Windows is asking me to run Chkdsk utility

By Smartkid
Dec 27, 2009
  1. I did a search on this forum and found some old threads with stories about Chkdsk wiping out all data from hard drives, so I want to make sure I don't mess things up.

    I've been getting pop-ups asking me to run Chkdsk Utliity due to corrupt files for quite some time. I've noticed that it now takes a really long time for my PC to startup and runs rather slow in general.

    I've run Avira, MalawareBytes, SuperAntiSpyware, and HiJackThis and the guys over on the Vrius/Malware forum say I'm clean. So I think maybe I should look at running Chkdsk.

    Can anyone guide me through this process or advise if there are any other tests I can do? I want to get my Windows OS running back to normal.

    OS Name: Microsoft Windows XP Professional
    Version: 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3 Build 2600

  2. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    chkdsk won't wipe files. It will FIX your hard drive issues. completely safe. let it run.
  3. hitech0101

    hitech0101 TS Guru Posts: 433   +23

    Definitely you have no virus infection.Just run your chkdsk.
  4. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,682   +86

    You can run chkdsk very safely, to do so, you need to use administrator's permissions. Open Command Prompt from Start / Accessories, then type the following and reboot:


    note: Windows will tell you that it can't run chkdsk if its the boot drive or if that drive is in use of some process; letting you know that it will run chkdsk automatically at next boot.

  5. Smartkid

    Smartkid TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    Thanks. I'll give it a try today and report back.
  6. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,423   +77

    :( HOWEVER....that is a pretty often an indication of a failing hard drive....

    If chkdsk takes over an hour, fails completely, reports 'unrecoverable read error' or similar it is time to replace your drive. Normally, you can clone the drive to a new one connected temporarily to another device channel. That will put you up and running again in about half-an-hour.

    If the old drive has unreadable portions, however, it becomes hit-or-miss, depending upon if the bad spots are in important areas or not. You will need to be prepared for a full reinstall, so make sure you research how to do that, how to update with all necessary patches, how to migrate your existing data and settings, and look up all the install media for your applications etc.

    Whilst you are looking at about a weeks work with a new install, it will be beneficial in the long run to clear out the cobwebs - much the best way to learn what you really use and want to keep...:)
  7. Smartkid

    Smartkid TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    Thanks to everyone. My chkdsk ran smoothly. It took approximately 20 minutes. It ran, deleted orphan files and fixed a few things. Then it rebooted and ran again and found no errors.

    Running the chkdsk solved the problems I was having using some programs and I don't see a popup message asking me to run it anymore.

    However, my PC is still taking a really long time to load up. It was not like this a few months ago. After boot up, it runs fine and at normal speeds. Is there any sort of diagnostic that I can run to figure out whats going on? Its pretty annoying that I have to wait 5 minutes whenever I turn on my computer.
  8. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,423   +77

    Rather a big subject I'm afraid. You could browse round here and now you have successfully run chkdsk, you could start by deleting all the temporary files you can find, removing all internet explorer cached files and defragmenting your drive. I can recommend Auslogics Disk defrag as a very simple but very effective free product. Note that this will do an 'optimised' defrag as well as a simple one, taking about 10 times as long, of course, but then you dont need do it very often...

    Please note the link (our site) to 'what slows windows down', starts in 2004 !!! Whilst a quick scan is worthwhile, the more recent posts in there may be more useful
  9. Rgl53

    Rgl53 TS Rookie

    Hi! I am new here. I just tried to run the chkdsk/f command and it told me that: Access denied as you do not have sufficient privileges, You have to invoke this utility running in elevated mode.
    What does that mean?
  10. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,682   +86

    You need administrator account to run this utility; right click on command prompt and select run as administrator; then try running chkdsk/f
  11. Rgl53

    Rgl53 TS Rookie

    Did the run as administrator thing, got a reply: the type of the file system is NTFS. Cannot lock current drive.Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Would you like to schedule this volume to run the next time the system restarts? (Y/N) I put a Y and then restarted the computer but it did not run chkdsk. What now?
  12. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,682   +86

    On couple of occasions i have experienced this as well; but repeating the procedure usually done the trick for me.
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