Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Create a system image error

As part of my back-up regime, I run a Windows system image overnight each week. However, for the first time ever recently, I got an error message:
The backup failed. 
The operation failed due to a device error encountered with either the source or the destination. If the source or destination volume is on a disk, run CHKDSK /R on the source or destination volume, and then retry the operation. (0x8078012D). 
Additional Information: The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error. (0x8007045D).
At first I thought that the external HDD I was using had failed, so I checked that drive using CHKDSK (as per the instructions on the error message; ie, through CMD and into DOS), but found nothing wrong. Just in case something had gone wrong with the indexing, I did a quick reformat on the HDD.

Then I tried running the system image again overnight, and got the same failure message.

OK: so time to move onto the C:Drive. I tried running a CHKDSK on the C:Drive in DOS (again, as per the instructions) but the process appeared to get stuck at 89,000-ish files, showing up a few bad sectors and effectively stalling.

I wondered if this process was unable to run as the computer was on: ie, that Windows functions were identifying as 'bad' sectors simply because of the operating system. So I decided to find out how to run CHKDSK within Windows, and see if that would work instead. 

Google to the rescue with appropriate instructions, care of EaseUS (28 December 2018):

  1. In Windows Explorer, right-click the drive to be checked
  2. From the pop up menu, select Properties.
  3. In Properties dialogue box, click the Tools tab
  4. On the Tools tab, under "Error-checking", click the "Check Now" button
  5. On the Check Disk dialogue box, tick both options (Automatically fix file system errors; and scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors)
  6. Click Start.

You will then get a Windows message saying that it can't check the disc while it is in use.

Click "Schedule disk check" and select that the disk check runs on the next start up. Be prepared for a wait of some hours: I think the CHKDSK took something like 6 hours to run.

Interestingly, there were no repairs needed, but regardless, it was a good piece of maintenance to do.

After running CHKDSK, Windows should then start normally. 

And even better, my next system image ran perfectly.


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