How to Scan & Fix Hard Drives with CHKDSK in Windows – AVG

CHKDSK allows you to check a hard drive for errors in Windows 10, specifically the kind of errors that arise when files aren’t where they’re supposed to be. This issue is a common reason why your PC gets slower over time.

How to run CHKDSK on Windows 10 There are several ways

to run CHKDSK on Windows 10

, even when your PC doesn’t seem to be working. If you have to repair your Windows 10 hard drive in case of emergency, CHKDSK could be the answer.

Here are three

CHKDSK options you can try: Run CHKDSK from your computer You can use the



from Windows and it will scan your drive for errors. Here’s how to run CHKDSK on Windows 10:

  1. Type chkdsk in the search box on the

    taskbar. <img src="" alt="An image of a taskbar with "check disk" written, and the user has right-clicked on the disk check application and is highlighting the

  2. "Run as administrator" option."" />

  3. Right-click chkdsk and choose Run as administrator.

This method can cause CHKDSK to run without showing you the results. For more detailed and customized results, try running CHKDSK from the command prompt.

Run CHKDSK from


Prompt Command Prompt is a useful tool that allows you to run commands in Windows, when you directly tell Windows what to do. If you’re not careful, this can lead to additional complications, so be sure to follow these steps closely.

Here’s how to use Command Prompt to check your disk:

  1. Type cmd (or command prompt) in the search box on the

    taskbar. <img src="" alt="An image of a bar of tasks with "command prompt" typed, and the user has right-clicked on the command prompt application and is highlighting the

  2. "Run as administrator" option."" />

  3. Right-click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator

    . "A

  4. Type chkdsk and press Enter. This command will cause the CHKDSK utility to search for problems without making changes.


  5. To run CHKDSK on a drive other than drive C, specify the volume just after chkdsk. For example, check drive D by typing chkdsk D: /f.

    Read on to find out what “/f” means and how to get CHKDSK to repair corrupted files. But if there are no problems at this stage, you do not need to do anything else.

    An example of chkdsk execution results. The results say no problems were found. The

best part about the command prompt is that it has been used consistently on all Windows operating systems. Whether your computer is new or 20 years old, you can use the same commands.


from the Windows 10 installation disc Your

Windows 10 installation disc is a partition of your hard drive isolated from the rest of your data. If you cannot access your primary hard drive, the installation disc will allow you to install a new version of Windows if necessary. It should be accessible whenever you can turn on your computer.

If you can’t access your main drive, running CHKDSK from here could do the trick. Here’s how to run CHKDSK from your Windows 10 installation disc before booting:

  1. Turn on your computer and repeatedly tap F8 before the Windows logo appears

  2. .

  3. When prompted, click Repair your computer

  4. . Click

  5. Troubleshoot, and then select Advanced. Click

  6. Command Prompt. You can use this command prompt just like any other, and you can run CHKDSK on your Windows drive before it starts.

    A screenshot of the advanced options you can access when booting from the Windows 10 installation disc. CHKDSK

You need to identify and remove bad sectors or corrupted data to get your computer working normally again.

Now that you know how to run CHKDSK, you have a new tool to keep your computer and hard drive in tip-top shape. But what about other types of necessary maintenance?

AVG TuneUp is a comprehensive maintenance and optimization tool that ensures your PC runs smoothly at all times. No task is left behind, whether it’s clearing your browser’s cookies and cache or finding corrupted data as soon as possible. Why bother poking around at the command prompt when you can have an app that does it all automatically?

Why do I need to use CHKDSK?

You must use CHKDSK when a boot failure occurs. Corrupted data can break Windows, and CHKDSK can find those faulty files and allow Windows to install a fresh copy in a new location. You can also use CHKDSK to prevent data loss.

How do I lose or corrupt data in Windows?

Ruined parts of a hard drive are called bad sectors, and CHKDSK

can detect them with a disk scan. CHKDSK will attempt to repair bad sectors to make them usable again, potentially recovering data in the process.

A mockup of a hard disk, showing scattered red segments representing bad sectors and the order that results after running a CHKDSK scan in Windows. A disk with red segments representing bad sectors (top) and an organized disk (bottom).

Here are the ways data gets corrupted:

  • Hard bad sectors occur when the media is physically damaged, such as when a speck of dust falls on the disk or the read/write head makes contact and ruins the surface

  • .

  • A soft bad sector is when malware or improper shutdown confuses the disk drive. From that moment on, the computer remembers that this data was not verifiable and marks it as a bad sector. It loses disk space and possibly even the file that was not written correctly.

How to avoid corrupted data

An increasing number of bad sectors means that your hard drive is about to fail. Back up your data immediately to avoid losing it and get a new hard drive. In the meantime, run CHKDSK regularly to keep your PC running as fast and smoothly as possible and adjust Windows 10 when you can.

A lot of bad sectors can also indicate malware, which should be taken care of immediately if you don’t want to lose any more data. Malware can cause your computer’s performance to suffer, with 100% disk usage at all times.

When your hard drive is healthy, your PC boots up quickly and works properly. Keep yours in tip-top shape by running the defragmenter or letting your chosen malware and virus removal tool do a sweep to make sure there’s nothing holding back your computer’s performance.

