How to Use Check Disk (Windows 10, 8, 7, and later)

How to Use Check Disk (Windows 10, 8, 7, and later)

/ Shayne Sherman

Are you having problems with your hard disk performance on Windows 10? Check out our guide on how you can address this problem. Is Windows freezing randomly?

Being one of the most used operating systems, Microsoft comes a long way in improving its Windows OS. Right from the introduction of Windows 7 which many embraced warmly due to its subtle tweaks coming from XP and Vista.

Fast forward today, Windows 10 offers a lot of handy tools to assist users in dealing with everyday issues with Windows 10. One of these tools is the Windows Check Disk.

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It is a powerful tool provided by Microsoft that can help diagnose hard drive issues from minor fragmented portions of the drive up to the most problematic bad sectors.

As we all know, hard drive contains moving parts that wear out in the long run. While your hard drive is due to fail in the long run, many factors can contribute to its longevity, like random power outages, improper use of your computer, and mishandling of your PC.

But how does Windows CHKDSK work?

Well, the CHKDSK tool uses a multipass scan on your hard drive to diagnose potential issues like file system errors, bad sectors, or a problematic partition of your drive. Besides diagnosing problems with your hard disk, Windows CHKDSK also attempts to repair issues detected with your hard disk.

Maybe you are wondering, how does a simple tool repair your hard drive?

In repairing your hard drive, Windows check disk first scans the file system on your hard drive and starts analyzing the integrity of your system resources. If the check disk tool detects a problem with your file system on Windows 10, it will then attempt to correct the issue on your hard drive.

In this case, running the check disk command on Windows 10 once in a while can help in improving your system’s performance and keeping it optimized all the time.

Today, we will show you how to use the Windows Check Disk tool so that you can run the CHKDSK command on your system.

Let’s get started.

How do You Run Windows CHKDSK?

Run Windows CHKDSK Using Command Prompt

To run chkdsk on Windows 10 using the command prompt, check out the guide below. This method is also applicable to other versions of Windows, like Windows 8 and lower.

⦁ First, press the Windows key on your computer and search for Command Prompt.
⦁ After that, click on Run as Administrator to launch the Command Prompt with administrative privileges.

run as admin cmd

⦁ Inside Windows Command Prompt, type ‘chkdsk (drive letter you wish to check for bad sectors and errors)’ and press Enter.

chkdsk command and drive letter

This will start the most basic type of scan without any conditions. If you wish to perform a more specific scan that you can incorporate with chkdsk you can check out the list below.

chkdsk (drive letter) /f – the /F parameter instructs Windows Check Disk to repair any file system errors detected on your hard drive during the scan.

chkdsk f

chkdsk (drive letter) /r – if you wish to locate bad sectors on your hard drive and recover any information stored in it, you can run chkdsk /r command on Windows Command Prompt.

chkdsk r

chkdsk (drive letter) /x – this command is only applicable for secondary drives that you wish to scan. The /x parameter instructs Windows Check Disk to eject or unmount your hard drive first before proceeding with the scan so that it can properly repair all the files including the ones that may be in use by another process on your computer.


chkdsk (drive letter) /c – for a hard disk that is formatted with NTFS file system, you can use the /c parameter on Windows Command Prompt to speed up the scan process when you run chkdsk on your computer which skips the process of checking cycles with your folder structure.

chkdsk c

chkdsk (drive letter) /i – here’s another parameter that can speed up the scan of NTFS formatted hard drive which instructs Windows Check Disk to speed up the checking of the indexes on your hard disk.

chkdsk i

Run CHKDSK Using Windows Interface

Alternatively, if you are uncomfortable using Windows Command Prompt to run chkdsk on your computer, you can also use the user interface to execute the check disk command. The user interface is much easier to use compared to using the Windows Command Prompt.

Check out the steps below to guide you on how you can run chkdsk without using the Command Prompt.

⦁ First, press the Windows key on your keyboard and search for File Explorer.
⦁ Next, click on Open to launch Windows File Explorer.
⦁ After that, right-click on the drive that you want to check from the side menu.
⦁ Now, click on Properties.

disk properties

⦁ Inside your Disk Properties, click on the Tools tab.
⦁ Under the Error Checking tab, click on the Check button.

disk properties window

⦁ Lastly, click on Scan Drive from the prompt that appeared to start the disk check of your drive.

scan drive

Once the disk check is finished, it will display if errors were found during the scan and automatically fix these hard drive errors. Restart your computer and observe afterward if your system performance has improved.

Scan for Hard Drive Errors Using CHKDSK Utility on Partition Property

Just like mentioned above, Windows 10 has a lot of useful tools that can help you when you encounter issues with your computer. To manage your disk drive conveniently, Windows 10 features a Partition Property that displays all of the disk drives mounted on your computer and all of its partition. Partition Property is also present on Windows 8 and 7.

To run Windows Check Disk using the Partition Property without using any command line, check out the guide below.

