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Microsoft Data Storage Windows

Microsoft Redesigns chkdsk For Windows 8, Improves NTFS Health Model 219

MojoKid writes "Microsoft can't do anything to magically make hard drives stop failing when parts go bad, but Redmond is rolling out a new NTFS health model for Windows 8 with a redesigned chkdsk tool for disk corruption detection and fixing. In past versions of the chkdsk and NTFS health model, the file system volume was either deemed healthy or not healthy. In Windows 8, Microsoft is changing things up. Rather than hours of downtime, Windows 8 splits the process into phases that include 'Detect Corruption,' 'Online Self-Healing,' 'Online Verification,' 'Online Identification & Logging,' and 'Precise & Rapid Correction.'"
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Microsoft Redesigns chkdsk For Windows 8, Improves NTFS Health Model

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  • Why is Online Self Healing different and from "Make the damn FS work properly"?

    WTF FS is that has problems that can be fixed online?

    • Re:New options? (Score:5, Informative)

      by The MAZZTer ( 911996 ) <megazzt&gmail,com> on Saturday May 12, 2012 @04:26PM (#39981145) Homepage
      "Online" as in "don't dismount the disk while we fix it, so you can continue to use it".
      • In other words big ass journals and lots of buffering. Sounds like a Microsoft solution; just give us more RAM and drive space.

        • Re:New options? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by zippthorne ( 748122 ) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @06:14PM (#39981725) Journal

          RAM is cheap. Why not use it?

          • Less efficiency = more room for errors.
          • RAM is cheap. Why not use it?

            That kind of thinking is why whenever you buy a computer or even an Android phone, you have a ton of things loaded in memory at startup that you don't even like, let alone actually use. It's also why Pac-Man on an iPod is a 50-megabyte app when the game used to fit in like 3k of ram.

            • Pac-Man is from an era when RAM was not cheap. According to a quick googling, the game fit on a 16k ROM, and had only 2k of RAM available for actual program use.

              To be equivalent, pac-man on iPod would have to be a a 1-gigabyte app...

              That kind of thinking is why whenever you buy a computer or even an Android phone, you have a ton of things loaded in memory at startup that you don't even like, let alone actually use.

              The problem with that isn't those things are occupying memory. Memory unused is wasted. The problem is that those things have to be loaded from a disk. RAM is cheap, but disk is slow.

    • Er, because any filesystem can have nonfatal minor errors? For example a filesystem that uses a bitmap to track free space (like NTFS does) can have that bitmap corrupted by bad sectors or whatever. Things like that are sufficiently simple that you can attempt a repair while the volume is online, without major risk of failure.

  • by marcello_dl ( 667940 ) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @04:30PM (#39981175) Homepage Journal

    here the highlight.

    if disk.mbr.has_grub
        for part in disc.partitions
              if part.type.not_ours
                  chair.throw() # dammit... let's do something about it
                  part.raw_write(offset=random(1,part.size),data=random(1,255)) # voila'
              end if
          end for
    end if

  • I'm glad that this does not mean over the internet.
  • by Citizen of Earth ( 569446 ) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @04:31PM (#39981181)

    phases that include 'Detect Corruption,'

    Given the other phase names, I surprised the marketing department didn't call this "Detect Awesomeness!".

  • by schwit1 ( 797399 ) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @04:37PM (#39981215)

    chkdsk is a standalone app. Can I use v8 on my v7 OS?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 12, 2012 @05:14PM (#39981401)

      Part of what the team has been doing since Windows 7 is to refactor large monolithic DLLs (like kernel32 and advapi) into smaller DLLs that are layered more properly and quicker to load (due to reduced size). Windows 8 continues this work. This is part of the whole "minwin" effort that lots of people in the (external to MS) rumor mill got excited about a few years back. (At least minwin is what they used to call it. Core system is another term used later.)

      As a result of this work, in Win7 and Win8, most binaries you find in system32 depend on newfangled DLLs not present in a downlevel system and will thus not load on an older version of the OS. So I doubt it. (Not to mention that this new thing in particular, since it's about modifying online filesystems, might depend on new ioctls or other hooks in ntfs.sys or maybe some other driver - though I can't say I know that for sure.)

      -Former Windows dev.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      In the past it has been possible to run newer versions of chkdsk on older versions of the filesystem, just not on the older version of the OS. Chkdsk for Windows 7 requires the NTFS driver from Windows 7 so won't work on XP, but you can boot a Windows 7 install disc and run chkdsk on an XP partition.

  • Next Gen File system (Score:5, Informative)

    by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @04:40PM (#39981247)

    I was curious as to why MS is continuing on with NTFS, surely there must be something newer coming out of their R&D labs. So a quick google turned up this from the same blog, but earlier this year: building the next generation file system for windows refs []

    • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @04:44PM (#39981259)

      In fact the whole blog is interesting Building Windows 8 []

    • surely there must be something newer coming out of their R&D labs.

      Yes, they have something newer that they will release with GNU Hurd, when it comes out . . .

    • by Trepidity ( 597 )

      I believe ReFS is only going to be included in the Server version of Windows 8, not the regular one, which will stick with NTFS.

    • by Elbart ( 1233584 )
      A filesystem with all these features [] missing must be good, right?
    • surely there must be something newer coming out of their R&D labs

      You want something new out of MS labs on your computer?

      • I said it many time, MS Research is not MS Product...
        Go read the best paper on Monads called :

        Tackling the Awkward Squad: monadic input/output, concurrency, exceptions, and foreign-language calls in Haskell

        or a recent one named :

        A monad for deterministic parallelism

        , those are world acclaimed pure CS research papers. A part of it went into F# and another went to LINQ. But the rest of it is still not productivized...

        A similar thing could be said about the series of papers on the Courrier device but like almost everything else from MS research they failed to productivizeit.

  • The Professional Edition will include a DVD of Daily Affirmation with Stuart Smalley, in case the user blames himself for the computer's failure during stressful times.

  • I remember being told not to run chkdsk on my ext2 volumes because a) there was no need and b) more harm than good. I never once ran it on a Linux desktop. And forget about defrag. Is there some reason NTFS can't do this?
  • How can chkdisk fix corrupted hardware? Yes, "disk corruption" is about hardware, not about a filesystem. It would need low level interfaces to the actual controllers (these days inside the drive) and do things most vendor support software doesn't even do. So the summary is blatantly wrong, you can't fix a broken disk with chkdsk, not even the new version.

    What they are actually doing is classifying 18 different forms of filesystem corruptions and are building the OS and filesystem drivers in such a way tha
  • Wake me up when there's pervasive Reed-Solomon error correction everywhere.

  • The number 1 feature I want in current filesystems is block-level checksums.
    I've had to perform data recovery for a number of people recently (yes, backups help, but sometimes having them just 24 hours out of date means there are advantages to attempting to recover the data off the failed or failing drive or array)

    Now, using a combination of tools I've been able to get the faulty drive to give me back data, but I've got no way whatsoever of knowing if the data it's given back to me is actually the data that was stored on it in the first place.

    Having end-to-end checksums would easily allow me to assign a confidence level to data recovery procedures, letting me know that the data I have retrieved is what was stored - it would also allow better control over operations like fsck or chkdsk if the blocks that hold metadata are also checksummed, that way it would be possible to tell if a block has been randomly corrupted somehow, or if it's stored as intended.

You know, Callahan's is a peaceable bar, but if you ask that dog what his favorite formatter is, and he says "roff! roff!", well, I'll just have to...