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Exactly how long does it take Windows to load up? That question is almost as futile as, “How many licks to the center of a Tootsie Pop?” It just seems to take forever. There are several things you can do to make Windows start faster Make Windows Start Faster: 10 Non-Essential Startup Items You Can Safely Remove Make Windows Start Faster: 10 Non-Essential Startup Items You Can Safely Remove So your computer has been booting slowly lately? You probably have too many programs and services trying to start up all at once. Are you wondering how they got there and how to remove them? Read More , but maybe part of the problem is that your Windows computer is performing the CHKDSK function on every startup.

Have you seen that roll up on your screen while you’re waiting? Does it happen to you a lot? Ever wonder what it is, what it does, and if Windows really needs to do that? Read on, my friend, and we’ll answer those questions together.

What is CHKDSK?

CHKDSK is a command in the Windows command line A Beginners Guide To The Windows Command Line A Beginners Guide To The Windows Command Line Read More to run a program, or utility, known as Check Disk. You can see where the command comes from. The Check Disk program is there to make sure that the computer’s files and file system What A File System Is & How You Can Find Out What Runs On Your Drives What A File System Is & How You Can Find Out What Runs On Your Drives Read More are in order. It also checks the physical disk to see if there are any damaged sectors 5 Signs Your Hard Drive Lifetime Is Ending (And What to Do) 5 Signs Your Hard Drive Lifetime Is Ending (And What to Do) Since a majority of people today own laptops and external hard drives, which get dragged around quite a bit, a realistic hard drive lifetime is probably around 3 - 5 years. This is an extremely... Read More and tries to recover the data from them. But what does that really mean?

chkdsk-flags

Try thinking of your drive as being a hall full of filing cabinets. Sometimes files get put in the wrong drawers and sometimes the drawers break. Let’s say the person using the room yesterday took out a bunch of files, put some back in the wrong places, left a bunch of them lying around, and maybe was a bit rough with the drawers. That’s the idea behind what happens when you shut down your computer by the power button, instead of shutting it down through your Start menu. Most people do that because their Windows takes too long to shutdown Is Windows Taking Forever To Shut Down? Try This! Is Windows Taking Forever To Shut Down? Try This! You’re just turning your PC off; how hard can it be? Shutting down is a complex process and much can go wrong. If your Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 gets stuck, check out our troubleshooting... Read More .

hall-of-files

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Now you need to go in there and do a bunch of research. You open the door, you stand there mouth agape, and then you think to yourself, “I just can’t do this today.” That’s pretty much what your computer does when its file system is messed up. Imagine now, you have a co-worker whose sole purpose is to go into the hall of cabinets, sort everything out, and fix the drawers. That person’s name would be Check Disk.

Why does CHKDSK Run at Start Up?

Taking the hall of filing cabinets analogy a bit further, would Check Disk be able to do the job if a bunch of people were in there working? Of course not. Check Disk also wouldn’t have time to do the job when the workday ends at 5 o’clock and all the power gets shut off, too. So what Check Disk does is come in first thing in the morning, a bit before everyone else, and checks to see if everything is in order.

chkdsk-in-progress

That’s pretty much why Check Disk runs at start up on your computer. Unfortunately, Check Disk is a bit lazy and won’t actually clean things up or fix them, unless you explicitly tell it to do so. This is done by adding command line flags 15 CMD Commands Every Windows User Should Know 15 CMD Commands Every Windows User Should Know The command prompt is an antiquated tool from an era of text-based input. But some commands remain useful and Windows 8 even added new features. Find out which ones. Read More such as /f for fix disk errors and /r for recover info from bad sectors.

Why Does CHKDSK Run at Every Start Up for Me?

There’s something wrong with your hard drive Keep an Eye on Your HDD & SSD Health With Hard Disk Sentinel Keep an Eye on Your HDD & SSD Health With Hard Disk Sentinel Have you ever had a drive failure? Sadly, there’s no panacea for preventing hardware damage. But monitoring your HDD or SSD, to act when their death becomes likely, is a first step. Read More . That’s the short answer.

What exactly the issue is, however, is much harder to answer. Perhaps a critical system file has been corrupted How to Fix a Corrupted Windows NTFS Filesystem With Ubuntu How to Fix a Corrupted Windows NTFS Filesystem With Ubuntu Read More or deleted. Perhaps there are a lot of bad sectors that aren’t getting dealt with. Remember, Check Disk won’t fix those, unless you tell it to do so. Until whatever the problem is gets fixed, Windows may try to figure out the problem by running Check Disk every start-up.

CHKDSK Seems to Run Forever. What do I do?

