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CHKDSK Error: Cannot open the volume for direct access

21 September 2008 8 Comments

When starting up your computer (Windows XP) if you get a message like:

Cannot open volume for direct access.
The type of the file system is NTFS.
Windows has finished checking the disk.

when trying to run CHKDSK on the local drive, then follow the steps below.

Microsoft’s only solution is to install SP2 however, this will only fix the problem if there is another line “IFSUTIL: Can’t open drive. Status returned = c0000043.” is present. Most of the time, however, this line is not present and other steps are required.

Note: This solution has not been tested on Windows Vista, however if the above problem occurs, trying the following solution should not damage your system.
Note 2: You may want to print this solution because you will be required to restart in the middle.

– Basic Solution –
1 ) Goto Start -> Run
2 ) Type “cmd” (no quotes)
3 ) Type and execute in the Command Prompt window: “chkdsk /F” (no quotes)
3a ) If you were trying to perform chkdsk on another drive then type “chkdsk /F” then your drive (ex: “chkdsk /F D:”)
4 ) When it asks if you want to check the volume on the next system restart, press “y” and return
5 ) Goto Start -> Run
6 ) Type “msconfig” no quotes
7 ) Goto the “BOOT.INI” tab and check the box labeled “/SAFEBOOT”

8 ) Press Apply, then Close
9 ) When it asks if you want to restart, choose “Restart”
10 ) The chkdsk Scan should now successfully run
11 ) When the scan is complete, login, and once again goto Start -> Run
(If a System Configuration dialog comes up, click “OK” [see below] )
12 ) Type “msconfig” (no quotes) again
13 ) Once again, goto the BOOT.INI tab and this time, uncheck the “/SAFEBOOT” option
14 ) Click Apply, then Close, and then Restart

If you get the following window, when you computer starts:

Check the box next to “Don’t show this message…” and click OK

Afternote: You will have to do this everytime you want to run chkdsk on the local drive.

If the above solution did not work, please send me an email:

or comment below. If it did work, Congrats!

- James Hartig

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  • Marcos said:

    Hi. I did everything as you said, and it performed the scandisk, but when the windows restarted, it restarted is Safe Mode and I don’t know why it didn’t accepted my username and password and I can get over it to return to the normal mode. HEEEELP.

    • James Hartig (author) said:

      Umm, that is a weird problem. So when you try to login with your username and password in safe mode, you can’t? That is very weird, you could try holding F8 at boot and choosing “Last settings that worked…”.

      • Tanya said:

        Some folks here are just making useless comments that really don’t add anything to the discussion. Please stop wasting our time.

        • Val said:

          Hi James,

          This worked- thank you!!