How to Fix CHKDSK Errors

Check Disk (CHKDSK) is a tool built into the Microsoft Windows operating system to verify the integrity of the data stored on the hard drive. The utility is also used to find and resolve errors which can corrupt stored data as well as affect the overall performance of the computer system.

The CHKDSK utility is basically derived from the SCANDISK tool, which was introduced under the first GUI (Graphic User Interface)-based operating system of Microsoft. Although slightly altered in newer operating systems, the intent and functionality has remained the same.

There are numerous benefits from regularly running the CHKDSK utility like ensuring that system files are always healthy. However, when the tool automatically runs on its own with regularity it normally indicates a deeper system problem. The CHKDSK tool is not intended to detect the presence of failing hard drives but rather keep the Windows database clean and free up valuable system resources that may prevent the computer system from attaining maximum performance.

Running the CHKDSK tool may also help the computer user repair bad sectors along with damaged or corrupted system files. Before you can begin to repair or fix the errors you must know how to launch the utility. Proceed by:

  1. Terminating all currently active and open programs
  2. Open the My Computer window and right click on the hard drive to be checked
  3. Select the "Properties" option from the context menu
  4. Select the "Tools" tab from the opened window
  5. Click on the "Check Now" button to begin the process
  6. Options, such "attempt recovery of bad sectors" are available, but can be skipped
  7. Click on the Start menu to begin the CHKDSK tool. In some instances you may need to restart the machine before the utility can continue. Once the computer has restarted the tool should launch automatically

Exclusive access to the hard drive is one of the requirements of the CHKDSK utility. This is why it usually requires reboot and normally launches immediately after improper shutdown or system crashes. To fix CHKDSK identified errors:

  1. Click on the Start menu and choose the "Run" option
  2. Type the word CMD in the Open box to bring up a Windows prompt
  3. There are two options that will allow you to fix CHKDSK errors. One is to use the /f option and the other is to combine the /f /r options. The /f option allows you to fix errors while the /r option allows for the recovery of lost data. Type CHKDSK followed by your preferred option and press the enter key
  4. Allow the utility to read through the entire contents of the hard drive to locate and recover errors (if /r is included) without interruption. Using only /f is faster compared to using /f and /r options combined
  5. After completion of the utility restart your machine to allow for the updating of the system files. The restart process should be done manually in case it does not happen automatically

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