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Windows Error Check Keeps Running in Endless Cycle-Please Help

Last response: in Windows XP
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December 23, 2010 5:34:23 PM

Yesterday, I thought it would be a good idea to run a routine error check on my desktop. I have done them in the past and have had zero issues whatsoever. However, yesterday when I ran the error check, it simply would not let the desktop start up normally. When the error check finished completely (yes, all 5 stages), it simply restarted and started the error check all over again. I let it run a 2nd time to see what would happen, but it still didn't start up after that. The 3rd time around, I tried pushing a key on the keyboard (during the 10 second countdown) to cancel error check). However, my desktop simply froze when I did that. I turned it off and tried hitting a key again before the error check started. This time it simply crashed, restarted, and started the error check all over again. What is going on with my desktop??? Why is this happening? How do I fix this problem? As of now, I cannot access anything on my desktop since error check is always doing an endless cycle.

My desktop's info is the following:

Windows XP Home Edition (32 bit)
4gb ram
AMD Athlong II 2.8ghz (dual core)
Integrated graphics
Western Digital 80gb IDE hard drive

Is it possible that the hard drive is toast? It is a couple of years old (although the rest of the parts are only about a year old). Will I have to install everything on a new hard drive? Luckily, I do have a brand new SATA hard drive that is untouched. It it turns out that the hard drive I'm using has some problems, will it be completely useless? Or will I still be able to use it for basic storage? Thanks in advance, I greatly appreciate any help.
December 23, 2010 6:31:59 PM

If you have the XP disc, you can boot into the repair console, and run fixmbr. This should write a new boot record, and cancel the chkdsk loop.

If that completes successfully, get back into the repair console, and run chkdsk /r. Let that run to completion, and if there were some minor errors, it should resolve them. If it does, then the drive should be ok to use as storage for data that isn't real important. If it's acting funny, you never know when it'll fail completely.
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December 23, 2010 6:51:36 PM

aford10 said:
If you have the XP disc, you can boot into the repair console, and run fixmbr. This should write a new boot record, and cancel the chkdsk loop.

If that completes successfully, get back into the repair console, and run chkdsk /r. Let that run to completion, and if there were some minor errors, it should resolve them. If it does, then the drive should be ok to use as storage for data that isn't real important. If it's acting funny, you never know when it'll fail completely.



I was trying to run that yesterday, but I was having a lot of trouble getting it to work. I would select CHKDSK, but after that, it kept saying that I was not making a valid entry. What would I have to type in exactly to make it work? Sorry, I'm not really familiar with the BIOS options. I never had any experience with it (aside from deleting partitions and installing a fresh copy of an OS).
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December 23, 2010 7:03:51 PM

If you're in the repair console, you should see the C: prompt, and a blinking cursor. At that prompt, just type chkdsk /r and press enter. Notice the space between the k and /.
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December 23, 2010 7:05:34 PM

aford10 said:
If you're in the repair console, you should see the C: prompt, and a blinking cursor. At that prompt, just type chkdsk /r and press enter. Notice the space between the k and /.


Thank you so much. :D  I'll try that and see how it goes. I'm running it right now.
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December 23, 2010 7:57:44 PM

I just ran that but it didn't work. It ran the check and everything, but the problem still persisted after the check was done.
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December 23, 2010 8:09:25 PM

Did you run the fixmbr?

The next time you start up, tap the F8 key to get to the advanced boot menu. If it tries running the chkdsk again, push the button to cancel it. Once in safe mode, go to start-->run-->type cmd and press enter-->type fsutil dirty query C: and press enter-->is it set as dirty, or not dirty?
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December 23, 2010 8:51:26 PM

aford10 said:
Did you run the fixmbr?

The next time you start up, tap the F8 key to get to the advanced boot menu. If it tries running the chkdsk again, push the button to cancel it. Once in safe mode, go to start-->run-->type cmd and press enter-->type fsutil dirty query C: and press enter-->is it set as dirty, or not dirty?


Yes, I ran fixmbr and it didn't help. I tried starting up Safe Mode with Command Prompt, but it didn't let me do anything. When I selected that option under the advanced boot menu, I got a black screen with a list of different system32 directories.
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December 23, 2010 9:02:56 PM

Safe mode with command prompt should bring up a black DOS window, with a C: prompt.

You can also try booting into regular safe mode.
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December 24, 2010 1:21:45 PM

aford10 said:
Safe mode with command prompt should bring up a black DOS window, with a C: prompt.

You can also try booting into regular safe mode.


I tried regular safe mode and the exact same problem comes up. Should I simply assume that the hard drive is corrupted? Or is there anything else I can try?
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December 24, 2010 4:53:53 PM

aford10 said:
With your XP disc, you can do a windows repair.
http://pcsupport.about.com/od/operatingsystems/ss/instx...

You could slave it into another PC, or make it a slave in your current one, and copy all the data off it, and then format it. Your options seem slim at this point.


I already tried doing a windows repair using the XP disc (as you mentioned in a previous post). That did nothing and the problem still persists. I am formatting a new hard drive and will make the old one a slave (to see how it works). So at this point, is it pretty certain that the old one is damaged?
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December 24, 2010 5:08:44 PM

I suggested a few commands from the repair console. But doing a windows repair is different. I haven't suggested that yet, so if you haven't done it, you may want to check out that link.

It's not looking good for the hard drive though. Once you can get your data off it, you can play with it a little more. You can download the diagnostic tool, from the HD manufacturer's website, and that'll scan the drive for issues.

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