Chkdsk is the command that checks the status of hard disks (volumes) and floppy disks and fixes the logical file system errors, if occurred. This command is used on DOS and Microsoft Windows operating systems. The result of chkdsk may not necessarily be in read-only mode.

Ways to perform Check Disk

There are two ways to perform disk check:

  • Through command prompt: Click Start → Run → In open type cmd → Enter → specify the drive, for eg. d: → Change to root directory i.e., cd/ → type chkdsk volume:/f and Enter → press y if asked for scheduling the volume next time → type exit and press Enter.

Restart the computer to start the disk check.


  • /f : fixes errors on the disk.
  • /x : forces the volume to dismount first if necessary. All opened handles to the volume would then be invalid
  • /r : locates bad sectors and recovers readable information.
  • /v : On FAT/FAT32: displays full path and name of every file on the disk On NTFS: displays clean up messages if any .
  • /c : NTFS only: skips checking of cycles within the folder structure.
  • /i : NTFS only: performs a less vigorous check of index entries.
  • /? : displays help.
  • /b : re-evaluates bad clusters on volume.
  • Through My Computer: Double click on My Computer → select the disk you want to check → click on properties → Tools → Check now → Start. At the end of check, restart your computer. The procedure described above is for Windows XP. The same procedure can be followed to perform chkdsk on Windows 7 platform.
  • Caution on files, which are open

    Never run chkdsk /f when files are open because it may cause loss of data. Chkdsk command cannot be run to check a disk on a network drive.

    Error Handling

    There are two types of errors in the file system, which needs special care. One is logical and another is physical disk errors. Logical errors in file system are identified by chkdsk command. When the system prompts for chkdsk during boot up, then it is recommended to perform chkdsk, always (This would happen because of power failure or improper shut down of the system).

    CHKDSK capability

    Bad sectors are marked as “bad” when the chkdsk reports them. Chkdsk does not fix cross-linked files. Maually a cross-linked file can be fixed by copying the files or directories somewhere else and deleting the original files or directories.

    Redirecting the output of CHKDSK to a file

    chkdsk a: > filename
    filename is the name of the file to which the output of the chkdsk is redirected. In this scenario, the chkdsk command does not fix the errors. It simply redirects the result to the specified file. To fix the errors, following command should be used.
    Chkdsk /f

    Useful Links

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