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Computer crash = CHKDSK = any idea what this geek speak means

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I sent this to a computer programmer friend (?) of mine.........either he chose not to respond or he did not get the email or the email went off into the ether.

ANY comments on this would be appreciated since I had NOT experienced this before...........as I say below the computer now works as well as it ever did, but takes a long time to boot ( 3 minutes or so vs about 90 seconds ) while looking at the XP splash screen.

I included sequential pix of what happened.

Here is my email to my friend >>>>>

I am runniing this eMachine with Win XP Home with AVG Free and Malwarebytes and Win Patrol and Windows Firewall and Web Of Trust - I never click on any google item unless it is green.

Never had a problem til this AM.............I RESTARTED computer and got the CHKDSK screen in ATTACHMENT.
This progressed thru the 3 stated stages ...........see successive pix in ATTACHMENT.
The LAST blue screen had THOUSANDS of files judging by the numbers flying by and adding up that were DELETED (?)
I then got the BLACK SCREEN with the text on it about a BOOT DEVICE.
I could not get past this even with RESTARTING the computer.
Finally I left in frustration to shovel snow and came back and RESTARTED the computer.
I got the CHKDSK SCREEN again and this time CANCELLED the CHKDSK run.
It took a long time with the Windows XP splash screen ,but actually started Windows.
Things are working now, and the average bear would NOT think there is a problem
Seems like there is NO problem.

I did DL the latest version of Malwarebytes and will run a QUICK SCAN at least.
I will do that after I send this email.

I don't want you to spend TIME researching this since it is my problem.

NONE of the screen messages make any sense to me.
If you could just POINT me to what I should do besides hit C+A+D, I would appreciate it.
I would just like to know WHAT caused this if you know since THIS had never happened on any computer I've played with.

The pix are in order of their appearance of the CHKDSK run.

I ran Malwarebytes after updating and it came up CLEAN.
Again , as of now, the computer is running normally like it has been for the past several years.

Thanks in advance.

I hope I got the posting of pix to come out right.







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Your hard drive may have developed a bad or unreadable sector that involves the boot sector. The reason I say that is the last two black screens show the machine trying to find something to boot from. Without seeing your BIOS, what normally happens, is the machine looks for a floppy drive then a CD or maybe USB drive and then a hard drive, if it finds none of them it will default to the 'boot agent', or looking to boot from a network.

You can check the obvious - loose cables, etc. I have a machine that periodically won't boot til I wiggle the right wire. Barring that, being that it won't boot you might try to salvage any files to another machine/hard drive. That involves removing the questionable drive from your machine and using it as a slave in another machine.

Do I make sense?

Your drive may have gone south - you need to try to salvage what you can by putting it into another known good machine.

Keep us posted - Good Luck


Edited by Ski

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I too must agree with Ski.

Seagate for DOS , after you have salvage what you hate to lose


Be sure to follow Step#2

Be sure run both the long and short tests

Will tell you what it finds wrong.

Long test will most likely right away tell you it finds bad clusters.

Replace that HDD>

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I know they don't like CLICKABLE links to be posted..........so by adding extra PERIODS, I assume the link is NOT clickable >>>>>

5 Free Disk Imaging/Cloning Utilities for Windows

I got the info below from the above site..........I was leaning toward EaseUS but now it looks like Macrium will also work for me.

I AM LOOKING to do the SIMPLEST AND MOST FOOLPROOF ( ;>D ) way to COPY the failiing (?) hard drive I have now to another hard drive
I am hoping to copy the complete bad drive to the good new drive in ONE SHOT and then use the NEW drive to replace the BAD drive.

NEVER did this before, but I assume I would install the NEW drive as a slave or hook it to an EXTERNAL USB device
I would then have to format it as NTFS which is what my current drive is
The BAD drive is about 80 GB and the new one is small by today's standards but will likely be about 320 GB = both small I know.
So I could create a BOOTABLE 80 GB NTFS partition..........don't know if this is doable in either app below or I must use another app to partition and format in XP
Then use either app below to clone or image the BAD drive over
Lot of debate about which is better to do...........I don't care as long as the BAD drive is copied over in ONE SHOT
I would then uhook the BAD drive and replace with the GOOD drive and be off to the races ??
Obviously while doing this, Windows is up and runniing

Thanks for the previous replies ..........any steps I missed above ??
Any preference for choice of free apps to do it the way described above is appreciated.
I am a fairly experienced newbie, but have never done this before.


