How do I recover hard disks involving Scandisk and Chkdsk error
What is disk checking and repair software such as Scandisk, Chkdsk and Fsck?
Programs such as Scandisk, Chkdsk and Fsck are software utilities that are designed to find different types of errors and correct some file system errors on hard disks. Among other things, Scandisk checks the disk platters for defects and also looks for lost clusters that are sometimes created when a program aborts. In DOS, you can run Scandisk by entering scandisk at the prompt and pressing the Enter key. In Windows 9X, you can run Scandisk by selecting Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Scandisk.
If a computer is shutdown incorrectly (e.g. it crashes or there is a power cut etc) then this disk checking software will often start automatically the next time the computer is started. It will scan the hard disk and detect any errors to the file system and then attempt to repair them. On older Windows systems such as Windows 98, you are given an option as to whether you want the repair utility to run. On more modern Windows systems such as Windows 2000 and Windows XP, the repair utility will run automatically.
The disk checking program is not capable of diagnosing the correct problem (i.e. a faulty hard disk) and misdiagnoses it as a file system problem, and then attempts to (often automatically!) repair the problem. Data that was often fully recoverable now becomes damaged, fragmented and unrecoverable.
Why should I not run this disk checking software?
As mentioned in the above paragraph, Scandisk, Chkdsk and Fsck are software utilities that are designed to correct file system errors on hard disks. They are not and can not correct non-file system errors on hard disks.
Where many people become confused is that because their computer is triggering a disk checking utility, they automatically assume (as does the software) that they have a problem with the file system. Infact they may have a problem with their hard disk that has in turn caused a problem with the file system. So, although the symptoms are in most cases identical (i.e. the automatic triggering of Scandisk etc), the cause of the problem is rather different. In these instances, running disk checking software is to be avoided at all costs.
But my disk is triggering this utility, what should I do?
Do not allow the utility to run (watch the boot process and press ESC to cancel the utility when prompted - you have 10 seconds to do this), instead the computer will continue to boot into the Operating System. Then back up your important files to another different media (e.g. CD ROM).