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Reluctant reset of dirty bit

Posted on 2009-07-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
How can I reset a reported dirty bit when << chkdsk /f and /r >> show no problem, and running << chkdsk /r >> through recovery console does not resolve? (Win XP Pro).

I have also tried using a new hard disk (employing a mirror image of original) but problem remains.

Short of reformatting and reloading everything bit by bit on one of the hard drives, is there anything else I can try?
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Question by:mike_oram
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11 Comments
 
LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:theProfessa
ID: 24863689
To fix this problem you should go to Start -> Run -> "cmd"

In the command prompt type in "fsutil dirty query X:"  x being the drive in question
This checks to see if the drive is dirty or not.

Next type in "CHKNTFS /X D:"  <- This tells Windows not to check the drive at the next startup.
Reboot the computer and do a manual CHKDSK by typing "Chkdsk /f /r d:"  This will do a full check up and remove the dirty bit
Then type in "fsutil dirty query x:" to confirm that the drive is no longer dirty and you should be set.

Hopefully this helps!
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Author Comment

by:mike_oram
ID: 24863914
Tks Professa but I have already done precisely all that (which prompted my question here) - except the drive in question is c: , which I take should appear where you have "d:"...
If that is not correct and I need to put "d:" even though my problem drive is c: , please let me know.
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:theProfessa
ID: 24863999
My mistake, C: is correct.
You can try this registry edit from:
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm

Go to Disable or Enable Check Disk on boot
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Author Comment

by:mike_oram
ID: 24864374
Tks again Professa but I sense that would only hide my problem upon boot; not solve it. If the dirty bit remains set I cannot (eg) defragment.
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 24867112
it is possible the disk has a problem; i suggest running the disk diag you need :   http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287
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Author Comment

by:mike_oram
ID: 24870281
Thank you Nobus. I have in fact alrady run all HD tests using SeaTools for Windows (my system hard drives are Seagate and Maxtor) and they show up fine.  Whenever I run tests for a 'dirty bit' on both drives, the drive booted from shows DIRTY, whereas the other shows NOT dirty. If I swap over through reboot, that which earlier showed NOT dirty is then (as C:) reported as DIRTY.

From all this I am wondering if it is the MFT that is somehow corrupt (having been loaded as a mirror image).  The MFT each drive is in two fragments which, under normal conditions I understand should in itself not be a problem.  I have tried increasing the MFT to much higher size (4GB) but to no effect upon the problem.
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 24871328
did you image those drives?  then you copied the problem on both...
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Author Comment

by:mike_oram
ID: 24871454
Yes, I imaged...as my original post.
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 24876295
try running chkdsk from safe mode :
>>>  . Finally I tried a chkdsk /f from a Command prompt in Safe Mode. To my surprise this worked and solved the problem. Why the use of Safe Mode made a difference escapes me having many times seen the same checks executed at boot up before Windows starts up.   <<< 
from :
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/WinXP/Q_21469100.html
 
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Accepted Solution

by:
mike_oram earned 0 total points
ID: 24893096
Thanks nobus,

Before I received your last post I tried another solution myself which has appeared to work splendidly. If the problem of a recaletrant dirty bit comes up again, I shall certainly try what you have suggested.

The solution that has worked my my case has been achieved through the Windows Recovery Console. This was achieved in two stages - a bit lengthy but the dirty bit has been reset and in fact file access is being achieved much faster than even before the problem became aparent.

Accessing the Recovery Console, I first re-ran a disk repair (chkdsk /r) at the first screen. Then I rebooted again from the XP Pro Disk (in my case I have a disk) and selected the install Windows XP option. This caused a search for for what is already installed and offered me the option of reinstalling or repairing. I chose 'Repair".

The whole process took a great deal of time, with a series of reboots and then online updates.  But, as I have said, everything is now working fine. I am presently reformatting the drive which had the mirror image with the problem.
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 24893706
if no more help is needed, don't forget to close your question !
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