Cross linked Files

  Border View 11:04 21 Oct 2005

I run Windows 98SE with Outlook Express 6 and Internet Explorer V.6. I'm on broadband and this morning left the computer with Outlook Express connected.

When I returned and moved the mouse to get rid of the screen saver, I got a message to say that there was an Iexplore error. Had to restart the computer and it ran through the usual Scan Disc. About 80% of the way through got a message to say that Scan Disc was checking for Cross linked files. (I have Avast antivirus and Zone Alarm).

Computer seems to be OK but wondered what this was all about.

Your advice would be much appreciated.

  xania 13:17 21 Oct 2005

This is a typical problem when a computer crashes. What has occurred is that your PC was attempting to write a file when the crash occurred. It had written something but not completed the process by deleting an earlier version and up-dating the File Allocation Table (FAT). This results in sectors of the hard disk being recorded in the FAT as in use when in fact they are not. Typically, SCAN DISK simply deletes the unneccessary file fragments in the FAT, thereby restoring the space for future use - some versions convert the fragments into actual files so that you can control whether the information should be used or deleted.

  Border View 13:50 21 Oct 2005

Many thanks xania.

  DieSse 15:10 21 Oct 2005

For what it's worth - cross-linked files are certainly a corruption in the FAT due to improper shut-downs - but this particular corruption is where more than one entry in the FAT points to the same point on the disk (which clearly would be wrong). So generally speaking it involves two files which the FAT thinks are in the same place on the disk.

Scandisk always checks for cross-linked files - you may have just seen the fact it was doing this having not seen it before.

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