How to Run CHKDSK in Windows 10 from CMD or Before Boot

Published by Alvin Nyau - Updated on

CHKDSK is a command we used in Command Prompt to scan, check and repair hard drives in our computers. In Windows 10, using chkdsk is no different than using it in previous version of Windows. However, you will need to give the Command Prompt (CMD) administrative privilege in order for chkdsk command to work.

chkdsk windows 10

How to Run CHKDSK in Windows 10 from Command Prompt

If your target hard drive is not a boot drive, meaning that the drive isn’t where your Windows is located, using chkdsk in command prompt will scan and repair the target drive immediately.

  1. Go to Start Menu. Type CMD.
  2. From the result, right click Command Prompt, then click Run as administrator.chkdsk windows 10 cmd run as admin
  3. If “User Account Control” ask for permission, click Yes to proceed.
  4. In the command prompt, type:
    chkdsk [driveletter] /f /r /x
  5. For example:
    chkdsk C: /f /r /x

    chkdsk in windows 10 command prompt

  6. Chkdsk will then run to scan the selected disk for errors and repair them automatically. It may take hours if you have a huge and messy drive.

What do we need the parameters “/f /r /x” when doing chkdsk?

Well, if you enter chkdsk, the command itself will only scan the disk and show you the disk’s status. It won’t repair anything without the parameters.

  • To allow it to fix errors it finds, “/f” is needed.
  • If you want it to also locate bad sectors on the drive and recover readable information, “/r” is needed.
  • To force it to dismount the drive before begin checking the disk, “/x” is needed. This is recommended to make sure there is no running application in that particular drive that may interfere the chkdsk process.
  • If you need more info on other parameters you can use, go to this chkdsk docs from microsoft.

How to Run CHKDSK in Windows 10 Before Boot

If you want to chkdsk your primary drive where you store and boot your Windows, usually C: drive, chkdsk will need to run before booting into Windows. It’s because chkdsk cannot be run if the drive is in used, especially if there is any system core file in the drive which Windows relies to work.

So, here’s how you can set chkdsk to run before boot in Windows 10:

  1. Follow step 1-4 in the instruction above.
  2. In the command prompt, enter chkdsk commands with the parameters. For example:
    chkdsk C: /f /r /x
  3. If chkdsk detects that the drive you want to scan is a boot drive, it will shows “Cannot lock current drive. Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in used by another process“, and ask if you would like to schedule the drive to be checked the next time you reboot/restart your computer.
  4. Type and enter Y.chkdsk windows 10 before boot
  5. Restart your computer.
  6. Chkdsk will run automatically during your next boot before booting into Windows.

If chkdsk doesn’t run on next restart, repeat the step above until step 4 before you enter the chkdsk command. Enter “cd\” (without quotes). This allows cmd to go back to the root directory before executing any command. Then, you may enter the chkdsk command.

When do you need to run chkdsk for your drives

Gradually and as frequent as you like. Chkdsk, unlike defragmenting, it won’t do harm in any way to your drive no matter how frequent you run it. If you have not been running for a while, run it now. It’s recommended that you run chkdsk for each of your hard drive once a month.

If encounters freezes, hangs, drives or CPU running at 100% all the time in Windows 10, run chkdsk. They may be errors on the disk that cause all the problems.

Why is chkdsk stuck at certain percentage for a long time

Chkdsk does take some time to finish. We are talking about several hours here depending on the size of the disk and how much space it was used. Try to wait it out. We usually let our system to chkdsk overnight.

If chkdsk still stuck at certain percentage even after 10 hours of running, try to restart the run. It may indicates that your drive is starting to fail. Backup immediately and replace a new drive ASAP before it goes completely broken.

Description for sharing: CHKDSK is a command we used in Command Prompt to scan, check and repair hard drives in our computers. Here's how to run chkdsk in Windows 10 from Command Prompt and before boot.

Categories: Windows 10