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I just plugged in my External HD and Windows 7 asked me to scan it for errors. I also noticed that some files that I just put on it from my Windows 7 machine dont work on my Macbook Pro Windows VM, it said they were corrupt.

Its common for me to transfer and use files this way without the CHKDSK prompt.

Is my drive going bad? Should I be concerned and get a new one?

Also, I read somewhere that you shouldn't just run CHKDSK unless you suspect something is wrong. Why? Is it bad for the drive?

(I always disconnect it properly. I don't just yank it out.)

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I run it once a week with /f switch. –  Aki Dec 16 '11 at 7:43
    
So is it normal for drives to have issues that chkdsk fixes? Also, whats the f switch do? technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb491051.aspx doesn't have an /f. –  Blankasaurus Dec 16 '11 at 7:58
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At least it has a sedative effect on me while reporting "errors 0". ;-) ss64.com/nt/chkdsk.html –  Aki Dec 16 '11 at 8:46
    
yeah, replace it and send me the old one..;-> –  Moab Dec 16 '11 at 16:22
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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

CHKDSK usually comes up if your boot record has a Dirty flag on it. This flag usually shows up when you unplug the USB drive with out eject, a smart error is detected, some other Windows service detects some issues and continues to mark it dirty.

Sometimes it is very annoying because it just keeps on comming back.

Some suggestions:

  • Convert the drive to NTFS, reduces this messages because NTFS tries to fix itself before compalingin.
  • Run a fill HDD Scan - Use the verify option, any bad blocks will be shown and it also shows you a nice graph or performance. Veriyy is slow because it reads the sectors twice, don't use this to benchmark the drive. Just for testing if it is OK
  • If it persists, backup your data and do a FULL format using this tool- Be careful do not format your windows drive. This software uses BIOS format and clear all sectors, this helps to revive bad sectors sometimes. Windows format is OK, but does not reset the MBR. After this format you will need to recreate partitions. This can take a long time, just let it run.
  • If all that fails, it is hardware fault, send it for warranty or just do not rely on it as a sole backup.
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I do not think there's anything wrong with your drove and you do not have to replace your drive yet.

What is the file system of your drive? Is it FAT32 or NTFS?

If you're using a FAT32 drive then an accidental power outage or unsafe removal of the drive (yanking it out) can cause files on the drive to get corrupted and will warrant a disk check. NTFS is more robust but that doesn't mean it doesn't suffer from the same issue either.

Once in a while, though, you'll need to run CHKDSK to verify the file system's integrity. It doesn't mean your hard drive is coming down or anything bad is about to happen.

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NTFS. So just because the drive had a couple corrupt files does not mean that it is a hardware issue necessarily? –  Blankasaurus Dec 16 '11 at 15:18
    
No it is not a hardware issue. Just do a scan with CHKDSK and everything should be fixed. –  Alex Essilfie Dec 16 '11 at 15:21
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I also see this warnings regulary. So far they never predicted a failure. Though it happened to me that a drive failed without such a warning.

So warning or not - be sure to have your data on a second drive. As backup - not replacement.

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