How to Use ‘chkdsk’ and Command Prompt for Checking Disk Errors

Chkdsk is a Windows utility built-in for the purpose of scanning the hard drives or external drives for errors and then fixing them without the need for external tools.

Features of Windows Chkdsk

  1. Scans the NTFS/ FAT drive for errors and then fixes the errors.
  2. Helps in marking the bad sectors.
  3. Scans the external drive like USB, SD Card for errors.

Chkdsk utility is used for all versions of Windows (Windows XP, 7, 8, 10) and also for DOS (Scandisk utility).

Checking your computer / disk for errors using Chkdsk GUI

Step 1: At first, open the File Explorer. You can open it from the Start menu.

Step 2: Then, go to the main section and click on “This PC“.

Step 3: Right click the option specifying the disk, memory card or any removable disk which need to be scanned for error.

Step 4: Then click on the Properties and then the Tools.

Checking your computer or disk for errors using Chkdsk GUI

Step 5: Under section Error-Checking, press the Check button. The command will start executing for the users who have administrative privileges.

Error Checking

Step 6: It’s good if errors are not found. But if errors are there, then during the check of HDD, Windows will fix them.

Step 7: The process of scanning on chkdsk GUI will take time depending on the total space of the disk.

Step 8: After the scanning is over, message will appear on your screen “Drive was successfully scanned“.

Drive was successfully scanned

Step 9: Also, you can click on the Show Details button to look for the information such as total disk space, byte allocation and errors which are detected during the scan.

Checking your Disk for Error Via Command Prompt

Use Windows command line for running utility chkdsk. It is  helpful for testing of Hard Disk Drive and checking it for reading the error.

Checking your Disk for Error Via Command Prompt in For Windows 10:

Step 1: Press the Windows and X key from your keyboard. A list will appear.

Step 2: Now, press the “A” key from keyboard. Command prompt (Admin) will appear on screen.

For older versions of windows to open the command prompt, first click on Start button. After that search for Run option and click on it. Now, type cmd in Run box.

Step 3: To start the scan process, enter the paramaters:

chkdsk [Drive:] [parameters]

For instance, for scanning “f” disk, enter the command:

chkdsk C: /f /r /x

Then, press the “Y” key to confirm your command.

/f = for fixing HDD error

/r= for locating bad sectors

/x= for forcing the drive to dismount before disk checking

Checking your Disk for Error through Recovery Console

You can run chkdsk on boot if your windows are not starting. Thus, you can check the hard drive for errors via Recovery Console.

To do this, follow the below steps:

Step 1: At first, insert Windows 10 Installation disc and also connect a bootable USB drive with Windows.

Step 2: Now, define the type of booting in BIOS.

Step 3: Press any key from your keyboard to boot from CD / DVD. Then, after starting of Windows Installer, choose the keyboard layout, time, layout, and keyboard method. After that press the Shift+F1 key.

Step 4: Now, click on Next, then select “Repair your computer” and then Troubleshoot to open the recovery console.

Step 5:  At last, execute the chkdsk [f]: /f /r command.

Note: [f] stands for disk which you need to scan.

Alternatives for Chkdsk

Other programs which you can try instead of chkdsk are:

  • HDD Regeneration
  • HDD Health
  • HDD Scan
  • Seagate Sea Tools
  • Hitachi Drive Fitness Test