Win XP Defrag Problem

I have Windows XP Prof SP1. I am having a problem with defrag. I run it for drive D: and get an error:

The scan has been cancelled because of an error occurred in file: D:\command.com

I ran it another time and got the same error in file: D:\videorom.exe

I ran SFC and it didn’t correct the problem. I tried to run chkdsk D: but it said “An unspecified error occurred.”

Any solutions to this problem?

I should have mentioned that I am using VoptXP Ver 7.22 for my defrag program.

When you ran your chkdsk, did you do a “chkdsk /f” on your C:?

If so, when it asked you if you want to reboot your computer and run chkdsk on startup, did you say “y”? You should then reboot your computer if it doesn’t restart automatically, and the chkdsk should run. Is this when you are getting your error?

Yes, I did run chkdsk d: /f. I could not get chkdsk to run at startup when I told it to do so.

I made a mistake in my OP. The error shown there was when I ran XP Defrag. The error that I get from VoptXP is:

Structural errors have been detected on this drive.

Err=Crosslinked files
Source=V.FP

Sounds like it’s about time for a new hard drive, ESPECIALLY if you can’t get chkdsk to run successfully.

Getting a new hard drive is what I was thinking too. I am not sure how old the drive is, but it seems like it is about 2 years old. I will have to check my paper work to see if I can find the sales slip.

When I run chkdsk d: /f, I get the error:

Cannot lock current drive.
An unspecified error occurred.

Physical errors indicate that a drive is failing, and it’s definitely a bad sign that chkdsk wouldn’t run at startup.

If I were you, I would back up anything you really, really need right now and then work on getting a new hard drive pronto. Also make sure to save any new and important files to some sort of removable media.

It sounds a lot like this hard disk is failing, but when it will actually go catastrophic is hard to say.

Hard drives are mechanical devices, and are usually tested and rated with an MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) rating. This is the average time that a drive will operate before failure, but it doesn’t mean that a drive will definitely last that long before failure. Some fail much earlier, some after a couple of years, and some in the very first days of life, while some go like the Energizer bunny (I once had a hard disk that ran continuously for seven years before failing).

I can’t stress the importance of backing up your data enough. If you have not already done so, do so now, as it’s impossible to tell whether this drive might catastrophically fail tomorrow or last another year. To be safe, I would replace it. If it’s under warranty still, contact manufacturer.

Your hard drive manufactuor (Seagate, Maxtor, etc…) likely has a free diagnostic program available for download, which can help you determine how damaged your drive actually is. If you call to RMA your drive they will ask you to run this program anyways, so you may as well do it now and see if it helps.

But first, backup your data!

This does not sound as if your HDD is failing, but it’s worth running diagnostics anyway. It does sound like there’s logical corruption. You’re using FAT32 as your filing system, aren’t you? Once you get the corruption sorted out, I suggest you switch to NTFS.

To get to that point, I suggest you open up My Computer, and on each drive, go into Properties | Tools | Error-checking and select Automatically fix… Don’t bother about a surface scan. Windows should tell you that it needs exclusive access and would you like to run the check on reboot? Say yes. After you’ve gone through all local drives, reboot and let the check take place. Then convert them to NTFS.

qts, the reason I think it could indicate (could, not definitely) a failing hard drive is that this is what happened when the hard drive was failing on one of the workstations at my company.

Diagnostics indicated many bad sectors, and that number increased daily.

It could, you’re right, be a corrupted file system. In that case, back up all the data, run the diagnostics from the manufacturer. If it’s not bad sectors, repair file system (might require a reformat) and then go NTFS.

NTFS does tend to take more overhead and there’s a lot more to it, but I’ve found it far more stable (and it’s definitely better for security) than FAT of any stripe.

Here is what I did. I put my trusty Windows 98 boot disk in and booted. Then, I ran SCANDISK D: It fixed a couple corrupted files and a cross linked file. Then, I ran a complete surface scan which didn’t find any bad clusters. I rebooted to Windows XP and was able to do a defrag successfully on drive D:. Right now, I am running the SFC program to make sure all my system files are intact.

Many thanks to all of you for your worthy suggestions.