Check Disk - chkdsk

thread_prefix_desc.14
ByLine
How to Run Check Disk at Startup in Vista or Windows 7
Synopsis
This will show you how to use and run Check Disk or chkdsk at startup from within Vista, the command prompt, and the registry to check for corruption and possibly repair errors and bad sectors on the hard drive.
How to Run Check Disk at Startup in Vista or Windows 7

information   Information
This will show you how to use and run Check Disk or chkdsk at startup from within Vista, the command prompt, and the registry to check for corruption and possibly repair errors and bad sectors on the hard drive.
Note   Note
If you had changed your default boot screen, then you will need to temporarily uncheck the No GUI boot to be able to see what is happening when chkdsk is running at boot up. See: How to Enable the Hidden Aurora Boot Screen in Vista or How to Change the Default Boot Screen in Vista SP1
warning   Warning
This will take about 20 minutes or so to finish, depending on how big your hard drive is. Do not stop chkdsk once it has started, let it finish. It could cause errors on your hard drive. When you restart to chkdsk, you will only have 10 seconds to press a key to cancel chkdsk. Check for a sticky keyboard key stuck down. It will cancel the chkdsk at startup.
Tip   Tip
CHECK DISK WILL NOT RUN AT STARTUP PROBLEM:


If chkdsk will not run at startup after trying the methods below, then see: How to Fix Chkdsk will Not Run at Startup in Vista





METHOD ONE
Run Check Disk from within the Drive's Properties Page

NOTE: This method may not always run chkdsk when the computer restarts on some computers. I'm not sure why, but if this is your case, then you can do Method Two, Method Three, Method Four, or Method Five below.
1. Open the Start Menu.​
2. Click on the Computer button.​
3. Right click on your hard drive and click on Properties.​
4. Click on the Tools tab.​
5. Click on Check Now under the Error checking section. (See circled in red below)​
Properties.jpg

6. Click on Continue in the UAC prompt.​
7. Make sure both options are checked. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: The Automatically fix file system errors box will be checked by default.​
8. Click on the Start button.​
Check Now.jpg

9. You will get a pop-up window saying, "Windows can't check this disk while it's use". (See screenshot below)​
10. Click on the Schedule disk check button for chkdsk to run the next time you restart your computer.​
Schedule.jpg





METHOD TWO
Using chkdsk in a Command Prompt

1. To Run chkdsk in Safe Mode
A) Restart the computer and boot into Safe Mode.​
B) Go to step 3.​

2. To Run chkdsk in a Command Prompt at Boot
A) Place the Vista installation DVD into the DVD drive and restart the computer.​
B) Boot from the DVD into the System Recovery Options screen.​
C) Select Command prompt.
D) Go to step 4 below.​

3. To Run chkdsk in a Elevated Command Prompt

4. In the command prompt, type chkdsk or chkdsk C: followed by one or a combination of switches listed in steps 4A to 4D below and press Enter. See the screenshot below for all switch combinations.​
NOTE: If you want check disk to scan a drive other than the C: drive, then substitute the drive letter C: after chkdsk to the drive letter that you want.​
EX: chkdsk E:
chkdsk_Help.jpg

Type One of these Commands to Run Chkdsk:
NOTE: The most common command is chkdsk /f or chkdsk C: /f
A) /f = The /f switch is the most common of the chkdsk switches. It tells chkdsk to try and fix any errors it finds. EX Type: chkdsk /f or chkdsk C: /f
NOTE: Answer Y when chkdsk asks you if you want to check the drive next time Vista boots (restarts).
chkdsk_f.jpg

B) /r = The /r switch tells chkdsk to attempt to recover any bad sectors of the hard drive if any are found. A bad sector is a spot on the hard drive that cannot hold saved data anymore. (See screenshot below)​
EX Type: chkdsk /r or chkdsk C: /r
NOTE: Answer Y when chkdsk asks you if you want to check the drive next time Windows Vista boots.
chkdsk_r.jpg

C) /i = The /i switch tells chkdsk to perform a less detailed but faster disk check. (See screenshot below)​
EX Type: chkdsk /i or chkdsk C: /i
NOTE: This will run immediately.
chkdsk_I.jpg

