How to fix ‘CHKDSK cannot continue in read-only mode’ error?

By Eunice Samson | May 9, 2019 |

greater than 3 minutes

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One of the excellent features of the Windows operating system is the Check Disk (CHKDSK) utility. It efficiently verifies the integrity of the data kept on a hard drive. This tool is beneficial in identifying and resolving errors that may corrupt data and impede the overall performance of your PC.

There are several benefits you can get from the CHKDSK utility. Aside from keeping your files healthy, it can also help repair bad sectors and corrupted system files on your computer. However, it is worth noting that CHKDSK is not intended to spot failing hard drives. It does an effective job in keeping the Windows database clean. Moreover, it frees up valuable system resources that may keep the system from achieving optimal performance.

Indeed, the CHKDSK utility is useful for fixing several types of problems related to storage, disks, and file systems. However, sometimes, when it scans some external storage devices or the operating system partition, it shows an error message. You probably came across this article because of such a problem and you might want to know how to fix errors found like the ‘CHKDSK cannot continue in read-only mode’ issue.

There are various reasons why this error could occur. For instance, a different utility or program is using or scanning the drive. It is also possible that the drive being scanned by CHKDSK may have the Write Protection feature enabled. In this case, you might ask, “How do I change CHKDSK from read-only mode?” Don’t worry because we will show you the steps in this article.

Solution 1: Running the CHKDSK Utility from the Recovery Section

  1. Use Windows installation media to boot your operating system. If you do not have it, you can download the Media Creation Tool from Microsoft’s website, then save it on a USB flash drive.
  2. After booting your OS, select Repair Your Computer.
  3. Once you get to the blue screen, follow this path:

Troubleshoot ->Advanced Options ->Command Prompt

  1. Once you’re in Command Prompt, run the command below:

chkdsk x:/r /f

Note: Replace ‘x’ with the appropriate disk letter.

  1. Once the scan is complete, type “Exit” (no quotes) inside Command Prompt. Doing so will close the window.
  2. Restart your PC, then check if the error is gone.

Solution 2: Running CHKDSK on Boot

If you need the CHKDSK utility for fixing and recovering damaged segments on your drive, you can follow the troubleshooting steps below:

If you cannot resolve the
problem yourself, you can
ask our certified PC technicians for immediate assistance in the chat right on this page.
  1. On your keyboard, press Windows Key+S.
  2. Inside the Search box, type “Command Prompt” (no quotes).
  3. Right-click Command Prompt from the results, then select Run as Administrator.
  4. Once Command Prompt is up, type “chkdsk /r” (no quotes), then hit Enter.

You may see this message:

“Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Would you like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts? (Y/N)”

  1. Type “Y” (no quotes) inside Command Prompt, then press Enter on your keyboard.

The CHKDSK utility will perform a scan on your PC’s next startup.

Solution 3: Disabling the Write Protection Feature

This section will teach you how to troubleshoot the ‘CHKDSK cannot continue in read-only mode’ error on a data drive. As we’ve mentioned, it is possible that the CHKDSK utility cannot scan the drive because the Write Protection feature on it is enabled. So, the first thing you need to do is check if the affected external drive has a hardware lock. If the switch is pushed to protect the device from accidental writing, you can toggle it back to the Disable Write Protection position.

If the issue persists, you need to check the Windows Registry to see if the settings have been changed to lock the USB ports. Here are the steps:

  1. On your keyboard, press Windows Key+R.
  2. Inside the Run dialog box, type “regedit” (no quotes), then click OK.
  3. Once the Registry Editor is up, navigate to this path:


  1. Now, go to the left pane, then expand the contents of the System folder.
  2. Expand CurrentControlSet to find Services.
  3. Click USBSTOR.
  4. Go to the right pane, then double-click Start.
  5. Inside the box, type “3” (no quotes).
  6. Exit the Registry Editor.

Pro Tip: To ensure the optimal performance of your drives, we recommend that you use Auslogics Disk Defrag Pro. This tool allows you to defrag files that are inaccessible during system operation. Moreover, it optimizes file placement on your hard drive and provides faster access for the most efficient operation.

Do you find the CHKDSK utility useful?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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