Check disk caused problems

  Ger42 09:45 12 Nov 2007
Locked

I have a six month old Dell Dimension E520 computer running Vista Home premium. Apart from the odd niggle here and there it has been working well without problems. However, something happened recently that has affected it. Last week I turned it on and before booting it ran a Check Disk without prompting. Not having previous experience of this I assumed this was a normal occurrence and let it run. A few days later I turned it on and the same thing happened again – the Check Disk ran. This time I was concerned as I thought there might be a serious fault for it to run a second time. Although the screen runs pretty fast in the operation I noticed that one of the files it was deleting had ‘Logitech’ in it. When it finished it loaded Windows but I couldn’t type in my password as my wireless Logitech keyboard/mouse weren’t working. Luckily there’s a virtual keyboard on screen and I could tap in my password using my graphics tablet.

When the programs loaded up I found that I couldn’t switch on the Automatic Update switch in the Security Center – I got a box saying that I couldn’t change the settings and when I tried the manual option I got another box saying that Windows couldn’t find a file (one with a very long code). When I clicked on the Windows Update in the Start panel I got nothing. This appear to be the most serious problem but I’ve also found that when I try and open my Logitech software and a RAW converter program, Pixmantec, I get a message saying that the ‘application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect’.

Can anyone explain why this has happened? I should add that prior to the first instance of the Check Disk running I had installed a demo version of Diskeeper 2008 as I wanted to see if it could improve my system (the Vista defragment tool looks several steps backwards in my view). Is it coincidence or is it related to the issue I have? After the 2nd occurrence I uninstalled the software. I should also add – and this may be more significant – that since I’ve had the computer it has made intermittent rattling noises which I put down to a quirk of the machine. However, since the Check Disk operations the machine has been very quiet with no rattling at all which, I suppose, is one positive from all this. It’s only afterwards that I discovered that ‘rattling’ could be a symptom of imminent hard drive failure. Last week, in between those Check Disk operations, I installed 2GB of memory – it could be that I may have inadvertently secured something that was loose inside.

Any thoughts, solutions would be most welcome. I’m pretty despondent with Vista now after being initially pleased about it. I’m concerned that the only solution to this would be to re-install Vista.

  johndrew 10:26 12 Nov 2007

From my experience (with XP), if CHKDSK runs frequently on a partition/drive it is a sign the drive is on its way out. Mine did this with a Maxtor drive for some time before the drive simply failed when carrying out tests as detailed by the Support team at Maxtor.

Drives are generally reliable but have been known to fail at an early point in their lives. The fact you have had ‘rattling’ could easily indicate drive imminent failure and added to CHKDSK running at startup is not a good sign.

Given the age of the PC (six months) I suggest you get onto Dell for a repair.

  Ger42 11:02 12 Nov 2007

Thanks, John - I'll get in touch with them asap.

  Karakorum 14:50 12 Nov 2007

Don't know if this is relevant as it refers to XP but it does refer to ChkDsk running on startup.

  Karakorum 14:50 12 Nov 2007

Dang! - forgot link again click here

  johndrew 16:43 12 Nov 2007

He`s running Vista which may have the update for the HP scanner that is/was causing the problem in XP.

Given that the PC was running fine and suddenly developed the problem which wont go away with CHKDSK running at each boot, it is likely to be something more fundamental. This especially as other problems are developing.

My problems were not dissimilar to those he is experiencing and I tried repairs to the OS and full disk checks which found nothing until I went to Maxtor/Seagate for help at which point the drive failed. My drive was also of a similar age to his when it failed.

  Ger42 17:13 12 Nov 2007

I don't want to start any arguments here, chaps! For the record I don't have a HP scanner, mine's an Epson which needed an updated driver to work with Vista as did my Canon inkjet printer. In fact, my peripheral hardware work fine with Vista.

The Check Disk program has only run twice - okay, that's 2 times more than I'd like - and since the 2nd time last Friday the pc has been working fine and booting up normally. I've been working on it most of today and it's been running applications sweetly. I checked the hard drive make - it's a Samsung SP2504C which is supposedly one of the quietest around. The reviews I've Googled have been glowing. It's certainly not making any noises it shouldn't be - it's not making any at all! I checked the Samsung webpage and they claim that hard drives that are sent back to them are rarely faulty - it's usually down to something else. I am struck by the fact that both instances of Check Disk running occurred when I had installed Diskeeper - perhaps that did something to alter the registry and throw a spanner in the works. Anyway, I've contacted Dell for advice so I'm waiting to hear what they say.

  johndrew 09:17 13 Nov 2007

No argument from my point; I was simply explaining my thought process based on my experience and the symptoms given. I`m sure Karakorum understands this, but he also has every right to comment from his understanding and experience based on the information.

From what you now say it does appear that Diskeeper may have had some effect. Is it supposed to work with Vista?

I also agree with you on Samsung drives, they do have a good reputation.

  Ger42 09:47 13 Nov 2007

I was using their latest version, Diskeeper 2008, which I assume was developed for use with Vista. I downloaded a trial version of the Pro option:

click here

It seems to run in the background continuously and it did defrag the pc - maybe too well. It seems strange that the week I had this running Check Disk ran twice. I removed it last Friday and have used the machine a number of times since without any further instances of Check Disk running. Apart from the nuisance of not having Windows Update and a couple of programs not opening the computer has been working fine. Perhaps I should contact Diskeeper to see if they can help - maybe I have uncovered a glitch in their software, after all, it is pretty new.

  johndrew 11:53 13 Nov 2007

Looking at the spec. for it, it does say it`s developed for use with Vista.

One thing that does interest me is the claim,

"Exclusive! Real-time defragmentation automatically handles fragmentation as it occurs, providing maximum system performance at all times!"

Presumably it could be trying to defrag whilst another program is trying to write data. I`m far from being an expert, but if this is the case then, as I see it, it could easily cause corrupt files that CHKDSK would automatically be called on to remedy.

A further point is the claim that, "InvisiTasking is the foundation for Diskeeper to eliminate fragmentation in real time without affecting system resources or intruding on system demands." Surely this must mean it is running in the background from startup and using resources. Seems a strange claim to my inexpert mind.

  Ger42 13:14 13 Nov 2007

I don't know, John, maybe my post should have read 'Diskeeper caused problems'. I really regret using it now but I tried it because I'm not happy with the Vista defrag tool - there's no progress bar and no indication of what its doing now, at least on 98and XP you could see that it was at least doing something. I've been contacted by Dell this morning and was instructed to perform a hard drive test - took over an hour and it passed so there's no issue with that. I've got to conclude that it was Diskeeper was the culprit - I'll just wait to see what they say, that is, if they respond to users of the trial versions. I'm not sure if it's just easier to completely reinstall the OS after a year or so rather than de-frag - that's what a friend of mine does.

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