Problems with ScanDisk and Defrag

  Nosmas 17:59 28 Feb 04
Locked

System running W98SE, 256MB RAM and HDD 18.9GB capacity, of which 17.9GB free. Sage Accounting and MS Office 2000 (Professional) are installed and although IE 5.5 is installed, the system has no facility to connect to the Internet. So far as I am aware no new programs have been installed, nor have any system changes been made recently. A second PC is 'networked' to the main system.

Yesterday I had a call from the office admin lady at my bowls club saying the computer seemed to be very slow and asking if she should run ScanDisk and Defrag. I agreed and she first tried ScanDisk but received an error message that the PC "…does not have enough available memory……quit any other programs and try again". She then tried Defrag but received a similar message.

I went to the club today and tried both utilities but got the same messages. Ctrl+Alt+Del showed that Explorer and Systray and only two other programs were running. I 'end-tasked' the latter two and retried both utilities but still got the insufficient free memory messages. The System Info disclosed that 90% of system resources were free, and the Windows managed swap file on Drive C had 18,431MB free.

Knowing that switching off the PC without closing down Windows would cause ScanDisk to run automatically on re-booting the system, I deliberately engineered that situation. However this resulted in a long message: -

Scandisk cannot read from the last cluster on Drive C. This cluster is either damaged, or the system is not configured properly. Drive C may need to have Logical Block Addressing (LBA) enabled to work properly, or its disk partition may be incorrectly marked as a non-LBA partition. Data loss can occur if your LBA setting is disk partition type for this drive is mis-configured. (Sorry last sentence doesn't read quite right, but cannot check as am at home now.)
Check your computer's BIOS set-up utility or contact manufacturer…….
If you are sure your drive is configured correctly, click Continue to have ScanDisk check Drive C for errors."

Clicking Continue then produced the following message: -

"If your computer's LBA setting is configured improperly and ScanDisk continues, ScanDisk may report and replace errors incorrectly. This could result in severe damage to your data or could incorrectly mark sections of your drive as bad.
Are you sure your system is configured properly?"

As this seemed pretty scary stuff I opted for the (default) 'No' button!

Considering that the HDD capacity is only about 5% used, and no other programs are running, I am very puzzled by the 'insufficient memory' messages. Could these messages be in any way related to the possible problems described when ScanDisk is invoked on re-booting after an invalid shutdown?

Suggestions for the reasons for and possible solutions to these problems will be greatly appreciated. Incidentally, despite the different messages given out, I assume that there is only ONE ScanDisk program on the system?

  Diodorus Siculus 18:08 28 Feb 04

Yes, only one scan disk.

Try safe-mode - reboot and press F8 until you get a menu.

  MichelleC 18:12 28 Feb 04

One word of advice before the hd aces come in is to suggest doing a thorough scan. This goes to more problematical areas and should report any problems. In 98+ it's best to run scandisk and defrag in safemode as this shuts out any driver influence also.

  Nosmas 19:28 28 Feb 04

Thanks to Diodorus Siculus and MichelleC for your suggestions. Until I get some info about this LBA problem I don't feel happy about trying ScanDisk - even in safe mode. Dont' want to risk damaging our accounting info or the Access membership database, all of which is very important data.

  Diodorus Siculus 19:59 28 Feb 04

In that case, backup your data as soon as possible...


click here

  BEANS 20:03 28 Feb 04

Invest in Diskeeper Professional, and forget about the Windows offering.
Since installing this program I merely run a scan disc once a month, and let Diskeeper take care of the defrags.
Mine is set to run when the screensaver cuts in.
Usual disclaimer.
MFL

  Nosmas 20:39 28 Feb 04

Thanks, but (hopefully!) we should be able to restore if anything DID go wrong, as the system is set-up to do a backup Mon - Fri evenings and to write to CD. This (and the networking of the second PC) was set up by a former member who has now moved from the locality. I don't think a situation has previously arisen to need a restore to be done, so that aspect may never have been tested.

Anyone else have any ideas for reasons and/or fixes for the described problems?

  Nosmas 09:49 02 Mar 04

Please does anyone else have any ideas and / or fixes for these problems?

  Nosmas 20:25 02 Mar 04

Bump!

  TommyRed 21:02 02 Mar 04

As BEANS says when I had a defrag problem with 98SE I just downloaded and used Diskeeper Lite, which was free for personal use (Do a google search for it). It was much quicker as well. For the scandisk, running it in safe mode was what I had to do. HTH TR

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