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How to Fix Hard Drive Problems With Chkdsk in Windows?

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jul 17, 2024 • Filed to: Answer Hard Drive Problems • Proven solutions

There are several occasions when we believe that our hard drive is not responding the way it is supposed to respond. These situations usually turn out to be highly frustrating and exhausting as they keep us from accessing important files and other critical data when required. Different kinds of issues in this regard usually have different kinds of solutions, but the best course of action is to try running the check disk utility at least once. A few details in this regard are discussed below for your convenience and understanding.

Part 1. Overview of Different Hard Drive Related Issues

Hard disks may encounter different kinds of problems that make us suffer. If we cope with the hard disk problem improberly, it may cause data disappeare totally. Usually, the follwing two types are the most common seen in daily life and work.

In the next section, you are going to learn how to fix hard drive problems with CHKDSK and recover lost files from hard disk.

Part 2. 2 Ways to Fix Hard Drive Problems With Chkdsk

Two different methods that may turn out to be very useful when you are looking to fix hard drive problems with chkdsk are discussed below.

Method 1: Run the check disk utility using the GUI in windows

Step 1 First of all, you need to press the Windows key + E to open the windows explorer.

Step 2 Now make a right-click on the drive that requires to be diagnosed and fixed for any errors and go for ‘Properties.’

fix hard drive problems with chkdsk step 2

Step 3 Go to the ‘Tools’ tab and press the ‘Check’ button.

fix hard drive problems with chkdsk step 3

Step 4 Now press the scan button and check both radio buttons. Hit the start button when you are done.

fix hard drive problems with chkdsk step 4

Step 5 In case you are currently using the device you want to cure any issues, you can also schedule a disk check for the future.

fix hard drive problems with chkdsk step 5

Method 2: Run the check disk utility using command prompt

Step 1 Open the command prompt by pressing windows key + R and typing in ‘cmd.’

Step 2 When you have opened the command prompt, type in ‘chkdsk %drive letter5 /f /r’ and hit enter.

fix hard drive problems with command prompt step 1

Step 3 When you type in the command as mentioned above, you will see a warning message asking if you want to force a dismount on the volume. You should press ‘n’ to deny that request. This would take you to the next warning message saying if you were interested in scheduling a disk check for this drive in the future. Press the ‘y’ key to accept that request and restart your computer.

fix hard drive problems with command prompt step 2

Step 4 When your computer has restarted, the check disk utility will start. Give it some time to complete.

fix hard drive problems with command prompt step 3

Step 5 Upon completion, you can check out the log file to find out about the errors fixed by the check disk utility.

Video Tutorial on How to Run CHKDSK For Repairing Bad Sectors?

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Part 3. How to Recover Lost Files from Hard Drive?

In case you are unable to fix hard drive problems with chkdsk, you may want to format the drive. In that case, you would have to make use of some kind of data recovery software to recover data from the hard drive. Several different software applications offer this kind of functionality. Still, if you are looking for the best among the rest, you may want to check out the Wonder share data recovery software. It comes with several notable features including the following:

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Part 4: More Information about Chkdsk

CHKDSK or Checkdisk is a native diagnostic and repair tool for DOS and Windows operating systems. This tool is specially designed to correct problems derived from the loss or corruption of data necessary for the file system.

How Does CHKDSK Work?

CHKDSK is a tool that works through command prompt. However, this tool is capable of performing sophisticated "repair" processes on disks and even rescuing information. CHKDSK performs a physical integrity assessment of the sectors on the disk and also examines the integrity of files that may have been corrupted. If the tool deems it necessary, it will create a record where it is stipulated that a sector should not be used anymore. Extending the useful life of the storage device and keeping the information that may be stored in the future safe.

Additional CHKDSK Parameters

As I mentioned before. CHKDSK is a powerful tool but to make use of it, you need to enter commands through the command prompt. The tool has numerous options and each of them has a specific access parameter. However, it is not necessary to remember all of them. The parameter “CHKDSK /? “Will allow you to consult a list where you can always see all the available parameters.

Using CHKDSK on a Boot Drive

In general, the easiest way to use CHKDSK is through the Command prompt (in administrator mode) on Windows.

chkdsk image

On the other hand, there are cases in which it is impossible for the operating system to boot properly. However, this is not an impediment to using CHKDSK as a repair or diagnostic method.

Press the F9 key during the boot process to access the Windows 10 automatic repair menu. If you cannot access this menu in this way, you can simply interrupt the Windows boot screen 3 times in a row to force access to this tool.

chkdsk image

Once there. You will find a series of useful tools that can be very useful to restore the functioning of your operating system, including "Command Prompt".

CHKDSK In Previous Editions of Windows

Previous versions of Windows also have the CHKDSK tool and you can access them via command prompt (in administrator mode). On the other hand, if you are using Windows 7 and it cannot boot, you can press the F8 key during the system boot process to access the system repair screen.

chkdsk image

Then a window with some repair tools will appear. There you will find an option that will give you access to command prompt.

chkdsk image

On the other hand, for operating systems prior to this, you can use a Windows 7 or later installation device to access a portable version of Command Prompt from where you can use CHKDSK. With this version, you can perform any procedure without booting or installing Windows.

chkdsk image

All you have to do is select the installation device as the primary boot method from BIOS or UEFI settings and restart the computer. The welcome window to the Windows installation wizard will then appear. Once there, simply press the "Shift + F10" keys to open the portable version of Command Prompt.

Keeping in view the above-discussed sections, it may be concluded that check disk is a very practical and useful utility to fix different hard drive related issues. In case you are unable to fix any issue using the check disk utility, it is recommended to format your drive and recover your data using some kind of data recovery software like Recoverit data recovery software. This is the only way to make your hard drive usable without having to lose your essential data files.


Can chkdsk damage a hard drive?

Yes, but if it is not well used. The chkdsk tool works through commands that activate specific functions that may affect the operation of Windows. If you are careful, there will be no problems; however, if you make a serious mistake, it can damage or corrupt files in the hard drive.

Which is better chkdsk R or F?

Both are very useful. R is an option to find bad sectors and recover information. On the other hand, F only fixes disk errors. Naturally, option F takes much less time than R and offers different results. Both options have their advantages and nothing stops you from using the two of them.

Will chkdsk fix boot problems?

Definitely yes; chkdsk has become more sophisticated and updated as technology advances. Over time it has become a very useful tool not only to scan but to fix various volume, system, and file errors. This is why many people use it to fix booting errors, since you can also run chkdsk through the portable version of command prompt by the almost any Windows installer.

Can chkdsk fix bad sectors?

It depends on the type of the bad sector. If it is a soft bad sector (logical error that prevents the operating system from reading the disk) it can be fixed. On the other hand, if it is a hard bad sector (physical error that prevents the operating system from reading the disk), what chkdsk can do is detect it, but it won’t repair it since it is irreversible damage.

Is it safe to use a hard drive with bad sectors?

If there are hard bad sectors, there is latent risk. However, this depends on the quantity, since if there are few, you can make use of the hard disk without major problems. On the other hand, if there are multiple hard bad sectors, there is the possibility that these continue to spread causing you to lose your information. Therefore, it is prudent that you make a constant backup of your information.

Recoverit author

Theo Lucia

chief Editor

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