Wait. On Windows 7 and earlier, it can take hours, even days, to fully run. It’s checking every single file on your computer and the larger the drive, the longer it will take. If you interrupt it, you’re just preventing it from doing it’s job. So when you start your computer again, Check Disk will start again because it wants to finish its job.

How Do I Stop CHKDSK From Running Every Start-Up?

The answer is simple, but not necessarily easy – fix whatever is wrong with Windows How To Restore, Refresh, or Reset Your Windows 8 Installation How To Restore, Refresh, or Reset Your Windows 8 Installation In addition to the standard System Restore feature, Windows 8 has features for "refreshing" and "resetting" your PC. Think of these as ways of quickly re-installing Windows -- either keeping your personal files or deleting... Read More . There could be just one thing wrong, or dozens. The number of possible fixes is really unknown, but let’s go through the easiest and most common fixes for you to try.

Make Sure CHKDSK is Not a Scheduled Task

Although unlikely, this is the easiest thing to check for. Open Task Scheduler by opening your Start Menu and then search for task scheduler. It should show at the top of the results. Click on that to open it.

start-menu-task-scheduler

You may have to poke around a bit to see if there is a Check Disk task in here. You can see it easily in the picture below, because I put it there. Right-click on it, and select Delete. That should do it. But if this isn’t the cause, read on.

task-scheduler-delete-task

Make Sure CHKDSK is Not Scheduled to Run

That sounds like the same thing as above, but it isn’t. Check Disk could be scheduled to run just on the next start-up. To see if this is the case, you’ll need to have Administrator permissions and go into the Command Prompt. Click on your Start Menu and search for command prompt. It should be the top result as cmd.exe. Right-click on that and select Run as Administrator.

start-command-prompt-through-start-menu

Before you continue, this article assumes that the volume label for your hard drive is C:. It could be any other letter, so check that out before proceeding.

When the Command Prompt window opens, type in

chkntfs c:

and hit Enter. If you see the following message, then Check Disk is scheduled to run on the next start.

The type of file system is NTFS.
Chkdsk has been scheduled manually to run on next reboot on volume C:

If you get the following message, then it is not scheduled to run, and that’s good. You may want to continue with the other steps below, to ensure your hard drive is good anyway.

The type of the file system is NTFS.
C: is not dirty.

You really should let it run, but if it’s causing you too much grief, you can cancel it. In the Command Prompt window, type

chkntfs /x c:

then hit Enter. That will prevent Check Disk from running on your next start.

Run CHKDSK With The Right Flags

If Check Disk is going to run anyway, you might as well tell it to fix any problems and recover what it can from the bad sectors. To do so, you will need Administrator access on the computer. Following are instructions that will work for Windows 7 and earlier versions, and then instructions for Windows 8 and more recent versions.

A Bit About SSDs

If you’re not sure what kind of hard drive you have, check to see if your computer has a Solid State Drive (SSD) instead of a Hard Disk Drive (HDD).  If your computer has an SSD, you can still use Check Disk, but it isn’t necessary to run it with the /r flag. There are differences between a SSD and a HDD How Do Solid-State Drives Work? [MakeUseOf Explains] How Do Solid-State Drives Work? [MakeUseOf Explains] Over the past few decades, there has been a considerable amount of work in the field of computer hardware. While computer technology is constantly improving and evolving, rarely do we experience moments where we simply... Read More , most importantly that an SSD has no moving parts.

Solid_State_Drive

There is no disk to speak of, so it doesn’t require that the physical drive be checked with chkdsk c: /r. But Windows still uses the same file system whether on an SSD as an HDD, so it can still benefit from the chkdsk c: /f command to repair the file system. Beyond that, Check Disk really just isn’t necessary.

Windows 7 and Earlier

On Windows 7 and earlier versions, this could take a while. Perhaps an hour to maybe a day or more, so make sure you can spare the time. You do not want to interrupt Check Disk once it has started.

To do this, click on your Start button. Type command prompt in the Search programs and files box. The top result should be cmd.exe. Right-click on that and select Run as Administrator.

start-command-prompt-through-start-menu

Once the Command Prompt window is open, type in the command

chkdsk C: /r

then press the Enter button. The /r flag does try to recover information from bad sectors and assumes that you want to fix any disk errors, so you don’t need the /f flag.

You’ll see the command prompt tell you that it, “…cannot run because the volume is in use by another process.” It will then ask you if you, “Would… like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts? (Y/N)” Type Y and press Enter to schedule Check Disk with the repair option.

chkdsk-r-schedule-to-run

Restart your computer and leave it to do its thing. Once it’s done, your file system should be repaired and Check Disk shouldn’t run at start-up anymore, unless there’s another issue.

