Windows offers many commands and utilities to keep your computer up and running with optimized performance. CHKDSK is one of the Windows commands (DOS Commands in earlier days) that stands for check disk. As the name indicates, you can use CHKDSK command to scan your hard disk for errors. In this article we will explain how to use CHKDSK in Windows 11 with complete list of supported attributes.
Why Should You Use CHKDSK?
You can use check disk when you notice the following in your computer:
- Not able to read data from your hard disk.
- Your computer is showing boot errors or performs slow when accessing files.
- Computer shuts down abnormally in-between when you are working on a task.
- It is also recommended to run chkdsk regularly as a part of your routine maintenance.
By using chkdsk, you can keep your hard disk healthy.
How Does CHKDSK Work?
Generally speaking, chkdsk scans your hard disk to find any logical or physical error. It will compare file size, location, and other information with the actual data on the disk. At the same time, it will also identify parts of the hard disk that can damage your data.
- When you run chkdsk alone, it will just highlight the status of the hard disk or a single partition without fixing any errors.
- On the other hand, when you use it with other parameters like /f or /b, it will fix relevant errors found on your disk.
Once chkdsk is running, it’s not recommended to interrupt it. Even though, it’ll not bring any harm to your data if you interrupt the process, yet it’s better to let chkdsk complete its job.
Note that, in order to run chkdsk, you must run the Command Prompt as an administrator. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to execute this command.
Below is the complete syntax of chkdsk command in Windows 11. However, all the parameters are optional and you can simply execute the chkdsk command without any other parameter to scan your disk.
chkdsk /f /v /r /x /i /c /b [drive name]: [path]
Parameters have different uses. You will be using them according to the situation. The following table shows the complete list of parameters that you can use with chkdsk command along with their uses.
|/f||It can fix all errors on the hard disk. But the drive must be locked first. If the drive is not locked then you will see the message like “Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Would you like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts? (Y/N)”. Choose Y to schedule the operation when your computer restarts next time.|
|/v||Display the name of each directory on the disk.|
|/r||/r is used for locating bad sectors of the disk. Again the disk must be locked first. /r is similar to /f with the addition of finding physical errors.|
|/x||It first dismounts the disk and invalidates all open handles.|
|/i||/i is only used with NTFS. It performs a less powerful scan of index entries thus completing the scan quickly.|
|/c||It is also used with NTFS. And reduces the scan time, as it does scan the cycles in the folder structure.|
|/b||/b is also limited with NTFS only. The job of /b is to locate and remove bad clusters from the drives. After removing bad clusters it again scans the free clusters to check errors. /b also has all the functionalities of /r.|
|Drive name||Specify the drive letter that you are interested in scanning. Remember, the drive letter is followed by a colon like C: or D: without any space.|
|Path||The path is only used with FAT and FAT32. If you are interested to scan a specific file or set of files, you have to add the path here. Else, you can skip this part. To separate file names, you can use ? and * wildcard characters.|
Running CHKDSK in Windows 11
To execute chkdsk in Windows 11, simply follow the given instructions.
- Click on the search button on the taskbar and search for the “command prompt” or “cmd”.
- Right click on the Command Prompt app and click “Run as administrator”. As mentioned, you should have an admin access to run check disk command.
- Type the following command. This is just an example and you can change the parameters according to your situation.
chkdsk /f c:
- You may receive the following message after hitting the return key “Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Would you like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts? (Y/N)”. If you do see such a message, then hit the Y button and restart your computer. The scan will automatically begin once the system restarts.
- After pressing Y, you will see the Command Prompt show the following message.
- If needed, you can manually restart the computer to start the scanning process.
Note: You can also run chkdsk command from Windows Terminal app in Windows 11. This app is called Windows PowerShell in Windows 10 and is renamed as Windows Terminal in later version.
Check disk will not affect your data when you scan for errors and bad sectors. However, when your hard drive contains bad sectors, trying to fix them may result in loss of important data. Therefore, before trying to fix errors, first step you should do is to take a backup of your data. If you are not able to fix the disk errors, then get a new hard disk as soon as possible to avoid using corrupted disk continuously.
Meanwhile, keep scanning your drive by running chkdsk. As a result, it will make your PC work faster and smoother.
To sum up, hard disk is the most important component in a PC after CPU. It stores all of your essential data. So, it should always be in a healthy state otherwise, things could get worse for you. This is why Windows provide us with the utilities like chkdsk. It can scan the hard disk and help to detect both physical and logical errors. However, you should know how to properly use the command with various parameters. The purpose of this article is to explain various parameters of check disk command and executing it from Command Prompt. We hope that it was helpful for you to run check disk command and fix errors.