Chkdsk won't run

    General discussion

  • Chkdsk will not run on the system disk on my Vista Ultimate system and because of that I cannot run backup either. I have tried scheduling through the GUI and through an elevated command prompt. They both say it is scheduled but it will not run on startup. I have replaced the autocheck.exe file and the registry entries appear correct. It seems a lot of people are haveing this problem and if you try enough things they usually get it working. However, not the same thing works for everyone.

    I probably could run chkdsk from the recovery environment but am cautious since my system disk is a raid array. That really does not solve the problem anyway. Obviously there is a bug that is not getting resolved. How do I determine what the real cause is and fix that problem. This has happened before and it just fixed itself eventually but now that my backups won't run there is a little more urgency to the problem.

    I suspect I won't be able to upgrade to Windows 7 either if chkdsk won't run.

    Friday, June 05, 2009 6:40 PM

All replies

  • Hi,


    Thanks for posting in Microsoft TechNet Forum.


    I see, you have done a lot of research and tests on your computer. However, to troubleshoot this issue step by step, I may need to suggest that you perform the following steps one by one.


    1. I would like to share an article for common solutions. If you have performed these steps in the following website, please continue step 2.


    How to Fix Chkdsk will Not Run at Startup in Vista


    (On above website, if there are files that could not be repaired by System File Checker tool, you can visit the following website to determine the exact file and manually repair it. )


    Note: This response contains a reference to a third party World Wide Web site. Microsoft is providing this information as a convenience to you. Microsoft does not control these sites and has not tested any software or information found on these sites.


    2. Boot in Safe Mode to run chkdsk.


    3. Back up all data and insert a Vista Recovery disk to do a repair in place. If you don't own a Windows Vista Recovery disc, you can download the ISO file at the supplied link, and make a Bootable Disk from it. For detail information, please visit the following website:



    Note: This response contains a reference to a third party World Wide Web site. Microsoft is providing this information as a convenience to you. Microsoft does not control these sites and has not tested any software or information found on these sites.


    Hope this helps. Thanks.
    Monday, June 08, 2009 11:14 AM
  • I have already performed the steps from the website in step one and it had no effect.

    I can try #2 but I don't believe it will be any different. It still will have to schedule a chkdsk at the next boot which is where the problem lies.

    As far as number 3. I can't do a backup because it says there are disk errors and I can't run chkdsk to repair the errors. I am also real leery about doing a Repair in Place. Sounds like a good way to end up reinstalling the OS from scratch after it totally blows it up.

    This entire concept is wrong. You should always be able to run backup, after all if your hard disk was actually failing a chkdsk is liable to completely destroy your data so you would want to back it up first. All I have are "normal" disk errors because Vista crashes or does not shut down correctly.

    There is obviously a bug in the OS that does not allow chkdsk to run. I don't understand how Microsoft cannot easily find this bug and provide a hotfix for it. Give me the source code for the boot sequence and I'll find the problem pretty quick. As a developer my customers expect me to determine the problem and provide a fix, not just say to try half a dozen things and then reinstall.

    Monday, June 08, 2009 4:06 PM
  • Hi,


    Thanks for your update.


    I noticed that you are a developer, and your customers expect you to determine the problem and provide a fix. I am wondering if all your customers come across this issue. If it is the case, it may be caused by conflicting application with Windows Vista. I may need to suggest that you check your application as well, however, this may need to debug related codes and files. Unfortunately, debugging is beyond our support in this forum. We just provide some common troubleshooting here. If it doesn't work after these troubleshooting, I may need to suggest that you contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support (CSS) for further investigation in the future. Thanks for your understanding.


    By the way, I noticed above that your computer crashes or doesn't shut down correctly. Could you please tell me the exact symptoms? When does the computer crash?


    Generally, system crashes and abnormal shut down can be related to several factors, such as a damaged file, incorrectly configured, incompatible hardware, conflicting programs, or conflicting device drivers. If it is the case, I would like to suggest that you do a clean boot. This method will help us determine if this issue is caused by a loading program or service. Please perform the following steps:


    Clean Boot



    1)     Click the Start Button type "msconfig" (without quotation marks) in the Start Search box, and then press Enter.


    Note: If prompted, please click Continue on the User Account Control (UAC) window.


    2)     Click the "Services" tab, check the "Hide All Microsoft Services" box and click "Disable All" (if it is not gray).

    3)     Click the "Startup" tab, click "Disable All" and click "OK".