Windows 8 and Newer

Windows 8 takes care of these kind of issues in a much more efficient way. The file system is always checking itself for issues. Issues that don’t require your hard drive to be offline are fixed immediately. Issues that require your hard drive to be offline, like when you restart, will be logged in a sort of To Do list.

Because only items that require the drive to be offline need to be fixed, Check Disk can complete its job in a matter of seconds to maybe a couple minutes. To do this, click on your Start button. Type cmd in the Search programs and files box. The top result should be cmd.exe. Right-click on that and select Run as Administrator.

start-command-prompt-through-start-menu

Just to make sure that all issues are found and dealt with, run a check disk scan first, by typing in the command

chkdsk C: /scan

and pressing the Enter key. As it scans, it will fix anything that it can without being offline. Once that is finished, type in the command

chkdsk C: /spotfix

and press the Enter key. You’ll see the command prompt tell you that it, “…cannot run because the volume is in use by another process.” It will then ask you if you, “Would… like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts? (Y/N)” Type Y and press Enter to schedule Check Disk. Now, restart your computer.

This time Check Disk will run and fix any problems that were identified in the scan. Because it’s only fixing those specific problems, the process only takes a few seconds to a few minutes.

windows-8-spotfix

Your file system should now be repaired and Check Disk should not run on start-up anymore, unless there’s another issue.

Check It Out

After letting Check Disk do its job, there’s only one way to really check if it will run again on start-up – restart your computer. Hopefully, it won’t run and you can get on with your day. If it still runs, you might have deeper problems with your file system, the hard drive, registry issues How to Fix Windows Registry Errors & When Not to Bother How to Fix Windows Registry Errors & When Not to Bother In most cases, fixing our registry will do nothing. Sometimes registry errors cause havoc after all. Here we'll explore how to identify, isolate and fix registry problems – and when to not bother at all. Read More , or the operating system itself. You should look into doing a Windows System Recovery How to Create a Windows 8 Recovery Disk How to Create a Windows 8 Recovery Disk The days of reinstalling Windows when it acts up are long since gone. All you need to fix Windows 8 is a recovery disk, either on CD/DVD, a USB or an external hard disk drive. Read More , or possibly even a clean Windows re-install Wondering How To Reformat Windows 8? Let Me Explain Wondering How To Reformat Windows 8? Let Me Explain You probably want to perform a clean installation. With Windows 8, this typically doesn't involve formatting anymore. Let's find out what you can do instead. Read More . It might also be possible that it’s time to install a new hard drive How To Install A New Hard Drive To Replace An Old One How To Install A New Hard Drive To Replace An Old One Read More . That’s the extreme case, but it is a potential fix.

Did this help you out of your issue? Have you found any other ways to stop Check Disk from running on start up? Got any questions? Share them in the comments, and together we’ll learn and help each other. Nice comments only, please.

Image Credits: robotic figure Via Shutterstock, Hall of Files via Shutterstock, Solid State Drive via WikiMedia.

  1. R.Watkins
    December 7, 2016 at 5:15 am

    Just wanted to say thanks to Guy McDowell for the informative and easy to understand article"STUCK ON CHKDSK?" Great for Beginners & Somewhat Seasoned Beginners as Myself...Thank You For Your Knowledge & Your Time Sir. Also I want to also include all the writers at MUO.com!! Great Work! THANKS ALOT!! WISHING YOU & YOUR FAMILIES A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR.

  2. g.m.nelson
    November 29, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    i have an HDD connected to my cisco router as a third backup for my most important files and the problem with this router is when i delete files they are no longer there but the space used is not returned as available to the system and eventually i run into an "insufficient space" error, i then have to unmount and remove the drive then connect it directly to my computer and run chkdsk /f to recover the space for all the deleted files. at least i now use a 1TB drive so i only have to do this maybe once a year.

  3. Collette
    September 20, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Hi thanks for that info I found it very interesting and helpful.

    I have an 3TB ext drive that someone (not me!!) disconnected from a pc without selecting remove hardware safely.

    Now the drive is corrupt or not readable at all (showed up as RAW in disk management)

    I have been running Chkdsk / r since Saturday (3 days ago)

    It's been saying 'Adding 387645602 bad clusters to the bad cluster file' for at least 14 hours now.

    Do I have any hope of seeing my files again? At an earlier stage in the process it did mention lots of files by name I thought that was a good sign.

  4. charo
    July 23, 2016 at 2:52 am

    hi guy. i have a huge problem. my laptop is stucked at 58% scan disk and repair of drive c for 1 day now and i tried turning it off, it automatically scans. can't get thru anything. everytime i turn it back on, it automatically scans disk as detected on screen and just gets stuck at 58 %. any advise sir? please....

