Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet
If your computer "locks up" or reboots itself, the problem is frequently lost or corrupted files on your hard drive. Most of the time the problem can be corrected by running chkdsk. However, one of the exceptions is when chkdsk reports that the hard drive has volume bitmap errors.
To run chkdsk, click on Start, All Programs, Accessories and Command Prompt. This will open a "DOS Box" where you can enter DOS commands without the results scrolling off the screen before you can read them. Then key in chkdsk C: (assuming that drive C is the letter of the hard drive where your operating system files and applications programs are stored).
Chkdsk will run in the read-only mode and report (but not repair) problems found on your hard drive. Chkdsk will then ask you to run chkdsk with the F switch to fix the file system. Make a mental note whether or not chkdsk reported any problems with the volume bitmap, then key-in chkdsk C: /F
You will get a message that the drive will be checked (and repaired) on the next system restart.
Enter exit to close the DOS box and the restart your system. Chkdsk will run automatically when your system restarts. If no volume bitmap errors were noted earlier, chkdsk should have repaired the problems with the hard drive. You can verify this by opening another DOS Box and running chkdsk without the /F. However, if bit-map errors were reported initially, chances are they will still be there as chkdsk cannot repair them.
If you still have volume bitmap errors, you can either take your PC to a professional who may be able to repair the volume bitmap with specialized software, or you can back-up all of your data, format the hard drive, and reload the operating system and all applications.
A frequent cause of volume bitmap errors is cloning (copying) a hard drive with more than one partition to another (usually larger) hard drive. The partitions should be sized proportionately on the target drive but sometimes the partition sizes are not reported correctly in the partition table and sometimes in the master boot record.
Avoid cloning drives with multiple partitions, or if you do, immediately run chkdsk on the target drive to check for bit-map errors.
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