Macrium Reflect Free

You can clone a disk or image a disk. Cloning is better if you want to move everything on one disk to another hard disk, i.e. a larger disk. Imaging a disk can be scheduled whereas cloning has to be done manually. You can then restore the images to the same hard drive, a replacement hard drive or even to a new computer, though the last option will require a paid version of Macrium to restore to the new hardware.


EaseUS Todo Backup Free

Using the free version, you can only recover to the same disk or a new disk on the same machine. If you want to recover to new hardware, then you’ll have to purchase their paid software just like Paragon and Macrium do. Feature-wise, it’s closest to Paragon in terms of what it supports. You can restore using their WinPE bootable media and it works as expected.

I also found EaseUS Todo backup to be very easy to use, especially when following their online guides. Overall, it’s a great choice for a novice user.

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The way I do it is to install the new blank drive by itself. Install whatever operating system (OS) you are going to use. Make sure its' up and running and is OK. Shut it down and add the questionable drive to the system, drive D, E, F...Z or whatever. Assuming your OS can 'see' the drive, go ahead and copy off any files you want, or can get. From some of the screens above, your drive may be toast, hope not but..... (the value of a good back-up - believe me I have learned the hard way more than once!!)

Once you get a functioning computer, use any third party software you want or have to copy or move the good files to the good drive. Then, experiment, reformat, whatever to the old drive to see if it is salvageable.

Again - Good Luck and keep us posted.


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The reason I would do it that way is, if you can find a copier that will exactly duplicate the old drive, you now may have 2 drives that won't boot. If there is corrupt data along with bad sectors, that may be the case.

Either way, let us know - the bunch of us ought to be able to work you through it.


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The way I do it is to install the new blank drive by itself. Install whatever operating system (OS) you are going to use. Make sure its' up and running and is OK.


At this point is when I make a image of the OS partition. But I have found overall, the clean install has been the best route for me. Because I find that there were programs that were installed that time that I no long need or use.

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Not so fast!

If it is an XP-era machine, it every likely will have an IDE or EIDE (Integrated Device Electronics) with a PATA interface. (PATA: Parallel ATA). This uses the wide ribbon cable and a Molex power connector. It will be very hard to find a PATA drive other than via perhaps eBay or a friend's recycle stash. In either case it may not be a new drive which means you may be getting the same problem. If you DO find a new IDE drive (on eBay, perhaps) the cost per byte is a LOT more for a PATA versus the newer SATA (Serial ATA) drive.

So - some choices:

1) Find a PATA drive. Seagate, Maxtor (now part of Seagate) and Western Digital all have a utlity that will clone your working drive to the new drive. You put the new drive in with jumper set to SLAVE on the same ribbon as the old drive. When done, you pull the old drive, move the jumper on the new drive, and then connect the new drive to the END of the ribbon cable. I don't remember the names of the utilities other than long ago the Maxtor thing was called MaxBlast. For all three vendors, one of the drives must be one of their brands.

2) If you can only find a SATA drive, then for a few bucks you can get an PATA (IDE or EIDE should be mentioned) adapter card that goes on the end of the ribbon connector and coverts it to SATA so you can plut it into a SATA drive. This card does NOT consume a 'slot' on the motherboard - it just free-floats in the machine (although I'd tie it to something such that it won't touch motherboard, heat sink or (gulp!) a fan.

here is such an adapter on eBay:


Notice that it accepts the 40-pin PATA and the Molex power connector, and makes avaiiable a socket for a SATA cable to go to your new hard drive.

"never happened before" - probably because the drive hasn't been as old as now. There are bearings on the spindle that holds the drive platters. If they are getting worn then the position of the magnetic tracks could appear to the head to be out of alignment resulting in read errors. There are also bearings on the head actuator arm (think of the arm on a phonograph) and if they are wearing out that too can cause a misalignment.

If things get really bad then what happens is that you get 'cross-linked clusters' This means that the index as to where things are may detect that two (or more!) files appear to be occupying the same space - or for large files, portions may be overlapping which is probably even worse.

CHKDSK will try to repair things as best it can. For example, if it sees that one of the overlapping things is a file that has been deleted, it will just remove the deleted file from the index. (On file systems that aren't NTFS the index is the File Allocation Table - or FAT.)