Don’t have time to mess with multiple applications to keep your computer in good shape? Want to use a tool you can set and forget? AVG TuneUp automatically erases all the things that accumulate in the background: browsing history, downloaded files, and more. Try it today with a free trial.



You can choose different CHKDSK parameters to identify specific problems. The chkdsk command will look for problems on the disk drive, but will not fix any of them. If your results tell you that “No further action required,” you won’t need to use these commands this time.

Here is an overview of CHKDSK commands:

chkdsk cross-references the file directory with the file system to verify that they match. chkdsk /

  • f fixes any structural problems with the file system and directory, correcting inconsistencies between the two.

  • chkdsk

  • /

  • r Finds and fixes corrupted parts of the hard drive (while also running chkdsk /f). Sometimes you cannot fix the unusable or damaged sectors you find.

  • chkdsk /x disassembles a drive so that it can be tested and repaired. Running this command also executes /f.

  • chkdsk /v displays the path and name of all files while running a check.

These commands will be automatically executed on the active drive displayed next to the cursor. To run CHKDSK on a different drive, type chkdsk [drive letter]: /f, replacing [drive letter] with the drive letter you want to scan. For example, to repair drive D, type chkdsk D: /f. The Windows drive (usually C) will ask you to restart before CHKDSK can run. Choose Y to continue.

<img src="" alt="Command prompt image with the appropriate command to run CHKDSK on drive D.

"chkdsk D: /f"" />

What does chkdsk /r do? Chkdsk

/r Finds and attempts to repair damaged parts of your hard drive. It automatically runs chkdsk/f as part of this process to fix logical errors on your disk as well. This means that you will not have to run the chkdsk /f /r command.

Before running chkdsk /r, check bad sectors for valuable files as they may be deleted after the process is completed. Chkdsk/r does not pretend to be a data recovery program, and sometimes it does not recover damaged files properly. The safest method for data recovery is to use a previously created backup, or ask an expert before running chkdsk /r.

If you are having trouble getting the scan

to work, opening the command prompt as administrator and running chkdsk /f/r/x should work

. Troubleshooting CHKDSK

Here are some common issues that people struggle with before CHKDSK can run a disk scan


The volume is in use or is read-only


cannot run on any drive that Windows is currently using. Your drive must be idle before CHKDSK can make changes. Windows runs all sorts of services, including Service Host Superfetch, which keep a hard drive busy. The following error messages indicate that the drive is active and cannot be verified:


  • to continue in read-only mode

  • .

  • The volume is in use by another process

  • .

  • Unable to lock the current drive.

All these errors mean that the drive is currently occupied. You might have a photo open, for example, and simply need to close the program so that the volume is no longer in use.


if you have a file open Use Task Manager

to see if there’s anything you can close


A screenshot of the task manager, where there may be a program that uses a file on the external hard drive.

Use Mode

Another possibility is that Windows is using your drive. You can avoid this by agreeing to let CHKDSK run on the next startup. Type Y in this message:

Command prompt displaying the error message that the volume is in use by another process and prompting the user if it is him

If you have restarted but still cannot run CHKDSK, go to Advanced Options in Safe Mode. Repeatedly tap F8 at startup to access these options.

You can also access the advanced options from your desktop by following these steps:

  1. Go to

    Settings. <img src="" alt="An image of a taskbar with Settings written and the Settings application has been framed in a circle."

  2. />

  3. Open Update and Security Options

    . A screenshot of Windows 10

  4. Click Recovery.


  5. Click Restart Now in Advanced Startup

    . "The

You will now go directly to the advanced boot options, where you can run the command prompt and run a CHKDSK command on the Windows drive seamlessly


One way to avoid these obstacles is to use an all-in-one maintenance program. AVG TuneUp knows the right time to scan your hard drive with CHKDSK, so you can forget about using these advanced settings. It also covers everything from clearing browser cache to deleting junk files.

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versions of Windows

All outdated versions of Windows can still run CHKDSK, even Windows XP. The Blue Screen of Death has been with Windows since time immemorial, but so have disk scans and methods for dealing with the Blue Screen of Death.

Scanning and troubleshooting hard drive with CHKDSK can help you avoid blue screen of death.The dreaded blue screen of death.

In any version of Windows, open the command prompt and the commands to use are the same. Use chkdsk /f to check and correct structural integrity, and chkdsk /r to find and correct bad sectors.

In Windows

  • XP, you can access the command prompt by clicking Start, and then clicking Run and typing cmd. In Windows Vista and Windows

  • 7, type cmd in the Start menu search bar. You can run CHKDSK on Windows 7 or Vista just as you would on Windows 10.

  • In Windows 8, you may need to press the Windows key + C to open the Charms bar, and then search. Type cmd there.

Once you are at the command prompt, refer to the instructions above to run CHKDSK from the command prompt


If you’ve booted an old computer and see a black screen, don’t worry. You may be able to fix a black screen on Windows startup and make your computer usable again.

That computer could be plagued with issues like junk files or broken shortcuts. You may also want to physically clean the PC, as well as use a dedicated PC cleanup tool, but don’t do both at the same time.

Keep your PC running at its best with AVG TuneUp

It’s always a welcome surprise when an old computer boots normally. You can make sure your current computer is working properly for years with proper PC maintenance. Even better, you don’t have to do anything different, you just have to download a program that does it all for you.

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