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Corrupt Windows XP NTFS volume results in CHKDSK "problems with the file system" or "unspecified error"

Posted on 2011-10-30
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Last Modified: 2012-10-04
After a power glitch, my Windows XP NTFS boot disk was corrupted. I was able to extract the most critical data files but I would like to try to make it bootable again.

I mounted the drive on another Windows XP SP3 system and accessed the drive via a USB/ATA adapter. Running CHKDSK multiple times seemed to result in fewer errors each time, but I've run into a roadblock. Here's what CHKDSK reports:

========================================


C:\Documents and Settings\username\Desktop>chkdsk e: /f /v
The type of the file system is NTFS.
Volume label is System.

CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 3)...
File verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 3)...
Correcting error in index $SII for file 9.
Index verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 3)...
Inserting an index entry with Id 5581 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 5706 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 5707 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 5708 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 5709 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 5710 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 5737 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 5738 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 5745 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 5807 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6009 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6079 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6086 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6128 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6227 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6260 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6263 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6264 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6265 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6266 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6267 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6270 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6271 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6272 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6273 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6274 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6275 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6276 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6279 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6280 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6281 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6282 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6283 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6284 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6285 into index $SII of file 9.
Insufficient disk space to correct errors
in index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6287 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6288 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6289 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6290 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6291 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6292 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6293 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6294 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6295 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6296 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6297 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6298 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6299 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6300 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6301 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6302 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6303 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6304 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6305 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6306 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6307 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6308 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6309 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6310 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6311 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6312 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6313 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6314 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6315 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6316 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6317 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6318 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6319 into index $SII of file 9.
Repairing the security file record segment.
Security descriptor verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
Repairing Usn Journal $J data stream.
Usn Journal verification completed.
Correcting errors in the master file table's (MFT) BITMAP attribute.
CHKDSK discovered free space marked as allocated in the volume bitmap.
Windows found problems with the file system that could not be corrected.

 204145952 KB total disk space.
  66646540 KB in 136937 files.
     47048 KB in 13447 indexes.
         0 KB in bad sectors.
    292052 KB in use by the system.
     65536 KB occupied by the log file.
 137160312 KB available on disk.

      4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
  51036488 total allocation units on disk.
  34290078 allocation units available on disk.

========================================

So I run it again:

C:\Documents and Settings\username\Desktop>chkdsk e: /f /v
The type of the file system is NTFS.
Volume label is System.

CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 3)...
File verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 3)...
Correcting error in index $SII for file 9.
Index verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 3)...
Inserting an index entry with Id 6279 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6280 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6281 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6282 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6283 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6284 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6285 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6286 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6287 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6288 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6289 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6290 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6291 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6292 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6293 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6294 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6295 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6296 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6297 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6298 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6299 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6300 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6301 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6302 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6303 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6304 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6305 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6306 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6307 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6308 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6309 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6310 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6311 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6312 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6313 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6314 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6315 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6316 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6317 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6318 into index $SII of file 9.
Inserting an index entry with Id 6319 into index $SII of file 9.
Repairing the security file record segment.
An unspecified error occurred.

========================================

Advice appreciated.

Thanks!
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Question by:sldiamond
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26 Comments
 
LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:torimar
ID: 37055232
CHKDSK is a dangerous tool; it may do more harm than good. Great to know that you saved your critical data before giving it a try.

If you wish to check whether the filesystem is still repairable, I suggest you play around with TestDisk for a while:
http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

Check out all of the documentation, most of all these pages:
http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Step_By_Step
http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/Advanced_NTFS_Boot_and_MFT_Repair

You may be lucky, but there is no way to tell what damage CHKDSK has already caused while trying to repair. The MFT is usually backed up, so that it may be restored. As it looks, CHKDSK may have been accessing that backup....
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 37055334
i would test the drive first, to be sure about it's status
best download UBCD and run the diag for your disk brand : http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 37055742
Was there any data. Copy operation going n while the power issue happened?
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Author Comment

by:sldiamond
ID: 37056931
Thanks to all for their comments.

torima: I made an image copy of the old disk onto a new disk for purposes of repair, so any damage that CHKDSK might do is reversible, i.e. I could start over if you could point me to something better than CHKDSK for restoring NTFS file system integrity. My objective is to be able to boot this drive under Windows XP, not to extract any specific files which I can already do. I ran testdisk and it said it was repairing the MFTs, but the CHKDSK problems are not solved. I couldn't find any overall file system repair features listed for testdisk a la CHKDSK; am I missing that feature?

nobus:I ran a disk test and there are no bad sectors. But see my response above; this is a new disk image copied from the old disk.

noxcho: I don't know for sure what was happening at the moment of the power glitch but I wouldn't be surprised.

