CHKDSK is used to check the status of a disk, fix some disk errors, and display a status report showing any errors found in the file allocation table (FAT) and directory structure. CHKDSK also displays a summary of disk usage. If errors are found on the disk, CHKDSK displays a warning message.


CHKDSK [path] [/F] [/V]

pathSpecifies the drive and directory to check.
/FFixes errors on the disk.
/VDisplays the full path and name of every file on the disk.


  • SCANDISK can reliably detect and fix a much wider range of disk problems and is generally preferred to the somewhat dated CHKDSK.

  • The /F switch (for fixing any errors found) should not be used while any program is running other than Dos and CHKDSK itself.

  • CHKDSK cannot be used on drives created using SUBST, nor can it be used on network drives.

  • In Win9x, CHKDSK does not check the disk, though still provides some basic data:

    C:\WINDOWS>chkdsk d: 
    CHKDSK has NOT checked this drive for errors.
    You must use SCANDISK to detect and fix errors on this drive.
    Volume DATA created 21/01/2000 5:20
    Volume Serial Number is 1A69-0CE4
        6,132,824 kilobytes total disk space
        4,140,316 kilobytes free
            4,096 bytes in each allocation unit
        1,533,206 total allocation units on disk
        1,035,079 available allocation units on disk
          655,360 total bytes memory
          566,288 bytes free
    Instead of using CHKDSK, try using SCANDISK.  SCANDISK can reliably detect
    and fix a much wider range of disk problems.

  • A typical CHKDSK status report might be:

    Volume Serial Number is B1AF-AFBF
    72,214,528 bytes total disk space
    73,728 bytes in 3 hidden files
    30,720 bytes in 12 directories
    11,493,376 bytes in 386 user files
    61,440 bytes in bad sectors
    6,055,264 bytes available on disk
    2,048 bytes in each allocation unit
    35,261 total allocation units on disk
    29,568 available allocation units on disk
    655,360 total bytes memory
    493,456 bytes free

Exit Codes:

0No errors were found
255One or more errors were found

File Details:

File NameDefault LocationDos VersionWin Version.SizeDateSource
Chkdsk.exec:\windows\command 7.0Win95 27,24811/07/
7.1Win95 (OSR2.x) 28,096124/08/
Win98 28,096111/05/
Win98 SE 28,096123/04/

Superscripts denote which same size files, if any, are identical (using FC).

This page last revised:
August 26, 2000.