D) /c = The /c switch tells chkdsk to skip the checking of cycles within a folder structure which reduces the scan time.​
EX Type: chkdsk /c or chkdsk C: /c
NOTE: This will run immediately.
chkdsk_c.jpg

5. Close the command prompt.​
6. Restart the computer to run chkdsk at startup.​




METHOD THREE
Using chkntfs and fsutil in a Command Prompt

NOTE: This will reset all drives to be checked at startup and mark a drive as dirty so chkdsk will run at startup for it. Chkdsk will mark the drive clean again after it runs. If chkdsk does not run at startup, then do step 5 only to mark the drive clean again.
2. To Reset and Check All Drives and Run CHKDSK if a Drive is Dirty
A) In the command prompt, type chkntfs /d and press Enter. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: Restores the computer to the default behavior; all drives are checked at boot time and chkdsk is run on those that are marked dirty.​
B) Go to step 4.​
chkntfs_CMD.jpg

3. To Check a Specific Drive and Run CHKDSK if the Drive is Dirty
A) In the command prompt, type chkntfs /c C: and press Enter. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: This will schedule the C: drive to be checked at boot time. If the drive is marked dirty, then chkdsk will run. If you want to schedule another drive letter to be checked, then substitute C: with the drive letter you want checked instead.​
chkntfs_C.jpg

4. To Mark a Drive Dirty
A) In the command prompt, type fsutil dirty set c: and press Enter. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: This marks the c: drive as dirty so chkdsk will run at startup. If you want to run chkdsk on another drive letter, then substitute c: for the drive letter you want instead.​
B) You will now get a Volume - c: is now marked dirty message.​
Mark_Dirty.jpg

5. Close the elevated command prompt.​
6. Restart the computer.​
NOTE: Chkdsk will now run at startup. If chkdsk does not run at startup, then run chkntfs /d in step 5A again and see: How to Fix Chkdsk will Not Run at Startup in Vista




METHOD FOUR
Run Check Disk Using a REG File Download

1. Click on the download button below to download the Run_chkdsk.reg file.​
NOTE: If the hard drive you want to run chkdsk on has a different driver letter than C: , then do the Manual Way below to substitute C: with your drive letter instead.​
download

2. Click on Save, and save the .reg file to the Desktop.​
3. Right click the .reg (On Desktop) file and click Merge.
4. Click on the Run button in the Security Warning pop-up.​
5. Click on Continue (UAC), Yes, and then OK when prompted.​
6. When done, you can delete the .reg file (On Desktop).​



METHOD FIVE
Run Check Disk from the Registry Editor

1. Open the Start Menu.​
2. In the white line (Start Search) area, type regedit and press Enter.
3. Click on the Continue button in the UAC prompt.​
4. In regedit, go to: (See screenshot below step 5)​
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager
5. In the right pane, right click on BootExecute and click on Modify.
BootExecute_Reg.jpg

6. Highlight the code below, then right click on it and click on Copy.
NOTE: If the hard drive you want to run chkdsk on has a different driver letter than C: , then substitute C: with your drive letter instead.​
Code:
[/INDENT][/INDENT]
[INDENT][INDENT]autocheck autochk /p \??\C:[/INDENT][/INDENT]
[INDENT][INDENT]autocheck autochk *[/INDENT][/INDENT]
[INDENT][INDENT]

7. Clear the box, then right click on a empty area in the box and click on Paste to copy the code above into it. (See screenshot below)​
8. Click on OK.
Modify.jpg

9. The registry will now look like this. (See screenshot below)​
BootExecute_Reg2.jpg

10. Close regedit.​
11. Restart the computer to run chkdsk at startup.​
That's it,
Shawn


Related Tutorials


 

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drtorque

New Member
brink, btw, i just got another blue screen, and these are some words i remember from the message..
"..install/unistall issues.." , "tcpip.sys"..

last year i was getting blue screens on another, and finally the laptop didnt start, and dell said it's due to a harddrive problem, so i changed the hardrive and it was solved..

i dont know this time its b/c of the samething or not..
anyways, i got regcure and used it, 10 times in a row, b/c everytime i run it number of errors dcrease gradually, although it says all fixed.. it didnt go below 5 errors.

anyways, do you have any recommendations?
thanks.
 