  5. Piers
    May 3, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Hi,

    I have an old Dell Laptop running XP SP3. A short while back it stopped shutting down correctly, it gets to a blue screen and then just hangs, so I've been switching it off by holding in the power button for 5 seconds.

    I've tried running checkdisk, but get the usual message saying that it can't run right now and needs to be scheduled at start-up. I try to do this, but it never runs at start-up, presumably because the machine isn't getting a clean shut-down.

    Today, I started the laptop up, and got a message saying that C:\Documents and Settings\All Users was not accessible, and that I should run checkdisk, so it looks like there's something serious going wrong.

    How do I run checkdisk, when I can't shut the machine down normally?

    • Guy McDowell
      May 20, 2016 at 7:50 pm

      If you've got a recovery disk, boot up into that and go into the DOS mode. You should be able to run it from there. Or do some other repairs and recovery.

  6. james pierson
    March 28, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    Article is excellent! But has two main problems:
    1. the instructions on Event Viewer work until you get to your instruction of "On the right side in the Task pane, click on Filter Current Log." there is no such place to click.

    2. you give no input as to what info should one see or expect after the check is done??? Mine was scheduled but there was no input so I signed in w/o knowing if any check was done????

    Please check on W7 to see if you get the same results and post the answer.

  7. tc
    March 18, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    Here's the situation:
    Hard drive has been getting a bit finicky lately, and then one day Windows (7) did not boot. Freezes at the initial screen (with the 4 Windows) for about 15 minutes then goes to the blue screen of death with technical information: 0x000...0074 (a bunch of other numbers here that I was not able to catch in time).

    Good news is that I managed to get to X: prompt (not C: prompt) and see that there are two partitions on the drive as one might expect. The X: volume is 100MB and I assume where Windows memory dump is and hopefully where a copy of Windows for my machine is stored.

    When I was able to get to it at one point, I was able to run CHKDSK /r /f /b from command prompt C:, and it got stuck for hours on step 4 at at file #51745.

    I was also able to mount it as a USB external drive on a 2nd computer and get all the data off, so that is good, though I had a recent backup anyway. I was also able to run CHKDSK on both (now) external volumes. The 100MB volume passes no problem and the other (main) volume (with the data, etc.) passed once but stuck another time on the same file (actually #51744, so one earlier I guess).

    I was able to run a HDD surface diagnostics (SeaTools for DOS) and determine that there are 2 bad sectors (or clusters, not sure what they are called, I think "LBA" actually). That was not a huge surprise.

    When CHKDSK freezes, there does not seem to be any events written to the Event Viewer log.

    Questions:
    1) Isn't CHKDSK supposed to quarantine bad sectors and re-allocate them to other good sectors elsewhere? If so, why does it get stuck in what seems to be an infinite loop on a certain file?
    2) How can I find out what file it is getting stuck on? I realize the number 51744 itself is probably somewhat arbitrary according to however my system is installed, but I would like to replace the corrupted file (and quarantine the bad sectors). I don't think details are being written in the event log (at least not the event log on the 2nd machine where I am running CHKDSK from, and I do not know how to view event files on the original HDD when I am running event viewer from the 2nd system).
    3) Since CHKDSK does not seem to be marking those sectors as bad and quarantining them, how can I do so another way?
    4) If I come to the decision that the HDD is not fixable (not there yet, since it seems to work except for those couple bad sectors), then how can I install windows to a new boot drive from the second system? I do not have a Windows install CD since one never came with the computer, however I would guess a copy of windows with all the correct drivers and settings for my computer is in the 100MB partition on the drive and that I can somehow use that to reinstall windows. Note: I have never been able to make a backup of my main HDD since the windows backup program runs for 2 days then craps out saying it cannot make the backup. I tried this 3 times. So, unfortunately, trying to recover a previous backup is not an option. I need to install Windows 7 fresh on the new HDD. I am willing to install all my programs again, that is not the problem.

    Thanks (in advance) for all info and suggestions!

    • Guy McDowell
      March 29, 2016 at 11:55 pm

      Wow. Excellent detail.

      I can't answer your questions with the level of detail you might like, but here are some brief answers.

      1. Yes, CHKDSK is supposed to do that. I don't know why it would get stuck like that. Maybe it's a physical defect at that point? I'm only guessing.

      2. Again, I don't know how you could do figure out what file went across that sector. Maybe using some sort of hex editor that can access drives directly? That could get dicey and probably isn't worth the effort though.

