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I put Win 7 on my gaming laptop and it kept giving me a dirty bit - kept starting with that disk check, so I looked around the web and followed directions to do a chkntfs . It would have been awesome if they gave some sort of progress indicator. It's a 500 GB drive at 7200 rpm - CPU is 2.26 Core 2 Duo (If that matters).

How long can I expect that to run?

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Whatever you do don't interrupt the disk check. –  Moab Oct 22 '10 at 16:24
    
Running time for chkdsk is typically O(number of files) not O(size of disk). You can venture a worst-case of two seeks/file (directory to file record and back). Figure 5ms/seek that's 10ms/file or 100 files/sec... Note that that is the WORST case. CHKDSK does give an indicator, just not an accurate one as to expected time remaining due to the fact that each pass is highly sensitive to the data placement on the disk and to read that placement and give you an accurate time is pretty much the same time as just doing the check. –  MJZ Nov 30 '12 at 22:48

3 Answers 3

It depends.

A full surface scan (performed if you specified /r on the command line) will take some time, especially if there are bad/iffy sectors on the drive. If all is well it will take as long as the drive would normally take to read everything so if you have a rough idea of how many Mbytes/sec it can read you can estimate the time taken with a simple sum like 500*1000/{speed-in-mbytes/s}/60 - just shy of three hours if it is proceeding at ~50Mbyte/sec. You can interrupt the scan, but if you start it again it will restart from the beginning.

Other parts of the scan can take anything from tens of seconds to tens of minutes. On a system drive it will be at least a minute or so and if you have a lot of content on the partition, especially if there are many small files rather than few large ones, it will take quite a bit longer. Again this can generally be interrupted but will have to be restarted from scratch if you start the scan again.

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I'd like to add that 50Mbyte/sec is a very average number. Just run the scan overnight and if it's still running the next morning (assuming you sleep at least a good six hours), something went wrong.. Some other programs have a nice GUI which tells you where it is and what it's found, Windows is not that fancy... –  Jochem Kuijpers Feb 25 '13 at 0:04
    
In fact 50Mbyte/sec is a fairly bad figure for modern drives, unless there is something wrong, but I find it best to bank on a rate like that and take any time saved (by the process moving faster) as "bonus" contingency time. –  David Spillett Feb 25 '13 at 18:15
    
For sequential reads yes, but most of the time a HDD will have to search and ajust the reading head. 50 MB/s is a nice average for everyday usage. Dont forget most drives currently in use are over 4 years old –  Jochem Kuijpers Feb 26 '13 at 0:27

chkdsk -f should take under an hour on that hard drive.

chkdsk -r, on the other hand, could take over an hour, maybe two or three, depending on your partitioning.

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I'm not sure how long, but if Windows is stuck checking the disk at each boot and you are convinced the disk is ok (or as ok as it can be), you can run the command chkntfs /x {drive letter}: to exclude that disk from being checked at boot. https://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/ntcmds.mspx?mfr=true

I had a machine that need to be up however, it would complete the boot time chkdsk saying everything was fine but then it would never continued on. Excluding the drive allowed Windows to bypass the dirty flag and I got the machine up, and backed up the user's data. When time allows the machine will be reloaded.

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