Re: CHKDSK won't finish, XP won't start

I hope you have reliable a backup of your precious files, if you are to the point where your disk and file system have to be constantly fixed by Chkdsk to run properly you may need it, maybe sooner than later! Instead of stretching your luck with Chkdsk you should be doing tests on your hard drive and making preparations for a disk replacement.

From the onset it should be noted that the startup disk check tool is
Autochk.exe, this native NT application is designed to check the disk
without the support of the Win32 subsystem, otherwise it does the same
thing as Chkdsk. There are two ways to have Chkdsk run when the
computer starts, Autochk will run if you schedule it to run or by
default it will run if the volume's dirty bit is set. If the operating
system detects problems it will automatically set the dirty bit and the
volume will be checked at the next startup. The dirty bit can also be
set manually but it is best not to do this and to leave the setting of
the dirty bit to the operating system. Once set the dirty bit cannot be
changed and while the boot time check can be skipped it cannot be canceled, on the other hand, a scheduled Chkdsk without the dirty bit can be canceled at any time.

To schedule a Chkdsk at the next reboot:

On the Windows volume, assumes the volume is C:

At the command prompt issue:

chkdsk c: /f

Chkdsk will return a message telling you that it cannot lock or dismount the volume and ask you if you want to schedule a Chkdsk at the next restart, answer Yes.

For dismountable data volumes, assumes the volume is D:

Open a file on the volume, or explore the volume with Explorer. Then at the Command prompt issue:

chkdsk d: /f

Chkdsk will inform you that the volume is being used by another process and it will ask you if you want to force a dismount on the volume, answer No. Chkdsk will then ask you if you want to schedule a Chkdsk at the next restart, answer Yes.

Now the drives are scheduled to run at the next restart. To do this in a semi-automated manner, after doing the above:

Using Regedit export the [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager] key.

This exported file will be fairly large, edit the saved file and remove/delete everything except the BootExecute value, the edited file will look like this:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager]
........ with a long series of numbers.


(Leave a blank line at the end of the file.) You only want to save the BootExecute value, nothing else!

Save the edited .reg file and when you want to schedule the Chkdsk merge it to the registry. You can use any of the common methods to automatically merge the file when the computer boots, you can use a Startup or Logon script, put the file, a .bat file or a shortcut in the Startup folder. Use the silent switch to suppress the confirmation request, a shortcut's typical target could be:

%windir%\regedit.exe /s "c:\Path to BootChk.reg"

To cancel all scheduled Chkdsk at the command prompt issue"

chkntfs /d


ptmx2 wrote:

thank you.
every now and then, i have odd little problems with XP. nothing major, just annoyances. My current install is about 5-6 years old now and was installed on a clean disk. but things happen over time. i found that by running chkdsk with only the "automatically fix file system errors" selected that I never experience a bad shutdown and very seldom get a hang up or any other problems while using windows and my software applications.... As you know, my chkdsk selection does not include the bad sector check and repair steps. In my thinking, that step can have serious consequences and I would only use it if a genuine problem was evident or possible with the hdisk or a partition...I would probably begin to realize that through regular viewing of my Event Viewer and the overall behavior of my computer. I listen to it all the time.

ps. I notice we are now discussing this topic in the Windows XP General Discussion Group. Relative to how this message seems to be Group hopping is confusing to me...

"John John (MVP)" wrote:

No problem, I'll answer your question later but I have to ask, why on earth do you want to have chkdsk running at *every* startup? That is really quite uneccessary, chkdsk shouldn't be run without valid reasons.


PS: To access the newsgroup with your news reader try clicking on this link:


ptmx2 wrote:

my apologies. I tried to start a new thread. I encountered a problem doing so. I found the thread I posted to by searching; however I do not recall where I began. My search result is a page of posts listed in what is identifed as "Expert Zone Newsgroups". When I try to start a new tread, the WXP newsgroup reader asks which discussion group I want to post in, and "Expert Zone Newsgroup" is not listed. How do I post to this discussion group as it appears it is not listed.
thank you.

"Gary S. Terhune" wrote:

Please don't hijack this thread. It is quite rude. Start a new one. If you insist on only John answering, then say so in the Subject. "For John John MVP -- CHKDSK Question" I'm sure he'll find it, since he'll have read this and your previous.

Gary S. Terhune
MS-MVP Shell/User

"ptmx2" <ptmx2@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message news:D6229BCC-2489-4FC7-AD1D-930BBE013EDA@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

since the guys have gone over the hill, pehaps I can use your presence on
this tread to ask you a question.
I want my XPSP3 machine to run the first 3 phases of Chkdsk on every
startup. I want chkdsk to chech 2 partitions each time, one being my XP root
partition. What I also want to see is the exact same result from this
proposed auto-run of Chkdsk to replicate what I see when, while in Windows, I
go to Properties of each drive partition, select Tools\Error
Checking\Automatically fix file system errors. On each partition, XP explains
it can not be done while disk is in use but invites the user to check a box
and the Chkdsk will be done on next startup. When next startup occurs, there
is the BIOS checklist scrolled on screen, the Windows XP Start Screen with
the blue progress bar and then the screen goes dark and up pops a light blue
screen advising that a check disk is scheduled in 'x' seconds. It the user
lets the time run out, the process starts, shows its progress on screen,
gives you a result, and then restarts Windows from the beginning thru the
Windows XP Start Screen with progress bar to the login box. Do you know this
process? I am sure you will. Can I configure XP to do the above with the same
visual results automatically? I tried using a scheduled task but that did not
give me the results I was looking for.

your help will be appreciated.

"John John (MVP)" wrote:

Before you put it back in the machine you will still have to change the
registry's BootExecute value, if you don't when it boots it will want to
run chkdsk again.


MichaelG wrote:

Thanks Gerry,
I actually ran it all weekend and when i came in Monday it was still stuck
on the 66%. I have since taken the hard drive out and put it in another PC. I
defraged it and am no running Check Disk. It is on phase 5 so i am hopeful
that it will finish and i can put it back in the original PC.
I will try the disk Cleanup on the profiles if i get this going.

"Gerry" wrote:


Run Disk CleanUp in all User Profiles before running chkdsk or Disk
Defragmenter. Alternatively run cCleaner.

Stage 4 is checking for bad sectors. If one or more are found the system
will try to map off the sectors as out of bounds. This can take a very
long time. I would set it up to run over night and go to bed early and
get up late. It is not unusual for users to report chkdsk taking more
than 24 hours.

An explanation of CHKDSK and the new /C and /I switches


Hope this helps.

Stourport, England
Enquire, plan and execute

MichaelG wrote:

It passes all hardware diagnostics.

"David B." wrote:

Before doing any more software work on the drive, determine the mfg
of your drive and download and run their diagnostic utility to make
sure your drive isn't going/hasn't gone bad.


Crosspost, do not multipost How to ask a question

"MichaelG" <MichaelG@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message

I scheduled a check disk from within XP, it freezes on the 4th part
at 66%. I
have tried a repair which runs but then on the reboot, it runs
check disk again... and freezes at 66%. How can i cancel check disk
before windows loads. From the command prompt chkntfs is not a
valid program. I can not open
in safe mode.

Thanks in advance.


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