    4)     Then, restart the computer. When the "System Configuration Utility" window appears, please check the "Don't show this message or launch the System Configuration Utility when Windows starts" box and click OK.

    5)     Please test this issue in the Clean Boot environment, if the issue disappears in the Clean Boot environment, we can use a 50/50 approach to quickly narrow down which entry is causing the issue.


    Hope this helps. Thanks.

    Tuesday, June 09, 2009 11:02 AM
  • The issue with chkdsk not running is not related to any particular application. It also "should not" be related to any particular application. Chkdsk is a sytem utility. There is obviously a bug in the OS. Doing a web search will show many people having the same problem with no one thing being a fix. As one possible solution it is even suggested you dowload and install a new autochk.exe file as it may be corrupted. That did not work for me but I would sure like to know how an exe file is getting corrupted so often that there are recommendations it be replaced so often.

    I appreciate the help you have provided and all the work you do to help everyone in these forums but this is really an OS bug Microsoft needs to address. I don't plan on paying their fee to help them find their own bug. I bought a third party backup program that will back up my OS and Files regardless of whether or not chkdsk will run.

    As far as lockups and crashes, more OS bugs. Remember the MS marketing hype, Vista will protect us from application errors and crashes.  SP1 fixed most of the problems but there are still many more. Vista is not much more stable than Windows 98 was. I used to  just put my PC to sleep and night and wake it up in the morning. Then MS sent down a hotfix to "improve waking up USB devices". Now if I put my PC to sleep none of the USB devices will wake up ever! Sometimes it hangs at "Shutting Down" and you have to power off. I could go on and on. The only reason I use Vista is because we could not get XP when we bought new PC's. My next PC will be a MAC and I'll run Vista or XP or whatever I need to develop on in a virtual machine. I hear Vista runs better in a VM on a MAC than on a native Intel PC.

    Thanks for the suggestions, I do appreciate the help you guys provide.
    Tuesday, June 09, 2009 4:05 PM
  • Hi,


    Sorry for late reply.


    First of all, let's focus back on Chkdsk issue.


    I'm sorry that you occurred with this issue. But please understand that this issue can be caused by different kinds of operations users performed since the original Operating System is out of problem, we need to follow users' descriptions to troubleshoot it. In your first post, you said Chkdsk can be run from Windows PE, but you didn't answer if it works in Safe Mode. If it can work in Safe Mode, this indicates that there may be an application/service conflicting with this behavior in Normal Mode. Otherwise, if it can't work in Safe Mode neither, we may narrow down it to Chkdsk itself.


    By the way, I noticed that you mentioned backup. While running backup, we may need user to know some rules during backup:


    1)     The location is the disk that you are trying to back up. You can't back up a disk to itself. For example, you can't back up the contents of drive E to drive E.

    2)     Never back up files to a location on either the system disk or the boot disk.

    3)     The location shouldn't be CD-ROM drive, USB flash drive. You need to use a CD burner, also known as a CD-R or CD-RW drive.

    4)     The location should be NTFS,FAT or Universal Disk Format (UDF). Backups can only be saved to disks that are formatted using the NTFS, FAT, or UDF file systems. For more information, see Comparing NTFS and FAT file systems.


    Meanwhile, for computer crashes and unexpected shut down issue, I would like to share two Microsoft KBs with you.


    You may experience power management-related symptoms on a computer that is running Windows Vista  


    How to troubleshoot performance issues with standby, hibernate, and resume in Windows Vista


    Hope this helps. Thanks.

    Friday, June 12, 2009 5:05 AM
  • Thanks for the help but I am going to give up on the CHKDSK problem. My backups have magically started working again after the last batch of Windows updates so CHKDSK is not a priority.

    Also, I have 25 years in the IT industry and am very familiar with the Windows backup requirements. Backup has been working on and off since I bought this PC with Vista pre loaded on. Have never had a problem with Windows backup until Vista. Certainly a very fragile program for such an important application.

    As far as the other problems with hangs and failure to shutdown I do have the newest bios, etc. If the problems were consistent you could troubleshoot but as intermittent as they are ...

    CHKDSK, I don't understand how a third party application could cause CHKDSK to fail. It is triggered very early in the boot process. It had better be triggered well before any applications or services are loaded or you could be corrupting files other applications use when it is triggered. There should be no possible way for any application to interfere with a system level process like CHKDSK at boot time or it is a serious defiency in the OS design.

    So thanks again but I am not going to waste my time trying several things hoping CHKDSK will run for awhile again.
    Monday, June 15, 2009 4:22 PM