Windows Standalone ntfs disk scanning utility?


6pack

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I posted this on MyDigitalLife first. Just copying it here. Don't know if they allow such posts.

Long story below, sorry for the trouble.

start of frustrating experience

I'm an ubuntu user and have an old ntfs external portable 4TB hdd. I usually format all my portable disks to ext4 to not rely on ntfs and microsoft product. This drive was filled to capacity before i shifted to linux completely.

Recently In ubuntu i ran gparted on this drive and it showed thousands of errors and told me to run scandisk with /f option. The gparted error message is about a few thousand clusters referenced multiple times. I asked my neighbor to use his windows pc, but apparently he only has XP installed. I think XP has problem with usb3 devices? or I read somewhere not to use XP for scanning such errors.

I have just 4GB ram and a low end celeron processor NUC. (important). So i wanted something that could run through virtual box on my low end system.

So in search of running check disk or scan disk i searched the net and even MS site hoping for some free stuff. I found a winPE iso called medicat usb on some gaming forum. I think it was my mistake thinking it was a portable windows installation. In virtualbox it wouldn't run at all. Just gave error to check boot disk or device and restart.

So I tried downloading windows 10 x64 1906? or what the latest version of it was and tried running it in virtual disk.
No dice. After a hour and half of installation and restarting, it kept getting stuck on some OOOBE error one after another. Searching the Oracle forums I saw that versions of windows installer after 140x have this problem in virtual box. Since I couldn't find that version for download on Microsoft or other sites, I downloaded windows 8 32 bit sp3 since the 64 bit version was too resource heavy for my pc.

Windows 8 just wont let me install without any product key. Tried all the keys from here. Got fed up.
So I gave up installing windows 8. Microsoft sure goes a long way to make their software unusable for testing purposes. I don't understand why they don't have a stand alone disk scanning software for free that can run from a usb pen drive.

People say its easy to work on windows, but see what happens if you're outside that ecosystem ;(

end of frustrating experience
My last option is a very expensive one. Copy all the data off the 4TB hdd to a new 4TB ext4 formatted hdd and be rid of these headaches all together.


So can anyone help me with some standalone ntfs disk scanning utility which does not require windows to be installed?
 

Marcus Fenix

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I guess its better to link up with a local TE member with a Windows PC for this purpose. Experimenting with hacks prescribed on internet forums might lead to full data loss which is far worse.

Try getting someone with a powerful PC so that chdsk on a 4 TB HDD runs faster.

Where are you based out of?
 

6pack

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I stay in mumbai extended suburbs. I don't want to bother anyone on TE or otherwise for lot of reasons. Scanning a disk takes time like you said. It will be awkward sitting and staring at screen. if anything goes wrong, like pc restarting etc, it will be even more problem. The people i know who have computers dont use their computers like we do. For them its just email and web surfing and their systems are not updated from XP age. I've seen 2-3 toolbars and random stuff in start up people's pc. I would rather not connect my disk to such a pc.

I'll just see what i can do from my end. The disk just contains backup of anime. Nothing important. I'll just make a list of what has a copy up or not on the disk. Worst case scenario, i'll take bakup of the full disk when i get a new hdd and just format it. no need to waste time thinking too much about this i guess. I was just hoping for a fast method like scanning from dos disk or something.

Edit: got a 32 bit working key. will install 8 in a vm, scan disk and then uninstall it.

Edit 2: Ran chkdsk in GUI mode and windows fixed errors. Then i ran it in command prompt as admin and it again found errors. ran it third time and it did not find any errors. All this took like 10 minutes. Had to download 10GB of windows iso's to do this.
 
Last edited:

vishalrao

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So after running chkdsk then gparted also does not report any errors any more?

I was going to suggest you try VMware Player (free) to run the latest Win10 ISO.
 
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nRiTeCh

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@6pack There are lot of Te users residing in suburbs. They will be happy to help you out.
Meanwhile go through the below links for free virtual images for windows:


One of this should help you out. Try for Window 7 which will be light on your hardware.

Or grab any free Win 7/8 iso available on the net hosted by someone. You dont need the product key as you can simply skip and evaluate the product as by that time your prime motive will be accomplished.
 

6pack

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So after running chkdsk then gparted also does not report any errors any more?

I was going to suggest you try VMware Player (free) to run the latest Win10 ISO.
yes. no more errors in gparted too. windows 8 just straight up moved a folder and put it in found.000 folder in root of drive. It was 2.4GB size. there were 6 files of around 250-450Mb in there. 2 files became 0Kb rest were same sizes. I just deleted that found.000 folder in windows and ran check disk two more times. no more errors. 0 bad sectors on disk too.

Code:
CHKDSK discovered free space marked as allocated in the
master file table (MFT) bitmap.
CHKDSK discovered free space marked as allocated in the volume bitmap.

Windows has made corrections to the file system.
No further action is required.

   3815412 MB total disk space.
   3762716 MB in 13521 files.
      7264 KB in 1099 indexes.
         0 KB in bad sectors.
    201079 KB in use by the system.
     65536 KB occupied by the log file.
  53752436 KB available on disk.

      4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
976745727 total allocation units on disk.
  13438109 allocation units available on disk.
Luckily i had backup of that folder in another hdd.

@nRiTeCh, thanks for those links. I'll save them links for future use.

Edit: after looking at previous disk snapshot, i think it deleted some other files in another folder too. lol. I'll have to go folder by folder or search for 0Kb files to see what was deleted. :(
 
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6pack

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I stayed away from XP because the drive was a single GPT volume of 4TB. I dont like multiple volumes on disk. Also I was not sure if XP can handle such large volume disks formatted in newer OS like windows 8/10 in that 4k allocation unit that new drives have now.