While attempting to install Ubuntu on a 32-bit Windows XP netbook, the partition resize operation failed due to inconsistencies in the NTFS filesystem (lesson learned: run chkdsk /f in Windows before trying to resize a partition in Linux). Now the installer only gives the option to replace Windows with Ubuntu, the partition can't be resized in gparted, which displays a red exclamation mark and an error log when you click it.

To make matters worse, we're also unable to reboot into Windows to get at chkdsk. We get a BSoD when choosing any of the options (including the DOS recovery console thing).

The netbook has no CD-ROM drive, contains no recovery image and our only connection to the Internet is via the hotspot on my mobile device. We don't have Windows recovery CDs, but we do have a USB flash drive. We have a 64-bit laptop running Ubuntu 12.04 and Windows 7 (both 64-bit).

So, on to the question:

Is anyone aware of a way to get into a DOS recovery console and run chkdsk from a USB disk drive, without having to pirate Windows XP or download hundreds and hundreds of megabytes of crap?

If it was my device I'd just flatten it, but it isn't. Please help!


First, chkdsk doesn't run in "DOS", it runs in a Win32 Command Prompt (while it looks similar, it's not even remotely related). Next, you'll have to create a WinPE image, write it to the UDF, and boot that. MS has detail instructions, but you have to build the image; and you'll need to download the giant WinAIK to built it.

There may be 3rd party tools available; but nothing official sanctioned, and nothing guaranteed not to make the problem worse.


Maybe look into something like Barts PE, or create a PE yourself?

I've found Yumi is a great resource for making a USB "Toolkit"! Check it out!


you can download free tools on the web that will give you chkdsk on usb without downloading a OS.

As a sysadmin I have used Hiren Boot CD in the past. Which loads a light weight version of Windows xp from the USB. This then gives you tons of tools.

Other ways of doing it, download Ultimate Boot CD, Download Avira NTFS4DOS to get chkdsk then add it to Ulimate boot cd.


Answering my own question because it turned out there was no easy way to do this given the restrictions we had (mobile Internet with cap, no CDs or even a CD/DVD drive).

Given limited bandwidth, the best option is to physically remove the disk drive and insert it into another Windows laptop, run chkdsk from within Windows, then remove the drive.

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