The Microsoft CHKDSK Tool
Since its DOS version release, every version of Microsoft operating
system has included a disk-scanning utility. In the first DOS release
the tool was called CHKDSK – an abbreviation of “check disk”. In Windows
ME and 2000 the tool was called Scandisk, then the name was changed back
to CHKDSK for Windows XP and Vista.
The CHKDSK utility is helpful to maintain your computer’s health and
optimum performance. Normal wear and tear, as well as power
interruptions and program crashes can interfere with effective links and
create corrupt files. CHKDSK investigates the system volumes and can
report on bad sectors, recover readable data and attempt to repair
Various CHKDSK Option Entries
Users can program the tool to run to check specific volumes and to
perform certain actions. To launch the CHKDSK tool, open a command
prompt, then enter one of the following syntax options.
To run a read-only scan, in which the scan will look for errors but
not attempt to repair or recover data – enter only chkdsk
To select the volume – or drive – that you want to scan, enter
chkdsk followed by a space and then the drive letter and a colon
– c: or d: or e: or f:
There are three different file systems available for hard disk
partitions on Windows platforms: NTFS, FAT and FAT32. Depending on
the set-up of your system you can instruct CHKDSK to perform
different functions. To check how your hard drive is formatted.
First click to open My Computer
Right click the drive you want to check, usually the C: hard drive
On the pop-up screen, choose Properties
At the top of the Properties window you should see the File System
listed as either NTFS or FAT32.
If the system is set for FAT32, you can add a location of specific
files or sets of files to scan. The * and ? symbols are wildcards.
The path location entry is added like this: chkdsk c: *
You can also specify different processes that you would like the
utility to run and list them after the volume and path (if used)
like this example: chkdsk c: * /f /r
There are numerous commands you can give the CHKDSK tool.
/c – for use with NTFS only – skips some cycles, reducing time
/f – fixes disk errors
/v – lists the name of every file as it is checked
/r – finds and attempts to recover readable data from bad
/x – for use with NTFS systems only – forces disk to dismount
/i – for use with NTFS only – runs less rigorous scan, reducing