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Windows often has a habit of not disk checking anymore, a far cry from the constant scans that Windows 98 and 2000 used to perform. So if you suspect there may be a problem or something has become corrupted then you may want to do a full disk scan, but Windows can't do this while a disk is in use. The way around this is to queue the check to be run on start-up. This is a simple guide on how to do that.

Firstly bring up a Windows command window. If you are using Windows XP then the quickest way to do this is to press Win and R (the Windows key is the one that looks like a flag, between Ctrl & Alt) which will present you with a pop-up window. Now type cmd into the box and press Return.

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If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, you will need to open the Start Menu and go to All Programs >> Accessories then Right Click and select Run as administrator.

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Now you should have a command prompt box appear which looks like a small black window. Inside this window type the following (Replacing C with the letter of the drive you wish to check, Windows is normally installed to C so I've used that as the example):

chkdsk C: /f /x /r

… then press enter. You should now be presented with some information about that disk and asked if you would like to schedule a disk check for the next boot. Say yes to this and you can now close the black window.

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That's it, Windows will now do a full disk check on the selected drive when you reboot.


Frazer   ~   Posted on 2012-07-18 15:08:42
Thank you, a simple, straight-forward guide.
Rainbow Dash   ~   Posted on 2013-01-02 16:59:39
thank you for helping it was a great tutorial!
Harv   ~   Posted on 2013-07-31 13:43:59
Not working on no-system disk. Check started in console window
Enverex   ~   Posted on 2013-07-31 13:55:32
It will do, the point of this article is that you cannot perform a check on the system disk and this works around that problem by performing the check on a reboot.

If you need to check a non-system disk then you can just check it without any issues or having to reboot.
Splargh   ~   Posted on 2016-04-26 15:02:44
Doesn't work for me. Restarts without running chkdsk

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