Windows – CHKDSK command – How to check disk for errors?

Windows provides an important command CHKDSK to verify the disk and displays the status information about the disk. Through this article we are going to discuss about this command.

Check disk using CHKDSK command

This command is used to check the disk space and display the status information. From below, observe that, no parameters are passed through this command; and you will see a warning as it is running in read-only mode. That means, if any problems with the disk; below command will NOT fix the problems. Just it shows the information about the disk.

C:\> chkdsk
The type of the file system is NTFS.
Volume label is System.

WARNING!  F parameter not specified.
Running CHKDSK in read-only mode.

CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 3)...
  701184 file records processed.
File verification completed.
  2779 large file records processed.
  0 bad file records processed.
  2 EA records processed.
  91 reparse records processed.
CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 3)...
  960346 index entries processed.
Index verification completed.
  0 unindexed files scanned.
  0 unindexed files recovered.
CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 3)...
  701184 file SDs/SIDs processed.
Security descriptor verification completed.
  129582 data files processed.
CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
  36741120 USN bytes processed.
Usn Journal verification completed.
Windows has checked the file system and found no problems.

 487361535 KB total disk space.
 437051028 KB in 500566 files.
    282580 KB in 129583 indexes.
         0 KB in bad sectors.
    951883 KB in use by the system.
     65536 KB occupied by the log file.
  49076044 KB available on disk.

      4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
 121840383 total allocation units on disk.
  12269011 allocation units available on disk.

CHKDSK command displays complete status of the disk. It displays total disk space, number of files the disk contains, number of indexes, the size the System used to store the files, number of bytes used for log files and available disk space.

Importantly this command also shows any bad sectors in the disk. But, from above command the bad sectors will NOT be fixed. We need to pass proper parameters to instruct to fix any issues, during the disk check. How to do this? Below section covers this.

Fix any issues with the disk

Sometimes, we may see issues with the disk and these can be fixed by using the “/F” switch with CHKDSK command. Below command checks the volume “E:” and fix any issues with the volume.

C:\> chkdsk E: /f

If the volume is already in use, you will get the below message as the volume should be locked before running this command to fix any issues.

C:\> chkdsk E: /f
The type of the file system is NTFS.
Cannot lock current drive.

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) 

But if we have bad sectors in the volume and needs to recover the readable information, we need to use the “/R” switch with CHKDSK command.

C:\> chkdsk E: /r

By using “/R” switch with CHKDSK command, it includes the functionality of “/F” and additionally locates the bad sectors and recovers the readable information.

Note that, when we use this command to fix any errors on the disk, the disk must be locked. Otherwise, it will through a message and prompt you to run the command, next time you restart the system.

Be on learning path always!

// Malin

Windows – CHKDSK command – How to check disk for errors?

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