Windows XP CHKDSK /F does not work

Microsoft Windows XP
Windows errors
Windows XP SP3
I have Windows XP Service Pack 3. Chkdsk /f results in the following error message: "The type of the file system is NTFS. Cannot lock current drive. Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Would you like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts? (Y/N)" When I respond with "Y," the drive is not checked on restart. I have also attempted chkdsk /f in safe mode with the same results. In have contacted software manufacturers' tech support with no success, and I have replaced the hard drive.

Answer Wiki

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It sounds like a problem with the operating system. You can boot to your Windows XP install cd and enter the recovery console by performing the following steps:

1. Restart the computer, allowing it to boot to the CD.

2. When the “Welcome to Setup” screen appears, press R to run the Recovery Console. If presented with the option, choose your installation. This only appears on machines with multiple Operating systems installed.

3. When you are prompted to do so, type the Administrator password. If the administrator password is blank, just press ENTER. You are now in the recovery console. You can perform tasks here without the filesystem being mounted. This will let you run checkdisk as well as other tools. To see the other tools just type help

4. At the Recovery Console command prompt, type the following command <b>CHKDSK /r </b><i>then press Enter:

5. Allow this to run to completion it can take anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours depending on the size and drive damage.

6. Once it is complete you can restart your machine and know that your drive has been checked and fixed!

Read this: How to run Chkdsk F in Windows XP

Thanks for the tip. I went to the link and followed the directions. I received the following message: “The disk check could not be performed because the disk check utility needs exclusive access to some Windows files on the disk. These files can be accessed only by restarting Windows. Do you want to schedule this disk check to occur the next time you restart the computer? Yes No” I clicked yeas and restarted the computer. No disk check was performed.


If you get desperate, you can remove the hard drive, and then plug the drive into another PC that is also running Windows XP. You should be able to run CHKDSK on the drive, because the second PC has not booted off of the drive. The drive that you are repairing is merely a second drive within the system.</i>

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  • Jason S. Erickson
    As an alternative you can boot off a Windows XP disk and go to the repair console and run it there.
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  • Chippy088
    In my CD tool kit, I have a dvd disk with an OS that runs using ram only. You could also use a USB stick to hold the OS. When booting this way the hard disk is not used, so the checkdisk and defrag utilities can be run without having the problem you are experiencing. It's was made using a program called BartPE. If you need to know more about BartPE this is the wiki link.
    4,625 pointsBadges:

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