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How to fix Disk checking has been cancelled

Updated on November 7, 2011

With my customers, I like to recommend that Windows disk checker aka Scandisk should be run every month. I do mine around the first of the month so that my memory is jogged. Windows calls this preventative utility different names depending on the Operating System. It is an important part of a preventative maintenance programme that you should conduct on your computer to keep it running in tip-top conditon. The job of disk checker is that it checks the hard drive for errors and fixes them before they cause problems.

I'll take this opportunity to also recommend that you check your hard drive for fragmentation and defragment the drive if the utility tells you to. The defragmentation programme requires that you have at least 15% of your drive unused as Windows needs the space to shuffle your files around in as part of the defragmentation process.

For great information about performing preventative maintenance on your computer check out this hubpage and also this one.

Anyway, back to my issue. My problem was that I would schedule a Scandisk and after rebooting the computer, I was told that a disk check had been scheduled and to press "any key" to cancel this process (don't worry, I won't make any jokes about not having a key called "any key"...oops too late).

Then, after a couple of seconds, another message said that "Disk checking has been cancelled" and the computer contiues to boot as normal. This happened at the five second mark. I hadn't touched anything on the computer to cause it to cancel the process. I tried again and the same thing happened. One more time for good luck but it wasn't meant to be and for months my computer's hard disk went unscanned. Since Uncle Murphy had moved in next door, I decided the time was right to suss this problem out once and for all so it wouldn't come back and bite me on the you-know-what!

I put my troubleshooting hat one, you know, the one with the revolving light on the top, and the first thing that came to mind was that I had a stuck key which had caused the problem. However, this was never an issue when my confuser had booted uppppppppppppp (sorry I couldn't resist). I researched the issue on the Internet for many months but couldn't find any information so I finally contacted the computer vendor whom told me they had never heard of the problem and there was nothing they could do about it.

The only reference that I could find was to do with a wireless keyboard/mouse but I don't have any of these as I am using a Laptop. So, after working on the problem for the last few days I have managed to find a work around.

Out of desperation I had a "lightbulb" moment (yes that hat came in useful) and thought "maybe I can change the countdown timer itself so that it starts a chkdsk before it gets halted?"

So I Googled for the required command line to change the timer value and after changing the countdown time to 3 seconds from the default 10 seconds, my scandisk finally now works..woopie!

If you need to perform this same fix then go start/run and type "chkntfs /t:3" (without quotes) into the white "open"field, and press OK.

After doing successful scans for a few times I noticed that whatever was causing the issue had changed it's count down time to counteract my fix (how sneaky is that!) So I have had to change the count down time to 0 (zero) and now things are working again and have been for the last few months.

This was a tricky gremlin to solve and my suspicion is that the issue is to do with the laptop touchpad drivers but reinstalling them made no difference. If anyone out there in Hubpage land knows why this is happening I would be very grateful to hear their explanation.

Bonus post quiz:
Which terminology is correct: Hard "Disk" Drive (HDD) or Hard "Disc" Drive? Is it a compact "disk" or "disc"?

The answer is that if light is used to read the data, then the correct word is "disc" as in Compact Disc or Digital Versatile/Video Disc (DVD). Your hard disk doesn't use light to read the data. The data is read by detecting the magnetization of the material in the platter; so it is a "disk".


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    • profile image

      Jeff 21 months ago


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      mungaialex019 3 years ago

      absolutely happy it worked!!! eureka!!!!!!!!!!!

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      scortch 4 years ago

      Lenovo T530: same problem. Nothing fixed it except... rolling back the touchpad driver. So suspicion confirmed - some new (legit) touchpad drivers cause a trigger before the computer has even started up, cancelling the chkdsk run.

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      happy2 4 years ago

      What a genius!! It worked.

      just to make it clear,there is a space between the s and the /

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      Marland 4 years ago


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      Dave 4 years ago

      Worked pukka with chkntfs /t:0 , I suspected dodgy touchpad drivers aswell.

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      pranoy 4 years ago

      Worked when i typed chkntfs /t:0 . I have windows 7

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      mike 5 years ago

      It worked when i used 0 seconds. 3 seconds still didn't work the first time. thanks for the help.

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      DeRo 5 years ago

      I typed chkntfs /:3 in the run box and clicked on OK, then the black command window popped up for a fraction of a second and disappeared.

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      DeRo 5 years ago

      Didn't work

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      Brett 6 years ago

      The problem for me is that this happens when I try to boot up my laptop. I can't even sign in to change the countdown time. My laptop was originally Vista but has 7 on it right now. But I think ours is the same problem. It cuts out at 5 seconds for me too.

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      Carsten 6 years ago

      worked like a charm here on Windows 7

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      Rowzer 6 years ago

      Still counts down 10... 9... Then disk check cancelled. I followed your instructions and set the count to zero. Am using Windows 7. Any ideas?