Rob Geeks

CHKDSK: What is it and how do I run it?

CHKDSK tool is used to check the integrity of disks and to correct some of the common errors on FAT16, FAT32, and NTFS drives. Check Disk locates errors by comparing the volume bitmap with the disk sectors assigned to files in the file system. However, Check Disk cannot repair corrupted data but it can run from the command line or through a graphical interface.

How to check a disk?

Your HDD contains folders within which files live can the whole thing lives on the drive which might be a partition on a larger hard disk. Above this, there lies security information like who is allowed to access and what way they are allowed to access it. As there is a lot of information on the hard disk, CHKDSK’s primary job is to make sure that all of the administrative information about the files, folders, and other stuff that’s stored on the disk is correct. However, the system is designed to keep it correct from start-up to shut down. Unfortunately, there are a variety of errors that cause it to be incorrect but CHKDSK’s job is to try to repair those errors.

So, how to run CHKDSK?

Here we are taking Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 to explain the process.

  • To run CHKDSK, go to the Start menu > under All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt or search for “Command” in Windows 8, or the right-click Start Menu in Windows 8.1. (You may also have “Windows PowerShell” instead of Command Prompt which serves same purposes as well.)
  • Click on Command Prompt and you’ll get a new window.
  • To run Command line tools, you need to type the commands with any options and press the Enter key. The output that the tool then generates will show up in the window.
  • After opening a Command Prompt window or clicking it to make it active, just type CHKDSK followed by the Enter key. You will see something similar to this:


It displays: Access Denied as you do not have sufficient privileges.

You have to invoke this utility running in elevated mode.


This tells CHKDSK requires you to be not only administrator, but you need to run the program as administrator.

  • Next, type EXIT then Enter to close this Command Prompt.

Running CHKDSK as administrator

  • Go to Start, All Programs, Accessories, (In Windows 8 you can even search for “Command” on the start screen) and right-click Command Prompt
  • Now, click Run as administrator. (Windows 8.1 users can select “as Administrator” version of Command Prompt listed on the 8.1 and right-click start menu)
  • You may get prompt window
  • Once you click on OK, you will get a Command Prompt window same as before; except that now, not only does the window have full administrative privileges, but any program that runs within it will inherit that permission.
  • Try that CHKDSK again.
  • Without any parameters, CHKDSK does nothing more. It won’t attempt to fix anything; it will simply report whether it finds any problems.
  • Once it displays the technical information, CHKDSK will finish with a report.

While performing CHKDSK, there are chances of data loss due to the following reasons:

  • Usage of unreliable third-party tools to perform check disk
  • Software conflicts
  • Interruptions while performing check disk can sometimes lead to loss of files from your drive
  • Utilizing files while performing check disk can put the files under loss

There could be many other reasons but worry not; CHKDSK recovery can be done in few simple steps with the assistance of Remo Hard Drive Recovery tool. This tool scans the entire drive to identify and restore lost data. Various file types such as documents, PDF, spreadsheets, etc. can be restored with this utility.

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