How to properly run the CHKDSK command

Windows has a number of programs that can help us repair damaged or failed hard drives. If the device of our PC has already been in use, it is normal that it will not work on the first day, in which case it is usually advisable to conduct an analysis in order to fix any possible errors.

As I said, there are many free programs for Windows that do these cleaning tasks, but I’m going to tell you a secret: almost all of them use a repair system this is already included in Windows itself native.

It’s Microsoft’s “Check Disk” program (also known simply as CHKDSK) and not only is it free, but also one of the most effective we can find on the market today. It is able to check the integrity of the hard drive and repair logical errors in the file system quickly and efficiently.

How to run the CHKDSK command to repair the hard drive

Microsoft’s Check Disk program is not new to it. It’s a veteran tool that first saw the light of day in 1980, at the time of the first Windows and DOS systems. Like most system utilities of the time, Check Disk has no graphical user interface, therefore, it is executed directly by invoking a command from a terminal window or MS-DOS.

Like other MS-DOS commands, the chkdsk command supports the ability to add certain additional parameters. Depending on the parameters entered, the command performs different types of tasks.

CHKDSK command structure and parameters

CHKDSK [volumen[[ruta]Filenames]]] [/F] [/V] [/R] [/X] [/I] [/C] [/L[:tamaño]] [/B] [/scan] [/spotfix]

This is the basic structure of the CHKDSK command and all of the parameters it accepts. Of course, we can’t do them all at the same time, but we need to choose the appropriate parameters for the task we want to do.

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For example, if our hard drive (C 🙂 is damaged, we run the command with the following parameters.

chkdsk / f C:

The latter is the simplest repair order. It only analyzes the drive and fixes any errors found by the “/ f” parameter.

Another example:

chkdsk / r C:

With the “/ r” parameter, the chkdsk command searches for bad sectors on the hard drive and tries to restore any information that can still be read.

chkdsk / x / f C:

In this way, the command analyzes the C drive, corrects disk errors (“/ f” parameter) and, if necessary, even forces the volume to be removed in advance (“/ x” parameter).

It is worth remembering that the Check Disk command will also work with external drives in NTFS or FAT format. So if you have a USB stick or an external hard drive, you can easily analyze it from your PC using this command.

From here the rest is a matter of using the required parameters depending on our needs.

Another way to check Windows hard drive errors

Finally, remember that if you have any problems with the disk scan commands, you can always get the same effects by doing the following:

  • Open a Windows Explorer window.
  • Go to “This Computer” or “My Computer”.
  • Right click on the drive that you want to analyze and repair. Click on Properties.
  • Finally, go to the “Tools” tab and select “Error Checking -> Check”.

Depending on the size of the scanned unit, the scanning process will take more or less time. When Windows detects an error, it simply asks us to restart the computer to fix the error. As I said, for convenience we will get the same result as with the CHKDSK command.

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