BAD CLUSTERS CONTINUE TO MULTIPLY

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  #1  
Old 05-27-01, 01:38 PM
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Angry

Sometimes, the pc freezes up, says that it's performed an illegal operation, and begins to close windows.
Then, when it opens it says because windows was not properly shut down it will perform a scandisk.
when scandisk runs, it then begins to defrag. Defragging can take days..literally. There are so many bad clusters that sometimes after going through a section of bad clusters, it starts defragging all over from the beginning.
We have reinstalled Windows 3 times now and the problem always eventually comes back, we've accumulated Bad Clusters!
Any tips would be wonderful!!!
 
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  #2  
Old 05-27-01, 08:43 PM
mikejmerritt
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gne, An operating system would be a great help in helping you! Have you done a thoroughScandisk? This will identify and repair bad clusters if possible. It sounds as if you may have a hard drive failure in your future so do back up everything NOW. Get back....Mike
 
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Old 05-27-01, 09:41 PM
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I HAVE done a thorough scan, 12 bad clusters are identified but they can't be fixed. Doing a thorough scan every 2 weeks has kept the clusters from multiplying further. I am still worried however, that the problem will only continue to get worse...tell me about how an operating system would help or some other advice perhaps.
And thanks for the quick reply!!!
 
  #4  
Old 05-28-01, 09:24 AM
mikejmerritt
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gne, All I meant by asking for an operating system is what version of Windows do you have. The options for working on this problem differ some in Win95, 98, 2000 and ME. I'm going to ask questions here to help all get an idea of exactly what goes on when you have trouble. How big is your hardrive and available free space? How old is the drive in this computer? How much memory do you have? You say it crashes and starts Scandisk on booting and then goes to Defrag. With bad clusters it could take a while to Defrag if it will finish at all. Win 98 doesn't go to Defrag on it's own that I know of, at least I have never seen it do it. ME may jump straight to Defrag. That would be Bill Gates taking care of us :-(. When you reinstalled did you format the drive or go over what was there? In any of the repairs you have attempted did you ever see anything about bad sectors, crossed clusters or invalid long filenames? I don't know if ME has all of the help files that 98 does but go to the desktop. Left click in an open area and press F1. This will bring up Windows Help and choose search and type disk tools. You can run all from here. If you did a clean install(format) this problem would almost have to point to Windows attempting to write files to bad sectors rather than bypassing them for some reason. If you havn't formatted that would be the next step.....Mike
 
  #5  
Old 05-28-01, 02:17 PM
bigmike
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Cool Format

Mike suggested a re-format and I agree. You are already at a point that a simple answer is not going to be found. The main reason clusters continue to grow even though you defrag/scandisk regularly is drive failure. Look at the defrag process, where does it show the bad sectors etc? In the beginning or boot sector or on towards the middle and rear of the drive? Sounds to me that you need to recover as much of your files as possible and install a new drive.
 
  #6  
Old 05-29-01, 04:09 AM
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I agree with Bigmike. If the bad sectors is not in the boot /head sector , it drive migth be able to recover with a format but it could be a temporary reprive, the drive could be starting to fail. I had a similiar problem, and did manage to recover the drive, but know I will be in for a new drive down the road (which may not be that far down the road), back up anything that you need to while teh drive is working at all, later you may not be able to.
 
  #7  
Old 05-31-01, 04:31 PM
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Red face

I have Win98 (2nd Edition), a 4.02Gig hard drive with 2.33 free space. The drive is just about 1 year old now. I have 56mb RAM. When I re-installed Win98, I re-formatted, erased everything. I have seen bad clusters and invalid long filenames.
Can I just buy a hard drive and install it? Where can I find one and how do I know what I need? I've installed a cdburner before, but that's it.

Thanks again!
 
  #8  
Old 05-31-01, 05:55 PM
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If you only have a 1 hard drive system, just make sure that the new drive is IDE and it has its jumper set to Master, then just plug it into the same IDE cable that the old drive was connected to, connect the power cable.

Now you must have a win 98 start up boot floppy, boot up on that floppy. fdisk will be on that floppy. At the A dos prompt
type fdisk

answer yes to enable large disk suport .
Now you must set your primary dos partition then make that partition active. Answer yes when it asks to set the partition to max size available, if you want a single partition using the whole drive as the c drive.

Now exit fdisk. Reboot the computer again with the win 98 start up boot floppy in the drive.
select enable cd rom suport.


Now once booted up, type
format c:/u
drive will now be formatted.

you can enter a volume label when asked if you wish or just press enter.


Now type dir c:
if you get the directory (actually file not found with bytes free) then your in business.

Now type the letter of the cd rom drive, if it was the d drive before then it will likely be the e: drive now, one letter higher as the start up floppy creates a ram drive.
These will change after windows finishes installing.

put your win 98 install cd in the cd rom drive.
type e:setup (if e is the cd rom)
then follow the prompts.


Hard drives can be bought at most any computer store, shop around for the best prices. Make sure it is an IDE drive.


The C drive must be on the primary IDE controller and as a master. If you had only 1 hard drive before then we know it had to have been a master on the primary controller, so just make sure the new drive is set to master and just connect to the same ribbon cable that the old drive was connected to.

I would write down the names /model of your cd rom/modem/video card/sound card just in case windows does not find the correct driver on its own, it will make live easilier later finding the correct driver on the internet.
 
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