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The Online Tech Tips Guide to Chkdsk in Windows 10

Chkdsk was one of those great little tools built into almost every version of Windows that helps you fix NTFS file system errors, file system metadata corruption, or hard drive errors. Before Windows Vista and Windows 7, chkdsk remained almost unchanged.

Windows Vista and 7 made some significant speed improvements to make chkdsk run faster, but chkdsk still depended on the number of files stored on the volume.

Due to this internal design, it can take several hours for chkdsk to complete a scan of a large disk with a lot of files. Fortunately, chkdsk has been completely redesigned in Windows 8 and Windows 10.

Better yet, Windows 8/10 has added several other additional features to detect and fix file system errors so you may never need to run chkdsk again.

In this article, I’ll walk you through the changes to chkdsk in Windows 8/10 and the additional filesystem health check tools that have been added. In Windows 8/10, many bugs will now be automatically fixed when running Windows, which previously required chkdsk to run after a reboot.

Windows 10 – Chkdsk and File System Health

First, I immediately noticed the number of new options included in chkdsk in Windows 10 as opposed to Windows 7. Here is a screenshot listing the options for chkdsk in Windows 7:

Here is a list of chkdsk options in Windows 10:

As you can see after / B, there are about 8 more new parameters. I’ll go over them in more detail a little later. First, let’s take a closer look at how the new health model works in Windows 8/10.

For starters, you probably remember how the drive was marked as good or bad (dirty). This is no longer the case. There is now a whole bunch of stages or states of filesystem health:

Let’s go through this. The first is great. It only means that the system is working and there are no problems. After that, something called self-healing on the Internet happens, which does not appear as a stage, but occurs between health and the need to be checked in place.

Online self-healing is an NTFS feature introduced in Windows Vista that allows a file system to repair itself while it is still online (that is, Windows can run). Windows 8/10 has increased the number of problems you can fix yourself.

After self-healing, it is necessary to check for damage. This is because some of the damage is memory-related and not disk-related. To detect this, Windows 8/10 has added a new service called Spot Verification Service.

The service is only activated by the file system and it checks if the corruption is really disk corruption or not. If so, we move on to the next step: Online scan required.

Windows 8/10 has built-in maintenance tasks that run every day. Windows will check for these confirmed corruptions and log them into the system for later repair. Again, this is all done while the system is connected. The next stage is Spot Fix. This is where chkdsk on Windows 8/10 is completely different.

Spot Fix is ??a new option that checks the disk and fixes any problems in just a few seconds. The time it takes to run chkdsk using spotfix depends on the amount of damage, not the number of files as in older versions of Windows. This means that everything gets fixed in seconds. Here is a graph showing the time using chkdsk / f versus the new chkdsk / spotfix.

As you can see, you can wait 6 hours by running chkdsk the old way, or 2 seconds by running it the new way! Awesome! To be clear, the fix means you need to restart your system to fix the problem.

On Windows 8/10, there are two ways to manually run chkdsk on your system. First, you can go to Computer, click the drive, and then click Properties.

Click “Tools” and then “Check”.

Most errors can be fixed without restarting, but if a fix is ??required, you will be prompted to restart. Again, remember, it only takes a few seconds to fix! Another way is the command line you saw earlier. New features:

– / scan – starts an online scan, that is, fixes anything that can be fixed without restarting.

– / forceofflinefix – should be used with / scan and is basically the same as running / spotfix

– / perf – You can make online scans even faster using this option. This consumes more resources and slows down other tasks.

– / spotfix – New magic spot fix feature in chkdsk that fixes bugs in seconds, not hours

– / offlinescanandfix – will start an offline scan and fix

– / freeorphanedchains – This only applies to FAT / FAT32 and exFAT systems. This will release the lost cluster chains, not restore them.

– / markclean – marks the volume as clean with no damage found.

When you run / spotfix or / offlinescanandfix on the currently in use volume, you will be prompted to schedule a scan at the next system restart.

You can check if a disk scan is scheduled by typing chkntfs c: or another volume you want to check.

Overall, the new chkdsk in Windows 8/10 has several significant improvements, and the new file system health states make it quick and easy to detect, check, and repair corrupted files. Enjoy! Source and Image: Windows 8 Building Blog

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