Why won't my hard drive Defrag? HELP!!!!

I don’t understand what the hell is going on. My hard drive wont’ defrag. I’ve tried everything. I’ve turned off my protection software. I’ve tried to run a complete scan disk on my hard drive, but it won’t start up. The scan disk will attempt to start 10 times and ask if I want to try again. Plus my computer keeps on freezing and gives me the blue screen of death more times than I care to admit. Any ideas? I would love to hear what you have to say? Do you think my hard drive is corrupt? Do I need a new one do you think? HELP!!!



Make sure everything is shut down before you try to run it. Ctrl + alt + del and shut down everything except explorer and systray. Set your screensaver (if you are using one) to “none”. Run scandisk first and then defrag. I fit still won’t run, try running it in safe mode.

Just to add to what Bosc. said - anything that will access the harddrive will interupt the scanning/defrag process. try scandisk from dos

I had a similar problem once. Defrag would get to 20% and not get any further.
The advice I got (and it really helped) was to find a file called ‘defrag.ini’ on the Windows 98 cd and make a copy of it somewhere I could find it, in this case I put it in My Documents. Then find the file and right click it, choose ‘install’ from the menu, and then restart the computer. This defrag.ini will run defrag before anything else loads its drivers… It worked for me and I dont think you could do any damage by trying it.

Hit ctrl-alt-del at the same time. A requester will pop up with a list of programs that are running.

You want to click on the first item on the list (UNLESS it’s Explorer or Systray. Leave Explorer and Systray alone!!) and, once it’s highlighted, click at the bottom of the requester where it says “end task”.

Hit ctrl-alt-del again. The “Close Pragram” box reappears, without the item chosen. Choose the next item. End task it.
(Note: Sometimes, you’ll get a notice that a program you’ve just “end-tasked” has stopped responding. Gosh, thanks for that info, Microsoft. Anyway, just say “yes” or “ok” or whatever closes it.

Repeat until you only have “Explorer” and “Systray” in the “Close Program” box. Hit cancel and run Defrag.

If it’s been a while since you’ve done a Defrag, it’ll take a loooong time.


Okay, forget most of that above, its too complicated.

  1. Boot to DOS.

  2. Run scandisk (type: scandisk)

  3. Run defrag


Whoa. I just went through this myself.

It would help if we knew what kind of computer you have, and what version of Windows.

ScanDisk won’t scan the disk if it’s moving, which means if something like a screensaver or an automatic Internet stock exchange update or AOL Instant Messenger kicks in.

Try starting the computer in Safe Mode–for Win95 it’s pressing F8 when you see the words “now starting Windows 95” when you turn the computer on. Safe Mode turns off all the automatic programs like those.

ScanDisk attempting to start 10 times and then starting over says to me you’ve got something automatic writing to the disk halfway through.

Is your computer locking up and giving you the blue screen while you’re attempting Defrag or ScanDisk? Or is it at other times? 'Cause if it’s at other times, then it’s two separate problems.

No, you don’t need a new hard drive. This is fixable. If nothing else, you can always reinstall your Windows program, or if worst comes to worst, do something called Re-formatting your hard Drive. Your Windows CD, when you put it in the CD-ROM, and it Auto-Runs, ought to come up with a menu that mentions this.

Reformatting your hard drive is a Last Resort. You’ll lose EVERYTHING that’s stored on there, Internet Favorites, e-mail, word processing, the works. You have to make a whole boxful of backup disks beforehand. Very tedious.

what if he doesn’t have a viola? Would a cello work?

I don’t know if this will help. but one of the settings on Disc Defrag is to “Check Drive for Errors” If you uncheck this, it might defrag without having to Scandisc.

Absolutely run scandisk first. It’ll get those nasty CHK files for you.

I usually prefer using from DOS ‘CHKDSK/F’ which does the whole scandisk job in only a few seconds.

I had the same problem, heres what I did:

  1. Close anti-virus programs, and any other things running.
  2. Run an error check (same place you go to defrag in windows 98.)
  3. Once thats complete, try defraging.

The OP provides little info about the system. One possibility: if the hard drive runs via a “disk overlay” routine, Defrag will fail 'til the cows come home. These programs are pretty rare in newer systems, but were quite common just a few years ago, when IDE hard drive capacities first exceeded the old BIOS barrier (528 MB) and the 16-bit FAT barrier of 2 GB. I particularly remember wide distribution of OnTrack’s “Dynamic Disk Overlay” software as an OEM freebie. There were others, too.

But thank you all so much for this thread. I always thought I was the only one who had these problems!