I don't think you have cause for great concern here.
Ever since Windows 98, Microsoft built into Windows
a safeguard to minimize disk errors by running Scandisk
after an imperfect shutdown, which is any shutdown that
doesn't allow Windows to go through the process of
ending all programs in a courteous way.
XP no longer has Scandisk. It's been replaced with
CheckDisk or chkdsk.exe and serves the same function
of checking a disk for errors. It's good to run this
from time to time, followed by defrag, to limit disk
errors and consolidate the files on your drive.
If you just turn off the power to your PC instead of
going through a formal Shut Down, you will always get
this message, and this process will always run. That
kind of shutdown can, indeed, cause physical damage
to the disk surface, and result in errors in files
and the folder structure, potentially resulting in
corrupted, unusable files, and problems running the
associated programs. This is why it's best not to run
your computer during a thunderstorm, since a sudden
loss of power has the same effect as just hitting the
off switch on your computer.
As for blue screens implying eminent disk death,
this is not necessarily the case. Windows throws up
blue screens for any number of reasons besides problems
with the disk drive, which have no implications for the
health of your hard drive.
Likewise, this error has nothing to do with the wiring
of your motherboard, and everything to do with Windows.
If you're shutting down your computer in the recommended
way, and you're still getting this message incessantly,
it can also be due to the fact that XP normally runs on
an NTFS file system, and you're using a removable drive
with a FAT32 file system. This can trigger Windows into
thinking there might be a problem, as noted in this
article by John Savill on WindowsITpro:
"When NT boots it performs a check on all volumes to see
if the dirty bit is set, and if it is, a full chkdsk /f
is run. To stop NT performing this dirty bit check you
can exclude certain drives. The reason you may want to
do this is for some type of removable drive, e.g. Iomega
- Run the Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe). You MUST use
Regedt32.exe and not Regedit.exe
- Goto HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\
- Change the BootExecute value from:
autocheck autochk *
autocheck autochk /k:x *
"Where x is the drive letter, e.g. if you wanted to stop the
check on drive f: you would type autocheck autochk /k:f *."
More on the page:
Here's a discussion of the "dirty bit" from Microsoft's XP
documentation (see Monty Python's Flying Circus for a thorough
discussion of "naughty bits"):
"If a volume's dirty bit is set, this indicates that the
file system may be in an inconsistent state. The dirty
bit can be set because the volume is online and has
outstanding changes, because changes were made to the
volume and the computer shutdown before the changes were
committed to disk, or because corruption was detected on
the volume. If the dirty bit is set when the computer
restarts, chkdsk runs to verify the consistency of the
"Every time Windows XP starts, Autochk.exe is called by
the Kernel to scan all volumes to check if the volume
dirty bit is set. If the dirty bit is set, autochk
performs an immediate chkdsk /f on that volume. Chkdsk /f
verifies file system integrity and attempts to fix any
problems with the volume."
In your case, the dirty bit may be being set simply
because it is a removable drive, and it isn't registering
with Windows as easily as an internal drive, since it's
not consistently available in that you are plugging it
in and unplugging it when it suits you. Imagine!
There are some other possibilities as to why chkdsk might run
all the time, but I think your situation is due to the removable
drive and the dirty bit. Nonetheless, I'll mention them here:
'Chkdsk Runs Each Time That You Start Your Computer',
- Hewlett Packard ScanJet 5100c Scanner
- Damaged Registry Hives
A Microsoft Knowledge Base Article:
'Chkdsk.exe or Autochk.exe starts when you try to shut down or
restart your computer'
Another Microsoft Knowledge Base Article:
I hope that clears up the mystery, and resolves your
frustration with this issue. If anything's not clear
or a link fails you, just let me know.
Please do not rate this answer until you are satisfied that
the answer cannot be improved upon by way of a dialog
established through the "Request for Clarification" process.
Additional information may be found from an exploration of
the links resulting from the Google searches outlined below.
Searches done, via Google:
"check * disk for consistency"
autocheck autochk *