⦁ On your computer, press the Windows key on your keyboard and search for Disk Management.
⦁ Now, click on Create and Format Disk Partitions to open Disk Management.

search disk management

⦁ Inside the Disk Management tool, click on the drive that you wish to check and right-click on it.
⦁ After that, click on Properties.

disk management drive properties

⦁ Next, click on the Tools tab.
⦁ Locate the Error Checking section from the Tools tab.
⦁ Lastly, click the Check button under Error Checking. Click on Scan Drive to start the CHKDSK Utility.

disk properties

Wait for the check disk utility to complete the scan for file system errors, then restart your computer. Now observe the performance of your disk drive if there are improvements after running check disk utility on your system.

Run CHKDSK Utility Using Windows 10 Installation Disk/USB Drive

If you have an available Windows 10 installation disk or USB drive, you can also use this to perform error checking of your disk drive on Windows 10. This is a great way to run chkdsk in Windows 10 as no system file is being used by your computer allowing the disk check utility to scan for hard drive errors thoroughly.

Keep in mind that your installation disk or drive should match the version of Windows installed on your system. If you are running Windows 10, then you won’t be able to run installation disks of Windows 8 and lower. This goes the same for other versions of Windows.

In using your installation disk or USB drive to run chkdsk in Windows, you can follow the steps below to guide you through the process.

⦁ First, insert the Windows installation disk or drive and restart the computer.
⦁ Next, press F10 or F12 (depends on your computer) while your computer is booting and select the installation disk or USB drive as your boot option.
⦁ Once Windows Installation Setup has booted, select your preferred language, and hit the Next button.
⦁ After that, click on Repair Your Computer.

windows repair your computer

⦁ Now, click on Troubleshoot and select Command Prompt.

advanced options

⦁ Inside the Command Prompt, type ‘chkdsk (letter of the drive you wish to check)’ or you may specify a specific type of scan that is indicated on the first method above, then press Enter to run chkdsk in Windows 10.

chkdsk command and drive letter

After running chkdsk in Windows 10, restart your computer and try to observe if the scan helped in improving your system’s performance.

To wrap things up, Windows CHKDSK is an excellent tool that helps repair and maintain your hard drive to always run in its peak performance.

We hope that this guide helped you fix the errors on your drive after you run Windows CHKDSK. Follow the methods mentioned above, and the errors found on your drive would likely be corrected in no time. Keep in mind that Windows CHKDSK is also available on other versions of Windows, like Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP.

Other helpful guides that can assist you in repairing Windows issues include how to start windows 10 in safe mode, installing Kodi on an Amazon Firestick, how to set up remote desktop on Windows 10, and a guide for shareit for PC.

Troubleshooting CHKDSK Errors

Cannot Proceed in Read-Only Mode.

If you see an “Errors found. CHKDSK cannot continue” error message when you try to repair your drive for errors, be sure that you include the /r parameter on your command to avoid this error message.

On the other hand, if you need to run the disk utility tool on another volume, be sure to indicate the letter of the drive that you want to scan for errors like CHKDSK C: /f

Can’t Run Check Disk (Volume Is in Use by Another Process)

When you see an error message saying:

“CHKDSK cannot run because the volume is in the use of another process. Would you like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts.”

Type Y on the command line, and press Enter.

If you want to check the drive immediately, restart your computer, and it will automatically scan the disk.

Failed to Lock Current Drive

If you are seeing an error message saying indicating “Cannot Lock Current Drive,” all you need to do is to make sure that the command you are executing has the /r parameter. Alternatively, you can also use CHKDSK /f /r /x in resolving this issue.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Run CHKDSK?

To run Windows CHKDSK on your computer, you have a few options to choose from, like running it using Windows Command Prompt. Search for CMD on the search bar located at your taskbar and click the Run as Administrator option to open CMD. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eInside the Command Prompt, you can type various chkdsk commands like u003cstrongu003echkdsk /fu003c/strongu003e, u003cstrongu003echkdsk /c /f /ru003c/strongu003e, or u003cstrongu003echkdsk /f /r/xu003c/strongu003e depending on the scan needed for your system.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eYou can find further explanations for this in the first method indicated above.

Which is Better CHKDSK R or F?

In our opinion, both CHKDSK R and CHKDSK F function well but serves a different purpose. If you would like to scan for bad sectors and errors on your drive, we advise that you execute CHKDSK R for this kind of problem. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eHowever, if you want to scan for all errors on your drive, basically, then you can use the /F parameter so that your whole drive would be scanned for errors as well as repair these errors during the scan.

How Long Does a Disk Check Take WIndows 10?

Scanning and repairing errors on your drive may vary depending on several factors like the speed of your drive, your processor, and other components that can affect your drive’s read and write speeds. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eHowever, most of the time, a full drive scan for errors and bad sectors can take a few minutes or longer, especially if Windows Check Disk identified a couple of errors on your system.

What is CHKDSK F Command?

Just like mentioned above, the CHKDSK F command allows you to perform a full drive scan to check for errors and problems with your hard drive. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eSimultaneously, the /f command also instructs the disk utility tool to attempt and repair all detected errors on your drive.

Shayne Sherman
Meet the author

Shayne is an expert at all things Microsoft Windows and computer security. As a Windows user of over 30 years, he has been featured on Business Insider, Yahoo, Tech Republic, Hacker Noon, Techopedia, and many other publications. He also enjoys spending time with his family, including his English bulldog, Fergie as well as entertaining at his home theater.