You may have fixed problems with your Hard Drive like bad sectors using Windows CHKDSK utility and unavailable for a while during startup. But now the days are done when you sit and relax while fixing your HDD problems.

In Building Windows 8 blog post authored by Kiran Bangalore, Program Manager, Senior Program Manager, Windows Core Storage and File Systems has explained how they have redesigned Windows 8 CHKDSK utility and new NTFS health model for the detection and correction of file system errors more transparent and less intrusive.

In old days, NTFS health model took the volume offline for as long as necessary to fix the file system corruptions and it can take between a few seconds to a few hours to run, depending on the number of files in the drive.

Over the time, the capacity of hard drives is growing exponentially and the number of files per volume is increasing equally that makes CHKDSK job more miserable. In Windows 8, Microsoft has approached new NTFS health model and changed CHKDSK methodology to minimize or avoid unnecessary downtime.

NOTE: a new file system for the future, ReFS, which does not require an offline CHKDSK to repair corruptions.

In Windows 8, the number of issues have been increased that can be handled online and added a new service called the spot verification service that runs in the background without affecting normal system processes.

The company explains – the file system health status transitions through four states – some that are simply informational, and others that require you to act.

The new file system health model
The new file system health model

The health states are:

  • Online and healthy – There is no action required.
  • Online spot verification needed – where the spot verification service validates the corruption in background automatically without interaction with user.
  • Online scan needed – where an online scan is performed to fix validated corruption when the system is idle and there is no action required though Action Center notifies to perform scan manually.
    Online scan needed
    Online scan needed
  • Spot fix needed – where Action Center notifies to restart your PC to fix all the file system issues logged after online scan.
    Spot fix needed
    Spot fix needed

To enable better transparency into the new health model, Windows now exposes the state of the file system via Action Center under Drive Status, Windows Explorer under Drive Properties, PowerShell (REPAIR-VOLUME) and Server Manager.

Here is a short video demo of Redesigned CHKDSK Utility and the new NTFS health model.


Download this video to view it in your favorite media player:
High quality MP4 | Lower quality MP4

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