View Full Version : Win XP: Chkdsk wont clear 'Dirty disk C: after 4 checks

04-23-2011, 09:01 AM
I have run chkdsk 4 different times to no avail. I still have a <Volume-C: is Dirty> message when inputting <fsutil dirty query C:> So I decided to tell Windows not to check that drive by inputting <CHKNTFS /X C:> However, Windows now wont allow me to defrag. How can I solve this problem once & for all? Please keep suggestions simple, as I am still a beginner. Thankyou for whatever help you can offer.

04-23-2011, 11:20 AM

fsutil will NOT reset the dirty bit

if your running xp go to above site for the solution scroll down to
The mysterious "Dirty Bit"

See if it helps if not post back

04-27-2011, 06:20 AM
Thanks for replying Yoda74.
I attempted to read the 'infocellar' site, but I must admit after re-reading it at least 4 times I'm still completely confused. It seems to be talking mainly about 'partitioned disks' which I don't have. In the: The mysterious "Dirty Bit"
section it seems to be contradictory: fsutil dirty query c: )
set the dirty bit - Example: Start/Run . . . cmd
fsutil dirty set c:
NOTE: fsutil will NOT reset the dirty bit - the only one way to do this is to either run chkdsk within Windows, or let Autochk run upon reboot

The next section: What if the Dirty Bit won't go away ??
This section seems to be only talking about partitioned disks:

More than a few people have encountered this:

a drive partition has the dirty bit set
so when they reboot, Windows insists on running Autochk to check a drive - it checks the drive and all is well. Just running that check is supposed to clear the dirty bit, etc. etc.

What I also don't understand is that after I instructed Windows to do its last chkdsk & restarted the laptop & it ran, but afterwards still said I had a 'Dirty disk', I DIDN'T instruct it not to run on the next restart, (which was the following day) & it didn't run, & it hasn't run since. But I still have a <Volume-C: is Dirty> message & still can't run 'defrag'.
I'm sure you can interpret that 'infocellar' site better than I can. I'm still a beginner & learning!!
Thanks again.

04-27-2011, 07:24 AM
lets try this download Auslogics Disk Defrag


run it then lets see if windows will defrag after if not post back

The only way I see to get rid of dirty bit is to format the drive

04-27-2011, 10:20 AM
1. FalconFour's UBCD (http://www.pcguide.com/vb/showpost.php?p=465290&postcount=348) [latest version I have is 4.5] is VERY useful.
(a) It includes "Check Disk" [chkdisk?].
I've used this to scan and fix my son's DELL laptop XP partition_file_system.
That got his XP booting instead of BSOD.

(b) It can also be used to go back to a Windows "Restore Point"...
...When Windows is unable to do it for itself.

(c) Various other useful stuff. [Edit the registry]

2. Prior to using the above "Check Disk" on a Windows partition, I usually begin by using "Puppy_Linux->GParted->check" on the partition, and only use "Disk Check" if that fails.

04-27-2011, 12:57 PM

Following on from the site YODA provided for you, I think you should try the following:

...try booting with a WinXP CD and go into "Repair" mode to run chkdsk /r (supposed to do a thorough check and also check the surface)

Now this presupposes you have the XP CD you used for installation. I've abstracted the salient points you'll need to know to work through the task from this Microsoft article (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307654#howtouserc), and then changed a couple of things to help you directly:

1. Insert Windows XP CD-ROM into the CD drive, and then restart the computer.

2. Click to select any options that are required to start the computer from the CD drive if you are prompted.

3. When the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears, press R to start the Recovery Console.

4. When you are prompted, type the Administrator password. If the administrator password is blank, just press ENTER.

5. At the command prompt, type chkdsk c: /r and press ENTER. Let the program work on correcting any errors. Just be advised: This may take some time to complete. Once it has completed, remove the XP CD from your drive and then reboot the machine.

04-27-2011, 03:52 PM
I attempted to read the 'infocellar' site, but I must admit after re-reading it at least 4 times I'm still completely confused. It seems to be talking mainly about 'partitioned disks' which I don't have.

Actually, you do have a partitioned disk...even if there is only one partition that takes the whole disk, it still is partitioned.

Usually a single partition is easy to deal with, it is when there is more than one partition that things get messy.

04-28-2011, 05:48 AM
Thankyou everybody,
I haven't yet solved the problem. I downloaded the CNet website yoda74, (I think!) I hit the download button & it said to wait & after a while it changed pages but didn't verify that the download was successful, it just indicated a bunch of sites you can also download, including the defrag site. I then tried to defrag again & still got the following message: 'Disk Defragmenter has detected the Chkdsk is scheduled to run on the volume (C:). Please run Chkdsk /f.
I haven't had an opportunity to try the other suggestions yet.

Paul Komski
04-28-2011, 08:14 AM
The chkdsk command, as is manifest, has various switches. In my opinion the one to use is chkdsk /f (chkdsk /r is the same as chkdsk/f but in addition it checks the non-data areas for bad sectors). If, as may be likely, you only have one partition then you don't need to specify a drive letter.

You should not attempt to run defrag UNTIL chkdsk has repaired the file system (IF IT CAN) or you may cause data to be lost.

When you issue chkdsk /f or /r from a command prompt you should be prompted to let it run at the next reboot since it will not allow a repair of the system partition while running Windows.

After you return to Windows you should read the latest Winlogon entry from the event viewer to see what exactly the last chkdsk action did. You can open it by entering eventvwr.msc into the run box. Highlight application in the left pane and find the latest Winlogon entry; right click on it and choose Properties to read the result.

If chkdsk cannot repair the system and keeps resetting a dirty bit then consider checking the hard drive with its manufacturer's diagnostic utility.

05-02-2011, 09:49 AM
Well done Paul Komski!!!
I followed your suggestion & did a Chkdsk /f instead of Chkdsk /r & after restarting my laptop the old 'blue' Chkdsk screen appeared & away it went. I was jotting down some wording in 3 of 3 stage when it shot through to the end after about 5 minutes & then opened up again from the beginning. That also went completely through in about 5 minutes, the ending was too quick to read & Windows opened up again. I did a run, cmd, Enter & typed in the black command box: <fsutil dirty query C:>. Lo & behold it came back: <Volume - C: is NOT Dirty. Please appreciate that my previous 4 Chkdsks ran for nearly an hour each, but all done on Chkdsk / r.
I took your point Paul & didn't insert my drive letter since I have only one partition.
I also read the latest Winlogon in the Information Properties dialog box as you suggested Paul, here it is as follows:
Windows will now check the disk.
Cleaning up minor inconsistencies on the drive.
Cleaning up 303 unused index entries from index $Sll of file 0x9.
Cleaning up 303 unused index entries from index $SDH of file 0x9.
Cleaning up 303 unused security descriptors.
CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal.
Usn Journal verification completed.
CHKDSK discovered fre space marked as allocated in the master file table (MFT) bitmap.
Windows has made correctons to the file system.
I have now also been allowed to defragment which is now in process.
Thankyou everybody for taking the time to help especially as there were some lengthy suggestions, & especially Paul for the apparent correct solution.

Paul Komski
05-02-2011, 10:45 PM
I find it surprising that /r didn't have the same result as /f unless checking the data area had some bizarre untoward effect.

I would be inclined to check the hard drive with the maker's diagnostics (or even by using HDTune (http://www.hdtune.com/)) to be on the safe side.