Feb 22
2014

Autochk cannot run due to an error caused by a recently installed software package.

If you wish to skip this story and find the solution… just go to the “Here’s what I did to fix it:” section – otherwise carry on.  Also you can perform this fix on different versions of Windows as long as you can boot into it on another disk that has the chkdsk program on it.

So… during my normal routine of maintenance of applying patches on servers, I also perform error checking and defrag the servers when I find the time.  In addition, I automatically set my servers to run a defrag during the week usually when nobody is logged in.

Servers like normal Windows computers also get stuffed up from time-to-time and I find that defragging not only the Hyper-V Windows Servers but the Hyper-V Guests helps out as well with the overall performance of each machine.

When I did a reboot on the Server that runs a specialized application (that of course I knew nothing about -as I just took over) I uncovered this error message upon the reboot:

autochk error

Autochk cannot run due to an error caused by a recently installed software package.  The message goes on to give me some advice to restore the system from a prior point… bla bla bla.

Well, I’m thinking… I have no clue what the heck has been done to this box (slang for server) before me.  Not to mention there’s a database with critical data on it that I don’t want to risk on losing in case the restore point screws everything up – not that Microsoft would ever mess anything up when you listen to them… nuck nuck nuck.  😉 -> BTW that means I’m joking… I know bad geeky humor.  🙂

What made this error so bad is after I fixed it… it took a long time for the server to defrag.

Remember when I said earlier that I set all my servers to automatically defrag?  This one was no exception however, due to the Autochk error the automatic “Disk Defragmenter” was stopped from running.  Thus the Autochk error negatively impacted the overall performance of the machine housing a critical application.

Here’s what I did to fix it:

1) Find the Windows DVD and insert it into your drive… keep in mind that if you’re performing this method on a Hyper-V Guest machine you’ll be better off using an ISO image file instead as it’s faster.

2) Restart the machine and boot into the Windows DVD. Normally, you’ll have to press a key… any key after the BIOS post.  That’s it.  If you don’t get the option to press any key… go back to #1 and make sure the DVD isn’t damaged… also you may have to set your computer to boot from a DVD in the BIOS and try again.

3) When you see this screen click “Next”WinRepair

4) Click on the words “Repair your computer”Win


5) Select the “Use recover tools…” option and note the drive letter of the disk you want to perform a check disk on.  Click “Next” when done.Reovery-Options

Note: The recovery options will display the version of the operating system along with the size of the partition and the drive letter.  The drive letter is not the normal drive letter you have when you’re in the machine because you booted from the installer DVD.  For example, my drive letter is normally C: but after booting to the DVD the drive letter is now D:

6.  Select the “Command Prompt” option:

select command7.  At the command prompt type:  chkdsk /f d:

Note:  d: is the drive letter you wish to check and this may be a different letter for you.  See step 5 for how I derived that was the disk I wanted to run chkdsk (aka check disk) on.  Also.. using the /f switch “forces” the check disk to work.

forced check disk

 

8) When the check disk is completed then you should see a screen that looks something like this (note the numbers, etc. may change but you’ll be back at the command prompt):

chkdsk done9) Close down the DOS (Disk Operating System) prompt window by clicking on the “x” and perform a reboot into the operating system you just repaired.  Don’t boot from the DVD again and at this point you can pull out the DVD.

This is basically how I fixed my problem and now I can perform defrags, and the world is all better.

I’ve seen a lot of articles saying you have to uninstall software, etc.  However, this method is cleaner and keeps you from erasing stuff you may need.

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