      3. I've heard of a program called Spin Write from GRC. I've never used it, so I can't endorse it but it sounds like it might do the job.

      4. This article might point you in the right direction - How To Make a Bootable USB, CD or DVD to Install Windows Using an ISO File.

      • tc
        March 30, 2016 at 3:14 pm

        Thanks so much for your suggestions, even though I did already manage to solve the problem. It was quite involved, but I will post bullet points in case it can help others, which I believe it can.

        A) Let CHKDSK run (overnight if necessary). I ran it with the failing hard drive connected to the original system and as an external drive connected to a second laptop (in which case make sure to choose the right drive letter). There were a number of bad sectors on my drive, and it took a few overnight runs of CHKDSK to recover the data, mark them as bad, and allocate new sectors in the files that contained the bad sectors. If you have to sleep (which I do) then the log of what happened shows up in the windows events log (i.e. by running "Event Viewer"). Note that if CHKDSK is run at boot (required in most cases when repairing files/etc.) then the CHKDSK results show up as "Wininit" events, not necessarily "CHKDSK" events. In those events, it described how many bad sectors were found and especially in what files. It was not a big surprise to learn that the bad sectors were in the windows registry files which are accessed regularly every time the system is running, and my failing drive is 5+ years old and used almost daily. Fortunately, windows does make an automatic backup of those 5 key system/registry files (in the \windows\system32\config\regback folder), so I copied the bad one overtop the corrupt file that had bad sectors in it.

        B) Then I created a recovery disk and finally managed to create a system image backup to a second (large) external drive. The system image backup did not work until ALL the bad and failing sectors were re-allocated by CHKDSK, which is why I had to run it a few times.

        C) Then I plugged a third (new) drive into the original system main SATA drive port, booted on the recovery CD (by changing BIOS settings via the F2 key at boot to select the right device boot order), and "recovered" the system image to the brand new drive. It worked well except that 1TB of space was not showing or available since the failing drive (and system image) were of a 650GB drive. So I ran "diskpart" on an elevated command prompt (i.e. Windows key, type "cmd" then right clicked on cmd.exe and selected "run as administrator"), and followed instructions to repartition and mount the hidden space as a new drive letter, which worked great.

        It required lots of patience (about a week overall!) and I gathered bits from many much-appreciated tech support sites like this one. Hope me sharing can help solve things much more easily and quickly for someone else.

        • Guy McDowell
          March 31, 2016 at 1:04 pm

          Excellent work, TC. And thank you very much for sharing it here. It will definitely help people.

  8. Cees van Heemert
    February 17, 2016 at 8:48 am

    I keep getting the message can not lock, in use by etc. Yes or no for the restart does not make a difference.
    Can I by pass this? /f /r whatever no difference.

  9. Ted
    January 31, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    After CHKDSK ran, my computer apparently rebooted. Is there a log so I can see what it fixed?

    • Guy McDowell
      February 3, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      There is a log. You can find it using the Windows Event Viewer.

      Open Event Viewer (EV) by going to Start menu > All Apps > Windows Administrative Tools > Event Viewer. Or, use your Start menu search to find Event Viewer.

      On the left side of EV, expand the Windows Log folder.

      On the right side in the Task pane, click on Filter Current Log. Filter for only those events with the Event ID of 26226.

      The results are all your CHKDSK events.

  10. Thijs
    January 23, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    Help!! I did this and now I got this error message: 0xc0000225, this happened after I did the chkdsk /f & /r and I immediatly rebooted. The problem is that I don't have a recovery disk/usb for my Windows 10.. What do I have to do now? The only thing I found on the windows website was downloading windows 10 on another for an usb recovery and install that, but I wonder whether or not the data of the hard drive will be gone and if there are other options to get my pc started again..

    I'm really desperate, as I didn't make a back-up, because my pc was brand new (8 days old). Thanks for your time if you have read this!!

    • Guy McDowell
      February 3, 2016 at 12:37 pm

      Hi Thijs,

      I hope you've been able to have this problem fixed. If no, take it in to the store that you bought it from. It should be still covered under warranty. They should fix it for free.

  11. dongo
    December 9, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Hi..I'd appreciate anybody's help.
    I'am using CHKDSCK with /f /r /x.
    the commad was apparently ok to 27% but at this point it is for 9 hours now..Please coud any one tellme is it normal? should I still wait to see if the scan goes further over 27% ?.. may I'm ussing chkdsk with the wrong parameters..
    Pleas help ..Thanks

    • Jake
      January 7, 2016 at 9:08 pm

      I actually just read about this (mine is stuck at 10%, but I'm running Windows 10 on an unsupported mac running boot camp so it can be all sorts of other problems), but the consensus is that it often hangs, either at 10% or 27% specifically, and the best thing to do is just let it run its course. You can force it to shut down and when it restarts, it'll pick back up, but it's probably best to just let it run. Or when you restart, you can choose to skip the disk check, but from the sounds of it, it's normal. In the future, run it with the /v command added because I've read that shows every file as it's scanned.

