Hi Eric, Christian and Geraldo,

Thanks for your interest.

Here is what I have observed about CHKDSK, DOSFSCK and DEFRAG.
As I'm writing from memory, this is not very accurate. In the
future I'll take notes in order to report more reliably.

After several crashes in my early days with FreeDOS two years
ago, I have learned to prevent most of them.

One exception is DOSLFN, which I occasionally used in
combination with the file managers NDN or File Wizard to
decompress files with InfoZip.

Whenever DOSLFN was used, CHKDSK would find dozens or even
hundreds of damaged files. In addition, strange folders or files
appeared which could not be deleted. To get rid of them I had to
copy the usable files to a second hard disk and reformat the
first. This happened three or four times, in two different
computers.

Don't worry about DOSLFN -- I hardly ever need it. The only
reason I mentioned it is because it was involved in disk damage
which CHKDSK and DOSFSCK tried to repair.

To do disk ckecking I now use DOSFSCK, which in my experience is 
safer than CHKDSK. My impression was that, in attempting to 
correct damage (such as that caused by DOSLFN), CHKDSK actually 
made matters worse. DOSFSCK seemed to do the same, but to a 
lesser extent. In those cases, both programs would report on the 
screen huge amounts (hundreds or perhaps thousands) of file 
names which were supposedly being fixed. If there were indeed so 
many damaged files before checking the disk, I would probably 
have noticed them by just using the computer.

I still experience file damage or loss occasionally, but have no
idea what is causing it. One instance happened a few months ago
when I ran DOSFSCK and then DEFRAG. I noticed that DOSFSCK took
an unusually long time -- about 15 min instead of the usual 2
min -- to scan the disk. I do not remember whether DEFRAG ran or
crashed, but the end result was a messed up hard drive. Some
files were lost, others were truncated to a multiple of 16384
bytes, and still others had bytes appended to them making their
size also a multiple of 16384. Hundreds of files were lost or
damaged, and had to be recovered from backups.

I downloaded DEFRAG version 1.32 last June but it does not run
at all in my computer. It either issues a "Get fixed file
failed" message or simply freezes, depending on the hard drive
to be defragmented. This happens both with the full-screen
interface and the command line version. The previous version of
DEFRAG worked only in the command line version; the full-screen
interface would give an error message "undefined error" or
something similar.

One possibility, of course, is that I'm doing something wrong.
I'm quite good at following instructions, but in some cases the
manual seems to be too brief, perhaps because it assumes that
the reader is familiar with, say, similar programs in Linux.

For instance, I have not been able to understand how to use the
DOSFSCK with the "-V perform a verification pass" option. The
logic behind it is clear: "let's have a look at things before
changing them". But when the program runs, it just writes:

  dosfsck 2.11.DOS3, 8 Aug 2007, FAT32, LFN
  Starting check/repair pass.
  Starting verification pass.
  c:: 33412 files, 42820/65505 clusters

That confused me. Does it mean the disk is OK? Is there anything
else to be done?

To first-time users it may not be obvious what is supposed to
happen when a program runs. Most of the instructions in FreeDOS
are good, but some of them could be a bit more explicit.
Examples of frequently used command lines are always welcome too.

In a way, instructions are a form of software too, which runs in
our minds, and perhaps they also need testing and debugging :-)

Included below is some information about the hardware of my main
computer. And here is a summary of the above comments.

    DEFRAG      Current version does not work in my computers;
                previous version worked only in command line
                option.

    CHKDSK      Occasionally seems to make matters worse.

    DOSFSCK     Apparently safer than CHKDSK, but not
                completely.

Let me repeat that all the above are just 'remembrances of 
things past'. I hope to contribute more accurately in the future.

Regards and thanks,

Marcos Florence
Sao Paulo, Brazil

----------------------------------------------------------------------

                   Navrátil Software System Information
                              Version 0.60.32
                                Report File
                        Thursday, 2009-08-27 23:40

===========================General Information============================
 Computer       PC-AT or compatible, ISA + PCI
 Processor      Intel Pentium, 100 MHz, Real mode, 2/5/28/18
 Co-Processor   Internal, 100 MHz, 3/3/100/28
 BIOS           AMI, American Megatrends, Inc., PnP, 07/15/95
 Video          Trident SVGA 4 MB, VESA VBE 2.0, Secondary: None
 Memory         32 MB, 639 KB, 31744 KB, no XMS, no EMS
 Drives         HDD1: 4.02 GB
 Oper. System   FreeDOS version 6.20
 Mouse          Serial, 3 buttons, version 7.05, IRQ: 4
 Input Devices  AT Enhanced Keyboard (101 key), Ncsi, No Joystick(s)
 Ports          2 Serial, 1 Parallel, 0 Game
 CMOS           FDD1: 1.44 MB 3«", FDD2: None
 Network        Not Detected
 Multimedia     Not Detected
 Software       Mouse Driver
 Other          Modem

=============================Computer Details=============================
 Bus(es)           ISA + PCI (7 devices)
 Chipset           Intel 82430TX MOBILE TRITON II (Method 1)
 Manufacturer      Hsing Tech Enterprise Co., Ltd. (Method 2)
 Type              Unknown (001437 071595 I430TX)
 System Bus Speed  66 MHz (multiplier 1.5x) (Method 1)

===============================BIOS Details===============================
 BIOS Type              AMI
 BIOS Manufacturer      American Megatrends, Inc.
 BIOS Date              07/15/95
 BIOS Version           n/a
 Flash BIOS             Present (AMI, version 3.50)
 Green PC/Energy Star   Present
 BIOS32 Services        Present
 Plug and Play Support  Present (version 1.0, 0 devices)
 DMI Support            Not Present
 SMBIOS Support         Not Present
 APM Support            Present (version 1.2)
 ACPI Support           Not Present
 ACFG Support           Not Present
 PCI IRQ Routing Table  Not Present


==============================Memory Details==============================
 Total Memory  32 MB, Memory over 1 MB 31744 KB


==============================Drives Details==============================
- IDE Drives -----------------------------------------------------------
 Primary    Master  None
 Primary    Slave   None
 Secondary  Master  EIDE Hard Disk
 Secondary  Slave   None

- IDE Drive Physical Information ---------------------------------------
 Fixed Disk Controller  Enhanced IDE (ATA-3)
 Fixed Disk Capacity    4.03 GB (4,325,529,600 B)
 Fixed Disk Geometry    Cylinders 8940, Heads 15, Sectors/Track 63
                        Bytes/Sector n/a, Bytes/Track n/a
 Data Buffer Size       Unknown
 Sectors per Interrupt  16
 Controller Type        Not Specified
 Disk Model             FUJITSU MPC3043AT
 Firmware Revision      6021
 Serial Number          07311826
 Disk Type              Fixed, Magnetical
 Disk Transfer Modes    PIO 4, SW DMA -/-, MW DMA -/2, Ultra DMA 2/2
 Disk Features          DMA, LBA, IORDY
                        SMART, Power Management
                        Write Cache, Look-ahead


 L  Drive Type                Label        Total    Free     Used
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 C: Local Hard Disk           FUJIT_TOLOI     2 GB   705 MB  1.31 GB
 D: Local Hard Disk           FUJIT_TOL_2     2 GB  1.97 GB    29 MB
 E: RAM Disk                  DISCO_VIRTU     1 MB  1012 KB    12 KB

--------------------------------- End --------------------------------



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