Brink

Staff member
mvp
My guess is that it may be related to the registry cleaner program Regcure. If it deletes registry values that it shouldn't, then it can cause all sorts of horrible problems. It is usually not a good idea to let these type of programs just delete whatever it finds without verifying the results first. The only way to be sure is to undo and restore everything the Regcure deleted from the registry.

Unless this program has a option to undo what it deleted, then you will need to do a System Restore using a restore point (if available) dated before all of the deletions made by Regcure. If not, then you may need to reinstall Vista to fix the problems.
 

Blaydrnnnr

Completely Lost
Member
Hi ya Brink,
I had posted in general that I had a blue screen come out of no-where, but my system restarted before I could read it..( need to change that!) so I thought I'd run chkdsk. I went through cmd prompt, chkdsk/f/r C:, of course since the system was using the C drive it asked if I would like to run at start up, I chose yes, restarted and went to bed. got up, my system was waiting for me to log on, through your tutorial sections I managed to find my log file, said found 0 bad sectors, looks as though everything is OK, but now.. I want to stop the chkdsk operation at start up. so far.. it seems I need to delete the registry entries for chkdsk? I could use some good step by step on this one. Thanks for any responses.
 

Brink

Staff member
mvp
Hello Balydrnnnr,

You can do just Step Two in this tutorial to reset chkdsk to stop it from running at startup all of the time.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 

drtorque

New Member
My guess is that it may be related to the registry cleaner program Regcure. If it deletes registry values that it shouldn't, then it can cause all sorts of horrible problems. It is usually not a good idea to let these type of programs just delete whatever it finds without verifying the results first. The only way to be sure is to undo and restore everything the Regcure deleted from the registry.

Unless this program has a option to undo what it deleted, then you will need to do a System Restore using a restore point (if available) dated before all of the deletions made by Regcure. If not, then you may need to reinstall Vista to fix the problems.

shawn - i dont want to system restoreor reinstall vista. do you think over time this problem would decrease, like the regs deleted by regcure build themselves up in a way, or not?
thanks very much!
 

Brink

Staff member
mvp
Dr. Torque,

Doing a System Restore is not reinstalling Vista. Instead it is just returning Vista to a previous restore point that you select is dated before this problem. Once registry files are deleted, they are gone unless you do something like a System Restore to restore them.

The only other option is to reinstall everything.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 

Blaydrnnnr

Completely Lost
Member
Hey there Brink,
Thanks for the reply, I went in to regedit and was going to rewrite the string in the step you suggested, to my surprise, it was alread set as autocheck autochk*. I was under the impression that if you scheduled dskchk to run at start from cmd prompt, it would do so every start???.. ( was set in cmd as dskchk/f/r C: ) I'll restart tonight so if it goes into dskchk I can let it run.. I'll post back. Thanks for the reply!!!!
 

Brink

Staff member
mvp
It should only set chkdsk to run only one time at startup, then reset after it has ran or been cancelled by default unless something goes wrong causing it to run at every startup.
 

sassofalco

What bad, bad,habit?
Vista Guru
Today for the first time since I bought this Laptop in June 2007, I successfully used and ran Check Disk [chkdsk], using Method One; Run Check Disk from within Vista, where I found this Tutorial very easy to understand, and the advice steps 1 to 10 simple to follow....yet another well presented Tutorial by Shawn.

I used Method One primarily because I have yet to gain any real confidence :confused: in negotiating my way through Command Prompt procedures, or in picking my way through Registry HKEY_ strings etc., and as I still find the alternative Methods a little too complex for me to get a grasp on things.

Setting up the chkdsk in Method One was a breeze, and after I had selected to run the event by clicking on the Schedule disk check button at Method One: Run Checkdisk from within Vista:Step 10, I just continued on to finish the process, and restarted the Laptop to run chkdsk at Startup.

