what is the 'dirty' bit and how does it get set? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have never heard of the "dirty" bit before.  I have encountered a hard drive where it has been set to on.  The chkdsk utility hangs at about 50% of the way through the hard drive and power cycling is the only way out.  If I bypass disk checking on start up, the Windows OS (Vista Home SP1) will launch as if nothing is wrong, but something is wrong with the hard drive.  Is replacing it the only permanent solution?


    Martin J. Franek

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 6:14 PM

All replies

  • Hello Martin.

    As you probably know, a volume's dirty bit indicates that the file system may be in an inconsistent state. The dirty bit can be set because the volume is online and it has outstanding changes, changes were made to the volume and the computer was shut down before the changes were committed to the disk or corruption was detected on the volume.
    Before replacing the hard disk, I suggest you to perform a deep disk checking: open an elevated command prompt window and run the following command

    chkdsk /f /r

    Wait for the end and reboot your system: if the system will not run autocheck at the next boot, maybe you hard disk is working fine; otherwise, think seriously about performing a full backup of your data (this is always a best practice) and replace your hard disk.


    Luigi Bruno

    Friday, February 22, 2013 10:39 PM