ChkDsk Problem With No Cure (Yet)

We recently discussed a defrag problem ( "Some Files Could Not Be Defragmented…" ); but this time, it’s another system utility— ChkDsk— that’s causing the problem.

Dear Fred, Have you or any of your readers run into this problem while trying to do a chkdisk? I keep getting this message everytime the computer starts:
Cannot open volume for direct access.
The type of the file system is NTFS.
IFSUTIL: Can’t open drive. Status returned = c0000043.
Windows has finished checking the disk.
Do you know a fix? Help! btw I love your letter.— Joe Frontiero

Two things: First, I’m sorry to say that although this is a real problem affecting some users, as yet there’s no fix. I haven’t encountered the problem myself, but enough people have that Microsoft has posted a place-holder item in the Knowledgebase:;en-us;823439&Product=winxp
Basically, all it says is the not-very-helpful, "Microsoft is researching this problem and will post more information in this article when the information becomes available." But if you’re having this problem, you can at least bookmark the above page and check back from time to time to watch for the eventual diagnosis and fix.

Second, and quite separately, this is also an example of what we discussed in #2, above: Chkdsk ("check disk") is one of the tools that can confuse users new to XP (although this is not Joe’s problem at all). Way back when, the DOS disk-checking tool was called Chkdsk. Win9x came with a better disk-checking tool that was called Scandisk to differentiate it from the old DOS tool: Win9X even warned *against* using Chkdsk. But Win2K and XP still call their disk tool Chkdsk. Win9x users who move to XP and then look for Scandisk won’t find it; and they may even shy away from Chkdsk, thinking it’s the old, discredited DOS tool. But in 2K and XP, Chkdsk is indeed the fully-current disk tool that you’d use where you’d normally use Scandisk in Win9X. This too is covered in the help files— and is just another one of the myriad speedbumps we all have to navigate when switching OS versions!

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Fred Langa

About Fred Langa

Fred Langa is senior editor. His LangaList Newsletter merged with Windows Secrets on Nov. 16, 2006. Prior to that, Fred was editor of Byte Magazine (1987 to 1991) and editorial director of CMP Media (1991 to 1996), overseeing Windows Magazine and others.