How to perform disk error checking in Windows XP

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For a Microsoft Windows 2000 version of this article, see
156571 .


Chkdsk (Chkdsk.exe) is a command-line tool that checks volumes on your hard disk drive for problems. The tool then tries to repair any problems that it finds. For example, Chkdsk can repair problems related to bad sectors, lost clusters, cross-linked files, and directory errors. To use Chkdsk, you must log on as an administrator or as a member of the Administrators group.

You can also run Chkdsk from My Computer or from Windows Explorer.

How to run Chkdsk

  • Chkdsk requires exclusive access to a volume when it runs. Therefore, if one or more of the files are open on the disk that you want to check, Chkdsk prompts you to schedule the disk check for the next time that you restart your computer.
  • Chkdsk might take a long time to run, depending on the number of files and folders, the size of the volume, disk performance, and available system resources, such as processor and memory.
  • Chkdsk might not accurately report information in read-only mode.
How to run Chkdsk at the command prompt
How to run Chkdsk from My Computer or from Windows Explorer

Article ID: 315265 - Last Review: Feb 4, 2015 - Revision: 1