CHKDSK runs at boot

If you shut down your computer incorrectly, it’s likely that CHKDSK (Windows disk checking utility) will run the next time you boot your computer. It’s not exactly common, but it’s not unheard of for Windows to then get “stuck” and want to run CHKDSK on a disk every time you start your computer. What’s worse, if Windows wants to run CHKDSK on a system drive, you might get locked out of your computer: Windows will run CHKDSK on the system drive, then reboot, then run CHKDSK again, then reboot, then run CHKDSK and reboot… and on and on and on in an infinite loop, and you never get to the desktop.

Yesterday, I was surfing the topics at a popular message board, when I came across a user who complained that CHKDSK was running at every boot on an external drive attached to his computer. The disk came up clean every time, but it was annoying to have to sit through the unneeded disk check every single time he booted his computer.

A poster suggested that he run the following command:

chkntfs /x d:

This is a horrible idea. It permanently disables automatic disk checking for that volume. While it will indeed solve his immediate problem of Windows checking the external drive at every boot, it also prevents Windows from checking the disk for errors in the future. It’s like suggesting that the best way to fix a video driver issue is to turn off the monitor!

A much better solution would be for the user to start REGEDIT and look in the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CURRENTCONTROLSET\CONTROL\Session Manager

Look for the BootExecute entry. By default, the value should be autocheck autochk *. If it is not, change it back to autocheck autochk * and reboot. Problem solved!

One Reply to “CHKDSK runs at boot”

  1. Another way to fix this issue is to run FIXMBR …. the MBR rewrite will correct the issue causing the reboot and CHKDSK failure…. for me it is a little easier to remember…. 🙂

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