How to fix this NTFS volume's file system integrity? (read first pls)

Windows XP on an NTFS HD (Maxtor 6y120L0) doesn't boot normal / safe mode (flashes XP logo / loads xp drivers, then reboots).

Using Hiren's boot disk, tried Scandisc. It doesn't see the HD at all. Neither does Mini98 (98 run from a cd).  

So I tried Hirens / Maxtor HD diagnostic util. The Maxtor "install confirmation test" says "passed" for all tests up to last, a "smart attribute test", which fails.  Running Maxtor "quicktest", it passes several tests and then hangs on "smart help test". (should take 90 secs. waited 5 mins, gave up)

So I ran Hiren's / Partition Magic. It sees the HD and partition.  Running "Partition / check for errors" found some errors, and said it fixed most of them. Others it didn't fix. ("cluster errors" fixed, "crosslinked something" fixed, "file record marked free/used" unfixed, "requested frs entry is unused/free" unfixed)

So I tried Hiren's / Paragon Partition Manager / Check File System Integrity. It says:
"Incorrect File System - File Allocation Faults. (Crosslinked files) Chkdsk should be used to correct"

I ran Hirens / NTFS Dos Pro 5.0, and let it run "chkdsk"  (actually, "NTFSCHK" by winternals?)  It found and fixed stuff.  rebooted. No change yet.  Ran it again, tried the "scandisk" option after mounting the drive with NTFS Dos Pro again. It complained that another program was interfering with the drive. (probably NTFS DOS!)

I tried Paragon's File System Integrity check again, it gave the same message as above ("Run CHKDSK").

I tried running HIren's / HDD Smart UDM Viewer. It gave me a bunch of info I didn't understand, then said, "T.T.C. detected with life-critical attribute".  Anyone know anything about this? (I googled it, no joy)

As I post this, just because I don't know how to proceed (tried NTFSCHK, but can't do scandisk or chkdsk in NTFS!), I'm trying the third Maxtor HD utility scan option -- full scan. But I think it's freezing.

(This is how I spend too much time on a problem.)

(1) Any ideas on what to try next?  

(2) In this day and age, why are some dos level, boot disk diagnostic tools BLIND to NTFS? (I know hiren's is a great tool -- I just don't understand this issue)
Who is Participating?
sunilcomputerConnect With a Mentor Commented:
In this Situation I suggest to plug HDD to another system, backup all your data to another system and Re-format it.

If Required you can Low level Format the HDD.

Partition Magic 8 (32 bit) is another good option for checking and correcting Disk Problems.

Reinstall the OS without wasting time.
PUNKYConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Have you tried to hook up the drive to another system see if it works?
Saurabh DuaConnect With a Mentor Commented:
So why not u run the actual CHKDSK that comes with XP, just attach the drive on another PC on which XP is installed , right click on the partition u wish to check > properties>tools>check now> tick both the check boxes and click ok..

that's all..
Cloud Class® Course: Certified Penetration Testing

This CPTE Certified Penetration Testing Engineer course covers everything you need to know about becoming a Certified Penetration Testing Engineer. Career Path: Professional roles include Ethical Hackers, Security Consultants, System Administrators, and Chief Security Officers.

Saurabh DuaCommented:

Infact , delete the old partitions, and make fresh partition before running chkdsk/ error checking..
davidis99Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Have you tried booting from an XP CD, then launching CHKDSK from the CD, instead of trying to launch it from the volume?
If you have not tried booting from an XP CD, you should run CHKDSK from CD at least 2-3 times, as a single pass often will not find all the errors on the volume.  
Seems like you have a bad hard drive, try to run ghost to clone the drive first if you can.

Good luck
dgrrrAuthor Commented:
Just tried using an XP cd, to run chkdsk. Using recovery console, I assume you meant. But it wants an admin password for that installation of windows.

BTW, since I last posted, Hiren's / "HDD Regenerator" took 36 hours to scan the 100GB drive.   NOthing bad found. Except that it took 36 hours!

OK, gonna put XP on my test machine, and add the bad HD as a second HD. THey I'll try chkdsk from tehre, and let you guys know.

