The Chkdsk command, which is short for “check disc,” is used at the Command Prompt to check a specified disc and, if necessary, fix or recover data on the drive.
The Chkdsk Command Can Be Used
From the Command Prompt in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP, you can use the Chkdsk command.
The Chkdsk command can also be used in Advanced Startup Options and System Recovery Options through the Command Prompt. It also works in both Windows 2000 and Windows XP from the Recovery Console. Also, Chkdsk is a DOS command, and most versions of MS-DOS have it.
Chkdsk Command Syntax
chkdsk [volume:] [/F] [/V] [/R] [/X] [/I] [/C] [/L:size] [/perf] [/scan] [/?]
Command Options for Chkdsk
- volume: This is the letter of the drive that contains the partition you want to check for errors.
- /F: This option for the chkdsk command will fix any errors on the disc.
- /V: This chkdsk option shows the full path and name of every file on a FAT or FAT32 volume. If it is used on an NTFS volume, cleanup messages will appear (if there are any).
- /R: This option tells chkdsk to look for bad sectors and get any information that can be read from them. When /scan is not given, this option means /F.
- /X: This command option is the same as /F, and if necessary, it will force the volume to be unmounted.
- /I: This option will make the chkdsk command less thorough by telling it to run faster by skipping over some regular checks.
- /C: Same as /I, but skips cycles in the folder structure to make the chkdsk command run more quickly.
- /L:size: Use this part of the chkdsk command to change the size of the log file in KB. The size of the chkdsk log file is set to 65536 KB by default. You can check the current size of the log file by running /L without the “size” option.
- /perf: This option lets chkdsk use more system resources to run faster. It must be used with the /scan command.
- /scan: This chkdsk option scans an NTFS volume online, but it doesn’t try to fix it. In this case, “online” means that the volume doesn’t have to be taken off, but can stay online. This is true for both internal and external hard drives, which means you can keep using them while the scan is going on.
- /spotfix: This chkdsk option briefly unmounts the volume to fix problems that were reported in the log file.
- /?: Use the help option with the chkdsk command to get more information about the above commands and other options you can use with chkdsk.
If you’re using the chkdsk command from the Recovery Console in an older version of Windows, use /p instead of /F to tell chkdsk to do a thorough check of the hard drive and fix any errors it finds.
Examples of Chkdsk Command
Since no drives or other options were given in the first example, chkdsk just ran in read-only mode.
- chkdsk c: /r
In this case, the chkdsk command is used to do a thorough check of the C: drive to fix any mistakes and find any information that can be recovered from bad sectors. This is best used when running chkdsk outside of Windows, like from a recovery disc, and you need to tell it which drive to check.
- c:/scan/forceofflinefix chkdsk
This chkdsk command runs an online scan on the C: volume, so you don’t have to unmount the volume to run the test. If any problems are found, they are put in a queue and fixed when the volume is not being used.
- chkdsk c:/r/scan/performance
In this case, chkdsk will fix problems on the C: drive while you are using it. It will use as many system resources as possible to run as quickly as possible.
Chkdsk Related Commands
Chkdsk is used with a lot of other commands at the Command Prompt and in the Recovery Console.
The chkdsk command is similar to the scandisk command, which is used in Windows 98 and MS-DOS to check a hard drive or floppy disc for errors.