Microsoft Redesigns CHKDSK for Windows 8, Improves NTFS Health Model

Microsoft can't do anything to magically make hard drives stop failing when parts go bad, but the Redmond outfit is rolling out a new NTFS health model for Windows 8 with a redesigned CHKDSK tool for disk corruption detection and fixing.

"We’ve all experienced the frustration that can be caused by an unexpected CHKDSK that pops up while restarting a computer at home or a server at the office. Beyond the surprise, there’s the interruption while waiting for the process to complete and Windows to be available. With Windows 8, we provide quick resolution to these problems when they arise, putting the user in control and making systems more available and more scalable," Microsoft state in a blog post.

In past versions of the CHKDSK and NTFS health model, the file system volume was either deemed healthy or not healthy. In Windows 8, Microsoft is changing things up. Rather than hours of downtime, Windows 8 splits the process into phases that include "Detect Corruption," "Online Self-Healing," "Online Verification," "Online Identification & Logging," and "Precise & Rapid Correction." The blog covers these phases in detail, but the big takeaway from this is that a large part of the detection and resolution process will happen in real-time and in the background, so you can keep plugging away at that TPS report.

"In Windows 8, we have made the detection and correction of the file system errors more transparent and less intrusive," Microsoft claims. "We believe these changes will be a welcome enhancement for you and we look forward to hearing your feedback."

If it works as advertised, the new NTFS health model will be a welcome enhancement, indeed.