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Summary

When there’s boot error screen upon startup, it’s necessary to use CHKDSK to fix errors. So what is CHKDSK? Read this article and you will know more details about CHKDSK and the way how it can be used.


What Is CHKDSK?

CHKDSK, also Known as Microsoft Check Disk, is a utility used for checking the integrity of file system on the volume and restoring the errors. CHKDSK also supports scanning for and repairing the bad sectors. Generally, users could manually run the commands to detect the partitions of hard disk. If CHKDSK is used without any parameters, you will only receive the status of the detected volume. If you use it with some specific parameters, CHKDSK will fix errors on the volume.
Here is the CHKDSK syntax and some commonly used parameters.

Syntax: chkdsk [Volume] [Path] [/f] [/v] [/r] [/x] [/i] [/c] [/l:Size] [/b] [/perf ] [/scan ] [/?]

ParameterDescription
VolumeRefers to drive letter or volume name.
PathSpecifies the location and name of a file or set of files that you want CHKDSK to check.
/fFixes errors on the disk. The disk must be locked.
/vDisplays each file in every directory when the disk is checked.
/rFinds bad sectors and restores readable information.
/xNTFS only. Forces the volume to dismount first. All open handles to the drive are invalid. /x also includes the functionality of /f.
/iNTFS only. Performs a less vigorous check of index entries in order to reduce the amount of time for running CHKDSK.
/cNTFS only. Skip the check cycles in the folder structure in order to reduce the amount of time for running CHKDSK.
/l:SizeNTFS only. Changes the size of log file. The size of current log file will be displayed if you just process command /l.
/bNTFS only. Clears bad clusters on the volume and rescans all allocated and free clusters for errors. /b includes the function of /r.
/?Displays help in the command prompt.
/scanScans the specified partition online.
/spotfixRuns spot fixing on the volume.
After learning about the CHKDSK’s function, syntax and parameters, let’s move on and learn how to run CHKDSK.

The Ways of Running CHKDSK

You could run CHKDSK via the “Error checking” from “My Computer” and Command Prompt.

Solution 1: Enable CHKDSK from “My Computer”

Option 1: For Windows 8/10 users
Step 1: In “This PC”, right click target disk and then select “Properties”.
select properties
Step 2: In the “Properties” window, switch to “Tools” tab and then click “Check”.
check disk from my computer
Step 3: Click “Scan drive”. If some errors are found, please restart the PC and the file system will be repaired.
scan drive on Windows 8/10
Option 2: For Windows 7 users
Step 1: In “My computer”, right click target disk and then select “Properties”.
select properties of the target disk
Step 2: In the “Properties” window, switch to “Tools” tab and then click “Check now”.
Check prtition
Step 3: Click “Automatically fix file system errors”.
enable fix file system errors
If there’s a message “Windows can’t check the disk while it’s in use”, please click “Schedule disk check”. Then exit the programs and restart the PC. CHKDSK will automatically perform a scan after the PC restarts.

Solution 2: Run CHKDSK via Command Prompt

Please note that this way requires administrative privileges. If you don’t have it, it’s suggested to create an administrator account or contact your administrator.
Step 1: For Windows 10 user, please type “cmd” in the search box. Right click “Command Prompt” and select “Run as administrator”.
run cmd
  • For Windows 8 user, press “Win” + “R” key to open Charm bar. In search box, type in: Command Prompt. Then right click it and select “Run as Administrator”.
run command prompt Windows 8
  • For Windows 7 user, in the “Search program and files” box, type in: cmd. Then right click “Command Prompt” and select “Run as Administrator”.
run command prompt Windows 7
Step 2: In the Command Prompt, type in CHKDSK command such as chkdsk C: /f /r /x. Press Enter.
chkdsk
Tips: When you are running CHKDSK, please type in “Y” and restart the PC if If there’s a message “Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process”. CHKDSK will automatically perform a scan next time when the PC restarts.

Examples of Running CHKDSK

When there is startup error such as blue screen of death and fatal error reading boot.ini, you could run CHKDSK via Command Prompt to fix the errors. Next we will show you when and how to use CHKDSK.

Case 1: Blue Screen of Death and Error Code 0×00000024 / 0xc000014C

When the system files or file system driver are damaged, we could use CHKDSK to fix them.
Step 1: Enter Windows Recovery Environment via Windows Installation Disc.
Step 2: Navigate to “Troubleshoot” > “Advanced Options” > “Command Prompt”.
command prompt
Step 3: In the Command Prompt, type in: chkdsk C: /f /x /r. Press Enter.
chkdsk

Case 2: Files on the External Hard Disk are Damaged and Unreadable

If the files on external hard disk or USB drive are damaged or unreadable, you could also fix the problem using CHKDSK. Here is an example of fixing damaged files on external hard disk.
Step 1: Connect the external hard disk to the PC. Press “Win” + “R” key to open “Run” box. Then type in: cmd. Press Enter.
press win and r to run cmd
Step 2: In the Command Prompt, type in: chkdsk H: /r. Press Enter. After the repairing process completes, you will see a message “Windows has made corrections to the file system”.

NoteH: refers to the drive letter of removable storage device. Please type in a correct drive letter of your external hard disk or USB drive.

check errors on removable storage
chkdsk bad sectors