How to Run CHKDSK

CHKDSK, short for "Check disk", is a Microsoft Windows command that checks volume problems of your hard disk(s). If you are using Windows 2000 or Window XP as your operating system, CHKDSK can validate bad sectors of your disk surface. This guide will show you the steps to run CHKDSK on your computer. There are two ways you can run CHKDSK. The first one is through the Windows Command Prompt and the second one is through My Computer.


  1. Running CHKDSK through the Windows Command Prompt:

    • 1

      Go to the Windows Command Prompt. You can do this by clicking first the Start button and then clicking the Run button. After this, type "cmd" in the Open text box and press Enter.

    • 2

      View the displayed Command Prompt screen.

        If you want CHKDSK to run in read-only mode, type:

      CHKDSK c:

        If you want CHKDSK to fix errors and not to check bad sectors, type:

      CHKDSK c:/f
      and press Enter in the Command Prompt.
      If you want CHKDSK to run thoroughly; that is, fix errors, find bad sectors in your hard drive and recuperate still readable data, type:
      CHKDSK c:/r or
      CHKDSK c:/p and press Enter in the Command Prompt.

    Running CHKDSK through My Computer (Windows XP)

    • 1

      Initialize the properties of the hard drive you want CHKDSK to run. Open My Computer. Right click your mouse on the drive in which you want CHKDSK to run. Click the Properties button and click the Tools tab. In the Error-checking box, click the Check Now button.

    • 2

      Set up the Check Disk options by checking one or both check boxes displayed. These are labeled "automatically fix file system errors" and "scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors". If you want CHKDSK to run in read-only mode, do not check either box. After this, click the Start button.

Tips & Warnings

  • In the Command Prompt, if CHKDSK generates the message "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)", type Y and press the Enter key. After this, you must restart your computer in order for CHKDSK to run.
  • Try not to run CHKDSK in read-only mode because it sometimes creates inaccurate reports.
  • The CHKDSK command can only be applied if you are using Microsoft Windows as your operating system.
  • Make sure you are logged-in as an Administrator
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