How do I run CHKDSK /F from a blue screen on Windows XP? I cannot get to a command prompt at all.

I accidentally shut down my computer during an update.  Now I can only get to a blue screen with a message saying that a problem has been detected and I need to disable or uninstall any anti-virus, disk defragmentation or backup utilities.  It also tells me to check my hard drive configuration and to check for any updated drivers.  Next it says to Run CHKDSK /F to check for hard drive corruption.  The technical information is:  0x00000024 (0x00190203, 0x8638c6c8, 0xc0000102, 0x00000000).  I cannot run Windows in safe mode, I cannot get it to run in its last configuration, nor can I get it to go to a command prompt--it just goes back to the blue screen.  I have also tried putting in my XP disk that came with the computer and that doesn't help at all either.

Question Info

Last updated January 6, 2020 Views 42,971 Applies to:

Sadly, the Microsoft Answers forum still does not prompt for any kind of system information when a new question is asked so we know nothing about your system.  Not knowing fundamental information about a problem prolongs the frustration and agony of resolving these issues.

Maybe someday the XP forums "Ask a question" dialog will ask these questions automatically when a new thread is started so I do not have to ask them every single time.  It might even be possible to resolve an issue in a single reply when enough information is provided. 

I think I am about ready to give up hope on that fantasy.

Was the issue preceded by a power interruption, aborted restart, or improper shutdown? (this includes plug pulling, power buttons and battery removal).

These can cause corruption in the file system which must be fixed before you do anything else.

If any of those events have occurred (or even if they have not occurred), you should verify the integrity of your file system before doing anything else (especially "trying" things).

It makes zero sense to start trying to start trying to edit or copy files around on a hard disk that has a corrupted file system so this must be fixed first using the XP chkdsk program, and running chkdsk on your drives may resolve your issue entirely.  

Use the XP Recovery Console to verify the file system on your HDD and correct any problems and then try to boot your system - this may be all you need to do.  Or, you are welcome to just start trying things that might work.

Boot into the Windows Recovery Console using a bootable XP installation CD.

If you have no bootable XP media (or are not sure what you have) create a bootable XP Recovery Console CD and be sure.

This is not the same as any recovery disks that might have come a store bought system.  

You can make a bootable Recovery Console CD by downloading an ISO file and burning it to a CD.

The bootable ISO image file you need to download is called:


Download the ISO file from here:

Use a new CD and this free and easy program to burn your ISO file and create your bootable CD:

Here are some instructions for ImgBurn:

It would be a good idea to test your bootable CD on a computer that is working.

You may need to adjust the computer BIOS settings to use the CD ROM drive as the first boot device instead of the hard disk.  These adjustments are made before Windows tries to load.  If you miss it, you will have to reboot the system again.

When you boot on the CD, follow the prompts:

Press any key to boot from CD...

The Windows Setup... will proceed.

Press 'R' to enter the Recovery Console.

Select the installation you want to access (usually  1: C:\WINDOWS)

You may be asked to enter the Administrator password (usually empty).

You should be in the C:\WINDOWS folder.  This is the same as the 

C:\WINDOWS folder you see in explorer.

The Recovery Console allows basic file commands like: copy, rename, replace, delete, cd, chkdsk, fixboot, fixmbr, etc.

For a list of Recovery Console commands, enter help at the prompt or read about the XP Recovery Console here:

A good idea before starting things is to first verify the integrity of your file system using the chkdsk command.

From the command prompt window run the chkdsk command on the drive where Windows is installed to try to repair any problems on the afflicted drive.

Running chkdsk is fine even if it doesn't find any problems.  It will not hurt anything to run it.

Assuming your boot drive is C, run the following command:

chkdsk C: /r

Let chkdsk finish and correct any problems it might find.  

It may take a long time for chkdsk to complete or it may appear to be 'stuck'.  Be patient.  If the HDD light is still flashing, chkdsk is doing something.  Keep an eye on the percentage amount to be sure it is still making progress.  It may even appear to go backwards sometimes.

You should run chkdsk /r again until it finds no errors to correct.

Remove the CD and type 'exit' to leave the RC and restart the computer.

You do not have to adjust the BIOS again to boot on the HDD since the CD will not be present.

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