Why Is My Computer Checking the Disk at Every Startup?

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Check Disk---or "CHKDSK"---is a diagnostic utility in Windows operating systems that inspects the integrity of the file system on a hard drive. Initiation of Check Disk without user input might indicate a problem with the hard drive.

Check Disk

  • According to Microsoft's documentation on Check Disk, the utility generates a status report on the file system and may attempt to fix errors that it finds. Common problems are logic errors that cause conflicts in the file system.

Allow Check Disk to Finish

  • If Check Disk finds a problem in the file system, allow it to generate its report and fix whatever errors it can. Stopping Check Disk from running will not make any potential problem with the file system go away.

Scheduling

  • Check Disk requires exclusive access to the hard drive, so the user is typically required to schedule a scan for the next time the computer boots. Depending on how the schedule is set, Check Disk may start every time the computer is turned on.

Removing Check Disk from Scheduling

  • Windows operating systems feature a utility for scheduling certain tasks, including Check Disk. Depending on the version of Windows, open either Task Scheduler or Scheduled Tasks---via System Tools---and then delete the entry for "CHKDSK."

Disabling Check Disk Through Command Line

  • Open the Start menu and then type "cmd" in the Search field or the Run command. Press Enter to open Command Line. Type "chkntfs /x" followed by a space, the hard drive letter and a colon and then press Enter to disable Check Disk from scanning that hard drive. If the drive letter is the default "c," then "chkntfs /x c:" is the command.

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