Solved: Running DSKCHK on a drive that's locked

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caribconsult

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I have been experiencing the 'cannot access locked drive' error repeatedly while trying to run a dskchk on my XPPro SP3 computer, an issue that I have seen from many other users, and I have yet to find a solution. I've disabled everything in the start group, used CCleaner to kill everything in the startup section, disabled my Microsoft Security Antivirus program, tried to run it by booting into SafeMode, and probably 2 or 3 other procedures I can't remember at this point, all to no avail. No viruses or malware have been found on this drive.

So, I tried 'thinking outside the box' literally. I yanked the offending drive from my desktop, put it in a IDE-USB external drive case and plugged it into my laptop (HP notebook, XPhome SP3) where it was instantly recognized as E:drive, then ran a dskchk on it inside windows, which completed with no reported errors or problems. The question is: did this actually straighten out any file issues on this drive? It's back in the desktop, things seem normal, performance-wise, it still won't run a normal dskchk, but did my invented procedure actually fix any problems on the drive as it would if it were run normally? No one seems to have the answer to why this drive is locked to begin with.

Any input would be much appreciated, and thanks to any who reply.
 

Macboatmaster

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I feel certain, there is more to this, but just in case, which chkdsk are you trying to run and from where, using which cmd. I presume from the way you have worded your post you are not using the GUI on My Computer.



Reporting disk errors
Chkdsk examines disk space and disk use for the file allocation table (FAT) and NTFS file systems. Chkdsk provides information specific to each file system in a status report. The status report shows errors found in the file system. If you run chkdsk without the /f command-line option on an active partition, it might report spurious errors because it cannot lock the drive. You should use chkdsk occasionally on each disk to check for errors.
 
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You can't run a disk check on your partition while Windows is running in it. The O.S. is constantly using your hard drive for the pagefile, to read the GUI and a lot of other stuff, you just can't run an error-check while the drive is in use, that's why it gets locked up.

Therefore, yes, your error-check was successful and everything is fine now. :)
 
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Next time, when in Windows, go into My Computer, right-click the drive, select Properties, then go to the Tools tab, and click the Check Now button. In the Check Disk window that pops up, select the "Automatically fix file system errors" box, and the "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors" if so desired (this operation will take a LONG time to complete).

Once you click Start, you'll get a warning, "The disk check could not be performed because... blah blah blah". Click Yes to "schedule this disk check to occur the next time you restart the computer"... reboot, and Windows will run the check during bootup.
 

caribconsult

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Sorry for not being clearer in my original post, but what I have been doing is exactly as described in the post by SOUNDY above and I am getting the results as I described. I know that you can't run CHKDSK from within a CMD window or from the GUI; sorry for wasting time here and not being clearer.

I am doing it the correct way and something is locking the disk, despite disabling everything that can be disabled. I'm not running any protection software other than the Microsoft Security Essentials, and disabling that has not had any positive results.

This is a fairly new Seagate drive, the computer is not 'crashy' and everything seems to work correctly. If IRUKKU's post is right, then running the CHKDSK with the Seagate connected via USB to my laptop should have straightened it out, regardless of what it does in the desktop. Is that a correct assumption? If so, then I won't worry about it any further...it's not worth the time and trouble to completely wipe out the drive and re-install a whole boatload of software just to have the chkdsk work from the desktop. I don't mind yanking it out every month or so and running chkdsk on the laptop.

Thanks again to all who offer help.
 
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Irukku is also correct in that you can't CHKDSK a running Windows system disk - in this case, it's Windows itself that's locking the disk, so disabling everything in the world won't help. When using the process I detailed, the system runs CHKDSK automatically *after reboot*.
 

caribconsult

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Soundy, you're not reading my second post correctly. I followed the procedure outlined by your first post and still got the 'locked disk' message, which is not normal. I've run chkdsk more times than I can recall on more windows computers than I can count, and it usually runs correctly upon reboot, as you stated. In my case, it does not and I'd like to know if there is something I've missed here that is causing the disk to be locked prior to a full reboot? Also, by removing the disk and running it (inside the GUI) on my laptop, does that accomplish the same level of file checking?

Thanks for your help.
 

caribconsult

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SOUNDY, thanks very much for you help here. As I said, I've searched and searched until my fingers hurt from typing and haven't found any advice on unlocking this drive that has worked, although there have been many suggestions. Tried 'em all, zero results. So I'll just continue to do it via the laptop from time to time. Happy New Year to you.
 
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Hmm, I understand. It's strange that your O.S. ignores the requested error checking upon reboot. I searched for a few clues:

Obtained from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb491051.aspx

---
/p
Performs an exhaustive check even if the drive is not marked for chkdsk to run. This parameter does not make any changes to the drive.
/r
Locates bad sectors and recovers readable information. Implies /p.



The chkdsk command requires the file Autochk.exe. If it cannot find it in the startup directory (\%systemroot%\System32, by default), it will attempt to locate it on the Windows Installation CD. If you have a multiboot computer, be sure you are issuing this command from the drive containing Windows.
---

You could try /p and /r to force the error check, and look for the mentioned file just to make sure it's there.
 

caribconsult

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IRUKKU, thanks for your suggestions, but all that has been tried with no luck. I've done considerable research on this issue and found numerous suggestions, including yours, but none have 'unlocked' the disk. Microsoft, while they have acknowledged the problem, have no answer either. So I will just continue to yank it and run chkdsk via my laptop every few months and just leave it like that.
 
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It`s possible that CHKDSK has locked the volume in preparation for running, but cant because the chkdsk or autochk files are corrupt. That could be why chkdsk runs on the volume ok when run from a host machine. Do you have an installation disk? Have you tried running chkdsk from the recovery console?

You might also try CANCELLING CHKDSK , and then try running it again either from the command line or recovery console.
 

Macboatmaster

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I do not know if I have missed the point being made in previous posts, but see below.

The chkdsk command with the parameters listed below is only available when you are using the Recovery Console The chkdsk command with different parameters is available from the command prompt
chkdsk /p

As chkdsk /p can ONLY be run from the recovery console, there cannot then be this error.

Do this please.
Disable all anti-virus and any disk monitoring programs.
Instruct chkdsk /f from a cmd prompt.
Agree to run on restart and report results please.

If that does not solve it run system file checker which is

sfc /scannow from Start and run. Insert XP CD as required.
 

caribconsult

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I've run CHKDSK from the recovery console, and it did run, but I still have the 'locked disk' issue as stated if I run it from the drive TOOLS menu. I also ran the System File Checker (SFC) and it completed, but the 'locked disk' issue persists. Attempts to launch CHKDSK from a CMD window result in the same 'lock' issue upon reboot. It doesn't seem to matter WHERE I launch CHKDSK from, it won't run correctly on a reboot. The only success I've had is either from the recovery console or from another host machine.

To ITSJUSME, I did discover how to cancel the chkdsk from another thread, but thanks for your info.
 

Macboatmaster

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caribconsult
1. I was, in my last post, merely highlighting the fact that chkdsk /p mentioned by irukku, can only be run from the recovery console. Running chkdsk from there can NOT result in the error you have, as the drive CANNOT be in use, as all that has been loaded is the Recovery Console.

2. Go msconfig please - screenshot me as to what is running on startup, you may need two, they must be jpeg, bitmap on paint is too large.
while in msconfig go services, check Hide all microsoft and screenshot result pls.

DID YOU TRY the disabling of all anti-virus and any disk management programs.
 
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