From time to time, you may encounter bugs and glitches that can significantly worsen your computer experience. To avoid frustration and inconvenience, you need to learn how to run the CHKDSK command. It will help you resolve disk-related errors and get your PC back on track.

What Is the CHKDSK Command?

CHKDSK stands for “Check Disk”. It is a built-in utility designed to detect and fix errors on your hard drive or other storage devices. When you run the CHKDSK command in Windows 10, your file system is examined for problems like bad sectors, file system errors and cross-linked files.

When Should I Use the CHKDSK Command?

Using CHKDSK can help you in diagnosing and repairing disk problems, which may resolve the following issues:

  • Disk errors or corruption: Running the CHKDSK repair command can help repair disk-related errors and recover data from corrupted files.
  • Shutdowns and crashesCHKDSK can help diagnose and fix unexpected shutdowns and the dreaded Blue Screens of Death
  • Performance problems: If your Windows PC is slow, the CHKDSK command can help with hard drive diagnostics, fixing disk errors and improving computer performance.
  • Unresponsive apps, freezes or glitches: If your apps become unresponsive or freeze or you encounter computer glitches frequently, it is time to run CHKDSK as disk-related problems may be the culprit.
  • File management problems: Files failing to save or open is a sign you need to use the CHKDSK command since there may be underlying disk issues. 
  • Disk noise or strange sounds: If your hard drive starts producing strange noises, hardware issues may be at play. Running CHKDSK can help identify and fix them.

How often you should run the CHKDSK command in Windows 10 depends on your PC usage patterns and the health of your disk. We recommend running it when you notice any of the symptoms above and as part of your regular PC maintenance.

What to Know Before Running CHKDSK

Limitations of CHKDSK

While the CHKDSK command is a handy tool that can help you resolve a variety of disk-related problems, it has certain limitations. To begin with, CHKDSK is a Windows-only utility. Although Windows is the most popular desktop OS in the world, a large number of users need different tools or methods for other operating systems.

The CHKDSK command in Windows 10 can take quite some time to complete, especially when it comes to larger disks or drives with numerous errors. While it is doing its job, your system’s performance might be affected, and you won’t be able to use the drive.

Another concern is that CHKDSK may not be able to repair all disk-related errors. If your drive has developed severe physical damage or extensive corruption, other tools might be required.

Backing Up Your Data

Running the CHKDSK command involves altering disk data, causing a slight risk of data loss, especially if your drive has severe issues. For example, when trying to recover data from bad sectors with CHKDSK, you may accidentally lose or corrupt some of your files. If that happens, you will have to spend valuable time recovering deleted files on Windows.

To prepare for unforeseen events, you need to learn how to protect your data. We have a detailed guide on Windows backup and restore. One of the easiest options is backing up to an external drive. Another easy-to-apply method involves using a dedicated file recovery tool like Auslogics BitReplica: just run the app, configure what, where and how you want to back up, and start the backup process.

Auslogics BitReplicaPerforming Disk Cleanup Before Running CHKDSK

Before using the CHKDSK command, we recommend you to run Disk Cleanup. This functionality is designed to help you maintain a clean and organized Windows system. It will delete temporary Internet files, remove junk, and free up disk space, minimizing potential conflicts and risks and increasing efficiency for the CHKDSK tool. 

How to Run CHKDSK on Windows 10

If you are wondering how to run a check disk scan in Windows 10, you’ve come to the right place. Here are several ways to run the CHKDSK command. Opt for the most convenient one in your case and give it a try:

How to Run CHKDSK From File Explorer

  1. Launch File Explorer, open This PC and right-click the drive you would like to check.
  2. Select the Properties option from the menu and go to the Tools tab.
  3. Under Error checking, click on the Check button.
  4. Then click on the Scan drive button.
  5. The Error Checking window will open. If you see the You don’t need to scan this drive message, it means no errors are detected. If you still want to check this drive, click Scan drive anyway.

How to run CHKDSK from File Explorer

How to Run CHKDSK From the Command Prompt

  1. Type cmd into your Search bar and click Run as administrator under the Command Prompt option.
  2. Once the admin version of the Command Prompt is up and running, insert chkdsk and hit Enter. The CHKDSK utility will start scanning your C drive for problems.
  3. If you want CHKDSK to scan another drive, specify it at the end of the command. For example, if you want to check your D drive, enter chkdsk D.

How to run CHKDSK from the Command Prompt

How to Run CHKDSK From Installation Media

  1. Create installation media, such as a Windows installation USB or DVD, and insert it into your PC.
  2. Restart your Windows computer, then boot from the installation media. To prioritize the installation media over your hard drive, you might need to enter your BIOS settings and change the boot order. 
  3. Configure your language, time, currency, and keyboard input settings.
  4. Select Next and then click Repair your computer at the bottom left corner of your screen.
  5. Once the Choose an option screen appears, select Troubleshoot.
  6. From the Troubleshoot menu, select Advanced options and click the Command Prompt option.
  7. Once in the Command Prompt window, type diskpart and add the drive letter of the partition you want to check with CHKDSK.
  8. Then type chkdsk followed by the drive letter and press Enter to start the scan.
  9. You may be prompted to schedule the check for the next time you restart your system. Type Y and press Enter.
  10. Once the CHKDSK scan is over, close the Command Prompt and restart your computer. It will run the CHKDSK command during startup.

Using CHKDSK in Older Versions

If you are still reluctant to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10, you may be wondering how to speed up Windows 7. The CHKDSK command can assist you with that by detecting and fixing disk-related errors. The instructions for running it are similar to those used in Windows 10, so make sure to check the methods described above.

