View Full Version : lost clusters

21-08-2002, 02:56 PM
lately during my norton system scan at start up , on every occasion "lost clusters" are being found in the C: dir - what are these little animals - ? is this a warning of greater animals to come or is it a routine occuarnce that windows generic scan wasnt able to pick up??

21-08-2002, 03:06 PM
a "cluster" is a little bit of a file.

lost cluster can be caused be not doing a proper shutdown from windows or a system crash.

it can also be a sign of a harddrive that is going bad.

21-08-2002, 03:09 PM
Hi lost clusters are fragments of your hard-drive that your File Allocation Table (FAT) cannot associate with any file. Basically means it seems some space of the HD used but doesnt add up to the files it knows about.

Windows Scandisk is quite poor in picking these up so I wouldnt be surprised if you had another program which found them but Windows couldnt. Lost clusters are often caused by improper shutdown where Windows hasnt had a chance to close off a file properly or programs which havent closed properly.

If the lost clusters message is occuring all the time then run a thorough full scan via Nortons. It will take a while but you should only have do this once.


Graham L
21-08-2002, 05:26 PM
I would expect Windows scandisk to find them too. Windows does not do a scandisk unless you tell it to (or after a crash shutdown).

But it's certainly a good idea to do a scandisk. You should not have lost clusters. Something is wrong. :-(

If the error reports stop after the scan, you should be OK. But if you get more appearing, you can't expect your disk to fail in the future; it is failing now. ;-)

21-08-2002, 05:59 PM
Yup correct Graham. Also should mention that the reason why Windows pauses a little before shutting down is so it can close files and do its cleanup properly so lost clusters etc dont occur. Thats the theory anyway ;-)

I mentioned about the unreliability of Windows scandisk based on my experience with Win98. In running a defrag it stopped with an error saying I had lost clusters. On running Scandisk it found .... 0 errors! When running a third party equliavent (its a while ago - Nuts & Bolts I think) it found several lost clusters and fixed them. Defrag then worked fine. Hence my continued suspicion of the ability of Scandisk although it could well be better in more recent systems. I havent struck problems with ME ...... yet :-)

23-08-2002, 12:00 PM
after one of these start ups - i run the windows verison of norton scandisk, after it starts, a 3 repition through scan and it finds abosultley noithing???
then the next time i start ( most of the time) it usually gets to the desktop screen and hangs loading start up applications and when i interfer, the dreaded blue screen with the message "your system has become unstable" appears. if i say wait it goes to a blank screen and requires a reboot, at which time the lost clusters appear.

on most occasions it takes a normal startup, then a reboot and cluster deletion to get the fuse lit?

23-08-2002, 12:02 PM
I'd recommend installing a new hard disk pretty promptly and copying all essential files from the old one to the new one ASAP.

23-08-2002, 12:16 PM
sounds like you have a problem with one of your programs at startup. the lost clusters are coming from a program thats crashing. boot into safe mode and go and clean out any unneeded programs in startup. if it still does it then disable all and see if it still does it. if not then put each program back in one at a time and see which one causes the problem.

as scandisk/diskdoctor is not picking up bad sectors i don't think cahangeing hardrive is nessacary.

Alan Carpenter
23-08-2002, 02:38 PM

Lost clusters = Software = Ho hum, bother.

Bad sectors = Hardware = AAAAARRRGGGGHHH!!!



23-08-2002, 02:49 PM
Dohh .... got my terminology round the wrong way :8}