(1) Any other way to use xp cd to chkdsk a hd? (aside from above)

(2) saurabh_dua  -- If I delete the partition, don't I lose all the data / programs?

(3) markpower60 - You're suggesting I clone the drive to another drive just as a backup copy of the data & stuff, right?

FriarTukConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I agree that your hard drive is probably toast.  If you boot from xp cd & run diskpart what is displayed?  If C: is unknown, it means your file system is corrupted, you can try doing fixmbr, fixboot, bootcfg but you may end up having to fdisk/format thru the xp install process.

If you never specified an admin pswd during initial install then it is probably blank.    "xp recovery console"
"OK, gonna put XP on my test machine, and add the bad HD as a second HD." is a good choice.

There is a chkdsk command in Partition Magic use that command to get your HDD corrected.

But be sure to have a backup of your critical data because during repair there are chances that some data may get corrupted.

dgrrrAuthor Commented:
I used a tool to clear the recovery console admin pw, and ran chkdsk several times. It said it fixed stuff, but the original problem remains. (same symptoms)

Now I have the problem HD hooked up to a PC that's running off a healthy XP hard drive. The drive and it's contents are visible.  I am running the native XP check disk, from the windows explorer HD props / tools menu. But it's been running for 4 hours, and is now halfway thru "phase 5"

Running "chkdsk" off the XP cd took less than 30 secs. But these deeper scans seem to take up to 36 hours! (not an exaggeration) -- and found no problems.

SO -- if it turns out that these scans take so long, but find nothing, that indicates hardware, right?

I just realized -- some of you suggested I clone the HD, not to back it up, but to see if the same OS runs better on another physical hd, right?
Cloning/imaging the drive to another drive is good, but if the original drive is messed up, it will probably fail.  If you can access the drive while slaved to another computer, I'd suggest backing up all your data to it (or usb hard drive for cdrw/dvdrw drive) before trying.  If you get all your data off, then try making a disk to disk image with ghost or other utility.  If that fails you can reload the o/s with your cd & then copy back your data (which you may end up doing anyway if the drive is bad & is replaced).

Have you tried what I suggested above using the recovery console commands?
dgrrrAuthor Commented:
running XP off another disk, and using disk check:  "Windows (xp) was unable to complete the disk check"

I just copied the partition to a brand new disk.  Booted from that -- same problem as original. So it's NOT the HD.

SO, it's NOT the Hard Drive.

Is there a way to keep put the old OS on a fresh partition? In other words, keep all her data AND her programs?
(I know how to copy, delete or create a partition, but these all delete the OS, so....?
did you try this    "xp recovery console"
fixmbr, fixboot, bootcfg
dgrrrAuthor Commented:
OK, read those pages, and tried the following:

(a) fixmbr

(b) "Attrib -H -R -S" on the C:\Boot.ini file
Delete the C:\Boot.ini file
Run "Bootcfg /Rebuild"
Add Installation To Boot List?:   Y
Enter Load Identifier:    Microsoft Windows XP Professional    or   Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Enter OS Load Options:     /Fastdetect

(c) Fixboot

No difference.

(1) Is it possible to copy an OS into a new partition, without copying the partition itself?

(2) Is there a way to use the XP cd to go straight to the XP recovery console without having to wait through that long process of "windows is loading setup files", then choosing R?

1) no, you can install it to a new partition or image it to a new partition or drive
2) not that i know of
hey fuse, what's the status?
hey dgrrr (sorry bout that), what's the status?
dgrrrAuthor Commented:
None of the above worked, although they are all good tools for me to know, especially the recovery console commands you mentioned, so I will keep a record of them.

As far as this one particular HD is concerned, I"m going to try a non-destructive reinstall of the OS.

Failing that, I'll make a record of the product key from the registry, wipe the drive, reformat the partition, reinstall the OS, and copy the data over

Sorry for the delay in responding!
dgrrrAuthor Commented:
Actually, you guys know how to find the product key on an installation of XP, that is NOT BOOTABLE?

i don't think there is one that can run from the recovery console, because it is encrypted in the registry - only the product key is listed in xp

there is a utility that will do if from within windows (not that it helps any) - don't you have an oem label on your computer or a full retail label on the cd or manual?
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.