Microsoft make substantial changes to CHKDSK

In a new post on the Windows 8 Development Blog, Microsoft talk about the new NTFS health model for Windows 8 and their redesigned tool for disk corruption detection and fixing, the chkdsk utility

The post was authored by Kiran Bangalore, a program manager on their Windows 8 core system team.

Basically their key design goals for Windows 8 were to increase availability and reduce the overall down-time of systems.

This feature, along with other storage features such as Storage Spaces and the new ReFS file system, will help to reduce the complexity of fixing corruptions and increases the overall availability of the entire system.

Here’s a video from the post:

And here are the FAQ’s from the post

Q) Will the new health model work on removable drives?
Yes, this works on removable drives that report fixed media, like most external hard drives.

Q) How do I enable the new file system health model?
You don’t need to do a thing—the new file system health model is enabled by default.

Q) Will the new file system health model apply to Windows Server?
Yes, the health model is identical for both server and client. One thing that will be different by default is that the data drives will not be checked or fixed during boot of the system – this maintenance will be left to the administrator when time permits.

Q) Can I move between Windows 8 and Windows 7 and not affect the file system health model?
Yes, the file system health model will adapt to whichever operating system version it is mounted on.

Q) Will ReFS need to run chkdsk?
ReFS follows a different model for resiliency and does not need to run the traditional chkdsk utility.

Q) Will I ever need to run the old chkdsk /f?
There are cases where failing hardware can produce such severe corruption as to make the file system un-mountable; in these cases, you should perform a full, offline chkdsk to fix the file system. If for some reason this fails, we recommend that you restore from a backup.

Q) Is a reboot absolutely required to fix non-system volumes?
No, but the Action Center generally provides the simplest experience. If you’re an advanced user, you can fix non-system volumes by opening the properties of the drive, or by running chkdsk scan: and chkdsk spotfix: from the command line.

Q) I run chkdsk /f often to check the status of our drives, is that needed anymore?
No, the system will inform you when a corruption is found, and you can then choose to run the chkdsk /scan to detect all the issues. An online chkdsk /scan will not take away from the availability of the drive or system.

Q) I run read-only chkdsk today to check the status of our drives; do I still need to do this?
No, we recommend you run chkdsk/scan instead, since this will also perform all possible online repairs and will also prepare for a spotfix, if needed.

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