Team Murder No Brain No Headache.

12Apr/05Off

A Neanderthal Only Screening

As I've said far too many times here, although I run Linux exclusively at home and work for my own uses I support Windows 200 and XP machines for the unwashed masses of others. I don't like talking down to people so I make a very concerted effort while wearing my stupid badge to avoid dumbing things down when asked for an explanation of what went wrong. Today I had to explain the behavior of chkdsk to someone and I realized exactly how fucking stupid it is to have it featured in XP as is and prominently visible. The person who put the call in had booted the machine a couple of times and chkdsk started on each boot. If you've experienced this creeping horror that makes fsck seem friendly and fast at all you probably know that it isn't exactly fast and sometimes does odd things. Well, along with its slowness (and I'll grant any disk utility a lot of leeway because its job is neither quick nor simple) what especially irks users is the fact that it dumps a whole bunch of output to the screen that is absolute trash. The user saw the words "100% complete" (in this case referring to Stage Two of Three but making that information unavailable after the first stage zoomed by deleting index files) and nothing for five minutes. He assumed that the scan had finished and that the machine was not responding anymore. Why oh why do users see this? Why isn't there meaningful feedback? I wasted a helluva lot of time waiting for the scan to complete which is to be expected given my support monkey position in the food chain but the fact that the user had suffered the same fate three or four times while having more clue than average is almost inexcusable.

I realize that I'm hollering into the void here but I also wonder if there's a registry key to force chkdsk into a non-verbose mode or to simply render percent completed bars instead of dumping screen after screen of useless information to the console that obscures any useful information/instruction it belches out at the beginning of the scan. Even a workaround that didn't involve a shit ton of bat file muckery would be helpful.

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