Is it safe/non-destructive to use chkdsk /R /F /X C: when you are in repair mode?

I have a little issue with a Windows computer, and I read the chkdsk /? manual and it seemed that using the /X flag might help, but I don't want files to disappear.

Any help will be appreciated.

  • On average, chkdsk seems to do more good than harm. However, it can be a bit unnerving when you start seeing orphaned index deleted lines fill up the screen. Also, I've had to run chkdsk more than once on more than one occasion. Keep in mind that it's usually done in Windows repair or recovery console... NOT a live system. – Chad Harrison Dec 4 '12 at 17:04

/X should not be used on running system volumes like C because they would attempt to dismount the very drive that the OS is running on. nothing to do with damaging the drive per se, but you could conceivably damage files that were open for write at the time you ran the command.

if you use Windows Explorer to initiate a disk scan, it should allow you to schedule the scan on the next reboot so it can occure before the system comes up. I would recommend you do that, or boot from a windows CD into Recovery mode, and run the command from there.

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  • So if I was running in startup repair mode, with no open files, it would be OK? The command prompt in startup repair mode is running on X: drive. – BenjiWiebe Dec 4 '12 at 17:04
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    TBH, I'm not quite sure if startup repair mode runs off ram or off the disk. it can't really hurt much to give it a try, but recovery mode (booted from the windows CD) is guaranteed to not use the c drive, which is why I suggest it. What issue is it you are having that makes you think that /X is needed? if chkdsk says the volume is in use, then that means you should boot from other media to perform the repair. /x is a great option, unless you are talking about a system volume. – Frank Thomas Dec 4 '12 at 17:09
  • I have no other boot media other than the HDD. I am thinking that maybe X: drive is another partition than C: so would /X affect C:? – BenjiWiebe Dec 4 '12 at 17:32
  • if you are running off the x: drive, then \x shouldn't be a problem, but then i wonder why it would be required. give it a try. it will either work or tell you that you can't do that. – Frank Thomas Dec 4 '12 at 17:47
  • I will try it... hope nothing blows up/disappears... – BenjiWiebe Dec 4 '12 at 17:49

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