Autochk cannot run…

Man! What a conundrum! The other day I powered down my laptop (Windows 7 installed) in frustration and boom, upon rebooting, the poor thing decided that it needed to run chkdsk to fix parts of the hard drive.

Can't run chkdsk

Well, I guess the worst part is that a recent software package (in this case, likely a Windows update) seemed to be interfering with the install, so I got the following message:

Checking file system on C:
The type of the file system is NTFS
Volume label is OS.

One of your disks needs to be checked for consistency. You may cancel the disk check, but it is strongly reccomended that you continue.
Windows will now check the disk.
Cannot open volume for direct access.
Autochk cannot run due to an error caused by a recently installed software package.
Use the system restore feature from the control panel to restore the system to a point prior to the recent software package installation.
An unspecified error occurred (766f6c756d652e63 3f1)

SO… I tried using system restore but sadly it wouldn’t run due to a corrupt disk, so I was trapped in a circular issue.

At this point, I figured my options were limited – recover data off the hdd and reformat and/or try to use an offline version of chkdsk. I chose the later, since it presented the best opportunity for getting back to work.

RESOLUTION: I insterted the Windows 7 installation DVD and booted from it. Went through the repair system motions, opened up a command prompt and ran:

chkdsk /f /r c:

Five hours later (yup – a super slow process), the chkdsk completed and Windows was stable again. After that, I removed some of the most recent packages on the computer with system restore (just to be safe) and voila, I was back at it.

  • Derek

    Thanks for this post. This issue just started on one of my Win7 machines and I wasn’t sure which direction to take. I haven’t done the chkdsk yet but I hope it works.

  • George

    How do I use the Windows 7 DVD to repair the system when I only have the Windows 7 upgrade which will only install windows?

  • raj

    @George – the upgrade DVD also contains all the tools necessary and is bootable

  • GlobalDutchStore

    @raj – Thanks for the extra info about being able to use the upgrade DVD to access any recovery tools. Instead of using CHKDSK, I resolved the issue by asking Windows 7 to perform a System Repair from the DVD… waited 30 mins, rebooted, it worked like a charm. Geoff

  • alasdair


    i had this problem today and this post helped me sort it out. thanks.


  • Ryan

    Regarding the windows upgrade disk… If you have an upgrade disk, you can download a “recovery” image from microsoft. This is a bootable cd that has the same features for fixing the installation as the install DVD, but without the install feature. Saved me from MBR corruption (due to accidental deletion of my partition…)

    Hope this helps.

  • Dominic

    Hey raj,
    I’m experiencing the problem described in your post, but I’m not sure how to proceed. When you say “boot from installation/upgrade DVD”, does that simply mean “insert disk, follow the dummy proof process”, or actually booting from the DVD as in changing some of the voodoo in my BIOS? I’m not really familiar with the anatomy of my laptop and I’m afraid to do something wrong, so would it be possible to get a more detailed explanation?

    Also, any idea what type of installed software might cause this? The only thing I remember installing 2days ago (when this error started appearing) was StarCraft, a game nearly as old as myself. It seems odd that this could cause such a serious problem?

    Thanks in advance,

  • / Dominic

    Hey again raj,
    After some browsing on win7 fora, I found out my laptop (‘s windows) has built-in repair files. Took little under 30minutes and the error’s gone. However, when I tried to run a diskcheck (Schedule one on next boot & then reboot), no scan happened. I’m sort of wondering if that’s normal. Any input?

  • raj

    @Dominic – kinda hard to help you if you don’t leave a valid email address

  • raj

    @Dominic – that’s not normal

  • Eric

    Hi Raj,

    I just had this issue myself. Your blog helped me solve the problem in record time. Thanks so much for taking the time to post things like this. I really appreciate it.

  • Stephanie

    Hey there. I am having this same issue, but I don’t know how to boot from the disk. Can you help me? Thanks!

  • raj

    @Stephanie every computer is different – you should check with your manufacturer regarding how to boot from a bootable diskette

  • Bev

    Raj, excellent post. Do you have the problem of this coming back? I have fixed this twice before and it has returned. I’m thinking it may have something to do with Windows Mobile Device Center. I was wondering if you were able to sync anything without the problem returning?

  • raj

    @Bev I haven’t seen the issue reappear. Could it be your hardware?

  • Bev

    Possible. I put Win 7 on a Motion Computing LE1700. No problem there. However, I was connecting an ancient Creative Labs Zen Vision M to it. I’ll do some experimenting and see what I come up with. I figured if anyone could confirm my theory I wouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel. If I come up with anything useful I’ll let you know. Thanks.

  • Dave S

    Hi Raj

    Got this today after some auto updates were installed. Have tried running the Windows 7 upgrade disk that Toshiba sent me but it keeps asking me to download the Toshiba Update Assistant (which I do) and then says that it doesn’t run on Windows 7. Circles, upon circles, upon…..

    Any advice?

  • Raj Taneja

    @Dave S – Did you try to run aforementioned tools on the upgrade disk from boot or from within the OS? What options come up when you insert the DVD and boot from the DVD?

  • Catherine

    I have the same problem, but I don’t have a windows 7 installation dvd (my computer initially came with vista and i downloaded an ugrade from microsoft (without a dvd)).
    However, when I press f8 when my computer is booting, I can boot in repair mode. In this mode, i have to choose an account to log in. The choices I have are “homegroupuser$” and “Utilisateur” (french for “user” – I use a french version of windows). The problem is : i don’t have a password for any of these accounts. I am the only user on my computer, my user name is “Catherine”. When I type my regular password to try to log in under “homegroupuser$” or “Utilisateur”, it doesn’t word. When i leave the password space blank, it doesn’t work. When i try typing “nopassword” (something i’ve seen on a forum), it doesn’t work.
    Any advice?

  • raj

    In this case, I think you’ll have to take the PC in for service and have the hard drive checked by an external OS.

  • Catherine

    Oh crap. Thank you anway, I guess I’ll indeed have to do this. (But I wish I could have fix the problem myself for free! I have no idea why it started anyway…) Thanks again.

  • Matt

    Raj, when you did the process you described, did you still have all of your documents, pictures, etc.?

  • raj

    @matt – yes, but this isn’t to say you will have the same case — chkdsk runs when there is data corruption, doesn’t mean it will save all of your data. Also, this behaviour could mean that your hard drive is on it’s way out.

  • Allen

    Thanks for the post I ran chkdsk /f /r c: and it fixed my problem

  • Sam

    Any idea how to fix this same problem on a laptop without a cd / dvd drive?

  • raj

    Get an external USB drive … or you can remove the hard drive from the laptop using a USB enclosure or USB cable and fix the drive in another computer…

  • HiSPeed

    In case anyone wonders:
    I had this issue show up twice within the day, and everytime it was an installation of Oracle VirtualBox 4.1.8 on a fresh Windows 7 64bit installation (somehow) gone terribly wrong. USB gadgets (like, say, your mouse) stops working during the install and stays that way.. then when you use the keyboard to cancel the installation of VirtualBox, it just stays there and then somehow kills even a PS2 keyboard which is gone as well. The installer wouldn’t heed the shutdown signal and Win7 is stupid enough to ask for user input (without a mouse or keyboard at that point).. well, turning the box off the hard way finally stopped the installation, which left me with a system restore point from the installation that gives me exactly this circular “autochk wants system recovery wants autochk wants system recovery” issue.

    I hope that the chkdsk from the Upgrade installer (the CD you can download from MS) will resolve at least the ntfs issue and that system recovery can do the rest well enough, so I can repair this oracle virtualbox installation.. to uninstall it. Fun! 😉