I recently cloned the existing Windows 7 installation on my C drive using the free version of Macrium Reflect. My aim was to use the clone for a new 480GB SSD (Solid State Drive).
I disconnected the existing C Drive and left the SSD connected. As soon as I tried to boot from the SSD I received the error “autochk program not found – skipping AUTOCHECK”. Despite several reboots I always got the same error message.
I entered the BIOS and set the CD/DVD to be the first boot device. I then used my Windows 7 Professional installation disk to enter and run Startup Repair. This made no difference. I noticed that the SSD did not have a drive letter allocated so I used Paragon Partition Manager to assign the drive letter D: (By now my existing disk was back in the PC and was recognized as the C: Drive).
I ran another Startup Repair to see if the drive mapping could be fixed. The Startup Repair seemed to complete successfully and on reboot my existing C: Drive started up. On checking My Computer it now showed both my existing C: Drive and my new SSD Drive as the D: Drive. I then removed my existing drive to see if windows would now use the SSD as the boot drive. It started to load but defaulted to “autochk program not found – skipping AUTOCHECK”. If left to its own devices my PC ends up in a loop continually restarting and stopping at the skipping AUTOCHECK message.
I suspected the cloning might be at fault. So again I re-cloned the existing C: Drive to the new 480GB SSD. This made no difference, so the cloning itself was not a problem.
The only thing I could think of was a problem with the Windows installer when doing its Startup Repair. It must be seeing something different to what the cloned SSD drive set up actually shows. This could even be a continuation of the mismapping problem I mentioned earlier.
To try and fix this pesky problem I used my Windows 7 installation to get access to the recovery console. At the Install Windows screen, I clicked Next and then pressed Shift plus F10 to launch an elevated command prompt. At the command prompt I typed diskpart to launch this handy program. When I was at the Diskpart prompt I typed list volume to show what volumes the Windows installer sees. At this point its easy to identify the real C volume by its size even if it bears a different drive letter, such as D. My C: drive was shown as volume 2 and seemed to be mapped correctly as C:. I then exited diskpart (by typing “exit”). At the command prompt I typed regedit to open the Windows Registry Editor (if you lose your command prompt, Shift plus F10 will get you another one)
In the Registry Editor I selected HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and then clicked on File (in the menu above) and from the sub menu chose > Load Hive. I then opened the Windows\system32\config\SYSTEM file on my C: drive (the SSD) and saved the file as Win32OpenHive.
I expanded the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE” folder again. Within it was now a folder called Win32OpenHive and an existing folder called SYSTEM. Win32OpenHive shows you what the existing Windows 7 installation could see (not the installer!), while SYSTEM tells you what the installer sees as it tries to load the Windows DVD to perform a Startup Repair.
Under each of these folders I opened the Mounted Devices sub folder to check if \DosDevices\C: had a matching ??volume. The trick here is to compare \DosDevices\C:’s Reg data entry and the appropriate \??volume in both Win32OpenHive and SYSTEM and make them exactly the same (see the images below)
So now with \DosDevices\C: and its appropriate \??volume being the same on both the Windows 7 Professional installation and the SYSTEM installer detail. I now clicked Unload the hive in the File menu, and then rebooted my PC.
I then did another System Repair on the SSD and on reboot it accessed the newly set up C: drive very quickly. What a difference an SSD makes. Faster booting, quicker program start-ups and a swift close down. A truly responsive PC!
Thanks to superuser.com whose post helped so much when putting this solution together http://superuser.com/questions/290612/missing-autochk-program-during-boot.
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