      In my case though, I know it's doing SOMETHING because I can hear the drive, but then again, who knows. The more I mess with Windows, the more I've come to the conclusion that Microsoft are total douchebags that either purposely make things difficult or are too naive as to think to introduce an easier way to port your OS from one computer to another/upgrade without having to reinstall everything.

      • Guy McDowell
        January 8, 2016 at 12:51 pm

        Jake is correct. Sometimes you can end up waiting a whole day.

        The length of time you'll have to wait is somewhat dependent on the size of the drive.

        Back in the 100MB HDD days, this was a 10 minute process. Now with 1TB or more, it's significantly more.

        Doing a disk cleanup prior to CHKDSK can help reduce the time to run as well.

      • Yeniaul
        February 2, 2016 at 10:23 pm

        If it was too simple someone's grandma could screw something up without realizing it.

  12. Stephen
    November 13, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Hey! I had scheduled a Disk Check and I get an error message that says "the disk does not have enough space to replace bad clusters" and "An unspecified error occurred (6e74667363686b2e)" is there a way to fix it or get out of the disk check? Cause I can't run my OS because of this. Thanks!

    • Guy McDowell
      November 14, 2015 at 5:55 pm

      Make a backup of all your data immediately. You may need to use a LiveCD to help you do this. Read the article, Windows Users: Here Is Why You Need A Linux Live CD.

      Then get a new hard drive, set up Windows again, and copy your data back to it.

      Unfortunately, your hard drive is too far gone.

  13. Lee Lewis Brown
    November 5, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    HELP!! I tried to start chrome I couldn't so I removed it. Then it wouldn't reinstall, so I tried to go back to an earlier date. My computer needed to restart n it asked if I wanted to do a scan disk n try to recover bad sections or something like that. I said yes. Now when I TRY to start it, it does a scan then starts like everything is normal then goes blank and does it all over again. It is stuck in a loop I guess. Obviously I am not very good with this stuff. Pls help!
    It is Windows Vista. I know it's old but it was still working. ???? pls help I can't afford to take it to a shop let alone a new one. Thanks

    • Guy McDowell
      November 5, 2015 at 8:22 pm

      Oh Lee, you're tugging at me heartstrings! I know too well what it's like to not be able to afford to hire a person to help.

      I hate to say it, but if your hardware is as old as your Windows Vista, you're probably out of luck.

      If you can't afford a tech or a new computer, you need to work your social circle. Surely someone you know can get you in touch with someone who may be able to help you out. Or maybe you know someone who is pretty tech savvy and could figure it out.

      In lots of places there are non-profit groups that refurbish or repair computers for people with limited incomes. The prices are usually very reasonable. Check out Angie's Angel Help List for a start.

      Don't get your hopes up too much though. If the computer is as old as I suspect, sometimes there's nothing to be done. At least nothing free, anyway.

      Sorry. :(

  14. Moses Dramiga
    October 23, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    I ran chkdsk C: /scan and it got stuck in stage 2 Examining file name linkage ... then it ran again then it got stuck again. if that a terribly bad sign or does it do that?

  15. kay.susie
    October 20, 2015 at 7:22 am

    Hi there, please help me. I have just bought a new Asus laptop (2 weeks ago) Windows 8.1. I upgraded to Windows 10 and have had loads of problems, (too many to explain here) so I ran a chkdsk.
    It has stuck at 9% (still on the D drive, which should be empty) and has been there for over an hour now. I have read your article and all the comments and it seems that this is a fault with Windows 10?
    My question is - can I stop this chkdsk and start my computer again, or will it do some damage? I have just paid a lot of money for this laptop and I am afraid of doing something wrong.
    Thanks.
    Kay.

    • Guy McDowell
      October 21, 2015 at 7:53 pm

      It's okay to stop chkdsk and restart your computer again. It's highly unlikely that it will cause any damage.

      Most kinds of damage it could do are to the Windows operating system. If that's the case, you reinstall Windows. Maybe go back to 8.1.

      If you're still a bit fearful of doing that, you could take it back to the seller. I would think it's still under warranty of some sort.

      • kay.susie
        October 22, 2015 at 6:21 am

        Hi again, many thanks for the prompt reply.
        Well, I stopped it and it seemed to be o.k. so I carried on looking for answers.

