Chkdsk will Not Run at Startup in Vista

Synopsis
If after you set Check Disk or chkdsk to run at startup it will not run, then this will show you how to fix this problem so chkdsk will run at startup.
How to Fix Chkdsk will Not Run at Startup in Vista

information   Information
If after you set Check Disk or chkdsk to run at startup it will not run, then this will show you how to fix this problem so chkdsk will run at startup. This problem is usually caused when the autochk.exe file gets corrupted, or the registry BootExecute data value is incorrect.

This is not for if chkdsk cannot finish or stops running.

Note   Note

  • Check Disk uses the file autochk.exe to run chkdsk.
  • If you still cannot run chkdsk at startup after this, then you might consider performing a System Restore, Repair Installation, or Clean Installation to fix the problem. See related links below.
  • If you had changed your default boot screen, then you will need to temporarily uncheck the No GUI boot to be able to see what is happening when chkdsk is running at boot up. See: How to Enable or Replace the Hidden Aurora Boot Screen in Vista




STEP ONE
Safe Mode Workaround

Note   Note
This is to see if something may be loading before the check disk program preventing chkdsk from running.

1. Schedule check disk to run using chkdsk /f (STEP FIVE below) in the command promt.​
2. Run msconfig (step 1 in METHOD TWO at link), and click on the Boot
tab and click on Safe boot with the minimal button selected. (See screenshot below)​
MSConfig1.jpg

3. Restart the computer to hopefully have chkdsk run.​
4. Set msconfig (step 2 in METHOD TWO at link) to boot normally again.​
5. If chkdsk still will not run at startup, then proceed with the steps below. If it did, then you're done.​





STEP TWO
Reset chkdsk BootExecute
Note   Note

  • This will reset chkdsk back to it's default setting of not to run at startup.
  • This step will also fix the problem of chkdsk always running at startup.
  • If BootExecute already has a Data value of autocheck autochk *, then you do not need to do this. (See the Manual Way below to check) Continue to STEP THREE below instead.

Through a Download:
1. Click on the download button below to download the Reset_chkdsk.reg file.​
download

2. Click on Save, and save the .reg file to the Desktop.​
3. Right click on the .reg file (on Desktop) and click on Merge.​
4. Click on the Run button for Security Warning pop-up.​
5. Click on Continue (UAC), Yes, and then OK when prompted.​
6. When done, you can delete the .reg file (on Desktop).​
The Manual Way:
1. Open the Start Menu.​
2. In the white line (Start Search) area, type regedit and press Enter.​
3. Click on the Continue button in the UAC prompt.​
4. In regedit, go to: (See screenshot below step 5)​
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager

5. In the right pane, right click on BootExecute and click on Modify.​
BootExecute_Reg.jpg

6. Type autocheck autochk * and click on OK. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: You will be replacing autocheck autochk /p \??\C: with autocheck autochk* instead. If BootExecute already has a Data value of autocheck autochk *, then you do not need to do this. Go to STEP THREE below.​
Modify.jpg

7. Close regedit.​





STEP THREE
Run a SFC /SCANNOW Command

1. Try running a sfc /scannow command to see if it can fix chkdsk.​
2. When SFC is finished, try running chkdsk again.​
3. If chkdsk still will not run at startup, then proceed with the steps below. If it did, then you're done.​





STEP FOUR
Replace autochk.exe File

NOTE: This will show you how to replace your corrupted copy of the autochk.exe file with clean copy to be able to run chkdsk at startup.
1. Be sure that you already have ran a SFC /scannow from STEP THREE above to see verify that the autochk.exe file was foud to be corrupted first in the sfcdetails.txt file. If it's not, then you do not need to do STEP FOUR.​
2. In Windows Explorer, go to C:\Windows\System32\autochk.exe. (See screenshot below)​
System32.jpg

