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Lost custers and errors in allocation table

Posted on 2000-04-05
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
I have a problem with my Hard Drive.  It's a 4.3 GB hard drive, only 1 partition with FAT 32.  It crashes quite a lot when I use Windows 98 Outlook Express writing emails.  Every time Nortons detects that there's lost cluster or errors in allocation table.  How can I fix this problem permanently?
Thanks.

More details on Thurday April 6:
It showed there's nothing wrong with the hard disk after running the scan disk. Nortons detected there's lost cluster when the system rebooted after Outlook Express crashed the system.   Would re-format the hard disk help fixing the problem?
Thanks.
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Question by:TommyJade
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by:tjoiner
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You will find out information about issues affecting Outlook Express 5 at:
 http://chattanooga.net/~scochran/oe5faq.htm
 http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Bay/6386/IE_ng_notes.htm
 
 IPF in Inetcomm.dll When You Send or Receive E-mail Message
 http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q182/0/22.asp

 IPF in Kernel32.dll Downloading Messages in Outlook Express
 http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q185/4/13.asp

 IPF in Kernel32.dll When You Connect to a Mail Server
 http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q179/6/56.asp

 "Invalid Page Fault in Kernel32.dll" with Happy99.exe Virus (Msimn caused an invalid page fault in module inetcomm.dll)

 http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q221/4/86.asp
 
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by:duchess1
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if you are losing clusters your Hard Drive is failing. eventually applications will not load properly. if scan disk (thourgh ) is showing errors i would seriously consider replacing the HD.
this happened to me in the past, eventually the PC crashed
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by:nfroio
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duchess1 has the permanent fix, but if you can't or don't want to get a new hdd, there are a couple of things that you may be able to do.

1. scandisk
2. disk defrag
3. delete ALL unnecessary/unwanted programs.

now here comes the scary part, but it kept my dying hdd alive a couple of months longer than I thought it would last.

Copy all of your data to whatever medium you have avail., I am going to assume that you have all of cd's/disks, etc. for your programs, including your OS, if you have all of that, then just go ahead and format the heck out of your drive, this should help to overwrite some of the more than likely numerous bad sectors and clusters within your FAT, and push the rest to the last sectors on your drive.

Then reload everything, and begin your search for a  new hard drive, cuz that one thats in there, WILL FAIL eventually.

When you get your new drive, copy all the data over from old drive to new, Master/Slave style, w. either xcopy32, ghost, or there is a program called HDCOPY that works dang good, obtain at www.hdcopy.com, small free and easy.

Good luck.
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by:swwelsh
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I'm not sure I would say this is a hardware problem. Bad sectors would indicate a drive problem, but lost clusters sounds more like faulty memory or a software problem. Does scandisk show any bad sectors? Why not try a different mail program? Outlook Express is buggy and prone to virus attacks
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by:SuperKirker
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I think that drive is on its way out...my guess is that the stuff that's going just happens to be where OE5 is located on the drive.  Last (and only) drive I had fail started puking at the point where Win98 keeps the resource info, so I kept getting loads of resource conflicts!!!

If it's under warranty, you could repair it...take it to a GOOD shop (i.e. here in the Phoenix area, there's a place called Data Doctors, corny ads but from what I've heard some of the best at repairing or recovering data from screwed drives...)
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by:hari_kp
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Lomt clusters? seems the HDD needs an energising shot. Do a low level format. Before you do this, back up your entire data from all partitions. A low level format is done from BIOS. This completely redoes everything and is different from the ordinary format which is done in DOS. This should solve your problem.
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by:vikiing
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>>A low level format is done from BIOS.

Nowadays BIOSes don't offer the ability to low-level format a disk. In fact, that practice is discouraged (and that's why it dissapeared long ago from BIOS' options).
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by:TommyJade
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Edited text of question.
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tjoiner earned 100 total points
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I would NOT reformat at this time. Lost clusters merely indicate that when your system crashed, some files were left open and not closed properly. In other words, since Outlook crashed, it wasn't able to properly close the files it had open before it exited.

I think these lost clusters are just the result of the crash, not the result of a bad hard drive. Anytime ANY program crashes your system, you have the potential for lost clusters. They're no big deal and easy fix, and certainly don't warrant a reformat.

You need to concentrate on what is causing Outlook to crash. That's what's causing your problem. Did you check out those trouble-shooting links I posted earlier? Did any of them pertain to your situation?
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by:vikiing
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You're right, Tjoiner.

One thing is a LOST cluster, a mere software problem, totally different from a BAD cluster, a physical probem on disk surface.

Whereas that disk shows only lost clusters, FAT questions, and, in sum, any other CORRECTABLE bugs, they all are software-related problems (i.e. system crashes).

Anyway, TommyJade, if you're receiving a large amount of lost clusters WITHOUT software problems, perhaps the reason be inside disk's electronics (the internal controller).
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