[EDIT] - I noticed a couple of file names in the screens. They appear to be HTML files, which makes me think that they are files in the browser cache. Have you purged the browser cache lately? I don't use IE unless I really have to - but in IE it would be Tools -> internet Options -> General -> Delete Temporary Internet Files. Similar for Firefox.

Edited by NKTower

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Thanks a lot for the prompt load of help.

I have several NEW PATA drives bought back when.........so that is not a problem.

I also like to BE PREPARED so I bought several IDE to SATA converters back when since "you never know".

So on those scores I am prepared.

I will check the drive transfer apps from the manufacturers to clone the drive.

It was said above that at least ONE of the drives has to be from the manufacturer whose app you are using e.g. if the BAD drive is WD and the GOOD drive is Maxtor ( just doing that for an example ) then the clone app could be either from WD or Maxtor from what was said.

I use the Opera 12.16 browser exclusively and NEVER use IE for all the bad press.

I routinely DELETE USER DATA in Opera sometimes several times a day if browsing a lot.

One box is checked = delete entire cache.

Hopefully no problems and I'll keep you guys posted.

Thanks again.

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I use the Opera 12.16 browser exclusively

Shoot. I am running Opera 28 in Linux?


But it is 64bit only. No 32 bit packages.



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Just throwing my 2 cents in. I think you are getting good advice from SKI and Shay.

You have bad sectors in that hard drive. Cloning software will never get past a bad sector. You posted that you have some good drives. Like SKI posted, reinstall windows on a new drive, then add the bad drive as a slave and salvage what you can. Just salvage your PERSONAL FILES. Leave everything else alone to lessen the chance of transferring an infection. Keep this in mind, you can buy a re-certified medical computer for a couple hundred bucks. If you wait for a sale you can find them for less than a 100 bucks.

This is just another opinion for you to consider, it's up to you.....

Used Dell Computer

Dell at Tiger Direct

Edited by Smokey

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I get the Dell Optiplex 755 or 760 for clients. Free shipping.


Out 10 computers, one hdd went bad after a year..

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I posted the string of photos in this post which shows that I have a problem apparently with a hard drive going bad with BAD SECTORS.
I agree with the diagnosis in previous replies.

I am an experienced newbie treading in new waters with this problem.
I am trying to make my life as simple as possible IF that is possible = I would like to CLONE the HD going bad but still working and replace it with a WORKING CLONE ie remove the bad and replace with the good and be up and running ..........that is the game plan.

I have been googling all kinds of info about doing this and using free cloning software that many say will NOT work ie STOP cloning if it hits BAD SECTORS.

It seems that CLONEZILLA and ROADKILL'S RAW COPY are said to clone a HD with bad sectors = they will pass them up and keep on cloning.


The current HD still boots up, and if I bypass the blue CHKDSK screen and its three stages, it goes into Windows XP = again I know the warning about XP.

I keep my machines lean and mean albeit old and donated to me.

The computer works fine but yes, there is a problem, but you would not know there is a problem other than in its starting up.

It would seem that if the machine runs fine without a problem once it goes into Windows that it is NOT so messed up that I can't get a working clone at this time.


Is what I am trying to do, simply clone and replace with another HD "possible" at this stage = again I am trying to avoid a ton of reinstall and setup work - otherwise a REINSTALL of Windows would be the way to go and the best solution.

Any comments and warnings and caveats appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

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Worth a try, I have had good luck doing that generally.

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Sounds to me that this issue is driving you crazy. This thread tells us that you have a lot of time dealing with this problem (your words). If that time was spent re-installing XP it would be complete with all of your software re installed. You would be happy as heck! It doesn't take that long and you will end up with a good night sleep. You would be using your new HD so you could always change your mind halfway through but I am sure you will see it through. You said that xp works fine once you get past to boot issue but I'm sure that the new install will be so fast that you won't believe that you waited. Just do it for your own peace of mind! You have absolutly nothing to lose!!! We will be waiting to see you reply with a SMILE on your face soon.

Note; You will probably have to change the jumper location on the new HD to a single drive.

Note: After you put your old HD on a shelf and you are enjoying the new XP install on the new HD you can buy one of THESE usb adaptors to retrieve your personal files for your new XP install.

Have fun......

Edited by Smokey

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XP , a clean install every 2 years really helped with that OS. At 3 years, it drove me nuts like it is doing you.

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XP , a clean install every 2 years really helped with that OS. At 3 years, it drove me nuts like it is doing you.


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