3. Take ownership of the file autochk.exe at the C:\Windows\System32\autochk.exe location, and "Allow" your user account "Full Control" of it. (See screenshot above)​
4. Right click on autochk.exe and click on Properties. (See screenshot below step 2)​
5. Click on the Details tab. (See screenshots below)​
A) Make note of what File version the autochk.exe file is.​
NOTE: If the File version is blank or you have SP1 installed, then do step 6. If not, then do step 8.​
Properties1.jpg
Properties2.jpg
Vista_SP2.jpg

6. Download the same version that you have in step 5.​
7. For the Vista 6.0.6002.18005 SP2 Version of autochk.exe
NOTE: This is for the 32 bit and 64 bit Vista with SP1 and SP2 installed.​
A) Click on the download button below to download the 6.0.6002.18005.zip file.​
B) Go to step 10.​
download

8. For the Vista 6.0.6001.18000 SP1 Version of autochk.exe
NOTE: This is for the 32 bit and 64 bit Vista with SP1 installed.​
A) Click on the download button below to download the 6.0.6001.18000.zip file.​
B) Go to step 10.​
download

9. For the Vista 6.0.6000.16386 RTM Version of autochk.exe
NOTE: This is for the 32 bit and 64 bit Vista without SP1 or SP2 installed. This version has been reported to still work with or without SP1 installed, so you may try it if you still have problems with the newer 6.0.6001.18000 SP1 or 6.0.6002.18005 SP2 version.​
A) Click on the download button below to download the 6.0.6000.16386.zip file.​
download

10. Save the ZIP file to your desktop.​
11. Open on the downloaded autochk.exe.zip file.​
12. Extract (drag and drop) the autochk.exe file from wihtin the ZIP file to your desktop.​
13. Right click on the autochk.exe file on your desktop and click on Properties and the Unblock button under the General tab. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: If you do not have the Unblock button, then it is already unblocked. Continue on to step 14.​
Unblock.jpg

14. Right click on the autochk.exe file on your desktop and click on Copy.​
15. Go back to the Windows Explore window at C:\Windows\System32\autochk.exe. (See screenshot below step 2)​
16. Right click on a empty space in the Windows Explorer window and click on Paste. (See screenshot below step 2)​
NOTE: If it will not let you Copy or Paste the new autochk.exe file (on desktop) over, then rename the old one and repeat step 14, then delete the old renamed autochk.exe file afterwards.​
17. Click on Copy and Replace. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: This replaces your autochk.exe with the downloaded clean one on the desktop that has not been taken ownership of.​
Copy_Replace.jpg

18. Click on Continue for Access Denied prompt.​
19. Click on Continue for UAC prompt.​
20. Close the Windows Explorer window.​



STEP FIVE
Set Chkdsk to Run at Startup

1. Try the different methods in this tutorial below to run chkdsk to see which one works best for you.​
That's it,
Shawn


 
Last edited:
Shawn Brink

Comments

LOL figures. Even logged in as administrator with full control - can't change the access privileges to autochk.exe, so therefore cannot replace it with a non-corrupted copy.

Guess I'm back to trying Imagex (run as administrator). If someone could tell me WHERE to find autochk.exe on the installation disk that would help a lot.

Sigh.
 
Hi jdslatermd,

Did you Take Ownership of the original autochk.exe in Step Two step 2 first?

Shawn
 
Ahhh, didn't realize there was yet ANOTHER STEP to simply replace a system file under circumstances where Vista won't do it on its own :p

Now it's done - many thanks again. Now I'll see if I can actually get chkdsk to run.

By the way, are there any actual Vista developers who read these posts to get an idea of how many flaws the current operating system contains?

JD
 
JD,

Great news, I hope it will allow you to get chkdsk to run now.

I can only hope that the developers monitors some sites to help ID problems.:zip:

Shawn
 
Ughhhhhhh...... even after taking ownership and enabling the built-in administrator account, it STILL wont let me replace autochk.exe.............. any ideas?

I'm using Windows Vista Home Premium (i think it's 64x but i'm not sure)
 
After you take ownership you still have to change your user privileges to full control.