One of the least popular desktop operating systems these days, Windows Vista still has a loyal base of users. If you want to speed up Windows Vista, try running the CHKDSK repair command:

  1. Open the Start menu in Windows Vista and click on the Computer icon. 
  2. Locate the hard drive you want to scan, right-click its icon and select Properties.
  3. Once the Local Disk Properties window opens, navigate to the Tools tab and click Check Now.
  4. You will be taken to the User Account Control window. Click Continue.
  5. In the Check Disk window, check the boxes next to the following options: 
    • Automatically repair file system errors
    • Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors

       6. Click the Start button to initiate a CHKDSK scan.

The Most Common CHKDSK Parameters in Windows

Below you will find a comprehensive CHKDSK command list to diagnose and fix disk-related errors on your PC:

  • chkdsk: This command checks your drive for problems, but doesn’t attempt to repair them.
  • chkdsk [drive letter]: With this command, you can specify which drive or partition to scan.
  • chkdsk /f: The CHKDSK /f command, or the CHKDSK fix command, attempts to fix errors while performing a drive scan. 
  • chkdsk /r: The CHKDSK /r command, or the CHKDSK repair command, is designed to repair hard drive sectors to make them readable within your system. It also runs the CHKDSK /f command, meaning it involves a check deeper than in the previous case.
  • chkdsk /x: This commands disconnects a drive to scan and repair it. It also runs the CHKDSK fix command
  • chkdsk /f /r /x: With this one-stop-shop command, you can scan your file system and its sectors and fix detected errors. It runs both the CHKDSK fix command and the CHKDSK repair command and also disconnects your drive first if need be.
  • chkdsk /scan: This command runs an online scan of your drive and lets you use it while the scan is in progress.

The Most Common CHKDSK Parameters in Windows

CHKDSK Troubleshooting

The most common issues that may arise after running a CHKDSK scan are as follows:

  • Windows found errors on this drive that need to be repaired
  • Drive is currently in use or in read-only mode

Windows found errors on this drive that need to be repaired

This issue is easily fixable and requires repairing detected disk errors with the CHKDSK /f command:

  1. Close the error dialog and open the Command Prompt with administrative privileges.
  2. Type the command chkdsk C: /f into the Command Prompt and press Enter. If you want to fix another drive, make sure to replace C with its letter.
  3. Wait for the scan to finish and restart your computer.

Windows found errors on this drive that need to be repaired


Drive is currently in use or in read-only mode

This problem means CHKDSK can’t fix your drive because it is currently in use or in read-only mode. To get rid of it and make sure your drive is error-free, follow these steps:

  1. Run the Task Manager by pressing the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keyboard combo.
  2. Locate an open app or process running on your drive and click End task to stop the program.
  3. Try running a CHKDSK scan to see if your drive can be fixed now. 

Drive is currently in use or in read-only mode

Related: How to Fix Scanning and Repairing Drive Stuck Issue on Windows 10/11? Quick Patch Here.

Maintain Your PC’s Performance With Auslogics BoostSpeed

Unfortunately, built-in Windows tools, such as CHKDSK, may not be enough to improve hard drive performance and speed up Windows. To make the most of your hard drive and system, you can run a dedicated PC optimizer like Auslogics BoostSpeed. The tool offers automatic system maintenance that can save you plenty of time:

  1. Download the BoostSpeed tool on your PC and install it by following the instructions in the installation wizard. 
  2. Once you are on the My Dashboard screen, go to the top-left corner and click on File. 
  3. Choose the Automatic Maintenance option. 
  4. Navigate to Scheduler and click on My scanner.
  5. Under Scheduler: My Scanner, check the Enable automatic maintenance option.
  6. Configure your automatic maintenance settings and click the OK button to apply the changes. 

Maintain your PC’s performance with Auslogics BoostSpeed


The CHKDSK command in Windows 10 helps you scan for and fix disk-related problems. It is an importance maintenance and troubleshooting tool that can speed up your system and resolve various issues, like crashes, freezes, and slowdowns, to name but a few. You can even go the extra mile and make the results more impressive by enabling automatic PC maintenance with a tool like BoostSpeed.


What Does chkdsk /f /r Do?

By running chkdsk [disk letter]: /f /r, you initiate a scan and repair process for the specified disk. As a result, file system errors are fixed and data from bad sectors is recovered (if possible), reducing the risk of permanent data loss and improving the speed and health of your disk.

How Long Does chkdsk /f /r Take?

The duration of the chkdsk /f /r scan can vary significantly due to factors like the size and health of your disk, the number of files and folders on it, the presence of any bad sectors, and the number of errors to repair, among other things. All in all, the scan can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours – and in some cases even longer.

How to Run CHKDSK From the Command Prompt?

Open the Command Prompt as an administrator, type chkdsk and press the Enter key. The tool is set to scan your C drive by default; if you want to change that, specify the letter of the drive you want to scan at the end of the command. If simply scanning your disk is not enough, run chkdsk /f /r /x. This command will also fix drive errors, repair disk sectors and disconnect the specified drive if necessary.

What Does the CHKDSK Command Do?

The CHKDSK command in Windows is used to scan for and repair errors on a disk drive. CHKDSK examines the disk’s structure and file system to detect and fix issues that may lead to data corruption or system instability. This way, it preserves your disk’s health and data integrity.

How to Change a Scheduled Disk Check?

A disk check may be scheduled to run the next time you boot up your computer. In that case, it will run automatically at the next startup. You might wish to postpone it to reduce your boot time. Here is how to reschedule your CHKDSK scan:

  1. Type cmd into Search and click Run as administrator under Command Prompt.
  2. You should type the command chkntfs /t:[000] into the Command Prompt, where [000] should be the number of seconds you want CHKDSK to wait before performing a scan.