You are here

How To Run A Check Disk On Your Computer

This article explains how to run a check disk on your computer. A check disk is used detect and repair errors in the disk or filesystem.


For Windows XP and Windows 7


  1. Open up My Computer from the desktop or start menu. 
  2. Right click on your C drive (generally where Windows is installed) and select Properties
  3. Click on the Tools tab and select the Check Now... button under the Error-checking heading.
  4. Make sure both checkboxes are TICKED and then click the Start button.
  5. If you have selected a drive that is in use when you click Start a message will be displayed telling you that you must scheduled the disk check for when the computer next reboots. If not the scan will start immediately.
  6. If required click Yes on the pop up to schedule the disk check on next reboot. Now that the disk check is scheduled you can close any open windows or dialogue boxes and reboot your machine to automatically start the scan. The scan will start during the Windows boot process and can take up to a few hours to complete depending on the speed and size of the disk.


For advanced users 

  1. A check disk can also be run from the windows command prompt by using the following commands:
    • chkdsk <drive letter:>  (perform a read only scan) - e.g. chkdsk c:
    • chkdsk <drive letter:> /f (perform a scan and repair errors without scanning for bad sectors) - e.g. chkdsk d: /f
    • chkdsk <drive letter:>  /r (perform a scan, repair errors and recover bad sectors) - e.g. chkdsk g: /r
    • The results from the chkdsk will be shown in the command prompt window. If you receive any errors during a read only scan it is recommended to perform a chkdsk with the /f or /r switches
    • If the drive cannot be locked when using the /f or /r switches you will be prompted to type Y and press RETURN to continue. The disk will then be scanned the next time the computer restarts.

    If bad sectors are detected on a drive it is recommend that all data be backed up from the drive and the drive be replaced due to the risk and likelihood of failure.