Volume is Dirty

My Dell Inspiron Laptop is saying the volume is dirty during startup and I'm also getting errors saying various things are unreadable. Can someone please help me correct this problem?
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See the Fsutil.exe command-line tool  section of  this Microsoft article:


In a nutshell, this is a legitimate Windows error. You want to run CHKDSK to repair the problem.
Honestly, I would pull the HDD out and get the data off prior to trying any fixes on the machine.....

Or at least copy the most important stuff off to a network share....

Once the data is safe, then go to start>run>cmd.exe

chkdsk /f /r, and say yes when prompted to have it run on boot...

If you still have problems, then you will need to replace the HDD.....

a123girlAuthor Commented:
The only problem with your solutions is that fact that my computer isn't completely starting up, so I'm unable to do anything that requires it to be fully functional.
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Ok so here is what you do to run a chkdsk when the computer will not boot up:

Put in the windows xp cd, and make sure the BIOS is set to boot off of a cd before the HDD....   (On a DELL system you press F12 to access the boot menu) and boot off of the cd.

When it is finished loading, press r to access the recovery console. Then choose your windows installation and enter the administrator password.


DO NOT TYPE: chkdsk /f /r   this will format and possibly erase something critical.  

This should get it to boot up if you HDD is not physically failing. If you think it IS failing, there is a free utility online called Drive Fitness Test that you can burn to a cd and boot to. It will test your HDD and let you know if it is failing.

Hope this helps, I'd be glad to answer any questions.
a123girlAuthor Commented:
Unfortunately the cd wasn't included with my laptop when I purchased it. A co-worker mentioned that he thought Dell didn't send them out anymore, but idk..Any idea where I could obtain one of these?
Call DELL, they will give one to you if you ask. You can also borrow one. An XP cd isn't system specific. Good luck.

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What is the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows?

Might want to see if you can get a friend to assit in building this. You can run the chkdsk from there, but more importantly you can get the data off to a usb drive with it to be safe.....

Or simply remove your HDD, and slave it to a friends machine for the process....

And the below might be needed if you get denied access to the files, when slaving the drive to another machine.......

How to take ownership of a file or folder in Windows XP
"An XP cd isn't system specific. "

An XP CD is not system specific per se, but it is defuinately version specific. If you just need to get it to boot to the recovery console for maint.... Any of them will work....

For a repair though, you need an exact replacement to the kind you have now, as in OEM, VLK, Retail etc....
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