        Apparently Windows 10 isn't supposed to run a chkdsk as Win 7 used to.
        I had to go into the File Explorer, click on This PC, right click on the hard disk (i.e. C Drive), then click Properties / Tools / Error Check.
        It did the disk check right there whilst I was still using my computer, and it only took about 5 minutes. Amazing. Maybe this will help some of the other people who have had the same problem.

  16. LIDO m
    October 2, 2015 at 10:22 am

    Hi there im having problem with my windows 10 Pro 64 bit I get a notification to restart my computer to repair disk errors every time I restart my laptop it fails to run disk repair. So I run a check disk scan first, Run as Administrator command by typing chkdsk C: /scan with no problems I've got some repairs to be fixed offline. So I use the command chkdsk C: /spotfix and I get Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another
    process. Would you like to schedule this volume to be
    checked the next time the system restarts? (Y/N) Y

    This volume will be checked the next time the system restarts. Whenever I schedule a disk check and restart the computer, absolutely nothing happens -- my system simply boots up as it normally does. So I Open registry and browse to key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager
    "BootExecute" The registry value for BootExecute reads: autocheck autochk /p \??\C:
    autocheck autochk * my file System is NTFS and my Disk is FUJITSU_MHZ2320BJ_G2 please help me to solve this issue.

    • Guy McDowell
      October 21, 2015 at 7:57 pm

      In that registry key, delete the “/p ??C:” and replace it with an asterisk (*).

      The registry setting that you currently have will force CHKDSK to run on every boot.

      I confess that I don't know as much about Windows 10 as I'd like, so I can't say if Win10 is causing this to keep happening.

  17. mbadawy56
    September 30, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Hi Guy,

    i wonder if you can help me please, i bought an HP laptop two month ago and it gave me a HDD failure message, i run CHKdsk many times and it get stuck in the at about 10% and does not move any further. i was running windows 10. long story short i have formatted the HDD thinking that may help and by mistake deleted tons of images and videos for the family. i fixed the laptop by buying SSD. but now i want to recover the lost images from the other HDD. i have used many software to run a deep recovery but they get stuck at about 10% and does not finish. so i run CHKDSK on the HDD using a USB SATA cable, it started fine but after reaching 10% it is frozen since over 12 hours now. i do not know what to do next. any suggestion will be very much appropriated. Rgds, MA

    • Guy McDowell
      September 30, 2015 at 5:25 pm

      I'm sorry to hear that.

      Try this:
      - Contact HP and talk to them about the fact that your HDD failed after only two months. It should be covered under warranty.

      - Talk to them about getting your treasured family pictures and videos from the defective drive. They might offer to pay for expert data retrieval.

      - Find a professional data recovery service in your area. They work in clean rooms that are dust-free and with specialized hardware and software to retrieve your lost data. These services are not cheap. The least expensive I've ever heard of was $500 CDN, but expect it to be more around $1000 to $1500 CDN.

      - Get back up so you don't get caught out again. External HDD, cloud backup, whatever suits you. It's cheap insurance. I saw a 1TB external HDD for $75 CDN the other day.

      Sorry I couldn't be much more help. Best of luck and thank you for reading MakeUseOf.com.

  18. chrisandjess
    August 13, 2015 at 3:03 am

    I upgraded my windows 8.1 to windows 10 and it ran fine the first 2 days.then I noticed it started hanging on me I ran Norton no viruses and ran malwarebytes it cleaned out 58 malware.the computer was still running sluggish and slow and getting hung up anytime I click on any desktop icons.then I noticed my c drive in task manager kept running in the red at 99%.my 1tb HDD was down to 9% free space so I deleted some old movie file I had and a few games as well .that seem to help get out of the red but then it still seemed sluggish so I restarted my computer and chkdsk started scanning and repairing c drive but it keeps getting stuck at 4% how can I get it to scan all the way through without getting stuck.Im using a Gateway desktop computer Dx4380G-UW308 with Amd A6 5400k dual-core processor,And Radeon HD 7540D graphics,1TB hard drive,6 GB DDR3 Memory.any help would be great.

  19. raptor256
    June 22, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    If I want to use a repaired disk on another computer do I then have to run chkdsk /r again on the 2nd PC?

    • Guy McDowell
      June 22, 2015 at 7:52 pm

      If the hard disk drive is in good working order, it doesn't require it.

      • raptor256
        June 22, 2015 at 8:01 pm

        Sorry, should have been more clear.
        When I say repaired I meant a disk that has had chkdsk /r run on it. If I then take that HDD and put it in another PC are all the bad/recovered/fixed sectors still intact/stored on the HDD or does another computer need to run chkdsk /r so the OS can know what sectors have been recovered/fixed etc.

