Checking Your Disk by Running CHKDSK Command in Windows 7

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What’s the most fragile but critical piece inside your computer? Yes, that’s hard drive. It’s so critical because not only does it hold the system files to keep the computer running but it also stores your important data on it. Yet it’s still so fragile despite how long since it’s invented because nowadays we still see them failure from time to time. And once it failed, it’s the people who owns them cries the most because their data stored on them are in great danger.

Because of these, a good operation system, such as Windows 7, always provides some good tools in place to help users to keep their data safe. And the old school dos command chkdsk still remain existed among them.

First of all, you will have to run through the Command Prompt window as administrator.

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Secondly, you can use it to check all sorts type of disks, including fixed hard drives, solid-state drive, removable disks, etc, basically anything that can be attached and assigned a drive letter. But you can’t check with this tool is the network mapped drive.

Thirdly, it helps to fix the problems that may indicate an easily-fixed inconsistency or data corruption.

For example, you can perform a quick checkup on a drive that you suspect something might be wrong by

CHKDSK <volume>

Then, if you suspect there might be more, run:

CHKDSK <volume> /f

to perform a disk checkup and try to fix any errors found on the disk. Or,

CHKDSK <volume> /r

to perform a disk checkup and locate any bad sectors during the checkup, and recover the readable data if possible.

If you want to see what else chkdsk offers, type the following command for the full list.

CHKDSK /?

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What is more in action is that chkdsk will usually run automatically when something happen badly but only when the system next time boots. It will not run automatically when the system is still running.

So when should I be using this tool?

it would be a good idea to run this tool on a drive that falls into one of the following scenarios:

  • If a hard drive start making crunching sounds, which usually indicates there are damages happening on the drive right now and you should start backing up your files immediately.
  • If you start seeing BSOD on your computer which never happened before.
  • If you start seeing the performance on your computer dropped dramatically, especially when reading or opening the file.
  • If you start seeing the hard drive light on the front panel of your computer keeps on for a long period of time.
  • If there is anything that you suspect that the hard drive is dying.

If you suspect that the system volume may have the bad sector on the disk, you will have to run the tool on Recover Console in order to fix the errors. Otherwise, running a chkdsk on a system volume will only be in read-only mode.

What’s new in Windows 7 for this tool is that the result of every chkdsk run will be logged in the application event log for future reference. Here is one from a checkup that found the errors.

chkdsk in event log

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