Hard drive playing up? Here's how to check for errors
Windows has a handy feature called CHKDSK (Check Disk) that you can use to analyse hard drive errors and run repairs automatically. It can be a lifesaver for dealing with (non-physical) hard drive faults.
A glitchy or corrupted hard drive can create a moment of panic. The potential for lost files is heartbreaking, and hard drive failure is one of the top reported computer faults.
We explain how to run CHKDSK in Windows 10 in the steps below. Remember, CHKDSK won't be of much help if you're dealing with a physically damaged hard drive (eg after dropping your laptop), but it can be a great tool for correcting minor errors.
CHKDSK works for both older spinning hard drives and SSDs, and it can't harm your computer.
How to run CHKDSK in Windows 10
To start, open a new File Explorer window (click Windows key + E) then click This PC. Right-click on the drive that you wish to scan - most commonly this will be your C: Drive or D: Drive - then click Properties.
The Properties window for the selected drive will now open. Here, click the Tools tab and then click Check under the Error checking section.
If your PC thinks everything is running smoothly, it'll show a window stating that you don't need to scan the drive at all. However, if you'd prefer to run a CHKDSK scan, you can proceed by clicking Scan drive below this.
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Don't worry, you can't do any damage to your PC by running this scan process.
The CHKDSK function will begin its checks. Depending on the size of your selected drive, and the amount of data stored on it, this process could take anything from a few minutes to half an hour.
If all is well, you'll receive the good news that the drive has been completed and no errors were found. However, if the CHKDSK scan does find errors, it will attempt to fix what it can.
Alternative: run CHKDSK from a Command Prompt
There's another simple way of initiating a CHKDSK process - you can do so directly from a command prompt window.
To do this, open up command prompt by tapping the Windows key and typing Command, then right click the Command prompt that appears at the top of the search window, and select Run as administrator.
This brings up the command prompt box, where you'll see the cursor blinking at the end of the line that says C:\WINDOWS\system32>. Directly after that, type CHKDSK, then a space, and then the letter of the drive you want to check, followed by a colon. Your main hard drive will almost always be the C drive, so to check that, type CHKDSK C: and then hit Enter.
The program will then run and check your disk for errors, and fix any that it finds.
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