Need Win95 tech help: Disk Defrag and ScanDisk are not on speaking terms...

The saga begins…

Win95 with a 486, an old Acer computer. So Drive C is 8% fragmented and I’m trying to defragment it. Defrag gets up to 3% and then goes back to zero and starts over, does this twice, and then says, “I can’t finish defragmenting this drive because there are errors on it that need to be fixed first. Click on this button here and fix the errors.” The button goes to ScanDisk. I run ScanDisk. It stops 3/4 of the way and says, in the Lost File Fragments section, File Allocation Tables, “There are 10846208 bytes of lost file fragments. These might be important, or then again, maybe not. What do you want me to do?” And the options are, “Discard them, Convert them into files, or Ignore them.” I am reluctant to discard things where Windows is concerned. God knows what Duke Nukem game or Chemistry term paper that itty-bitty 2 bytes of a DLL was responsible for.

Clicking on either Convert them or Ignore them eventually brings up a box that says, “Unable to finish correcting this error–could not create a file.”

The saga continues…

Jim, the Chicago Tribune computer guy, has a column, and in it, last week (which is why I’m trying this yet again, after having given up on it a year ago, when Drive C was only 4% fragmented), someone e-mailed him with this identical problem, and he suggested starting in Safe Mode and trying it then. So I did that–press F8 during “Now Starting Windows 95” and Safe Mode comes up, sure enough, but I still get the same Defrag dumbness–it still goes up to 3% and then starts over twice, and then says, “You need to run ScanDisk first”, with the extra little fillip that ScanDisk is a MS-DOS program and won’t run in Safe Mode, so it’s back to Restart Computer.

So I can’t defragment until I ScanDisk, and ScanDisk won’t complete its task until it can create a file.

I’m open to suggestions.

Besides reinstalling Windows, please–every time you have to do that, it upsets all the other programs like Kid Pix and they won’t run right. Somebody sits down to play Carmen Sandiego and it’s “Mom, the computer’s not working right…”

Been there, done that.

I had the exact same problem once on my old computer. A couple of things:[ul][li]Yes, you HAVE to complete the ScanDisk Feature. Only then will a Defrag be possible in this case.[/li][li]If nothing else works, discard the damn stuff and pray to the Invisible Pink Unicorn it won’t mess anything up. It didn’t for me.[/li][li]Then, with a clean unfaulty disk, Defrag the living daylights out of it.[/ul]All in all, this just goes to show what a crappy OS Windows 95 really is. Windows 98 hasn’t pulled this stunt on me yet, but then again, it has pulled numerous others.[/li]
Do you really have to be a geek to run Linux? Because I really want to get rid of all things Windows. Blech.

No, but it really helps. Fortunately for me, I was ostracized by my peers as a young boy, so I had nowhere else to go but geekdom.

Here’s my guess as to what’s going on. You have to have a clean Scandisk to run Defrag, that’s not a guess.

When you tell Scandisk to save those Lost Clusters, it creates files like “FILExxxx.chk” in the root directory. Each group of contiguous group of clusters becomes a separate file. The root directory can only hold 512 entries. This is not the guess part either.

Here comes the guess part. Your root directory is full of “.chk” files. If so, my suggestion is to delete them. This is for a few reasons. [ul][li]First, if they are lost clusters, you aren’t using them now, so the problem is already there and you’ve either fixed it or it didn’t cause a problem in the first place. []Second, the system can’t open “.chk” files with a logical application, so you’d have to change the “.chk” to something (who knows what) to get them to posibly open. []Third, who’s going to search through hundreds of pieces of files for some important data. Forth, since your drive is fragmented, your important file maybe scattered over a dozen of these files and a few extra files maybe be inserted in the middle.[/ul][/li]So, if I’m right, delete the existing “.chk” files, run Scandisk without the ‘convert to file’ option. When Scandisk runs clean, then try Defrag.

Disclaimer: JimB is not responsible for any lost of data due to following the above suggestions.

Hope this helps.

The 10 megs of broken file fragments will not be of any real world use to you. Recovery of these file fragments into coherent files would require an amount of time, effort and expertise that nothing short of nuclear codes could justify.

The system’s attempt to convert and save them is what is jamming you. You must delete them. Do not save them on a backup disk or directory. They are junk at this point. Just choose the “delete” and “no save” options.

Once the file fragments are deleted and the scandisk completes run your defrag. It should work now. If you have not upgraded to 95 B you might want to consider doing so as it had some bug fixes for these scandisk hangups. I might normally suggest Win98 but a 486 is stressed enough already with 98.

10 megs? You must be turning off the computer when its still running something, you shouldn’t do that of course.

delete the chk files, you don’t need them.

Always run scandisk first & RUN It from Dos only.

Run Defrag only from DOS only. Otherwise it restarts.

I’m gonna bump this one time, to see if anybody else wants to contribute before I suit up and go in after it…

Okay, I went ahead and deleted all the .chk files–there were 428 of them in there. Along the way I found a 2 MB .chk file called Chunks that evidently belongs to Compton’s World Atlas. I left it in 'cause I didn’t know if it was important. Is “Chunks” secret hacker code for something?

And then I successfully completed Scan Disk by telling it to throw away all the file fragments, and completed Defrag, and so far the computer hasn’t exploded or anything (knock on wood).

So I am a success, so far, and everyone in this thread can have a pack of Juicy Fruit for being such a Good Helper to Mommy. :slight_smile: