Categories Windows Vista

Check the integrity of your hard drive with CHKDSK

Windows Vista — like previous versions of Windows, has a hard disk scan tool to verify its integrity. Titled CHKDSK, this utility not only automatically repair file system errors but also recover bad sectors. In short, a disk error correction tool that needs to be studied in more detail.


The CHKDSK command creates and displays a report on the status of a given disk according to the file system (NTFS, FAT32, etc.). It also makes it possible to detect and correct any errors.

No need to know more or to focus on the different parameters that can be used: there’s no need to complicate it!


Graphic method

This solution is by far the simplest because it does not require intervention via theOrder Invitation.

To execute the verification, open theComputer (Workstation) then right click on the partition of your choice — the procedure is the same for all your partitions, and then click on Properties.

Capture d'écran - Vérification des disques à l'aide de CHKDSK
Screen capture — Check disks using CHKDSK

Then go to the tab Tools. Here, click on the button Check now... of the section Error verification.

Capture d'écran - Vérification des disques à l'aide de CHKDSK
Screen capture — Check disks using CHKDSK

To perform a full volume check — understand the different disks, check the following boxes:

  • Automatically repair file system errors;
  • Seek and attempt recovery of defective sectors;
Capture d'écran - Vérification des disques à l'aide de CHKDSK
Screen capture — Check disks using CHKDSK

Now click on Start.

A warning prompts you to run the check at the next PC startup. This is quite normal as no file should be used during the process. Validate the action by clicking on Schedule disk verification.

Capture d'écran - Vérification des disques à l'aide de CHKDSK
Screen capture — Check disks using CHKDSK

Restart the PC.

Text method

This method is in no way more complicated than the previous one but uses a command usable via the Command Invite.

To do this, enter cmd.exe in the search field of the start Menu then click on the homonym link.

Capture d'écran - Menu Démarrer, saisie de la commande cmd.exe
Screenshot of screen — Start menu, input cmd.exe command

Enter the following code in the newly opened window. This is actually a command that simply starts the Check Disk tool — abbreviated CHKDSK, while allowing f and r parameters for partition C:

chkdsk/f/r C:

You can change the partition to replace C: by the letter of your choice.

As with the visual method, you can only run the check when all files are unused, which requires restarting. Simply register a O for Yes then press the button Entry.

Capture d'écran - Vérification des disques via l'Invite de commandes
Screenshot of screen — Check disks via the Command Invite

Restart the PC.


This operation may require several hours of unavailability of your PC, so plan to do so at a timely time!

At the end of the process, a report may tell you that the system has recovered faulty areas from the disk. If this is the case, your hard drive has a minor data loss concern. To have a clear core, do a second check. If the report tells you the loss of new areas then I recommend that you proceed to backup your important data.

To do this, you can use automatic data backup tool included in Windows Vista.

Finally, plan a regular execution of this tool at the rate of 1 to 2 times a month.


Leave a Reply to Bernardini Cancel reply

  • Zulu

    A small remark by the way: at the end of the process, the report is only seen for a few moments and then the pc restarts. How then then view this report to see if there are defective clusters or not? Where is this report saved?

  • Zulu

    I ask the question, because there is not so lgtps of that, I had started this procedure for one night, and at the wake the pc was in operation, but without the report of the search for defective clusters! Boring in these cases lol!

  • @zoulou: tapes Event Observer in the search field of the start Menu, also accessible from the Administrative Tools, clicks on the link in question and then in the left side column, unfolds the Windows Newspapers then clicks on Application.

    In the list of events, search the one entitled Chkdsk in the source column.

    Open the event by double-click and then consult the report.

  • paradox

    That’s exactly that, and if back hadn't existed what we would be (in fact I laugh a little but I was what is called a back technician a few years ago lol years ago) but your trick is by far, the most certain way to perform this verification operation, chkdsk meaning check disk simply, again bravo and for the problem mentioned above, the solution is as clear as always

    thank you for this beautiful tip and this moment of nostalgia for me

  • Thierry

    Good morning,
    I tried but he said: Access denied, you do not have sufficient privileges.
    You must invoke this utility in a high run mode. “
    While I'm an administrator.
    Thank you

  • @Thierry: what method did you use, the one via the Order Invite?

    Do you use your computer in a network with limited rights?

    Are you really a full administrator?

    If I ask you his questions it’s only to help me figure out your problem.

    • Julien

      I have the same problem as thierry, did you find the solution?
      I went through the command prompt because I can't check the disk by the properties of this one...


    A very large BRAVO and a THANK YOU for this amazing tutorial (this is pedagogy!) that pleasantly changes the allambiguous explanations found elsewhere and drowning more than they save.

  • Kraven

    Happy New Year!
    Thank you very much for this remarkable page for its clarity!
    However, I am in the same situation as Thierry: when I tried the second method my computer replied to me exactly the same thing i.e., "Access refused, you do not have sufficient privileges.
    You must invoke this utility in a high execution mode.
    It’s strange because I‘m on my laptop and there’s only one session, that’s mine, and I’m an administrator.
    I'm using Windows 7, if it can help.
    I don't know what to do because it’s been a few days since every time my computer starts, it displays me "File System Verification on C:
    the file system type is NTFS
    the integrity of one of your disks must be checked. It also shows me a countdown story starting from 10 to allow me time to press a key and thus cancel the manoeuvre.
    The problem is that once you get to 1, the screen remains frozen (for more than 30 minutes), without a progress bar that would indicate that the process is progressing or even starting.
    I thought then that if I caused the hard drive verification myself, it might stop harassing me every time I started it. But now I can't even provoke it, either way.
    In fact, in I try the graphic method, when starting my computer, a second tate-to-back (accompanied with the same message) starts after the first has exceeded the 1, and the second stops at 1 and the screen remains frozen!

    My message is a long one, but at least I hope to explain my problem well.
    I hope I have an answer from you.
    Thank you in advance.

  • Kraven

    Actually, as I wrote to you, there’s only one session on my laptop, which makes this account an administrator, right?
    In addition when I check User Accounts in Control Panel it displays me that I am an administrator.
    What do you mean by “via the context menu”? Is it to know if I applied the copy-paste to “chkdsk/f/r C:” in the second method?

    Thank you.

    • Yes, the account is administrator but this is not enough.

      In fact, go through the second method and right click on the command prompt to be able to launch it as an administrator.

      This will give you the highest rights to execute the command.

      Normally, it should work.

    • Aurélien Denis Post author

      No idea because never tested! But there may be a history of specific rights on external storage devices... but is this relevant on a hard drive that does not house the system partition?

      I don't think so...

  • Bernard

    good morning,
    I followed the instructions to use CHKDSK for an external hard drive (a message asked me to do so). A priori, there is nothing left on this disk and I have no restorative point in my system. A solution?
    thank you


    Hello, I have 2 PCs, I have inverted the DD and since the bios of my C.M. no longer detects my DD, it me fait:This product is covered by one or more of the following patents: US5,307,459, US5, 434,
    872. etc...US6, 327, 625. For Realtek RTL8111B/8111C/8111D giga ethernet controller v2.20 (080826)
    MAC ADDR client: 001966E77C7B GUID: 80020003-0004-0005-0006-0007-0008-0009
    PXE-E53: No boot filename received
    PXE-M0F: Exiting PXE ROM
    Reboot and select proper Boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device and press a key.
    If I put another DD, the bios detect it and the PC fpnction normally, then how to check or repair the first DD if I don't detect it.

    • hardgamer

      Hello RIERA, 1 years after xD

      1st solution: Checked hard drive in an external USB case
      2nd: checked the position of the master/slave CAVALIER behind the hard disk ass
      3 rd: Apparently it’s about boot no hard drive, no BOOT means that the BOOT file wasn‘t found and so it can’t boot on the hard drive in question (used Windows repair with CD)
      Fourth: Verified in BIOS whether or not hard disk is present
      5th: Checked the connections of the hard drive(s).

      Here, after there is a logical order, we check the connections and then in the bios the presence of the hard drive, after you take an external USB case and you test on Windows if the hard drive and visible, then if it still doesn't work, you try the rest.

      Even if it’s probably not useful for me in time, it may be useful for others.


    Good morning.
    Another little nice thing to be able to read the conclusions of the hard drive control, this text that scrolls too fast. I take my digital and click 2 or 3 photos of the text, the idea is not so bad!

  • Cyril

    Hello!.. I was able to consult the various helpers offered, but without success, when I click on properties of my disc f:. and launch the immediate verification of my disc, it registers me that Windows does not have access to my hard disc what to do? PLEASE

  • JP

    I have the impression that the process (which has 5 steps) is running in a loop. Is it possible to stop this process without it going back to the window?
    Should we activate the process without internet connection?
    Dell Inspiron win7 sata and hdd. 8G ram.

  • Gwen

    I'm stuck in step 2 out of 5. Progress (in %) is no longer displayed and nothing has changed for several hours. I made a chkdsk on an external dd (1 to) to which I no longer have access (not visible via the workstation but appears as soon as I click remove the device safely). In this process, the dd is well recognised as an NTFS and the right name appears.
    Is it normal that there is no change and no longer see the bar ahead?
    I‘m saying I’m running Windows Vista 32 bit.
    Thank you in advance!

  • Johanna

    Good morning,
    when I get to the moment Windows asks if we want to run the check at the next startup, I wonder if I want to disassemble this volume first. Do I have to force disassembly or cancel? Because I check my external hard drive and I especially don't want to format it.
    Thank you in advance

  • trenbeer

    Hello suite has a partition formatting/delete my samsung sata 500go hard drive no longer has access path(letter drive) how to use chkdsk how to make it an access path ahead thanks

    • trenbeer

      I tiend to specify that the procedure mount a simple drive is grayed out and that the initialisation of the drive ends with a check (cyclic redundancy control) I have no way for the moment to change hard drive how to do

  • Aurélien

    good morning,
    I just launched a chkdsk on a usb key and it’s been 1/4 of an hour that he’s splitting me from the lost chain links of the cluster (it’s at 167900...) is it possible to stop a chkdsk in full work and what else to do?

    • Mehdi

      How to stop chkdsk? It’s too long at my house it’s been 24 hours since it spins and shoots at 0 % c an external hard drive ntfs
      Folds help

      • There is no way to stop a CHKDSK except by forcing your PC to shut down manually. If it is an external hard drive, trying to eject it via the taskbar icon located in the notification area, or there (but not recommended), manually (by disconnecting it).

  • Adrian Sealelli

    I see that in fact people who use PCs spend their time on forums to fix what is the biggest mistake of their lives from the purchase: have a PC and Windows at the same time mdr