Thanks for the suggestions. Any further advice about getting CHKDSK to complete successfully, or a replacement for CHKDSK?
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 37056965
If there was copy data operation going on then CHKDSK will not fix the system to bootable stage. Forget about it and reformat the drive.
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Author Comment

by:sldiamond
ID: 37057151
noxcho: When you say a "copy data operation" what do you mean exactly? I was not doing a copy command at the time, if that's what you mean. But XP can be writing files even when the operator isn't doing anything.
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Expert Comment

by:torimar
ID: 37057200
CHKDSK was trying to fix the Master File Table when it crashed. TestDisk is able to deal with the MFT as well (see my link above), and it is known to be better than the Microsoft tool. Hence if TestDisk should succeed in replacing your broken MFT with a working copy, then your disk might return to a bootable state.
But of course, the filesystem will always be a patched filesystem; you should refrain from running chkdsk on it and there is no guarantee for it to work error free. The only way to regain a 100% properly working filesystem after an incident like yours would be to wipe the partition and reformat, as noxcho said.
0
 

Author Comment

by:sldiamond
ID: 37057360
torimar: I will start over with a new copy of the disk image, then run TestDisk first and see if the system will boot. I understand the caveats about running a "patched filesystem" as you say.
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 37057587
>>  this is a new disk image copied from the old disk  <<  possibly you copied the problem also then to the new disk
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Author Comment

by:sldiamond
ID: 37057890
nobus: Yes, the NTFS file system logical problems were copied over--it was a sector by sector image copy not a file copy. The point of copying from the old disk to the new disk was to allow experimentation without making any permanent changes.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 37058307
ok - did you try a repair install yet ?  http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm
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Author Comment

by:sldiamond
ID: 37121919
I've made some progress but I'm still not able to boot Windows XP.

It turns out that the fix to the Windows XP CHKDSK errors was to run Windows 7 CHKDSK from the DVD. After a couple of passes, there are no CHKDSK errors and you can view the Windows XP directory from the Windows 7 DVD command line.

But when I try to boot the system, I get a "DISK BOOT FAILURE" error message. If I boot into the Windows XP CD in repair mode, it doesn't see the Windows XP installation. And a DIR gives "an error occurred during directory enumeration" error message.

I mounted the disk with Ubuntu and it can see the Windows XP partition fine.

Why can't Windows XP see the contents of the NTFS partition, while Windows 7 and Ubuntu can?

Any ideas?
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 37122818
Is xp partition set active?
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Author Comment

by:sldiamond
ID: 37122849
@noxcho, yes the XP partition is set active/bootable.

I decided to make a slipstreamed XP SP3 CDROM to see if that would be able to "see" the Windows installation, and I was right. Now I can use the XP SP3 CDROM repair function, not just Windows 7.

But when I boot the computer, I still have the same problem "DISK BOOT FAILURE."

Now that I can "see" the Windows install, I am thinking to run FIXBOOT and if that doesn't help, FIXMBR.

Any suggestions?
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 37123152
FIXMBR is not much help in your case. Use FIXBOOT.
Also if you are able to boot into Windows 7 on the same machine and browse XP partition under it then browse it and find out if XP boot files are there:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457123.aspx
0
 

Author Comment

by:sldiamond
ID: 37123198
@noxcho, I ran FIXMB R and FIXBOOT but the computer still gives me a "DISK BOOT FAILURE" error.

I do not have Windows 7 on that machine but I can access the XP partition from the XP install disk repair option.

The article you provided does not discuss resolving the "DISK BOOT FAILURE" error.
0
 
LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Rob Miners
ID: 37123292
Physically check all cable connections on the motherboard to make sure that they are inserted correctly.

