A client has a Windows Server 2003 R2. Its primary disk (actually a RAID 0 array) has two partitions, C: and D:. The D: partition is 180GB, of which about 45GB is in use. In preparation for virtualizing the server, to make room for the hypervisor, I decided to shrink the D: partition using my trusty partition tool, BootIT NG from Terabyte Unlimited.
The repartition went fine and server rebooted without any problem. I went home to enjoy the rest of my weekend. Soon the Zenith NOC that monitors this server was alerting me to ntfs 55 errors.
The strange thing about the errors is that they do not contain a volume name. The text reads simply:
The file system structure on the disk is corrupt and unusable. Please run the chkdsk utility on the volume .
The errors occurred at random times, but almost always within an hour of rebooting the system, and a few times a day after that.
A chkdsk /r of all volumes found no problems. Microsoft Partner Support would later tell me that since the volume name is missing, it is not really a corrupt volume, but possibly an error in the MBR or MFT.
Microsoft suggested using MSCONFIG to stop all non-Microsoft services and startup options, but I still got the errors. They suggested running FixMBR from the Recovery Console. Same errors. I used BootIT NG to re-expand the partition to its original size. Same error.
For some time I had no way to reproduce the error. However, today I noticed that I would get the error when I would access the local drive through mapped drives. In other words, in Windows Explorer, I clicked on the I: drive mapped to \\ServerName\Install, and I immediately got an ntfs 55 error. (I also get MrxSmb 3019 redirector warnings, which is expected per MSKB 889000.) So my hunch is that it had something to do with the shares, but I dont know what. This system includes Macintosh shares; could that be related?
With much trepidation and three backups on three different media, I followed Microsoft’s last piece of advice and deleted the D: partition (all the client’s data), then re-created a (shrunken) partition and restored the backup.
After the restore, I can click on the mapped drives with no ntfs errors, so hopefully the problem is resolved. I’ve never had a problem with BootIT NG before, and it’s frustrating to not know what the problem was this time, but if the same ntfs errors occur next time, I’ll probably move more quickly to getting past it with a backup/restore.