How to Fix
"Autochk Program Not Found" error
when Windows Boots

I ran across an interesting problem the other day that I had not encountered before, a customer was trying to uninstall their Norton Internet Security software to install a newer version. During the uninstall process, something went wrong and when the computer rebooted they saw a screen with the following error:

Autochk program not found

Then after a few seconds, the computer would reboot and again they were presented with the same error. An unendless loop of the computer rebooting with seemingly no way to solve it.

The computer would not boot into Safe Mode, and booting into the Recovery Console with a Windows XP boot disk was no help either.

So what was the solution? Well, after removing the drive and placing it in another computer, it appeared that the drive partition was accidentally hidden, most likely by the uninstall of Norton or the way in which the Norton GoBack utility was "protecting" the drive. Now the question became, how do you unhide the partition so the system will boot normally again.

Luckily, PowerQuest (now owned by Symantec) has a small DOS utility that fixes the problem rather easily. The program is called PTEDIT. If you are experiencing a similar issue, follow the steps below to download the utility to a boot disk and unhide the partition. On a working computer, do the following:

1) Click the link below and save PTEDIT.ZIP to your desktop

ftp://ftp.symantec.com/public/english_us_canada/tools/pq/utilities/ptedit.zip

2) Create a bootable MS-DOS disk for Windows

In Windows XP

  • Place a blank floppy disk in Drive A
  • Open My Computer
  • Right-click on Drive A (floppy drive)
  • Click on Format
  • Check the box for "Create an MS-DOS Startup Disk"
  • Click Start
  • Click OK to the warning about formattting the disk will erase all data
  • Click Ok to Format Complete
  • Close the Format Disk window
For boot disks for other operating systems, you may want to visit Bootdisk.com

3) Copy PTEDIT to the floppy disk

  • Double-click on the PTEDIT.ZIP file you downloaded to the desktop
  • Right-click on PTEDIT.EXE and click on Copy
  • Open My Computer
  • Double-click on Drive A 
  • Click on Edit
  • Click on Paste
4) Remove the disk from the floppy drive and place it in the floppy drive of the problem computer

5) Turn on the power to the problem computer and allow it to boot to from the floppy drive. Make sure the BIOS in your computer is set to boot from the floppy drive first.

6) At the A:\> prompt, type the following

PTEDIT and press Enter

7) You'll be presented with "Power Quest Partition Table Editor" screen. The key is to look in the first column of the table under Type. The number here should generally be 07 (hex), meaning the partition is an "Installable File System", in other words a bootable drive. If its anything else its not bootable.

Using your tab key, tab down to the Type box and hold down ALT + T to open the Set Type menu, then with your keyboard arrow, select 07, tab down to Ok and press Enter

8) Hold down ALT + S to Save Changes to the partition table and then Press CTRL +C to exit out of the program.

9) Reboot your computer and it should now boot normally into Windows.

Of course, all these steps should be followed correctly, and if you are not comfortable changing this information you should consult a friend or computer tech that can help you with the problem.

Missing Mountmgr.sys File

Recently a reader wrote to me about another situation where you might receive the Autochk Program Not Found error. This occurs when the mountmgr.sys file is missing from the folder Windows\System32\Drivers.

 If you have all the service packs installed, you can copy the mountmgr.sys file from the location C:\Windows\ServicePackFiles\i386\mountmgr.sys to the C:\Windows\System32\Drivers directory and reboot.

 

Written by Mark Hasting


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