrew

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 02:35 PM

Hello Allen.

Well you have blown away my belief (and perhaps that of others) that the chkdsk facility is equal in its function regardless of whether run from the Command Prompt or Recovery Console.

It certainly doesn't run any quicker, but at the end it left a message to the effect that it had "fixed one or more errors on the drive". I booted and did a check with the 'fsutil dirty query c:' command and it was NOT dirty. To confirm this I restarted and did the same again with the same result.

Many thanks for your help.

Some icons are still not appearing on the left hand Taskbar at startup, I don't suppose you have any suggestions to resolve this do you?

#7 Allan

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 03:01 PM

You're welcome.

As for your other problem, please provide complete details about what you are talking about and what led up to it - either in this thread or in a new topic.

#8 johndrew

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 05:25 AM

The other problem.

A while ago, and for no reason I can think of, the PC started to boot relatively slowly. The left hand Taskbar also became erratic in that sometimes it would boot normally (all icons and the Taskbar arrow would be present) and on others some icons and the arrow would be missing - but not necessarily the same icons. Sometimes it would be possible to get the Taskbar arrow back by using Control Panel/Sounds & audio devices deselecting the tickbox at 'Place volume icon in Taskbar' and then reselecting it. The only way to get other icons back would be to use Task Manager to stop the program and then to start it again manually. Others appeared to be running but I could find no way of getting their icons back.

A short time ago my firewall (PC Tools Firewall Pro) suddenly decided to restrict sites I should have been able to get to such as MS Update and my ISP. I could find no reason for this and eventually reverted to Windows firewall, which on occasion can be slow to load.

I have run full AV and spyware checks using AVG, Malwarebytes, Spybot S&D, Spyware Terminator and, from online, TrendMicro Housecall. No infection was revealed. I use Ccleaner to 'tidy up' the Registry and have done so years.

Any suggestions?

If there is any other detail you would like please ask.

#9 noknojon

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 05:36 AM

I use Ccleaner to 'tidy up' the Registry and have done so years.

The Registry Cleaner section is not always good to use unless you have a full understanding of its process.
Actually Any registry cleaner is never a good idea to run, as you can do more damage than good with these programs.

The registry is not a "set process" on all computers, so registry cleaners do not always know exactly what they are altering.

In general terms, please only use the Temp File cleaner section of that program, unless you Fully understand what can happen.

Thank you -

#10 Allan

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 08:10 AM

Even though you can't find malware, that may indeed be the cause. But let's first try a selective startup clean boot and see if that helps:

Open msconfig and on the General tab choose "selective startup" (uncheck all three items) and reboot. Does the problem still occur? If not, start adding items back to msconfig one or two at a time, rebooting after each change, until the problem reappears and you'll have identified the offending process. This is clearly a time consuming procedure, but it is the best way to determine if some process loading with the system is the cause of your problem.
After you've isolated the cause, do not use msconfig to permanently disable the process. Instead, if it is a service go to START - RUN and type: services.msc (then press enter) and disable the service OR, if it a program, you can download & run a simple app such as Mike Lin's Startup Control Panel (http://www.mlin.net/StartupCPL.shtml) to enable, disable, or otherwise manage startup programs.

#11 johndrew

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 05:16 AM

Hello noknojon. Sorry I have been slow to respond.

I use the 'Cleaner' section of Ccleaner most, but if I do use the 'Registry' section I use the default settings and always ensure I create a 'Restore' point.

I understand that a damaged Registry can prevent booting of the PC. I have been advised that Ccleaner in its default mode is safe to use and to date I have seen no problems. I do appreciate your input and concern.

Edited by johndrew, 13 January 2012 - 05:17 AM.


#12 johndrew

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 05:30 AM

Hello Allan. Again sorry for not responding sooner.

I am aware that malware can hide within the OS and other software, but I hope that by using the selection of AVs and anti-malware software I have that it should have been picked up. If you have any suggestions for additional scans that may improve my chances of detection I shall be happy to run them.

In msconfig on the General tab under "Selective Startup" there are five items: Process System.ini file, Pocess Win.ini file, Load System services, Load Startup items and Use original Boot.ini, which of these did you want me to uncheck?

I should add that the past two boots have been almost normal with the only slow loader being Windows firewall which causes the Security Center to flag up a warning for a short time.

I shall also download Mike Lin's Startup Control Panel in case of need.

#13 johndrew

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 05:41 AM

Hello Allan.

A bit of an update.

When I booted today it took some time for the PC to boot and it was back to its missing icons again. I did a check to see if the drive showed up as 'Dirty' and it did. Seems I'm back to square one.

Would a copy of the last chkdsk report help you?

I'm getting more confused.

Edited by johndrew, 14 January 2012 - 05:42 AM.


#14 Allan

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 06:46 AM

Please do the selective startup. Uncheck everything except "use original boot.ini"

#15 AustrAlien

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 08:10 AM

I would like some clarification of the taskbar/missing icons issue.

What exactly are you referring to when you say "left hand Taskbar"? Usually there is only one Taskbar, and this is most commonly positioned at the bottom of the screen.

What are you referring to as the "Taskbar arrow"? Are you referring to the symbol indicating that you have hidden icons (opted to hide inactive icons)?

The right-hand side of the Taskbar (when the Taskbar is positioned along the bottom of the screen) is called the System Tray or Notification Area and it is this area that contains the icons of some loaded/running applications along with the clock and the volume icon. Is this the area from which icons are variously missing or present on different occasions?

I will post the following for you to review and see if it matches your issue.

How To: Fix Missing System Tray Icons at Windows XP startup
http://www.tech-pro.net/howto_013.html

Applies to: Windows XP
Symptoms: After you start the computer, one or more of the icons that should be present in the system tray (notification area) of the Taskbar are often missing.
Cause: The cause of this problem is not known, but it's almost certainly a bug in Windows XP.
Solution: There is no known solution, but there are workarounds that may reduce the frequency of this annoying occurrence.



The following worked worked for me, July 3rd, 2007 also reduced boot time from 2min 30sec to 1min 20sec

Disable Universal Plug and Play:
One piece of advice we've frequently seen offered to people suffering from this problem is to disable the SSDP Discovery Service and the Universal Plug and Play Device Host. To do this, open Administrative Tools in Control Panel, and then open Services. Select "SSDP Discovery Service", right-click it and select Properties. Change the startup type to "Disabled" and then click OK. Repeat this for the "Universal Plug and Play Device Host."



See also this also worked here, for a user at TSF
http://www.techsupportforum.com/microsoft-support/windows-xp-support/501804-solved-no-tray-icons-after-reboot.html

See also . This worked for user at BC
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic383324.html/page__view__findpost__p__2158330

See also . Another user at BC with the problem
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic385334.html/page__gopid__2171637#entry2171637
AustrAlien
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