Knowledgebase: Misc. Tech Tips
Disk Maintenance: Scandisk
Posted by Clarke M on 03 April 2006 08:40 PM
Why does my computer always want to run scandisk after a it was powered off without going through the normal shutdown procedure?

To keep track of where all the various files and parts of files are the computer keeps records in a notebook called a File Allocation Table. Just for safety it keeps a backup copy of the FAT and sometimes has to use both to sort out mixups.
If your computer was working with files when the lights went out then it is possible that the actual location of your files and the address info stored in the FATs may not aggree.
How may this affect me?
You may try to open your email program and it attemps to get a list of your messages only to find that the 'Inbox' is totally scrambled. It tries to make sense of the mess then throws up its little binary hands and quits leaving you with some strange error message, and lost mail.
Note:This could also happen if your inbox received a message containing some weird characters.
Will I be able to recover lost files?
Sometimes scandisk might be able to get it all back...
Unfortunately this is not always possible.
Scanning disk for errors
When you run scandisk it will attempt to sort out your files and if there is data left over that no file claims it will give you the opportunity of saving it as a file or discarding.

Surface Scan
Scandisk can also check your disk to see if it has any problems storing data. If it finds any locations on your drive that are not suitable for storage it will make a note of them so that nothing will be ever be saved on that part of the magnetic disk surface. If you notice that it finds lots of 'bad sectors' or locates new ones on every scan it may be time to back up your data and replace the drive.
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