How to run Chkdsk

Find out how to run a disk check on Windows 10 and older versions of Windows

The Chkdsk function, an abbreviation of Check Disk, is a tool that Windows users can activate to rectify and hard drive issues on certain operating systems, analysing the hard drive to prevent big problems developing that could lead to corruption. The Chkdsk process, however, could take a while to complete.

There are a number of ways to use the system tool, depending on how it’s run. Chkdsk can scan the integrity of a file system and its metadata on volume as well as fix any of the errors it encounters. The range of problems includes bad security descriptors associated with files, corrupt entries in a volume’s master file table, incorrect timestamps as well as whole file size information

It can also be used to search and detect every sector on a disk volume for corruption, with either soft or hard ‘bad’ sectors arising. The latter comes about when an error occurs when the disk write process is interrupted, while har bad sectors might come as a result of physical damage to the disk. The Chkdsk system tool aims to fix these problems by repairing the soft bad sectors and ensuring the hard bad sectors are no longer used.

Chkdsk for Windows

The system tool can be used on most Windows systems, including Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8 and 8.1, Windows Vista as well as Windows XP, for those still using legacy versions of Microsoft's operating system. Should you be able to boot into Windows, you can run the tool for each hard drive, or individual partition, available.

Chkdsk can also be run using Command Prompt, if running it from the operating system is not feasible. You can either use Recovery Mode, or the original installation medium to boot and then run Command Prompt in order to run Chkdsk this way.

Command Prompt

To run the utility from the Command Prompt, go to the start menu once you've successfully booted your computer and click 'run'. Enter 'cmd' into the box. When the window appears you can type 'chkdsk' and start the process.

From here, things get a little more technical, but to repair errors you need to type chkdsk with command after it: So, to repair errors without scanning for any bad sectors, type 'chkdsk volume: /f' and press enter, where volume is the letter of the drive you'd like to run a scan on, for example, 'C' or 'D'.

To repair errors and scan for bad sectors, type 'chkdsk volume: /r' and press enter. Same again, the volume is the letter of the drive you'd like to repair.

From My Computer

To run Chkdsk from within Windows, but without Command Prompt, you need to go to on 'This PC', right-click on the hard disk you'd like to run the utility on and then click 'properties'. From there click 'Tools' and select 'Check' under the 'Error checking' section.

To repair errors without scanning for bad sectors, select the 'Automatically fix file system errors' box and to repair errors and scan for bad sectors, select the 'Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors' box. The utility will notify you if the scan finds any errors or not.

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