I wanted to test a hard drive. I put it into an external USB enclosure and connected it to an ASUS Eee PC. I booted the Eee using a multiboot USB jump drive. Upon booting, I chose the Windows 7 Recovery Disk and ran CHKDSK from the Command Prompt.
I made many attempts to check and fix that external hard drive, using CHKDSK /R and CHKDSK /B. They all failed. Attempts using /I (e.g., CHKDSK /B /I) did not fail, but of course those produced a warning that /I would not necessarily repair disk problems. When the attempts failed, they failed in stage 2 of 5, and most if not all produced this error message:
An unspecified error occurred (696e647863686b2e e19).
I hoped that, by running CHKDSK many times, perhaps the program would slowly eat its way through whatever corruption it might be encountering. At first it appeared that this might be taking place. But at some point I became convinced that we were not getting past the 25% mark, and in some cases the number of index entries processed was actually less than had been processed on the previous try.
I ran a search on the “unspecified error” message. This produced a plethora of plausible possibilities. It tentatively appeared that there might be different causes of the unspecified error. Mine, for instance, might have been caused by something that would only produce the “e19” at the right end of the error message shown above.
Some of the solutions suggested in those webpages, or coming to mind as I read, were that trying with a different machine might solve the problem; perhaps the (Samsung) hard drive manufacturer’s diagnostic CD would help; maybe I could accomplish something with other DOS-like commands (e.g., FIXMBR); maybe some other program (e.g., TestDisk) would do a better job than CHKDSK; possibly I could boot into Windows 7 and use its disk checking feature to fix the problem (i.e., in Windows Explorer, right-click on the drive > Properties > Tools > Check Now > check both boxes); conceivably an Eee driver update would help. I dismissed the possibility that the Eee’s copy of CHKDSK was bad; I had just used it successfully in that same configuration with a different external USB drive in a different USB enclosure (actually, a mere drive dock); I did wonder, though, whether the problem might be related to the particular USB enclosure. If I had needed to replace CHKDSK, one suggestion was to use this command:
expand Y:\I386\chkdsk.ex_ C:\Windows\system32\chkdsk.exe
where Y would be the CD drive where the Windows 7 installation CD was loaded.
I had initially been trying to run CHKDSK on two separate drives simultaneously, each running in its own separate CMD window created from the Command Prompt link on the System Recovery Options provided by booting with a Windows 7 Rescue CD, installed onto that multiboot USB drive as described in the link above. I wondered whether that approach of having two CHKDSK sessions running at once had perhaps confused the system. So I started by simply rebooting back into the Windows 7 Rescue CD. Even less dramatically, I might have tried just closing that CMD window, opening a new one, and trying CHKDSK in that.
The simple reboot made a difference. We got past the 25% mark. CHKDSK ran successfully. Trying to run two sessions of CHKDSK may have been the culprit.