CHKDSK – check hard drive for errors

CHKDSK is a standard application for checking a hard disk for errors, detecting bad sectors on a hard disk, and fixing file system errors. CHKDSK (short for Check Disk) is built into the Windows operating system.

The Chkdsk.exe program finds file system errors, bad sectors on the hard drive, and fixes the detected problems. If the disk file system error check finds problems, the CHKDSK check runs when the computer is turned on.

When using Chkdsk.exe on different versions of Windows, there are some differences:

  • In the Windows XP operating system, the chkdsk utility finds file system errors and repairs bad sectors on a disk.
  • In Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, at default settings, the CHKDSK application finds file system errors but does not fix them. To fix file system errors and check disk sectors, you must manually set certain parameters.

Problems in the Windows operating system affect its performance. File system errors occur in the following situations:

  • Due to a power outage – if the computer is suddenly turned off, an unexpected system failure may occur (to prevent such situations, use UPS – uninterruptible power supplies).
  • If the system is infected with malware.
  • Due to computer hardware failure.

Bad sectors may appear on the surface of the hard drive. When checking a disk with chkdsk, bad bad sectors of the hard disk are marked as damaged, the system no longer reads or writes information from bad sectors of the disk. The system will try to recover data from bad sectors (clusters, directories), if possible.

Check disk chkdsk runs in two modes:

  • in the graphical interface by means of the system;
  • using the command line.

If the computer does not boot due to problems, you can check the hard drive using the Windows recovery disc , bootable Windows flash drive , installation DVD with the Windows operating system. After booting from removable media, in the system recovery options, select the command line to start checking the disk for errors.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to use the CHKDSK application using the Windows 10 operating system as an example.

CHKDSK check for file system troubleshooting in GUI

The easiest option for checking the file system for errors is to run the CHKDSK program in the graphical interface using the system tools.

Do the following:

  1. Launch File Explorer.
  2. Right-click on the local drive you want to scan.
  3. In the “Properties: Local Disk (X:)” window, go to the “Service” tab.
  4. In the “Check for errors” section, click on the “Check” button.
  5. In the Error Checker (Local Disk (X :)) window that opens, select “Check Disk”, despite the fact that the operating system says that no errors were found during the disk check.

In Windows 7, additional verification options are available; to run them, you must check the boxes in front of the items:

  • Automatically fix system errors.
  • Scan and repair bad sectors.
  1. The scanning process starts and will take some time. The scan time depends on the size of the local disk and on the amount of data on the disk.

During file system error checking, the status is scanned:

  • The basic structure of the file system is checked.
  • Filename associations are checked.
  • The security descriptors are checked.
  • The USN log is checked.
  1. After the verification process is completed, information about its result will open. In this case, the disk was successfully checked, no errors were found. If errors are found, you will be prompted to fix them.

For details, click on the “Show Details” link.

In the Event Viewer snap-in window, click Details.

In the “Event Properties” window, in the “General” and “Details” tabs, detailed information about the result of the disk check is available.

The resulting information about checking the disk for file system errors can be copied into Notepad or another text editor for further study.

How to Run CHKDSK (Check Disk) on Command Prompt

The chkdsk command to check the hard drive with the given parameters is executed from the command line:

  1. Run command prompt as administrator. Read here how to find Command Prompt in Windows 10.
  2. To check the system partition (system disk) in the command line interpreter window, enter the command:
chkdsk c: /f
  1. Press the “Enter” key.
  2. A message will appear in the command prompt window stating that the CHKDSK command cannot be executed because the specified volume is in use by a system process. To start checking the system disk after rebooting the system, press the “Y” key, and then press the “Enter” key.
  3. During the system reboot, the system disk will be checked and repaired.

An example command template looks like this: [“chkdsk” (application name)], space, [drive letter followed by a colon (“c:”, “d:”, “f:”, etc.), path, or filename], space, [command options].

Command parameters have the following meanings:

  • / F – check the file system and automatically fix the errors found.
  • / R – searching for bad sectors on the disk, restoring the contents (the command requires the mandatory key / F, example: “chkdsk C: / F / R”).
  • /V – show full paths of files, display file names on the disk, in the NTFS file system – show messages about cleaning.
  • /X – disable the disk before checking, the descriptors of this disk will not be checked (the /F key must be set, command example: “chkdsk C: /F /X”).
  • /I – performs a less rigorous check of the index entries, CHKDSK performs a faster but less thorough check.
  • /C – skip checking cycles inside the folder structure.
  • /L: size – change the size of the log to the value specified in kilobytes.
  • /B – reset the scan results, re-scan the previously found bad sectors of the hard disk (the /R key is required, command example: “chkdsk C: /F /R /B”).

In most cases, to check the file system and eliminate bad sectors on the hard drive, it is enough to use the “F” and “R” flags.

How to Disable Check Disk in CHKDSK on Windows Boot

In some cases, disk check starts when you turn on the computer, before loading the Windows operating system. In most cases, you need to wait until the end of the check, a restart will not follow.

A constant check of the disk every time the system starts, signals the presence of problems and the need to fix them. Perhaps you should consider replacing the hard drive. There are programs, such as CrystalDiskInfo , that constantly monitor the status of computer disks.

To disable Chkdsk from starting when Windows boots, you can use 2 methods: change the values ​​​​in the registry of the operating system, or use the command line.

Disable check disk on the command line:

  1. Run command prompt as administrator.
  2. In the command line interpreter window, enter the command (“C:” is the name of the drive on which you want to disable the launch of the disk check at system boot), and then press the “Enter” key:
chkntfs /x with:
  • If you need to disable checking on multiple drives, add the corresponding drive letters to the command separated by spaces, for example, “chkntfs /x c: d:”.
  • Using the “chkntfs / d” command, you can return the original settings.

You can turn off automatic disk check when the operating system boots in the following way:

  1. Launch the Registry Editor (type “regedit” in the search field, run the command).
  2. Follow the path:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager
  1. Click on the “Session Manager” option.
  2. Find the parameter “BootExecute”, click on it with the left mouse button.
  3. The Edit MultiString window displays the default value.
  4. To disable the disk check during Windows startup, add a parameter before the asterisk:
autocheck autochk /k:C *
  1. To disable scanning on multiple partitions, add drive letters separated by a space. Example for drives “C:” and “D:”:
autocheck autochk /k:C /k:D *

Article Conclusions

The CHKDSK system application, built into the Windows operating system, is used to check the file system for errors and to detect bad sectors on the computer’s hard drive. Using the utility, you can fix system errors and eliminate the negative impact (disable reading and writing) on ​​the system due to the presence of bad sectors of the hard disk.

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