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Defragging my hard disk blue screens, what do I do?

I have a 2004 Dimension 8400 (with a specific service tag) that will only
defrag to 51% and then blue screen. I received this error message (which is
basically a bunch of hex numbers) and I can’t find a way to fix it.

In this excerpt from
Answercast #54
, I look at a machine that is showing signs of disk errors and
damage.

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Blue screen on defrag

If defragging your machine causes it to blue screen at some point, I believe
that usually indicates that there’s a physical problem with your hard
drive.

You should start by running Chkdsk (CHKDSK /R actually) to test the entire
surface of the hard disk.

Backup first!

Let me back up… what you really want to start with is a backup! You want
to backup that hard disk because clearly you are at risk of losing what’s on
that hard disk.

Surface errors

But after you’ve backed up, then make sure to run CHKDSK /R on it to
basically check the surface for errors and potentially work around any of the
errors that it finds. It may work around some; it may not be able to.

That’s when a utility like SpinRite comes in handy. SpinRite can actually resolve many
errors, hard disk errors, at the physical level, at the magnetic media
level.

Replace the drive

If that doesn’t do it (and you know in all honesty even it does!), if you’re
able to take a full backup of your machine, I’d really, really be tempted to
simply replace the drive.

The drives aren’t that terribly expensive. I would, like I said, after
you’ve backed it up (you’ve got everything on a backup image somewhere),
replace the hard drive, restore the image, and my guess is you won’t have a
problem anymore.

But the big risk here is, I believe, that this kind of a blue screen when
you’re defragging really does indicate a problem with the hard disk. I would
take it as a sign of imminent failure. I could be wrong, but in this particular
case, I’d rather err on the side of safety and not lose any data.

So, be sure to back up and basically consider replacing the
drive.

Next from Answercast 54 – How do
I tell if my
ethernet is encrypted?

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