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If I run a windows chkdsk on a single partition and tell it to check for errors at boot time, does it check the entire physical drive, or just that partition?

So if you have a dual boot and tell Windows to scan its own partition for errors, does it check the other partitions for physical bad sectors, too? Please provide some kind of reference.

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As started chkdsk will only check that one partition. If you are looking for a check on the full and think you might have data loss look into SpinRite, it isn't free but it can be very useful no mater what OS you run.

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+1 for Spinrite. – Moab Dec 25 '10 at 16:06

if you tell it to check a single partition then that's what it will do. but if your disk has some physical damage, there is a big chance there will be errors on other partitions too

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Of course it only checks the filesystem of a single partition, but does it do a pshysical bad block test on the entire drive? Can you provide a reference? – endolith Aug 22 '10 at 14:43

It is performed on the specified partition only. Keep in mind the locking behavior. If it would scan the entire disk for bad sectors the entire disk - i.e. all partitions on it need to be locked.

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