" i cant remember if it needs to be mounted or not.."
The partition that you are running fsck must be umounted. Also it is importatn that you pass fsck the correct filesystem type:
fsck -t ext3 /dev/hda1
"i get 2 choices... 1 is truncate first to 1843200 bytes 2nd is truncate second to 0 when i choose 2 it says "leaving file system intact" and quits.."
I have extensive fsck experience and I don't have a clue what this error message is about. Could you post the lines preceeding this message.
Be prepared. Create a LifeBoat CD.