How to Run CHKDSK


Periodically running CHKDSK in Command Prompt lets Windows scan, fix and recover information from hard drive errors. You can run the CHKDSK utility, known as Check Disk, by entering commands into the command line with specific parameters. These parameters tell the CHKDSK utility what actions you want it to perform during a scan. You must open the Command Prompt with administrative privileges before running CHKDSK.

Open Command Prompt

  • Since CHKDSK is a command-line utility, you need to open Command Prompt to access it. CHKDSK also requires administrative access to Windows to operate effectively. Open your Windows Start screen and then type "cmd.exe" to perform a search. Right-click "Command Prompt" in the search results and then select "Run as Administrator." Click "Yes," or if necessary, authenticate with an administrative account. The Command Prompt window appears with a cursor after "C:\Windows\system32>" by default.


  • Run CHKDSK by entering "chkdsk" into the command line. While you can run the utility without any parameters, it won't fix errors it detects on the volume. Type "chkdsk /f" and then press "Enter" to run a standard CHKDSK scan that automatically fixes errors. To scan a specific drive, enter the command as "chkdsk D: /f" replacing the "D:" with the drive letter. To perform additional operations, add additional parameters -- with spaces between -- to the command. For example, "/r" locates and recovers bad sectors and "/x" dismounts the drive before scanning.


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