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Q: Run, but do not show ScanDisk on boot of Windows 98 ( Answered,   6 Comments )
Subject: Run, but do not show ScanDisk on boot of Windows 98
Category: Computers > Operating Systems
Asked by: nickgray-ga
List Price: $60.00
Posted: 10 Jun 2004 09:43 PDT
Expires: 10 Jul 2004 09:43 PDT
Question ID: 359224
I have a Windows 98 computer that always gets shut down without
clicking Start, Shut Down. When the computer is turned back on, I
would like for the DOS version of scandisk to run as needed, but I
would not like the user to see that it is running.

I am aware that scandisk can be turned off. That is not a solution to
my problem, since scandisk often finds files that need to be fixed. It
is important that

 1) Scandisk runs on start-up,
 2) Any changes that scandisk wants to make are automatically approved,
 3) The user is not shown the scandisk scan-and-fix process.

A correct answer will be awarded for a solution that addresses all of those issues!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

More information: This computer is used in an airplane to show
GPS-related data while flying. When the airplane avionics system is
turned on, so is the computer. It runs Windows 98 and automatically
starts an application that reads information from the on-board GPS
system and displays it on an LCD screen.

We do not save any files from flight to flight. The computer and all
of its data can be the exact same each time it is started. However, it
looks like the application we use writes some sort of data to the hard
drive during flight, and so we must fix those affected files when the
plane lands and power is turned off.

It is not an option to have the computer automatically shut down once
the airplane has landed. If you have a solution that would eliminate
the need to run scan disk, such as write-protecting certain files or
telling Windows to store certain things in memory, I would consider
that (if it works).
Subject: Re: Run, but do not show ScanDisk on boot of Windows 98
Answered By: tox-ga on 10 Jun 2004 14:46 PDT
Hi nickgray-ga,

I can show you how to disable the prompts for ScanDisk so that the
entire process is automated and does not require any user

First, we would like to stop that pesky 1-minute delay where Windows
prompts you about whether to start ScanDisk or not.  Using NotePad,
open up msdos.sys.  This is a hidden and read-only file, so to get
around this:
1) Click Start -> Find -> Files Or Folders
2) Search for msdos.sys in your boot drive (likely C:\)
3) Right click the file and choose Properties
4) Clear the Read-Only and Hidden check boxes.  Click OK.
5) Use NotePad to open the file.
  a)  Under [OPTIONS], locate the line that says AutoScan=1 and change it to
  AutoScan=2.  This will cause ScanDisk to be run without prompting the user 
  when Windows is shutdown improperly.  If you cannot find this line to change, 
  you may have to add it yourself.  Save the file.
6) Repeat 1) - 4) so that the Read-Only and Hidden check boxes are again checked.

Now we have set Windows to automatically run ScanDisk when needed
without asking.  It will run ScanDisk with the /CUSTOM options, so
now, we will edit scandisk.ini so that no questions are asking during
the running of the program and all fixes are made automatically.

Use NotePad again to open ScanDisk.ini  It will be located in the
Windows\Command directory of your boot drive.

Make sure the following options have been chosen:

   Display     = Off
               (in order to minimize how much of the process the user sees.)

Under [CUSTOM]
   DriveSummary  = Off
   AllSummary    = Off
   Surface       = Never (or Always, depending on whether you want to perform 
                          surface scans.  Just do not pick Prompt.)
   SaveLog       = Append
   Undo          = Never

   DS_Header     = Fix  
   FAT_Media     = Fix  
   Okay_Entries  = Fix    
   Bad_Chain     = Fix 
   Crosslinks    = Fix 

   Boot_Sector   = Fix 
   FSInfo_Sector = Fix   
   Invalid_MDFAT = Fix  
   DS_Crosslinks = Fix  
   DS_LostClust  = Fix   
   DS_Signatures = Fix  
   Mismatch_FAT  = Fix     
   Bad_Clusters  = Fix 

   Bad_Entries   = Delete

   LostClust     = Save

Then, save the file.

What this does is tell ScanDisk to automatically fix these problems. 
You can then test these changes by restarting by cycling the power to
your computer and checking that ScanDisk runs and fixes problems
automatically without asking you.

If any of these instructions seem unclear, or your results are not
exactly what you desired, please feel free to ask for clarification
before rating my answer.  I will work on this with you until you are


Request for Answer Clarification by nickgray-ga on 10 Jun 2004 16:00 PDT
Hi! Thanks for your fantastic response. I was very excited at the promise that 

 Display     = Off

would solve our problems. Yanked the power to the CPU, then plugged
her back in... and no dice  :(  The blue ScanDisk screen still
displays, with a progress bar on the bottom as it moves to 100%.

I'm looking for a solution that will never have this blue screen
display! Am I not reading the scandisk.ini file properly?

Clarification of Answer by tox-ga on 10 Jun 2004 16:43 PDT
Hi nickgray-ga!

If you would like to get rid of the blue part of the screen, use
Display     = Mono

This will cause the program to run in black and white.  Combined with
the other options I have given you:
- ScanDisk runs automatically when needed without prompting the user
- ScanDisk runs with the minimal possible amount of user display; just a white
  progress bar on a black background
- The user is not shown the fix process or asked for any input
  I'm afraid there is no option or comibination of options for
Microsoft ScanDisk that does away any form of user display whatsoever.