    • Guy McDowell
      June 23, 2015 at 6:13 pm

      If the HDD has been formatted, then there is no record on it of what sectors are bad, or anything else.

      During the installation of Windows, Windows will identify the bad sectors and mark them as such. Just like running chkdsk /r does.

      If the HDD hasn't been formatted and still has Windows on it, then there is no need to run chkdsk /r again, unless the HDD develops some more bad sectors.

      • raptor256
        June 23, 2015 at 7:14 pm

        OK thanks :)
        I have a 2tb drive I'm going to put in another machine just for storage and it has bad sectors on it but they haven't increased in a long time,1503 to be precise. I've got HDD Sentinel so will keep an eye on it if any new bad sectors start emerging.
        Cheers.

  20. Leonard Steele
    May 13, 2015 at 3:15 pm
  21. Deepak Vairagi
    March 21, 2015 at 5:51 am

    Hi Sir
    My Windows Xp Is Corrupted But When I'm Trying To Format It's Showing Me Error With Blue Background n White Fonts Plz Help Me................

  22. 8ighter Hater
    March 20, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    You know I was just pulling your leg,
    maybe it will help that hitch in your get-a-long.
    ha.

  23. 8ighter Hater
    March 19, 2015 at 5:06 am

    You're analogies were, lets say ...
    I do wonder why the typing in the search box for "run" repeatedly instead of clicking once on the start menu orb and then click on run on the lower right.
    What!
    You say it's not there¿
    I would not let that person set my computer up again
    and yes were talking about se7en, who in their right mind would use something awful like, "Hey 8ight, what's got 4 legs and sucks¿"
    "I dunno, what"'
    'You and yo brother'

    • Guy
      March 20, 2015 at 11:21 am

      What you're talking about is what I do as well. Yet I write these articles targeted towards people with less computer experience than you or I, so everyone can make use of them. We all start somewhere.

  24. Keith
    March 16, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Thanks for this info in such an organized matter. I have used chkdsk many times over the years, but sometimes forget the commands and have to use help and trail & error to get it working. I'm going to save this article to my Google Drive so I can access it while on site to use for my clients.

    • Guy
      March 17, 2015 at 1:06 pm

      Hi Keith,

      Glad I could help. Yes, it's one of those things where even techs use the command line less and less. It's easy to forget all those flags and switches.

  25. averma82
    March 11, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Is there anything new ???
    Normally a technical professional would follow all the steps that you mentioned in this post.
    Is there anything else we can do with chkdsk .....
    There are various switches associated with chkdsk command .... You should have included all of them (or atleast some common ones).

    • Guy
      March 11, 2015 at 9:36 pm

      There are several things that can be done with CHKDSK and its various switches.

      However, for this article, the intent was to just get non-technical people going with it. PC Technicians should already know more about CHKDSK.

      If you're a non-technical person, once you get into the Command Prompt, just use the command chkdsk /? to see all the available switches and what they do.

  26. Victor
    March 11, 2015 at 12:39 am

    Check Disk has saved my bacon many times before! Windows installations that didn't want to boot got "fixed" with this nifty little utility!

    • Guy
      March 11, 2015 at 9:33 pm

      Hi Victor,

      It sure can be handy! It should probably be the first step before going to a recovery disc.

  27. ha14
    March 10, 2015 at 11:04 am

    this can work if the hard drive does not have problems, if bad sector...then a software is needed

    • Guy
      March 10, 2015 at 3:27 pm

      chkdsk -r should take care of bad sectors.

      This isn't a perfect analogy, but when chkdsk -r encounters a bad sector, it tries to recover whatever data is in there, relocates it, and plants a flag to tell the computer to write anymore to this bad sector.

      I used to use SpinRite years ago for really bad disks. It may still be an excellent tool for deeper issues though. Sometimes it's cheaper and quicker to just get a new hard drive.

    • ha14
      March 10, 2015 at 3:58 pm

      well sometimes chkdsk -r does not work to fix bad sectors, i had that problem on a laptop, on every startup chkdsk scan message and no fix, even fsutil dirty query c: did not work. so as you mentioned SpinRite to try or HDDregenerator, they will scan, update files and tell to Windows and BIOS that everything is well

  28. Abd Noury
    March 10, 2015 at 9:48 am

    I have a bad sector , a bad boot sector I afraid! Is there any advices ?

  29. Miroslav
    March 10, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Thank you for this article, Guy! Excellent!

    • Guy
      March 10, 2015 at 3:28 pm

      My pleasure, Miroslav. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
      We're here to help!

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