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explain this check disc symptom and solution

Posted on 2011-02-26
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
An Uncle's computer began to do a chk disc, on every boot.
It completed the check in 15-20 seconds and booted normally.
A local repair shop said such a symptom is pointing toward a hard drive problem.
The grandson has his own computer shop and his findings were:

It was prompting that disk D: needed to be scanned to free up space on the drive. Well there is no disk drive for D. it is just a partition of disk drive C. You know most manufacturers set up a virtual disk drive D on a new machine with certain programs on there. But it is just a partition of disk C. Anyhow, I ran a scan disk just to check for bad sectors, etc. and all seems to be fine. The machine runs great, I think it is just a USER problem.

How does "user" get a chk disc to appear on the screen on bootups?
What was the "user error.?"
Question by:nickg5

Assisted Solution

tomwebbnz earned 400 total points
ID: 34988514
Hard to confirm why or how this situation came about, as it could be caused by a number of situations - corrupt registry, incorrect setting accidentally enabled etc. To stop this behaviour open up comand line/DOS box and enter the following:
chkntfs /x d:

Open in new window

this will disable the auto check disk upon bootup.
LVL 63

Assisted Solution

by:☠ MASQ ☠
☠ MASQ ☠ earned 400 total points
ID: 34988519
If Windows finds an error on a drive or is set to run a disk check by a user it marks the drive using a flag known as a "dirty bit". When starting up Windows checks the drives for this "dirty bit" marker and if found launches chkdsk.
LVL 25

Author Comment

ID: 34988566
the repairman said it was

user error  <<

and the user is an older gentleman.

I just wondered what the user did wrong.

No one has changed any of the settings on the computer.


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LVL 88

Accepted Solution

rindi earned 840 total points
ID: 34988690
It can be a problem with the HD, or also a Windows problem. To find out if the disk is good or not you should run the HD manufacturer's diagnostic utility (run both the short and long tests which most of those tools have). You'll find them on the UBCD:


If the tool finds a fault on that disk it might also allow to do repairs, which you should do. After that run the tests again, and if the disk is fine after that run another chkdsk /x to fix any problems on the file-system (provided it is formatted as ntfs). After that things should be fine again. If the disk test finds errors and they can't be repaired with that tool, the disk should be replaced.

If the tool doesn't find any errors, post back, then it is possible that either there is a problem within your OS, what OS is it? Or it could also be that the user doesn't shut-down the PC properly.
LVL 14

Assisted Solution

by:Don Thomson
Don Thomson earned 360 total points
ID: 34988691
Nothing wrong with the user - just the repairman - "User error" is synonymous with "Gee - I haven't a clue - and your not smart enough to explain it to if I did know"

First - Find another repair shop - one that has a tech who knos something about computers.

What Masqueraid said is very true.  Occasionally after you request that a chkdsk be done on reboot (Right mouse click on C: drive goto properties - Tools Tab - Top one Check for errors - If you check the two boxes - Windows will schedule a chkdsk on the first reboot - It can't check during windows as some of the files are "Locked" and prevent the checking from doing it's job

Once in a while - It will not properly change the dirty bit back to normal and it will keep checking at every reboot.

Use the command that tomwebbnz gave you and if that doesn't  work - then use the F8 during the initial boot and goto last known good configuration. That will sometimes clear it.

To allow a user to check a disk at bootup (not sure why you would want to do it you could do Start - Run - Chkdsk c:   - Even put that into a batch file and put it in the startup folder
LVL 25

Author Comment

ID: 34988711
If you read the entire question, you see the problem was already fixed.

So, no diagnosis instructions are needed.
The repairman is blood relative of the user, with his own computer business.
He used stronger words, when saying the problem of the chk dsc message was a "user problem."

I wondered what the user could have done, to cause it.
LVL 88

Assisted Solution

rindi earned 840 total points
ID: 34988748
As I said, If there really is no hardware problem (it isn't really clear if the repair included a diagnostic of the HD, many repair shops forget to run those tests, and just repair the file-system) it is likely that the user doesn't shut the PC down properly. Maybe he just cuts the power.
LVL 25

Author Comment

ID: 34988788
I have been over at their house many times. I have seen them turn the pc off using the switch on the surge protector. Not all the time but some times.
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 34988806
That would explain things... (provided the surge protector doesn't have any built in logic that gracefully shuts the PC down when the button is pressed).
LVL 25

Author Comment

ID: 34988869
From what I know, the user did not attempt any chk dsc.

The message on the screen started a few days ago, the check completed itself in a very short time, and booted normally.

LVL 25

Author Closing Comment

ID: 34988888
Rindi: the guys grandson owns a pc shop and surely did a complete check of all parts, HD, etc.

"Or it could also be that the user doesn't shut-down the PC properly".
(seems the answer)

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