SBS Problem with NTFS flagging data drive 'dirty' and causing people to be unable to save there

Posted on 2011-10-17
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi, on sporadic occasions (once in the last 4 weeks and 3 times in the week prior) our data drive flags as dirty and we then have problems saving data onto there (and i worry that we may  be losing data too). When a chkdsk /x is performed various error messages are raised and none are consistently present, sometimes problems with MFT, sometimes security descriptors.

The discs are 15k SAS used in RAID 10 on PERC 5i with a hot spare.

I had a similar problem a lot of years ago and it turned out to be extremely long path/name combinations so i exported a 'dir' command of the entire disk and used excel to display the total length of the path/title and sort them by this length. I renamed or deleted anything which was greater than 180 characters but in this case it has not helped.

Does anyone have any help they can share please?


Question by:Concept_Wes
    LVL 30

    Expert Comment

    How is the cache on the PERC set up ,wright back or write through?

    Dynamic or traditional volumes?

    Anything in the performance logs?

    Which version of SBS?
    Have you run the SBS best practices analyzer?

    Author Comment


    The RAID level is 5 on the problematic virtual disk, the read policy is No Read Ahead, and the write policy is Write Through. The Disk Cache policy is disabled.

    It is a traditional volume created through Acronis Disk Director 2011 Server.

    I am unsure of the key counters in the performabce monitor - please could you elaborate?

    It is version 2008 SBS, the best practices analyzer has not shown anything regarding this of note, just a few missing patches.


    LVL 30

    Expert Comment

    You can try this and see if the issues go away.

    Click on the Start menu and open the run dialog.
    2. Type "cmd" and return (without quotes)
    3. Next type "fsutil dirty query <letter of drive that chkdsk keeps checking>" (for example, C:
    4. If the returned message indicates that the volume is dirty, go to step 5
    5. Next type "chkdsk <drive letter> /f /x"
    If you get this below answer YES.
    Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another
    process. Would you like to schedule this volume to be
    checked the next time the system restarts? <Y/N>
    6. After that finishes, repeat step 3.
    7. If the volume is no longer dirty, reboot and chkdsk should not reappear.

    You could also run a consistency check on the PERC virtual containers to see if there are any parity errors.

    The other things I would look at would be firmware levels for the controller and  device drivers for it.
    LVL 30

    Accepted Solution

    I also would seriously look at the Acronis disk director as a possible culprit too .I have seen way too many issues with 3rd party apps.

    Also ,are you running any defrag apps (like Diskeeper)?
    What's your backup app?

    Author Comment


    The fsutil command brings back no dirty bit being set, however the chkdsk (which is a data partition n:) completes perfectly with the :

    Correcting errors in the master file table's (MFT) BITMAP attribute.
    Windows has made corrections to the file system.

    at the end of each run (I must have done this 30 times today to see if I can see the back of it.

    I am running the parity check now (is it the consistency checker in OpenManage?) - the firmware levels are all up to date as per the Dell website and get green ticks in the OpenManage interface. I will post back the results of the consistency checker when complete.

    I am suspicious of the creation tool too as I have done quite a bit of research around this and some other sites pointed to this - problem however is that i cannot shrink resize and re-initiate this huge partition until I can guarantee the consistency of it - catch 22! I use the inbuilt backup program and no defrag apps.

    Thanks again

    LVL 30

    Expert Comment


    Author Closing Comment

    Guys, thanks so much for the help - I managed to move all data onto a temporary drive and delete the partition, then recreate using Computer Manager in Administrative tools, and moving data back - all seems to be well for now!

    Can only assume that the partition created by Acronis was to blame?



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