New options of Chkdsk in Windows 10 and Windows 8 you need to know

Chkdsk is the built-in console tool in Windows to check and fix file system errors. It starts automatically when Windows is booting if your hard drive partition was marked dirty due to an improper shutdown, or due to corruption or bad sectors. The user can start it manually if he connects an external drive or wants to check an existing local partition or drive for errors manually. In Windows 10 and Windows 8, Chkdsk has new options compared to Windows 7.

chkdsk logo bannerSince Windows 8, Microsoft improved the health model of NTFS and improved the way file system corruption is fixed so as to minimize the downtime due to Chkdsk. For NTFS, the following new switches were added:

  • /scan - Runs an online scan on the specified partition.
  • /forceofflinefix - Bypass all online repair; all defects found are queued for offline repair (i.e. chkdsk /spotfix). Should not be used without "/scan".
  • /perf - Uses more system resources to complete a scan as fast as possible. This may have a negative performance impact on other tasks
    - running on the system.
  • /spotfix - Runs spot fixing on the specified volume.
  • /sdcleanup - Garbage collect unneeded security descriptor data. Must be used with "/F".
  • /offlinescanandfix - Runs an offline scan on the specified volume and fixes errors if any corruption is detected.

In Windows 10, Chkdsk got updated again and has new switches for FAT/FAT32 and exFAT volumes. These switches are:

  • /freeorphanedchains Frees any orphaned cluster chains instead of recovering their contents.
  • /markclean Marks the volume clean if no corruption was detected, even if "/F" was not set.

So, if you need to check your hard drive for errors, keep in mind these new options. You can get more information about available command line arguments by running the following command at the command prompt: chkdsk /?.


What do you think about these new Chkdsk switches? Do you find them useful for NTFS or FAT32 volumes?

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

2 thoughts on “New options of Chkdsk in Windows 10 and Windows 8 you need to know”

  1. I like the new improvements but hope they will bring back the details when performing an offline scan rather than just a sentence ‘Scanning and repairing drive (X:): X% complete. Just like what win7 did.

    Sadly they don’t think this is important as I started a thread in and submitted the feedback in feedback hub long time ago.

    1. Yes I agree. They hide useful details behind dumbed down screens and progress bars for no reason. Windows Update in Windows 10 is another example. Such bad UI besides losing control over installing and downloading them that Windows 10 is out of the question for me.

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