Disk error on startup - Windows XP

By NineMilesHigh ยท 15 replies
Dec 7, 2009
  1. Hi,
    Any suggestions on tackling this issue? -
    Dell Dimension 4600 PC, 2 1/2 GB memory, Windows XP SP2.
    At startup says disk has to be checked for consistency.
    Then if fails due to 'unexpected error occurred'.
    If I run chdsk it finds various fragments/errors, but cannot fix them without the /f.
    If I do chdsk /f it says 'unable to lock drive' - it is in use.
    Tried in Safe Mode -- same issue.
    So cannot fix this issue either at startup, or with chkdsk later on.
    Thanks for help.
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    That computer is now 4 to 5 years old. If it has the original hard drive, that hard drive has vinally failed... after giving a longer life than is expected.
  3. pcaceit

    pcaceit TS Rookie Posts: 315

  4. NineMilesHigh

    NineMilesHigh TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 56

    HD Tune results

    The disk is indeed ~ 5 yrs old and otherwise seems fine.
    Tried HD Tune as suggested:-
    All 'Health' items show up as 'ok'.
    Error scan (quick scan or full scan) show no damaged blocks.
    The error at start up when it tried to check the disk for consistency is actually 'unspecified error occurred'.
    chdksk gives the following:-

    Deleted corrupt attribute list entry with type code 128 in file 56948
    Deleting corrupt attribute record <128, ""> from file record segment 56949
    (There are about 15 of these at different record segments.....)
    Deleting orphan file record segment 56949..... (about 4 of these...)
    Chkdsk cannot continue in read only mode....

    Chkdsk /f says 'Cannot lock current drive' - and gives option to check it at startup, which results in the 'unspecified error occurred' at the next startup.

    The defragger wont run - as it tells you to do a chkdsk /f.

    Any further ideas?:)
  5. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    none I can think of :rolleyes:
    Oh and you're best to replace that faulty Hard Drive, as mentioned already.

    Any further questions?:)
  6. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    HD Tune is pretty useless software. It cannot detect such problems as you have.
    What is the brand of the hard drive? If it is a Seagate or a Western Digital you can find test software on their site.
    Basically, any hard drive five years old must be replaced just to protect the integrity of your files. You have all the symptoms of a filed drive.
    As a hard drive ages, the magnetic material on the platters begins to bubble up around the edge of each plate. The centrifugal force throws off the bubbled material. Your computer cannot access the first 8 to 18 sectors of the drive that include the boot software.
    New hard drives are available online for $35 to $65 depending on size. Today four vendors have the Western Digital 250 GB drive for $48 to $56.
    Is not your data more valuable than to risk it futher. Each day you wait, you have less chance of recovery. Today you can likely put that old drive into a USB external enclosure and save it all to the new drive once the new drive is fully setup.
  7. Ronell

    Ronell TS Rookie

    I think you should replace the drive but the other thing you can do is to make it as slave when you buy a new, so that you can get of you data, i also think that if you are not in position to buy a new, then download a tool call 'hard regenerator' it will fix you up, however when i look at you errors i wonder where you get them, is it when the computer is starting and it brings you a blue screen, or when it has started and you run cmd then chkdsk?
    By the way, i have a hard disk that is 6years old and its still doing its job, perfectly well, even passes S.M.A.R.T fault check.So first try that tool you will know whether that is your hard drive or just windows fooling you with its filesystem problems, by the way what file system are you using?
    Hope that helps.

  8. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Hard Regenerator is, at best, a temporary fix. It moves files to safe sectors, but the magnetic material continues to flake away. It only works on about 45 percent of the drives we have tested, and then those drives only last weeks or a few months. Still it does help save valuable data for a while. It simply is not the best or cheapest way. A new drive is the wise option.
  9. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    It should be noted that NMH was recently helped resolve some issues re "Malware causing system crash /hang /system slow:" in the V&M Forum. He was encouraged to post in the Windows OS forum for additional system problems, namely firewall issues.

    Previous thread may be viewed here if needed: https://www.techspot.com/vb/topic138771-2.html
  10. scuzzo

    scuzzo TS Rookie Posts: 50

    You are getting the "cannot lock disk" error because you have Windows running when you try to do the chkdsk. If you right click on the drive, go under tools, and run disk check there it will let you schedule to do the check on the next system boot. Your drive is dying, get a new one.
  11. NineMilesHigh

    NineMilesHigh TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 56

    Various responses

    Thanks for suggestions.
    In response to various questions:-
    The drive is a Maxtor 6Y080L0 - 80GB

    The errors happen as follows:-
    The 'unexpected error occurred' happens at startup as it tries to check the consistency of the disk (the dirty bit will be set, presumably).

    The 'Deleted corrupt attribute list entry with type code ........ and the
    Deleting corrupt attribute record ...... from file record segment'
    .. etc...
    occurs when I try to run chkdsk.
    Chkdsk /f won't run as it says it 'cannot lock the drive' (because Windows is running and the drive is in use).

    Scuzzo:- The disk check fails on each reboot due to 'unexpected error occurred'.
    I should say that after this the system comes up and works fine.
    If I try 'disk check under 'Tools' it starts and then says 'Windows was unable to complete the disk check'.

    The bottom line is as follows:-
    If these errors are due a glitch....or leftovers of malware or something similar that is repairable, then I will try to fix. That's why I am asking the questions.
    If the errors are due to a failing drive, and we are seeing the thin end of the wedge with these errors, I will simply replace it. :)
  12. scuzzo

    scuzzo TS Rookie Posts: 50

    I don't know why it took your last post to bring everything into focus but I've got it now. I have an old Hitachi Travelstar laptop harddrive sitting three feet away from me that has the same problem. Your drive is dying and there isn't much you can do but scrap it. Active KillDisk will wipe the drive and help to identify the bad sectors, but this drive has reached the end of it's usable life.
  13. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

  14. pcaceit

    pcaceit TS Rookie Posts: 315

    If the Hdd tests were passed and the SMART attributes did not indicate imminent failure then there's no reason to assume that the hdd is dying.

    Run "Chkdsk /p" or "chkdsk /r" from the recovery Console (From booting Xp disc).

    Corrupt attribute records indicates problems with MFT and Meta Data files, Meta data files can be corrupted just by been badly fragmented.
    Raxco "PerfectDisk" runs a boot time Defrag which is the only way to defragment Meta Data and some other System files.

    you should try a repair installation or reinstall if your current is too corrupt to repair.
  15. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Since the Maxtor was one of the most failure prone of all hard drives, consider yourself lucky it lasted so long.
    It has failed and replacement is on the only solution. If you don't mess with it much, you may still be able to recover the data.
  16. NineMilesHigh

    NineMilesHigh TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 56

    Ran chkdsk from recovery console

    I ran chkdsk /r from Recovery Console and it said:-
    'Chdsk found and fixed one or more errors on the volume.'

    Then after Windows XP came up, I ran Chkdsk from the run command and it said....
    Chkdsk is verifying files.... completed
    Chkdsk is verifying indexes....completed
    Chkdsk is recovering lost files
    Chkdsk is verifying security descriptors ..... etc

    It all ran Ok.
    Now the issue of chdsk running at startup and getting 'unexpected error occurred' has gone and I have no errors currently.

    Will monitor and see what happens.
    Thanks for input.
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