For as long as I remember, I've been running CHKDSK once a month. However, with the advent of the "modern" operating system (i.e., Windows 7), I wonder if that's still necessary. Could I do it once a quarter? Every six months? Does it matter?

7 Answers 7


Since chkdsk fixes filesystem issues, it should not be nececessary to run it regularly unless you are encountering situations which might cause your filesystem to be corrupted (e.g. computer shutting down improperly, programs crashing while accessing files, etc.). This is especially true since Windows will detect if your filesystem has issues and will run chkdsk on boot if needed.


Theoretically, since NTFS has a slew of improvements, including journaling (where it writes down what it's about to write before it actually does it), much more advanced structuring, and most importantly, self healing (Slide 19). So no, chkdsk is virtually obsolete.


Once a month is enough. Now defragmenting is a different question altogether.


There are no recommendations on MSDN that I could find for recommended intervals to run chkdsk. I work in a small IT department as a programmer and I have never known anyone that ran chkdsk on a schedule. Personally I only run it when Windows suggests it. I do still run Disk Defragmenter on a semi-schedule. Running chkdsk on a schedule should not cause any harm, but as it can take a very long time to run on large volumes I would not do it unless I actually suspected something such as a disk failing.


Disk check should be done once every three months.

Even though Windows notifies you when there is an error, most of the time it only has an error with the boot file. There is still a possibility of bad sectors on your hard drive, that Windows does not actually notify you about.

I ran it today, since I had to do it before a defragmentation (always run diskcheck first!) to get accurate information. I had a bad sector, and it repaired it, and my laptop runs a lot faster, and I was able to defragment it completely, so I can repartition my drive, so I am able to check out and dual boot Windows 8! Novice users, though experienced with computers, won't know these type of things unless they are hit by it! :)

Run it as you think is necessary, and when your computer is still slow after running anti-malware (Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware is free and recommended), your virus scan is clean, (Microsoft Security Essentials is recommended and is free, and costs your computer smaller processes so cuts down your boot time, and saves you money on worthless software such as Norton AntiVirus or McAffee VirusScan and is not inaccurate as those), and running a disk cleanup, (CCleaner from Piriform.com is fast and recommended here), and finally defragging the hard disk drive after running Disk Scan and CHKDSK. (Defraggler is also recommended and is free from Piriform.com.)

Remember, you can never be too safe!! Run scans regularly about every two weeks, (antivirus, anti-malware and registry cleanup), to help keep your computer in good health! :)


Manually? When you have a problem with the disk.


As explained by others, it is hardly necessary to run chkdsk to find unexpexted filesystem errors on an NTFS partition as these are marked unclean when they are not unmounted correctly. Yet, it makes sense to run chdsk /r from time to time to scan for bad sectors which occur also on modern hardware. This takes a lot of time though, as the entire disk is read.

When CHKDSK finds bad sectors it will log the affected files to the system log so you know which files are damaged. Once bad sectors are found on a disk it is likely to fail soon and copying all valuable data off it ASAP is a good idea.

FAT is a whole different story. In my experience CHKDSK on FAT can easily destroy what's left of useful filesystem information, making recovery even harder. If you have a bad FAT filesystem, don't touch it, create a bit-by-bit partition image, make a copy of the image and try to recover data from the copy. This way you can always go back to the original image and start over. Sadly enough FAT is still used on a lot on thumb drives for compatibility reasons.

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