Strange problem on Windows and How I solved it

2 days ago; I have encountered a very strange problem. Out of nowhere, Windows started to report errors while writing to the disk and told me to run chkdsk.

Well, I did. It said that it solved some problems associated with the file system. After a while, it started popping up errors in the file system again.. Since I haven’t restarted the system in a while (I always use it in standby mode, even my desktop :p) I thought a restart could solve some problems.

After I restarted, the file system was gone.. It turned into a RAW file system. I discovered this after I inserted my Bart’s PE live cd. I actually intended to use the live cd to backup my files to my external hard drive, but I could not access my boot partition.

Then I tried the Ubuntu Live cd, strangely Ubuntu was able to see the contents of the partition, and was seeing it as a NTFS file system. I thought I could copy my files from here, and then possibly reformat the partition as NTFS. However, although Ubuntu (at least v7.04 -I only have that one as a live cd-) provides read access to NTFS disks, it does not provide write access by default. You need to install an application called NTFS-3g to do that job. I think this is pretty standard behaviour by the way, it should be installed by default.

Anyway, after trying to install it for some time, I was unsuccessful, it complained about the C compiler not being able to create an output file I think. Being unsuccessful in my attempt, I returned back to the Windows platform to find a solution.

I inserted my Windows XP installation CD and went into the Recovery Console.

>fixmbr

It did not seem to do anything. It just said that the partition was corrupted.

>fixboot

It also said the partition was corrupted but identified the partition as NTFS, thus restoring access for chkdsk to fix the problems of the filesystem. (chkdsk does not work with RAW file systems, naturally)

After letting

>chkdsk

run for what I think was 10-15 minutes, the file system was restored and I was able to boot into my Windows XP successfuly. Though I should probably format and reinstall my operating system. It’s been a while now. I install many applications to try them out and it becomes sluggish after some time 🙂

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