The whole process of 5 stages took about one hour to complete and all went very well, without any hitches. The bonus of it all, is that all disk systems are clean....with not one reported problem, and at the conclusion, the Laptop started up as normal.

Needess to say, but I am very pleased :D with the outcome, and thank Shawn for yet another great resource.
 
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vernrose

New Member
When I run chkdsk, it completes Stage 1, but then it "hangs up" on the 2nd Stage "Verifying indexes." It shows only 17% of the total check being done. My only resort is to unplug the PC and restart and skip chkdsk. What can I do?

Also, I cannot use Systems restore, although I have used it in the past.
 

Brink

Staff member
mvp
Hello Vernrose, and welcome to Vista Forums.

I would say that it was time to do a clean reinstall. :(

Sorry,
Shawn
 

molly5

New Member
I have a new Dell xps 64bit vista home premium.

When I tryto run check disk it always freezes at 41 or 42% in stage 5 of 5

I have tried using the options in this tutorial but stil the same result, always freezes at 41 or 42%.

I have also followed you instructions and run the sfc scannow. it does show some corrupt files that it cannot fix but I don't know if there is something else i should do form here or if these even effect the check disk run.

any suggestions/help appreceited

thanks,
molly5
 

Brink

Staff member
mvp
Hello Molly, and welcome to Vista Forums.

Other than a clean reinstall of Vista, you can try a Repair install to try and fix this corruption.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 

molly5

New Member
Thank you Shawn for your response, i did also go through all the Methods 1 to 4 again and now everything started working and completed the checkdisk, your directions are super easy to follow. thanks again
 

drtorque

New Member
dear shawn, im back :) before i sent you a message that i tried methods 1-4 nothing worked. then i used the vista dvd and safe open via dos and ran the chkdsk /f and /r succesfully..

its been over a month, so i wanna run chkdsk again. so tried to do it, but maybe im missing something but when it boots from cd, you see the wondows sign and when i write chkdsk it only runs in readonly mode and stops when it finds a problem. it doesnt even run chkdsk /f or with /r.. it says the disk is under use. i tried chkdsk d: /f /r and it works. however not on c: ..

so is there a way to get the command prompt earlier, so i wont get a disk is under use message and will be able to run chkdsk from vista cd?
thanks,
drtorque
 

Brink

Staff member
mvp
Thank you Shawn for your response, i did also go through all the Methods 1 to 4 again and now everything started working and completed the checkdisk, your directions are super easy to follow. thanks again

Molly, I'm happy to hear that you got it sorted out and working. :)
 

Brink

Staff member
mvp
dear shawn, im back :) before i sent you a message that i tried methods 1-4 nothing worked. then i used the vista dvd and safe open via dos and ran the chkdsk /f and /r succesfully..

its been over a month, so i wanna run chkdsk again. so tried to do it, but maybe im missing something but when it boots from cd, you see the wondows sign and when i write chkdsk it only runs in readonly mode and stops when it finds a problem. it doesnt even run chkdsk /f or with /r.. it says the disk is under use. i tried chkdsk d: /f /r and it works. however not on c: ..

so is there a way to get the command prompt earlier, so i wont get a disk is under use message and will be able to run chkdsk from vista cd?
thanks,
drtorque

Hello DrTorque,

You may be able to use the command prompt from Option Two in the tutorial below to run chkdsk from.

http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/194770-command-prompt-startup.html

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 

drtorque

New Member
worked like a charm, thax very much again man. yup i tried the registry updates but for some reason, it switched back to the wrong one when i shut down the poc, so it wont run chkdsk on its own at startup again.. its just sick..

anyways, this time, i missed running the command prompt under repair computer.. but wrote down the procedure on notepad for next time : )

anyways, if there's anyone out there who tried it all and nothing worked, ur not alone. my vista doesnt run the chkdsk on its own.. so below is the sure way it works for me:
insert vista setup dvd
let it run
"boot from dvd"
repair your computer , next
command prompt
chkdsk c: /f /x
chkdsk c: /r for hard errors
 
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