disk checking at every startup

  keef66 22:17 20 Nov 2005

I put an old 8GB HDD into my pc as slave a while ago. Made 2 partitions, the biggest (H) for backups from the master HDD and a smaller one (G)for the windows paging file.
Now the pc wants to run checkdisk on G every time it starts up. If I let it do the check it finds nothing wrong. If I try to check the disk manually it says it can't because it's in use (presumably as the paging file)

I'm sure there's nothing wrong with it, but how do I stop the disk checking at startup?

  VoG II 22:22 20 Nov 2005

Which version of Windows?

  keef66 22:32 20 Nov 2005

Sorry, forgot all that useful stuff.
Win XP SP2
Athlon 2100XP, MSI K7T266 Pro 2a socket A mobo, 512mb RAM
Master HDD is 80GB Hitachi I think, about 4 yrs old. Slave 8GB HDD is one I recovered from an older system; not sure of manufacturer or history

  Terry Brown 10:27 21 Nov 2005

Is the master drive 80gb formatted as NTFS and the 8gb drive as FAT (or FAT32 ?, as this will cause the problem you have

  keef66 10:37 21 Nov 2005

Yes. So if I change the file format on the old drive to NTFS it will sort it out?
(can't try till I get home from work tonite)

  mgmcc 12:07 21 Nov 2005

What you're experiencing is what Windows refers to as "setting the dirty bit" and you have to unset that bit. Each time Windows XP starts, autochk.exe is called by the kernel to scan all volumes and check if the volume dirty bit is set. If the dirty bit is set, autochk performs an immediate chkdsk /f on that volume. Chkdsk /f verifies file system integrity and attempts to fix any problems with the volume. It is usually caused by a hard shut down or a power loss during a read-write operation on that particular drive.

Open a Command Prompt window ("Start > Run" type CMD and click OK). At the prompt, type FSUTIL DIRTY QUERY G: and press Enter. This queries the drive, and more than likely it will tell you that it is dirty. Next, type CHKNTFS /X G: The X tells Windows NOT to check that particular drive on the next reboot. At this time, manually reboot your computer, it should not do a Chkdsk and take you directly to Windows.

Once Windows has loaded, open a Command Prompt window again and perform a Chkdsk manually by typing CHKDSK /F /R G: This should take you through 5 stages of the scan and will unset that dirty bit. Finally, type FSUTIL DIRTY QUERY G: and Windows should confirm that the dirty bit is not set on that drive.

  keef66 14:19 21 Nov 2005

this sounds so convincing I'll tick as resolved.

  uisquebeathus 15:32 21 Nov 2005

using the older 8 gb drive may seem to be a good idea but it will slow down the IDE transfer speed to the older specs of that drive, connect it to the secondary IDE if you can.

  keef66 15:59 21 Nov 2005

Good point.
Can't swap because I've got 2 optical drives attached to the other IDE channel.
Will Everest or Belarc tell me the full specs of each HDD or do I need to whip them out and read the labels?
Maybe I'll bite the bullet and buy a second 80 gig HDD to use as slave for backups and the swapfile. The 8 gig is too small for a full Acronis image of the main drive anyway, so I just use Windows backup for selected files like docs and digital photos. Ideally I'd like to use Acronis to Image the entire drive so I can easily reinstate it if the HDD fails.

Or should I buy two new HDD's and a raid controller so I can have a raid 1 setup and never have to worry about backups again.

Until the lightning strike that fries the whole machine of course.

maybe I need an external HDD for backups / images, then I can keep it safely disconnected when not in use. Then I'm not powering a second HDD all the time so it's quieter and cooler, but I also have to go back to having the paging file on the same drive as the OS. Mind you, I never really noticed any difference, perhaps because of the data transfer speed of the older drive.

I'm rambling a bit now; must go

Thanks for the advice so far.


  Greengage 16:07 21 Nov 2005

Sorry to jump in on someone's thread, but I have a similar problem with my Win98SE PC, except that it will not go any further after scandisk,even if I hit space bar to skip this process. In fact I cannot boot it at all at present and have tried other normal solutions, inc scanreg /restore, re-loading windows CD, without any success. Would using the solution above from mgmcc apply to Win98Se as well? Again, apologies.

  taffyal 17:19 20 Dec 2005

for reference

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