Win7 Chkdsk w/ each boot

By EXCellR8
Jan 5, 2011
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  1. Every time I turn on my computer chkdsk scans one of my secondary hard drives. I let it go all the way though and it just does it again next time. It scans one of my recovery volumes (in which i store backups and other recovery data) but the disk is working fine so I'm not sure why it keeps running. I've done a quick registry/disk cleanup but that didn't help. How do I stop it? I can simply cancel it but it takes a lot longer to boot the OS and is overall pretty annoying.

    OS is Win7 Ultimate x64
  2. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,011   +18

    I know that sometimes when you try to use the Tools -> Error checking for a specific drive, and your drive is in use by the system, then the system will delay the checkdisk until you reboot and run it before Windows starts up.

    Have you tried that command recently within Windows?

    Have you ever let it complete? If it never completed the check disk maybe it keeps trying to do it every time you restart?
  3. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Topic Starter Posts: 1,835

    I haven't ran an error check on the drive and yes, I have let it complete on more than one occasion. Seemed like it hanged at the end once so I restarted the computer manually and of course it ran the check again. But yes it has completed and after booted Windows. The hard drive itself isn't that old and there's not a lot of data on it so I don't understand why Windows keeps scanning...
  4. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,011   +18

    That was my only idea. =/

    We seem to have the same system pretty much, that's been the only time I encountered the same problem as you. Maybe run HD diagnostics on the drive to rule out physical errors?
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    If the volume's dirty bit is set, Windows ends up calling chkdsk to try and fix it. (Windows first calls autochk on bootup which is what checks the dirty bits)

    1) You can check if the dirty bit is set with the fsutil command

    2) But the only way i know of to reset it, is a registry edit. (Normal precautions about registry edits apply, e.g. creating System Restore points, etc.)
    > Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager
    > Rt click BootExecute, select Modify replace the string with
    autocheck autochk *
    resets the dirty bit on all volumes

    Tho other question is why the bit isn't getting reset on its own. Have you checked the drive SMART data? And after resetting the bit see if it happens again
  6. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,011   +18

    LOL, I can't believe that's the technical term. "Dirty bit". I thought you were a British expat using some colloquialism until I followed that link. Thanks for the info on how to fix it, good to know!
  7. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Topic Starter Posts: 1,835

    I'll give that a try and post back, thanks guys!

    EDIT: i ran chkntfs D: and it said the volume bit was dirty, so then i just used chkntfs /x D: and it said it was reset?

    after i restarted the computer there was no disk check but it booted up kind of slow so i'm guessing it's not completely fixed. i'll take a look at the registry later

    thx again
  8. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    LOL. You're right. I guess one gets used to the term over time. Thinking back, yea, the first time i saw reference to the "dirty bit" it was funny/odd :D

    Hmm... Don't think i've ever used chkntfs. Thanks for pointing it out :) Reading its man page, looks like /x disables chkdsk from running (so i can only guess that clears the dirty bit till maybe you enable it again??? dunno... just a guess)
  9. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Topic Starter Posts: 1,835

    yea i haven't tried re-enabling it yet but i probably will because the boot speed is terrible for some reason. it takes the same amount of time as when chkdsk was enabled so my guess is the dirty bit is affecting Windows startup but then sees that chkdsk is disabled so it just doesn't run anyway. you might be right though, but i have a feeling it's just going to run chkdsk again because chkntfs still reports the volume as dirty.
  10. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,423   +77

    Possibly, something is writing to that drive at boot time. Do you have any scheduling package that automatically backs-up to D: ? Is there any software installed on D: that works at boot time, like a drive defender, root kit protection type of thing?

    Is there a portion of the pagefile.sys on D: (take it off if there is)

    My feeling is something is acting to set the dirty bit before windows actually wants to check the drive for whether the dirty bit is set. This would imply a fault in Win7 which allows anything to to installed which runs before the hardware test occurs at boot time.

    There are other possibilities like the drive caching delaying writes too long, you could try switching off drive caching (delayed writes) as an experiment.
  11. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Topic Starter Posts: 1,835

    i had no choice but to replace the drive. it was crippling my performance and just earlier today became completely unresponsive when i tried to access it. the same thing happened when i installed it in another machine. the drive was working just last night, but i decided to remove it today and replace it with a 1TB drive that i've had for some time. the computer didn't POST when i put the new drive in, but after a hard reset it worked just fine--probably had something to do with the cache size change idk. still not sure what exactly happened with the other drive but i'm gonna run some tests and see if i can get my backups back lol.

  12. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,423   +77

    Sometimes a failed drive will work again (at least long enough to extract some data), after a brisk tap or two in several different orientations. Very occasionally, a well-wrapped up night in the freezer has been known to restore some life....that's the drive, not you :D

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