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 My computer/PC is giving loads of disk error messages. What do they mean and how can I get rid of them?

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PostSubject: My computer/PC is giving loads of disk error messages. What do they mean and how can I get rid of them?   Mon Feb 04, 2008 4:51 pm

Problem

My desktop PC runs Windows XP SP2 and it is giving me loads of disk error messages. As it starts up, the Windows XP logo with its animated blue bar comes up as usual, but then a blue screen comes up that wants me to run Chkdsk - XP's hard-drive diagnostic utility. After that, a countdown begins and Chkdsk runs (1 of 3 tests). When it gets to 100%, it fills the screen with a repeated line saying: "Inserting an index entry into $0 of file 25", which runs non-stop, so I have to shut the PC down. Then I restart it and choose the option that prevents Chkdsk from running, but I still get the error messages. However, I can close them and log on while closing any other error messages. The first error message is: "WINLOGON.EXE - corrupt file" and it is followed by "The file or directory \$Extend\$Objld is corrupt and unreadable. Please run the Chkdsk utility." All of the other error messages name the same file, but have a different header. Is there a fix for this highly annoying problem, or does my PC need a new hard disk drive?



Answer

The $Extend\$Objld is a meta-data file; a special hidden file that the NTFS file system uses to store file-system information. For those of you who might be interested in the technical details, it is found in position 24 or 25 of the boot hard disk drive's Master File Table and contains an index to the unique object identifier numbers that NTFS allocates to every file on the computer. The index is not essential, because Windows can still be used with the alternative FAT32 file system, but if the hard disk drive's C: (boot) drive/partition has been formatted to use the NTFS file system, there is no way that it can be turned off.

$Extend\$Objld contains an index to every file on the drive, so it is large. If it is damaged, it usually takes Windows Chkdsk a long time to rebuild it - perhaps 12 hours or more of "inserting an index entry into index $0 of file 25". As you have discovered, you can wait for it to complete its task or choose to interrupt it. If you interrupt it, it will run again when the computer is restarted. You can, of course, press the key that prevents the disk check again.

The computer runs properly without the $Extend\$Objld file and you can use the chkntfs command at the Command Prompt to prevent Windows from running Chkdsk at startup. To do that, gain access to the Start => Run box and enter cmd to bring up the Command Prompt. Enter the command chkntfs. However, doing that is not advisable, because it could lead to serious disk corruption.

The initial corruption of the $Extend\$Objld file could have been brought about by a power interruption while the NTFS file system was updating the file, or it could be a sign of impending hard-disk-drive failure.

The measures you can take to discover the cause of the problem are:

Download the diagnostic utility that the hard-drive manufacturer provides from its website, and use it to perform a complete test of the drive. If you don't know the make/model of the drive, open the Device Manager by entering devmgmt.msc in the Start => Run box and open Disk drives. You can then enter the make/model number in the Google search box at the top of this page (with its Web radio button enabled) to locate the manufacturer's website. There is a table at the top of this page that provides information on where to download the hard-disk-drive diagnostic utilities for a particular major make of hard drive. Alternatively, click here! to go to information on this site on the diagnostic utilities provided by the major hard-drive manufacturers.

Note that some hard disk drives - certain makes of laptop/notebook PC hard-drives in particular - can suffer from random lockups, or develop areas of the drive that become slow for the drive to access. Those areas of the drive may not be revealed by the diagnostics utility provided by the drive's manufacturer. However, they can often be detected by MHDD, which is a free diagnostic utility from http://hddguru.com/.

It is possible that the $Extend\$Objld file can become so fragmented that updating it can take a long time. This will usually only happen if some of the drive's sectors are very slow to access, which itself suggests that the drive is suffering from physical problems. Problems can be caused if the computer is shut down before the updating has finished. The Windows Disk Defragmenter (Defrag) cannot defragment the file because of its special system status. It won't defragment a system file. Nor can third-party defragmentation utilities, such as PageDefrag, defragment it.

If the diagnostic utilities don't discover any physical problems with the drive and the problem occurs repeatedly, the only possible solution is to reformat the entire partition of the drive. If you don't know how to do that click here! to go to relevant information on this site.

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My computer/PC is giving loads of disk error messages. What do they mean and how can I get rid of them?
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