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What does the "autocheck" in the default data of the registry value HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\bootexecute (Data is: autocheck autochk *) do? There's no autocheck.exe on a current (checked XP, Win7, Vista) standard Windows install, so it can't be launching an executable(?) I know what autochk does.

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It's an arbitrary name associated with the boot-time command autochk *.

The BootExecute value is a REG_MULTI_SZ, i.e., it can contain multiple separate strings. However, if you double-click it in the Registry Editor you will notice that the default value is not three separate strings, autocheck, autochk and * but rather a single string autocheck autochk *.

Each string in BootExecute contains an arbitrary descriptive name followed by the command to execute.

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From here. "autocheck" tells windows to run "autochk *" after previous illegal shutdown :)

By default, its value is "autocheck autochk *" - this tells Windows to run Autochk on any drive whose dirty bit is set

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Autochk is standard Windows native application. AFAIK, is always present in fresh install of Windows XP.

Explain from Microsoft:

The Autochk (Autochk.exe) utility is a version of Chkdsk. For more information about Autochk, see the Windows XP Professional Resource Kit. To do this, visit the following Microsoft Web site: Troubleshooting Disks and File Systems

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  • Yes, that's why I'm asking about autocheck, not autochk. ;)
    – myname
    Commented Jul 22, 2012 at 12:40
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Imho, this runs some internal system checks. For example, when there is a folder C:\Program\, windows warn about it (because it interfere with C:\Program Files\).

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  • Not sure I understand. I just tried to create a C:\program folder and didn't get a warning on my XP. Is this internal warnings for the OS, not the user?
    – myname
    Commented Jul 22, 2012 at 10:18
  • Was seen this warning (dialog box, suggesting to rename folder to Program1) in Windows 7. And this warning appears sometimes after booting.
    – Maximus
    Commented Jul 22, 2012 at 10:23
  • Thanks! I hadn't rebooted, I see what you mean now. :) This message still appears though, when you remove autocheck from the bootexecute value.
    – myname
    Commented Jul 22, 2012 at 10:28
  • Can you check, what process shows this warning? I was lazy to do that. May be "default value" is informational for user only, and OS runs checks everytime? :)
    – Maximus
    Commented Jul 22, 2012 at 10:34
  • The popup is from explorer.exe and a procmon log shows explorer first accessing C:\program and then testing if c:\program1 exists. explorer was launched by userinit.
    – myname
    Commented Jul 22, 2012 at 10:45
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Another cause example:

In my case, Check-disk (at boot) is produced from custom shutdown batch/command, so the system thinks the shutdown was "Unexpected" (not normaly shutted) and sets the disk-check. If the "dirty" disk is the windows disk(C:) the disk must be unmounted first but, as the disk is in use by the system, sets an auto chkdsk at the next boot.

Case more explanation:

I have set a "Run-on-idle-time" 'scheduled task' which after (1hour) pointed time expiration, triggers a custom CleanNShutDown.bat/cmd program. So, the program eg. starts the 'cleans', wait to finish and then shuts down (forced) the Computer. Even if I tried many shutdown switch(es) (/d) combinations (SHUTDOWN.exe /s /t 60 /f /d p:0:0 /c "PC shutting down... (in 1 minute)" or even with chkntfs /x c:) the computer keeps giving the same problem Only IF Shutting Down triggered by this program.


How to Check if a disk is pointed as "dirty":
fsutil dirty query c: ("c:" is disk letter)


Here is almost everything about: ...(thanks Maximus)
https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/.../force-autochk-at-every-boot-up

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