If having no display means enough to you that you are willing to use
nonstandard disk-scanning programs that aren't written by Microsoft, I
could help you with this.


Request for Answer Clarification by nickgray-ga on 14 Jun 2004 12:18 PDT
Question for crythias-ga, what happens if we disable ScanDisk?

As I mentioned, we are not "creating new files" that aren't getting
saved when the power is yanked.... but possibly the program is saving
inputs, Windows temp files, etc are not getting properly erased. If we
disable ScanDisk, is our hard drive going to fill up with bad data,
and will Windows start to slow down?

I am going to test out your suggestion soon.
Subject: Re: Run, but do not show ScanDisk on boot of Windows 98
From: ref1ex-ga on 10 Jun 2004 18:11 PDT
Hello nickgray,

here is my idea how to solve this problem
1. you should DISABLE disk checking at startup at all
change AutoScan=2 to 0 in msdos.sys

2. you should add disc checking job to task sheduler
task sheduler icon should be in systray (right, down corner near
clock) or if it's not there try to look in control panel icon task
sheduling. and add there job for disk checking

Subject: Re: Run, but do not show ScanDisk on boot of Windows 98
From: crythias-ga on 11 Jun 2004 00:09 PDT
I have another option, but it's a real kludge, and may not work with
your video adapter, may damage it, though probably not likely. I take
no responsibility, but if you *NEED* not to see what's going on with
scandisk, here goes:

1) grab a DOS screen blanking program from (maybe, although that has a warning about compatibility with
certain video cards.) Your results may vary.
2) in msdsos.sys, change bootgui=0 (this is most likely an optional
step, but I'm including it in case autoexec.bat needs assistance)
3) create/modify c:\autoexec.bat:
REM run the blankscreen TSR (according to directions)
REM run scandisk according to scandisk.ini
call scandisk /all /custom
REM run the command that unloads the above TSR (according to directions)
REM start windows, but like I said, if you don't have to change bootgui, don't
REM include "win" in autoexec.bat

The caveats are plentiful. This will probably work if you plod through
it, but using a DOS TSR may not be your goal. Also, you may have to
use the timing function of the blank TSR if the TSR unloads before
scandisk is finished (probably not likely). You *may* not need to
unload the TSR before windows starts up (in order to keep DOS blank),
though that low memory is lost to the TSR.

Also, running Scandisk blindly is allegedly
(  prone to lose data. Think about it...
have you ever really used the UNDO disk that Scandisk wants you to
make? Scandisk actions are either: keep corrupt data and optionally
announce OR delete the corrupt data (optionally save, optionally
Subject: Re: Run, but do not show ScanDisk on boot of Windows 98
From: crythias-ga on 11 Jun 2004 00:13 PDT
forgot to add, you'll also want to change AutoScan=0 in msdos.sys to
avoid redundancy.
Subject: Re: Run, but do not show ScanDisk on boot of Windows 98
From: crythias-ga on 11 Jun 2004 00:26 PDT
Another really "out there" idea is to physically remove the power
button (and reset button?) and include an icon on the screen such as
Active Shutdown (Get it at to
"encourage" shutting down properly.
Subject: Re: Run, but do not show ScanDisk on boot of Windows 98
From: crythias-ga on 11 Jun 2004 01:42 PDT
One last thing, as I re-read the original message... I bet the swap is
what's corrupted each time, and if not that, then a temp file used by
the software.

A short fix may be to set up a RAMDISK from config.sys and make sure
the TEMP path is on that drive letter, as well as telling Windows to
not use a swap file. (Make sure you have a lot of RAM).

A bigger fix that may actually be good in the long run is to make a
runtime Windows 98 CD.
. The thought here is that you won't have *any* hard drive corruption
ever, because you won't ever touch the hard drive. It's a CD boot, so
expect a bit of delay on start.

I'll offer one last option: put a UPS with monitoring software on the
power. Set the monitoring software to shutdown Windows after one
minute of no power to the UPS. (you may wish to tear apart the UPS to
disable the piezo speaker so it doesn't beep.)
Subject: Re: Run, but do not show ScanDisk on boot of Windows 98
From: crythias-ga on 14 Jun 2004 14:28 PDT
Hello nickgray!

If you're concerned about .tmp files, Scandisk won't clean them. If
you're concerned about the Windows Swap file, scandisk can do some
things with it, if the shutdown interrupts it. The worst thing that
can happen is the registry (hidden files system.dat and user.dat) get
corrupted (shut down while registry is being updated.)

Respectfully, and I can hope other people can attest to this: Windows
98 is fast on first boot and decays over extended logon time. While
scandisk fixes errors on the disk, it's actually defrag that will do
the most to make sure that Windows is speedy. If you set your disk
swap to a fixed minimum and maximum, then reboot and defrag in safe
mode, all the temporary stuff gets handled outside of the normal
"read" area of the disk. (think of a centrifuge handling blood, that's
pretty much it). The joy of defrag is, for your application, you may
only have to do it once ever, because you're not adding and removing

As I understand how FAT works, I doubt you'll actually have many
windows slowdown problems associated with your shutdown process. Your
results may vary. Make sure you make a backup of your registry at
least once if you decide not to use scandisk anymore.

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