Checking your drives for errors every once in a while can help fix some performance issues. Drive errors can usually be caused by bad sectors, improper shutdowns, bad software, corruption, physical damage, etc...
CHKDSK (Check Disk) checks the file system and file system metadata of a volume (drive) for logical and physical errors.
The chkdsk command is used to check the integrity of the file system on the hard drive and make necessary fixes. The command can also fix bad sectors on your hard drive.
Bad sectors are divided into "Soft bad sectors" and "Hard bad sectors". "Soft bad sectors" are logical bad sectors, and chkdsk can easily fix them. "Hard bad sectors" are due to physical damage to the disk. CHKDSK cannot repair "Hard bad sectors", but it can mark the sectors to stop any data writing to them and prevent issues.
This tutorial will show you how to run CHKDSK to check a drive for file system errors in Windows 11.
You must be signed in as an administrator to run CHKDSK on a drive.
- Option One: Check Drive for Errors in File Explorer
- Option Two: Check Drive for Errors with CHKDSK command
EXAMPLE: Disk checking running at boot for offline scan
1 Open This PC in File Explorer (Win+E).
2 Right click on the drive you want to check, and click/tap on Properties. (see screenshot below)
3 Click/tap on the Tools tab, and click/tap on Check under Error checking. (see screenshot below)
4 Perform an available option below depending if errors were found on the drive: (see screenshots below)
- If this is a removable drive with "You don't need to scan the drive", you can click/tap on Scan and repair drive to still scan the drive for errors if wanted.
- If this is an internal drive with "You don't need to scan the drive", you can click/tap on Scan drive to still scan the drive for errors if wanted.
- If errors were found on the drive, you can click/tap on Repair drive.
5 The drive will now be scanned for errors. (see screenshots below)
Depending on the size of the drive and any issues, this could take a while to finish.
6 When the scan has finished, you can click tap on the Show Details link to see the chkdsk log in Event Viewer. Click/tap on Close when finished. (see screenshot below)
If errors were found, you may be prompted to fix them or schedule to scan and fix the drive at boot on the next restart.
Reference article for the chkdsk command, which checks the file system and file system metadata of a volume for logical and physical errors.
1 Open Windows Terminal (Admin), and select either Windows PowerShell or Command Prompt.
2 Type the command you want to use below into Windows Terminal (Admin), and press Enter. (see screenshots below)
(Scan and fix drive)
chkdsk <drive letter>: /f
(Offline scan and fix drive at boot)
chkdsk <drive letter>: /f /offlinescanandfix
Substitute <drive letter> in the command above with the actual drive letter (ex: "C") of the drive you want to scan for errors.
chkdsk C: /f
chkdsk C: /f /offlinescanandfix
3 If the volume (drive) is in use, you will get a message to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts, type Y, press Enter, and restart the computer to scan the drive.
The following table lists the exit codes that chkdsk reports after it has finished.
|0||No errors were found.|
|1||Errors were found and fixed.|
|2||Performed disk cleanup (such as garbage collection) or did not perform cleanup because /f was not specified.|
|3||Could not check the disk, errors could not be fixed, or errors were not fixed because /f was not specified.|