If you've ever rebooted an ageing Windows PC, you've probably experienced the annoyance when the CHKDSK utility kicks in and decides to carefully and slowly check your drive for possible errors. CHKDSK isn't disappearing entirely in Windows 8, but it is getting somewhat smarter.
Microsoft's Building Windows 8 blog outlines how CHKDSK will work on Windows 8 systems. While Microsoft has tried to improve the speed of drive checking, capacities have increased even more quickly. That's an especially big problem with servers; massive drives can take hours to check, and under the pre-Windows 8 model, the drive was unavailable until the entire contents had been checked.
Rather than the all-or-nothing approach adopted with previous releases, in Windows 8 the file system will first of all try to self-heal without going offline. If that doesn't work, it will log a list of areas where potential corruption has been detected, and then fix just those areas. The end result?
With this new model, chkdsk offline run time is now directly proportional to the number of corruptions, rather than being proportional to the number of files as in the old model.
You'll still need to reboot for drive repairs, but Microsoft says this process will take "just a few additional seconds". Hit the blog post for the full details.
Windows 8 is expected to be launched before the end of 2012. Microsoft has outlined which versions will be available but hasn't yet specified a release date or announced pricing.
Redesigning chkdsk and the new NTFS health model [Building Windows 8]