I am attempting a repair on a users gaming computer. If we attempt to allow windows to load, it attempts to chkdsk and on the 3rd stage it will index up to values of 50k plus and then say "C drive is dirty." We have tried booting into safe mode but windows files get stuck in \windows\system32\drivers\crcdisk.sys. I have tried booting into "last good configuration" with no luck. Chkdsk cannot be skipped (using a wireless usb keyboard). F8 and del keys work on system boot up, but for whatever reason I can't skip the chkdsk.
We are about to try to load a windows repair disk (user does not have windows 7 installation disk) from a burned cd from back up and restore disk option in Windows 7 (using a laptop to do this).
User said he had to force a shut down before these errors started to occur (removal of power plug). On the next boot up, the operating system loaded, but after that he was never able to get back into Windows.
If repair disk does not work, what is the next option? It seems that the hard drive is going out.
Connect the drive to a separate computer either with a SATA or USB connection, and it will recognize the troubled drive as say E: or F: in Disk Management.
Then run Chkdsk /R E: or F: which should repair any bad sectors and move the data to a good sector. That may reset the 'dirty bit' so you can boot up on the troubled computer to then run SFC /scannow to repair any missing or corrupt system files.
I would start in another place first as its almost as likely, but much faster to resolve.
I have seen many users mess up their systems from doing a bios flash or reset then being unable to boot afterwards. Its easy enough to test, just enter the BIOS and make sure you write down the option currently selected for HDD controller settings. Write down the one that currently being used then go through the list one by one attempting to boot the system. If non of the methods succeed set it back to the original settings and try the method below.
If the above does not work I would recommend using window 7 system repair to fix the system. Press f8 on start up and select "Repair your computer" from the list, you may need to continue to press f8 and keep selecting "Repair your computer" as it sounds like your startup has multiple changes pending against it hence the always wanting to run chkdsk.
Once the system recovery console opens, choose command prompt and run "chkdsk /r c:". Come back in 3 or 4 hours and see how its going.
The reason for running repair from the broken system is it takes less hardware, and has a 0 chance of passing a virus to your system. (which is the biggest cause aside from BIOS changes that I have seen cause this.)
Yes, my 1st thought is that the HDD is failing as well. Connect the drive to another working computer and test the drive. If you cannot connect to another computer, make a bootable disc with SeaTools for DOS (free) and test the drive using that. SeaTools for DOS does not recognize AHCI modes, so change the drive type to IDE mode (also called compatibility mode or legacy mode) in the BIOS for testing then change the mode back when you finish testing.
Be careful with "SFC /scannow", it is very similar to the older "non-destructive" recoveries. That used to work fairly well when windows updates were every few months. However, with the constant bombardment of weekly and daily security fixes, general patches, and changes to the Windows OS, it might make things worse. It will mix old windows files from your i386 folder or windows disc with new windows files that have been downloaded and updated from windows updates and you could have a complete mess on your hands. I will admit it is a good last ditch attempt before you wipe and reinstall windows, it has worked for me in the past.
@ previous post... Please don't start the old, tired argument that Macs are better. If you want to find some people to argue the merits of Mac vs. PCs go right ahead, but this is not the place for it.
Thanks for all the suggestions. I found that the user had Windows Vista, so I had to burn an image of the Vista repair disk. I used the repair console and made it into the windows log in screen, or near there, when we got a "3 out of 3 update" error that stuck there. I used the repair disk again and found that windows update had made some system restore files (I forgot that they do this automatically) and was able to fully boot into windows from there. When I got into windows everything was running very slowly and there were several driver errors. I'm not sure if the computer had already been acting this way before the hard drive errors, as this was not my computer. The user bought this gaming PC used from another guy who builds a lot of PCs then resells them when he's done with them. Maybe he just never bothered properly installing drivers, windows updates, etc. I was able to do all of this stuff for him and got the computer in working order while successfully getting windows to update with out this "3 out of 3 error."
The funny thing, to me, is that the "3 out of 3" error (sorry can't remember exact error message) is that it was caused by a windows update auto installation. So the computer had I guess frozen up when the user was downloading these updates so he had to force a shut down. The computer started up once just fine, and then either crashed or was not able to reboot after he shut it down. I think that is is pretty unfortunate that a windows update almost cost this guy his hard drive. Maybe that's not exactly the way it all was caused, but it does seem that that update was pretty harmful.
Anyways, thanks again for the tips. This was my first PC repair job that I got paid for and I was able to fix everything!