Check Disk and Chkdsk Command

Check Disk

In Microsoft Windows systems, Check Disk is a built-in utility for checking for errors on a hard disk volume. To access this utility, open the Properties dialog box of the volume you want in Windows Explorer or My Computer, select the Tools tab, and click the Check Now button. This displays the Check Disk dialog box, which has two options:

  • Automatically correct any file system errors that are found.
  • Scan the disk volume for bad sectors and repair those found.
Check Disk
Check Disk utility

Close all files and applications

All files must be closed on the volume for Check Disk to attempt to correct errors. If files are open, you will be prompted to schedule Check Disk to run at the next system restart. If Check Disk is run on an NTFS volume, bad clusters will automatically be replaced and all file transactions will be logged.

Chkdsk Command

Chkdsk is a prompt command used in Microsoft Windows for locating, reporting, and correcting file system errors on disks. There are versions of chkdsk for all Windows platforms as well as for MS-DOS. The versions for Windows NT and Windows 2000 can be used on both file allocation table (FAT) and NTFS volumes. The syntax for the command can be displayed by typing chkdsk/? at the command prompt.

Chkdsk Command example

Typing chkdsk c: tells the computer to check the C drive. Note that using the /f switch will force chkdsk to attempt to repair file system errors. The chkdsk command will attempt to lock the disk first, but if the errors are associated with open files, chkdsk will be scheduled to run at the next reboot.

Note: Running chkdsk /f can result in data loss if chkdsk cannot repair the volume. Either back up your volumes before running chkdsk, or use scandisk instead.