Control disk check at boot after incorrect shutdown

After an incorrect/improper shutdown, then Windows will perform a CHKDSK of the partitions marked with a dirty-bit at boot to ensure disk stability.
One can also force CHKDSK to run at next boot if running CHKDSK /F on a partition that is “locked”. The partition becomes locked if applications have files open on the partition (Ex. using Windows Explorer to open a folder on the partition):

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 booting the CHKDSK is not started before a timer has expired, allowing the user to avoid running CHKDSK at boot.

To skip disk checking, press any key within 10 seconds.

The timer is in seconds and can be controlled with this DWORD :

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SYSTEM \CurrentControlSet \Control \Session Manager]
AutoChkTimeOut=10 (Default = 10, Disable Countdown=0)

More info MS KB191603
More info MS KB173322

Note if using an USB keyboard without legacy support then one might not be able skip the the disk checking, More Info MS KB240658

Note one can also use the command CHKNTFS.EXE to configure the time, along with excluding certain drives from boot up check, or forcing boot check of drives. (Running CHKNTFS.EXE /? you will see all parameters). The CHKNTFS.EXE will change the following MULTI_SZ registry key (Use regedt32), which can be changed to force CHKDSK on all drives at boot:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SYSTEM \CurrentControlSet \Control \Session Manager]
BootExecute = “autocheck autochk /f *” (Default = “autocheck autochk *”)

More Info MS KB235376
More Info MS KB235376

Note if having trouble with constantly/continuously/nonexisting checking of drives at startup, then run this command to reset the above registry value to default:


Note if wanting to query / set the dirty bit on a volume, then one can use the resource kit utility fsutil.

More info MS KB160963
More info MS KB218461
More info MS KB235771
More info MS KB831426