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Once in a while, Windows XP hangs on my laptop (usually when going into standby or hibernate and occasionally on startup) and I have to forcefully poweroff. Ususally chkdsk never runs automatically (I thought it should know that the partitions have nit been unmounted and do that).

I religiously run chkdsk without /F after bad shutdowns like this, and invariably it reports that the drive has unfixed errors and must be checked with /F and I do that, and more often than not, the chdsk that runs on startup does not report fixing anything.

I have had times in the past (and not only just on this system) when not running chkdsk leads to some strange errors like files not opening even though they exist and inability to save certain files, so I make it a point to always chkdsk after bad shutdown.

I never understood why this is : Isnt the whole point of a journalling filesystem like NTFS to avoid file system corruption and endless chkdsks?

I even tried once disabling write caching to see if it made any difference, but to no avail....

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Your main problem is not the chdsk but rather the hangs you are getting. Try to resolve that instead. Maybe there is something wrong with your power setting in the bios, if not maybe it's just the windows. – Tomasi Apr 25 '10 at 3:22

From Microsoft support article:

CHKDSK may report that a disk is corrupted even when there is no real corruption present. This can happen if NTFS happens to modify areas of the disk on behalf of some program activity that CHKDSK is examining at the same time. To verify a volume correctly, the volume must be in a static state, and the only way to guarantee that state is to lock the volume. CHKDSK only locks the volume when /F or /R (which implies "F") is specified.

If that explains the problem, then the real question is probably:
Why is your computer doing heavy disk work when chkdsk is running?

Apart from the normal advice of turning off Microsoft's indexing service etc., there is always the possibility of a virus. If that's the case, the possible solutions are in order: (1) antivirus scans, (2) system repair, (3) total reinstall.

Make first sure that all your data is backed up.

Load and install some antiviruses, make sure they are up to date, and scan deeply your hard disk. I recommend using at least Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware. I also like Avast.

If no virus is found, use "sfc /scannow" to repair important Windows files (see this article).

Up till now, all the steps I suggested were not very harmful to the functioning of the computer. However, if the hangs and the chkdsk problem persist, you'll have to decide how far do you wish to go in my above list.

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A bad shutdown is usually caused by a bad disk. If you report bad sectors on start up, chances are your disk is going to fail. Better ghost or disk image your computer, replace the drive and restore.

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