In an earlier lesson, we talked about the dangers of unplugging a USB device without ejecting or unmounting it from the computer. You might have seen error messages like this yourself, when the system alerts that you must safely eject this flash drive. Why do we need to do this? When we copy over files to a flash drive and we see that the file copied successfully, why can’t we just unplug the drive without unmounting or hitting the eject button in the OS? Turns out, it may not be finished copying over that data. It's not just yelling at us for fun. When we read or write something to a drive, we actually put it into a buffer, or cache, first. A data buffer is a region of RAM that's used to temporarily store data while it's being moved around. So when you copy something from your OS to your USB drive, it first gets copied to a data buffer because RAM operates faster than hard drives. So if you don't properly unmount a file system and give your buffer enough time to finish moving data, you run the risk of data corruption. Data corruption could happen for lots of reasons, other than unsafely removing a disk drive. Let's say you're working on your computer and the power to the building went out, causing your computer to suddenly shut off. This kind of crash also causes data corruption. System failure or software bugs can cause data corruption as well. The NTFS file system has some advanced features built into it that can help minimize the danger of corruption, as well as, try to recover when the file system does get damaged. One of these features, through a process called journaling, logs changes made to a file metadata into a log file called the NTFS log. By logging these changes, NTFS creates a history of the actions it's taken. This means it can look at the log to see what the current state of the file system should be. If a crash or bug does cause corruption, the file system can initiate recovery process that will use that log to make sure the system is in a consistent state. In addition to journaling, NTFS and Windows implements something called self-healing. As you might guess from the name, the self-healing mechanism makes changes to minor problems and corruptions on the disk automatically in the background. It does this while Windows is running so you don't need to perform a reboot. If you want to check the status of the self-healing process on your computer, you can open up an administrative command prompt and use the fsutil tool, like this. Fsutil repair query, and I want to query my C drive. Finally, when things get really bad and there's some serious or catastrophic disk corruption, like bad disk sectors, disk failures, and more, you can turn to the NTFS check disk utility. The recovery features NTFS has built into it mean that you don't usually need to run check disk. But it's available in emergencies. To run check disks manually, you can open up an administrator command prompt and type check disk onto the command line. By default, check disk will run in read-only mode. So it'll give you a report on the health of the disk, but won't make any modifications or repairs to it. You can tell check disk to fix any problems it finds with the /F flag. You can also specify the drive you want to check like this. chkdsk/F I'm going to check my thumb drive, which is on the D. A lot of times, you won't need to run check disk manually, though. If the operating system detects that some data's been corrupted or that the disk has a bad sector, it'll set a bit in a metadata file on the volume that indicates there's corruption. When the system boots, the check disk utility will check this bit. If it's set, it'll execute and try to repair the corruption by reconstructing the broken bits of the file system from the NTFS log. As you can see, the Windows NTFS file system has some pretty robust measures and features in place to recover and prevent corruption from breaking your partitions. Next, let's have a look at how you can perform file system repairs in Linux.