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[–] lemon11 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

That sounds exactly like an aging hard drive: intermittent errors, eventual success. Replace the disk with a cheap SSD and give the machine new life.

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[–] TheRealMaestro [S] 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

I agree: I have already started research for an SSD to match my computer. Unfortunately as long as this index error persists, Windows Backup does not want to produce a disc image, which would be useful in transferring my current system state. Would you know either how to circumvent this, or solve the direct problem while I prepare for the long term solution?

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[–] lemon11 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Assume the system is too inconsistent to back up itself. Back up your own data, software license keys you paid for, settings that are inconvenient to regenerate as soon as possible, and keep the disk around to pull from in a new install.

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[–] CrustyBeaver52 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Hard drive tech eh? - It's been a while for me but I do know a lot about it.

First of all, it shouldn't be happening at all. Not these days. So, let me ask you a question - did you have a power failure while windows was writing to the drive? Or are you running any exotic code, or file encryption/compression software... file trading software - like Emule - stuff like that? Anything that might be writing to the drive in a non standard way?

Any sign of virus activity?

The question becomes how did the files get damaged in the first place. Second question, any sign of additional files being damaged since the original incident? Any sign of new files being damaged when written to the drive?

Has Windows marked any areas of the drive as damaged?

About hard drives - all drives have corruption from the factory - a low level format, performed at the factory, sets these areas aside and they are never accessed by the operating system. It is possible for new corruption to occur during regular use, and Windows can identify and permanently set aside such areas. Any sign of new corruption - on an ongoing basis - usually indicates the drive is failing and will have to be replaced. A one time occurrence does not necessarily indicate the drive itself is failing. Also, scrambled data does not in itself mean the drive has been damaged. Files can become scrambled from a variety of causes - and will even flip bits on occasion merely for the hell of it - data storage remains an imperfect science - hence the need for back ups.

So - your main issue is to determine if new damage is happening, or if it was just a one time occurrence. If it was just the one time you will probably be fine. Scandisk/Checkdisk has automated most of these functions now and can handle it. You probably lost at least a little bit of data. If it is an ongoing issue, you will have to identify the cause if possible - which may include getting a new hard drive and reloading the entire computer as a new machine.

I've seen this before - if the drive is going things usually get worse just before complete failure. Sometimes stripping the drive out and conducting a complete low level format can recover the drive - but then you will always be worried about it. Better in such case to buy a new drive and start over fresh. That way your mind will be at ease.

As a precaution at this time - consider backing up any data that you want to keep - not windows and all the program files - personal data, stuff you can't get back and you must have, in case the drive fails tomorrow. All of that other stuff can be restored from elsewhere.

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[–] TheRealMaestro [S] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Thank you very much for this thorough answer! I shall try to be the same in my replies; feel free to ask more if any other information would help.

So, let me ask you a question - did you have a power failure while windows was writing to the drive?

Yes, the error had started when Discord on the day after an automatic update froze when several people tried to contact me at once, and rendered my computer unresponsive, compelling a hard reset. (This was also precisely why I had needed reset my computer to day; chkdsk would run again at boot.)

Discord's automatic updates are annoying, and I would not be surprised if this problem is due to incompatibility between the newest versions and my older system. I probably would have stated this in either original post, yet left it out for concision's sake.

Or are you running any exotic code, or file encryption/compression software... file trading software ... virus activity?

No, I do not use torrents or such, and seldom install new programmes at all.

Second question, any sign of additional files being damaged since the original incident? Any sign of new files being damaged when written to the drive?

No, new files save without corruption, and no files at all (including older, rarely accessed ones) are damaged. My computer has no irregular behaviour in normal use.

Has Windows marked any areas of the drive as damaged? [...] So - your main issue is to determine if new damage is happening, or if it was just a one time occurrence. If it was just the one time you will probably be fine.

No, scannow finds no integrity errors, and all errors found by chkdsk have been restricted to file 109203 of index $I30. This problem has not spread to any other parts of the hard drive.

As a precaution at this time - consider backing up any data that you want to keep - not windows and all the program files - personal data, stuff you can't get back and you must have, in case the drive fails tomorrow. All of that other stuff can be restored from elsewhere.

Indeed, I keep an external hard drive for just such a purpose, and everyone here is unanimous in this.

Edited to correct an inconsequential phrasing mistake.

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[–] CrustyBeaver52 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Okay on all that - it sounds like a one time incident - internet network interruption during a download - freezing the operating system before the file system was updated - that's why there is a corrupt file and that's why the index has an incorrect entry - if checkdisk/scandisk is still re-running when you boot the computer then that's because the error has not yet been repaired - the report you posted says it is just running in check mode, not repair mode. You may have to look it up for the exact command - but I believe it will be something like you manually run checkdisk from the run command prompt, with the "/r" attribute on the end of the command to enable the repair mode - then checkdisk has permission to effect the repair. I believe that will look like "checkdisk/r " , or "chkdsk/r " . In your case it could also be scannow or scandisk or scndsk... all with a /r attribute. Definitely double check that online first with a search engine. The command has had numerous changes over time.

Once checkdisk actually repairs the error and updates the index, you should receive no further interruptions. After that it looks like you're good to go.