Hard Drive Basics and Beyond Part2
The list is as follows
2010, virtually all of the world's Hard Disk Drives are manufactured
by just five large companies: Seagate, Western Digital, Hitachi,
Samsung, and Toshiba.
Now to the Fun Stuff
are building our own computer, upgrading our existing PC or just
adding an extra hard drive to increase storage, we usually rely
entirely on Windows for maintenance and care of this new or old hard
drive. That's not always as efficient or good as it sounds. If you
have ever used the Windows defragment software to defrag your hard
drive, you know just how tedious and long this process is. The Defrag
program itself is not very intuitive and has very few adjustable
Defragmenting is good!
It is usually a good
idea to download a non Windows defragmenter with more user friendly
options such as quick defrag, data map (for seeing what chunks of
data are being moved) or selectable defragment options which allow
you to choose what to defragment. What you select as your program of
choice is entirely up to you. Be advised, however. Microsoft has been
steadily working you away from having any control over how
defragment your drive.
With each upgrade and revision
of Windows, you see less and less of what is actually going on with
your hard drive, which places all of your trust on a company most
people know very little about.
If you are like me, your
hardware is important to you, and you want to know more, not less
about what may be going wrong with your equipment. Why defrag doesn't
automatically run when your hard drive slows down due to severe
fragmentation is a mystery I have never solved.
will stop a program from destroying data, your Desktop has an
automatic cleanup wizard, and even your Email asks if you want to
compact messages to save space. So why does Windows allow your hard
drive to fragment itself to such a state that data loss can occur
because Windows can no longer remember where your files
Well, those problems won't be solved by wishful
thinking, we have to take control and do this ourselves. Some good
defragment programs will have a scheduler, and you will want to set
this up to run at a time when you will not be busy on your PC.
Remember to disable screensavers as this will slow down your defrag
speed. Some antiviruses can do this as well, especially if they just
happen to update you while the defragmenter is running. Essentially
Any program that writes data to your hard drive while you are trying
to defrag it will slow down your completion time, so turn it
Scandisk or Checkdisk
CHKDSK (short for Checkdisk)
is a command on computers running DOS, OS/2 and Microsoft Windows
operating systems that displays the file system integrity status of
hard disks and floppy disk and can fix logical file system errors. It
is similar to the fsck command in Unix.
On computers running
NT-based versions of Windows, CHKDSK can also check the disk surface
for physical errors or bad sectors, (an area of the disk that may
have had a momentary head
crash) a task previously done by
SCANDISK (for older versions of Windows such as, 95,98,ME).
version of CHKDSK can also handle some physical errors and recover
data that is still readable.
When do you run scandisk?
When data loss has occurred, typically when Windows cannot find a
2. When your computer can actually find the file, but takes
forever getting there.
3. When your PC is using a hibernation file
as well as system restore and cant restore properly.
4. When your
PC continually starts up in safe mode.
5. When you get an error
stating that Windows must shut down to prevent data loss.
a virus is detected and cleaned.
Windows does not perform this
check automatically or when an error occurs. In some instances such
as several hard starts or crashes, Windows will offer to run the
scandisk or start itself, but by then it is usually too late to
actually do any good. While it may make you feel better that the Disk
check program has started on it's own, and it appears that Windows is
trying to protect you from data loss, the actual fact is that this is
a last ditch effort for Windows to recover itself, not your data, but
it's own startup files. If your data gets saved in the process, so
much the better.
Alternately you can run Scandisk-Checkdisk in
the Shell mode or dos type box.
CHKDSK can be run from the Windows
Shell, the Windows Command Prompt or the Windows Recovery Console.
One option for CHKDSK is the use of the Command-line/R parameter,
which allows the program to repair damage it finds on the hard
Conducting a CHKDSK can take some time, especially if using
the /R parameter, and the results are often not visible, for various
reasons. The results of a CHKDSK conducted on restart using Windows
2000 or later operating systems are written to the Application Log,
with a "Source"
name of Wininit or Winlogon and can be
viewed with the Event Viewer.
This method is usually your last
line of defense and will only be offered in extreme situations where
a boot failure has occurred.
A word on SFC (System File
Have you ever had a program fail to execute, then
follow with a DLL error of some type? This is a handy way to restore
that corrupt, missing or virus altered DLL, and it can be started in
By default, Windows File Protection is always enabled and
allows Windows digitally signed files to replace existing files
safely. Currently, signed files are distributed through:
Windows Service Packs
# Hotfix distributions
# Operating system
# Windows Update
# Windows Device Manager
you introduce a file replacement in any other way, Windows File
protection will overwrite your file! An important part of Windows
File Protection is the command line utility:
Use this utility when you suspect there may
be a problem with a Windows XP system file. To do this simply go to
the Run box on the Start Menu and type in: sfc /scannow.
on Mar 16, 2010 | Computers & Internet