Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Windows 8's new Chkdsk and drive activity after scan

  1. #1

    Posts : 12
    Windows 8 Pro 64bit

    Windows 8's new Chkdsk and drive activity after scan


    I have some questions regarding the new Chkdsk in Windows 8 (I'm using Windows 8.1 Pro 64bit).
    Please note that Windows 8's Chkdsk has changed considerably since the previous Windows versions; so if you know about the Chkdsk in Windows 7 or previous Windows versions, this could not apply to the Chkdsk in Windows 8.
    I also point out that I'm talking about the GUI version, accessible from the drive's properties Window.

    My main questions are: when Chkdsk has finished scanning, and the results window appears, can I at once proceed with the following, or should I wait some time:
    1) In case of an external USB drive, disconnect the hard drive (with “safely remove hardware”, even if the cache is turned off), and turn it off.
    2) In case of an internal drive (HDD or SSD), reboot Windows, or turn off the computer.

    My worry is that if I would disconnect a USB drive, or reboot or turn off the PC in case of an internal drive, before the Chkdsk-related activity is finished, then the file-system of the disk in question could get damaged.

    My doubts come from the following facts:

    - I have been told that when the Chkdsk results window appears, this means that Chkdsk has finished working with that drive; but I have noticed that some short drive activity is happening some seconds (about 6) after the results window appears (should be a write activity, not sure if also read activity). I noticed this by observing the LED on my USB drives, and also by monitoring the drives in question with Windows 8's new Taskmanager.

    - In case of disconnecting USB drives, I have been told that I can be sure that if some drive activity is happening, then the “safely remove hardware” feature won't have effect, and would warn me that there is disk access going on; but I have tried to select “safely remove hardware” while Chkdsk was in the middle of a scan, and the result was that Chkdsk got interrupted (with an error messsage appearing probably from Chkdsk), and the USB hard drive got removed. Though this seems not to have caused any file-system errors (I did another Chkdsk scan later).

    You may think that I just need to look at the drive's LED, or monitor the drive's activity with the new Taskmanager, and take note of after how much time the drive activity ceases. Then I would just need to wait so long before disconnecting the USB drive, or rebooting or turning off the PC.
    My problem here is that I'm not sure if the new Taskmanager, or the drive's LED, are sensible enough to detect even the smallest disk access, which could get unnoticed. I'm not sure how much I should wait... seconds? Minutes? What do you think? Perhaps there's no need to wait at all?

    I did some tests by disconnecting (with “safely remove hardware”) a USB drive shortly after doing a Chkdsk on it. Then I did another Chkdsk after turning it on again. I didn't get any error message from Chkdsk. But I'm still worried that there could be an unfortunate moment, during which a disconnection (still with “safely remove hardware”) could cause problems, perhaps because in that moment a write operation could be in process.

    I think I have read that the new Chkdsk in Windows 8 uses VSS (“Shadow Copy”) to check the drives while keeping them online. With this new Chkdsk, I think it is possible to continue using the drive while the scan is happening, even on the system drive.
    I was thinking about this: is it possible that the short activity which I have noticed after Chkdsk's results window appears, comes from this Shadow Copy Service, which is “unmounting” (?) the shadow copy used by Chkdsk?
    If this is true, is it important to let the “unmounting” task happen, or can I disconnect, reboot, or turn off before it starts? And what happens if I interrupt this “unmounting” task in the middle, while it is in process?

    What do you suggest? Am I being too worried, even paranoid?
    Does it make some sense to wait some time after doing a Chkdsk, or can I at once proceed to disconnect the USB drive, or reboot or turn off the PC (in case of internal drives)?


      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1

    Hi Thomas B,

    My responses to your primary concerns:

    What do you suggest? Am I being too worried, even paranoid?
    You are not too worried, you are observant IMHO.

    Does it make some sense to wait some time after doing a Chkdsk, or can I at once proceed to disconnect the USB drive
    It makes sense to wait until the HD activity light stops blinking. Once done, invoke safe removal and detach.

    In summary, what's a few more seconds? Its better to be safe than sorry. I think your logic is sound.

    Best regards,

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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