None of this worked for me anyway. I ended up running check disk from the Toshiba restore disk that came with my laptop. None of the other methods allowed me to run chkdsk from my computer drive.
 
OK. I have tried both versions of the autochk.exe file (I have SP1 installed) and still no joy. Just out of curiosity, why do I need to reset the value of BootExecute in step 1 if step 3 restores it to the exact same value?

Anyway, any suggestions as to what to try next?
 
Hi Pbrown,

Welcome to Vista Forums. :party:

Resetting the BootExecute is just in case the registry entry would not reset. This is to allow the other steps to be able to help chkdsk work again.

If you have already tried all the different methods in Step Three to run chkdsk, then see if running a System Restore with a restore point dated before this problem started can fix it.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
I actually found a less onerous solution on the thread: Vista Forums > Vista Newsgroups > Vista performance & maintenance check disk not working

This thread suggests using msconfig to force a boot into safe mode with the "minimal" setting selected. I did that, and chkdsk ran just as it should. Afterwards you have to use the utility again to remove those settings and boot normally. Don't know why it worked (it would be nice to know) but it did and it was simple.
 
Umm, interesting Pbrown. That would seem to suggest that some installed startup program or driver may be interfering with chkdsk running in a normal boot. You might do some tests by temporarily disabling startup items one or a few at a time to see if one of them may be the cause.

Thank you for sharing this,

Shawn
 
Phew, I started having the same problems a week ago. My backup wouldn't run, finally decided to see whey. Corrupt files.

Same problesm as the others, chkdsk will not run at startup, can't run anything else because it is flagged dirty. Tried from the cmd prompt was promptly told that my account (in the admin group) needed elevated priviledges.

Tried the Admin account, it couldn't find the program to run at all.

Booted in the safe mode and ran chkdsk without any switches. Corrupt files are there. I have read through this thread earmarked it and sent it to myself so i can try some of the suggestions here.

Vista home premium 32 bit (bought the laptop because it was 64 bit and made the false assumption the OS would be too!)
 
Hi Mccljp,

Welcome to Vista Forums. :party:

When it told you that the CMD prompt needed to be elevated, it just meant that you needed to right click on the CMD prompt shortcut and click Run as administrator first.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
Thank you Shawn, I followed the instructions, did the two regedits manually download the autocheck file, took possession of the original file and tried to move it over.....

That didn't work so I renamed the original and then copied the new file to it's place, deleted the old one and rebooted. Check disk ran :p What a PITA, sure am glad we run XP at work, and I don't have to manage 500 vista machines.

I am now running a full backup just incase.

Thanks again,
John
 
I have the same issue - chkdsk will not run on boot.
I have been following the instructions listed in this thread but my main problem is how to get the autochk file copied into my windows\system32 folder. No matter what I try it will not allow me to copy it there - those d*@n secuirty privilege messages! Even if I login as administrator I still can't.

Any advice on this matter? I truly would like to get my ckhdsk working again.

btw, I too think that this is one sorry OS - XP is way better and more stable. Though I do like the preceived security features of vista, it is heck to deal with when troubles arise.

thanks.
 
Hi Robishawr,

Welcome to Vista Forums. :party:

Did you take ownership of the old autochk.exe file first in STEP TWO step 2? It will not allow you to unless you did.

If you have, then you can enable the built-in Administrator account and try this tutorial while logged on to that account instead. It has full rights like in XP. This tutorial will show you how to enable it.

http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/67567-administrator-account.html

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
I have tried all the steps, but at the very last step, even though I have taken ownership of autochk.exe (and ownership confirmation message OK) and I am an administrator, the final step of Copy and Replace autochk.exe fails. It says permission required..this is after it has already confirmed the UAC as administrator. It also will not let me rename the old file. What do I need to do?
 
Ok 1604.

If it is not letting you to replace the old one, then something usually has not been granted permission or control.

See if booting into Safe Mode and deleting the original autochk.exe file first, then copy the new one it will allow you to.
 
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