Sometimes you need to check the health of your hard drives by running a diagnostic on them, but you cannot fix any problems because “the system cannot get exclusive access to the drive”. This problem occurs more frequently on the drive in which Windows is installed.
So, you schedule CHKDSK to run before boot (or sometimes Windows will schedule it), and it either takes friggin’ forever, or tries to run a CHKDSK every time you boot! The problem is that a flag has been set on your drive and isn’t being cleared after a successful run. There is a simple procedure to correct this problem, but you have to go through a few screens in Vista or XP to do it.
- Click the Start Button. From the Start menu click Run
- In the Run dialogue box type: cmd. The command prompt window will now open
- In the command prompt window type: fsutil dirty query c: (If you have a dual boot system then replace the C: drive letter with the relevant drive letter you have been having problems with). Press Enter.
- The response from the file system utility will probably be that the disk is ‘dirty’
- Now type: CHKNTFS /X C: into the command prompt windows and press Enter. (If you have a dual boot system then replace the C: drive letter with the relevant drive letter you have been having problems with). The X parameter, in this case, tells windows not to check the disk in question
- Re-boot your PC. You should now find that CHKDSK does not run on the selected drive The different commands to check your drive status and stop CHKDSK
- Once you have confirmed that CHKDSK does not run and your PC has fully booted click Start>Run again and type cmd.
- In the command window now type: chkdsk /f /r c: and press Enter. Again replace the C: (If you have a dual boot system then replace the C: drive letter with the relevant drive letter you have been having problems with)
- After the drive has been scanned type: fsutil dirty query c: and press Enter
- Windows should now confirm that the ‘dirty bit’ has been disabled