Also check the Capacitors around the CPU for swelling or bulging.

Check your BIOS settings, to make sure that the HDD is being correctly detected. Check the Boot order and make sure that the CD Rom is first, then HHD. Remember to save the settings if you make any changes before you exit BIOS.

If the HDD isn't detected try replacing the IDE/Sata cable and if it's an IDE HDD make sure that the Jumper is set to Master.

Note: A damaged or insufficiently charged internal battery can corrupt CMOS or BIOS settings. An indicator of a failing CMOS battery is having to reset the computers time and it can also cause problems during POST, such as HDD detection.
0
 

Author Comment

by:sldiamond
ID: 37123541
As a test, I installed another hard disk on the same IDE port and installed Windows XP on it successfully, e.g. it boots.

So I don't think the problem is a BIOS setting, cable, capacitors, or battery.

What corrupted/missing files can cause the "DISK BOOT FAILURE" error?
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Rob Miners
ID: 37123747
Try this from your W7 DVD:

At the command prompt type in this command and press the Enter key.

bootsect.exe /nt52 c:

Reboot the machine with your XP CD and press the first R to enter the Recovery Console.

At the recovery command prompt type in these commands pressing the Enter key after each one.

diskpart

list disk  'to check that it is viewable and that you select the right one, the main is normally disk 0

select disk 0

select partition 1

active

Now type

EXIT to exit the diskpart session

fixmbr

fixboot

Restart the PC with the XP CD removed.

If that doesn't work then you have a bad HDD that is slowly dying.

If an active partition can't be found or if the boot sector information is missing or corrupt, you would get an error message like these:
 
Error loading operating system
Missing operating system
NTLDR is missing

Your error message is DISK BOOT FAILURE it isn't getting to the boot sector. It's probably because your HDD is bad or the Controller card is faulty.
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LVL 93

Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 498 total points
ID: 37123749
here is my way of handling it :
Boot using the Windows XP installation disk, press R. Then type the following commands:
note : you can test after each command

      FIXMBR
      FIXBOOT
      BOOTCFG /rebuild

      cd\
      copy E:\i386\NTLDR c:\
      ATTRIB -arsh ntldr
      copy e:\i386\NTDETECT.COM
      ATTRIB -arsh ntdetect.com c:\

E: should be the location of your CDRom where you have the Windows install disk located.
and check if those files are in the root :   NTLDR   boot.ini     ntdetect.com

Contents of the boot.ini file :
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect

check this too for more info :  http://tinyempire.com/notes/ntldrismissing.htm#What_if_none_of_the_options_worked?
0
 
LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 37124230
The article was given to you so you could check if the listed files are there on active system partition. I mean the files listed in the article. Please do not ignore the article only because you could not find there Disk Boot Failure word combination.
0
 

Author Comment

by:sldiamond
ID: 37143293
Thanks to all.

I tried all the suggestions above, including FIXMBR, FIXBOOT, BOOTCFG, copying over NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM, with no success; still getting DISK BOOT FAILURE.

The HDD I'm using is a new drive, but the IDE controllers are on the motherboard and they or the cables might have a problem. I'm going to switch over to the other IDE connector (there are two) and try all the above suggestions again to see if that will work.

I will also go back and check the files in the article mentioned by noxcho.
0
 
LVL 14

Accepted Solution

by:
Rob Miners earned 501 total points
ID: 37143346
If it's an IDE HDD and it's the only HDD that you are running make sure that your Jumper is set to either Master or CS. If you look at the IDE Slots on the motherboard you should see in fine print something like IDE0 or IDE1, or IDE1 or IDE2. Try connecting to another IDE slot and make sure that you are on the last connector on the IDE cable.
0
 
LVL 47

Assisted Solution

by:noxcho
noxcho earned 501 total points
ID: 37144171
You can see if IDE cable is the problem by booting this machine from Parted Magic CD. If it sees your internal drive then problem not in cable.
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:sldiamond
ID: 37266586
The answers were thoughtful and appreciated, and eliminated potential reasons for the failure but did not provide a solution.
0
 
LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 37266679
you should have kept in touch - and post results
we see ONLY what you post, and can only comment on that..
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