Basic Chkdsk Command: Examples, options and More

Commands are a set of instructions given to the computer to perform specific tasks. We can issue commands via a command-line interface, as input to a network service as part of a network protocol, or as an event in a graphical user interface. While there are a variety of commands we can make the computer work with, today we’ll talk about one of the many commands prompts that we’ll use on a Command Line Interface capable of reading or making changes to your computer’s Operating System.

Chkdsk, or the Check Disk command, is a system tool and command that verifies the specific files or disks of your system as a whole. It verifies if the files are corrupted, even change and fix errors with further commands. You can access and perform this command from the Command Line Interface, which functions only with the use of keyboard and through the Graphical User Interface (GUI) that functions with a mouse, on-screen buttons, etc. Before we divert much from the topic, we’ll look more into the Chkdsk command.

Basic Chkdsk Command: Examples, options and More

Syntax of Chkdsk Command

chkdsk [volume:] [/F] [/V] [/R] [/X] [/I] [/C] [/L:size] [/perf] [/scan] [/?]


Item Command Meaning
volume: This is the drive letter of the partition for which you want to check for errors.
/f This chkdsk command option will fix any errors found on the disk.
/v Use this chkdsk option on a FAT or FAT32 volume to show the full directory and name of the entire file disks. If used on an NTFS volume, it will show cleanup messages.
/r This option tells chkdsk to locate bad sectors and recover any readable information from them.
/x This command option implies /f and will force a dismount of the volume if necessary.
/i This option will perform a less vigorous chkdsk command, making the process faster by skipping over certain regular checks.
/c Same as /i but skips over cycles within the folder structure to reduce the amount of time that the chkdsk command runs.
/l:size Use this chkdsk command option to change the size (in KB) of the log file. The default log file size for chkdsk is 65536 KB; you can check the current log file size by executing /l without the “size” option.
/perf This option allows chkdsk to run faster by using more system resources. It has to be used with /scan.
/scan This chkdsk option runs an online scan on an NTFS volume but does not try to repair it. Here, “online” means that the volume does not need to be dismounted, but can instead remain online/active.
/spotfix This chkdsk option dismounts the volume only briefly in order to fix issues that were sent to the log file.
/? Use the help switch with the chkdsk command to show detailed help about the commands listed above and other options you can use with chkdsk.


When you open the Command Prompt Interface, a line of directory C:\WINDOWS\system32> will be written there as default. You must not make any changes to it but to perform the command, the items should be added after it.

  • C:\WINDOWS\system32>chkdsk – type and enter chkdsk if you only want to check the drivers/disks without repairing any bad sectors or errors.
  • C:\WINDOWS\system32>chkdsk C: /f – type and enter chkdsk<space>C:(the name of the disk)<space>/f to check the specific drive as well as fix any errors in it.
  • C:\WINDOWS\system32>chkdsk C: /r – type and enter chkdsk<space>C:(the name of the disk)<space>/r to locate bad sectors of the specific disk, fix errors in it and recover any readable information from the same.
  • C:\WINDOWS\system32>chkdsk C: /scan /forceofflinefix – type and enter chkdsk<space>C:(the name of the disk)<space>/scan<space>/forceofflinefix to check errors and make it in queue to be resolved later in an offline repair.
  • C:\WINDOWS\system32>chkdsk C: /r /scan /perf  – type and enter chkdsk<space>C:(the name of the disk)<space>/r<space>/scan<space>/perf to check for errors and fix the specific disk while you’re using it so that it will use up most of the system resources to run and finish the command as quickly as possiblele.

All you have to do is specify which disk you want to perform your command on and copy from the above table the command option that you desire to perform on disks.

How to Perform the Chkdsk Command

1. Graphical User Interface(GUI)

This is the easiest way to initiate the Chkdsk command on your computer. To do so, just go to My Computer or This PC (As shown in your computer) and right-click on the disk that you want to use the command on. Choose the disk→Right-click→Properties→Tools→Error Checking→Check and follow the on-screen instructions. This will initiate the process and will take a few minutes to complete. Depending on which option you selected, the Chkdsk command will find errors, fix errors or recover data with the possibility of losing.

2. Command Line Interface

Using the Command Line Interface to performs commands eliminates the interference of any external devices like a mouse or on-screen interactive buttons. This functions solely to the commands of your keyboard, be it to move around the typing curser or performing the command. To do this, go to the Windows search(Search bar in the start menu for Windows versions except Windows 8). On the search bar, type in CMD. This will show you the Command Prompt app. Right-click on the Command Prompt app and run it as administrator. Follow the on-screen instructions and it’ll finally launch the app where you can perform the commands.

3. Windows Recovery

This is, at most levels, similar to performing the command through the Command Line Interface. The difference is the way of accessing the Command Line Interface. Go to System settings→Update and Security→Recovery→Advanced Startup→Restart now. After the recovery, you will see the Choose an option window. From there, go to Troubleshoot→Advanced options→Command Prompt. This will open the Command Line Interface and you can perform the Chkdsk commands.


The entire Command Prompt comprises over 280 commands. From the digital perspective, that is indeed a huge amount. In contrast, the Chkdsk command is the most common and mostly used Command Prompt command, regularly in use to check/fix drive issues in computers. These commands are directly for the Operating System that does altering within the OS to eliminate any risks of drives. However, the Chkdsk command can be performed directly through the Graphical User Interface(GUI) but there are other options of the same and commands that solely depend on the Command Line Interface.

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