Windows 8 chkdsk: is your computer performing optimally?

People should be using Windows 8 chkdsk on a regular basis in order to speed up their computers and prevent data loss. That is what leading computer experts say in an answer to the question what can be done against decreasing performance in Windows computers.

But can Windows 8 chkdsk really be of any benefit to you?

The short answer is: yes.

This is not so much to say that it will speed up your computer unlike anything else, but chkdsk can locate corruptions in your file system and deal with bad sectors on your hard drive. So you can use chkdsk to improve your overall computer stability and minimize or eliminate system crashes.

And what’s more, the Windows 8 version comes with an option that will significantly improve the speed of the error-checking and fixing process. Previous versions of chkdsk could easily take up hours to run, especially on today’s large volume hard disks.

Faster performance means shorter run times, which is great! You start with 24 hours in one day and that's just not enough. (We need to move to a planet that takes longer to make a complete revolution on its axis!)

How to run?

In order to run Windows 8 chkdsk, launch Windows Explorer by pressing the Windows key and the E-key simultaneously (the Windows key is the one with the Windows logo, usually next to the left ALT-key next to the space bar).

In the Explorer windows that comes up, right-click the drive letter that you want to scan and select “Properties” from the pop-up menu that appears, like in the image below.

Windows 8 chkdsk via Explorer

Now you have the disk image properties window, where you have to select the “Tools” tab to access the “Check” button that will take you to the drive error checking utility.

Windows 8 chkdsk via Explorer

Chances are that the chkdsk utility welcomes you with a reassuring message that all is fine and that you don’t need to scan the drive.

Windows 8 chkdsk via Explorer

That’s because Windows 8 schedules chkdsk to run in the background at regular intervals as part of the general system maintenance tasks.

Should you still want to perform an error-checking scan on your hard drive, then you can open an elevated command prompt and enter the Windows 8 chkdsk command.

To open an elevated command prompt, move your mouse pointer to the bottom-left corner of your screen and click on the “Start” tile.

Windows 8 chkdsk via command prompt

This will take you to the Windows 8 Metro Style Start Screen. In the Start screen, type “cmd” (without the quotes) and the app for the Command Prompt will appear under search results. Right-click on the app and then select “Run as Administrator”.

Windows 8 chkdsk via command prompt

Windows 8 User Account Control will ask you whether you want to allow the Windows Command Processor to make changes to your computer, so click Yes.

Windows 8 chkdsk via command prompt

Now you have an elevated command prompt where you will enter the command to launch the drive error checking tool. If you’ve never used a command prompt before, don’t get discouraged by the dark empty space and the un-intuitive blinking cursor that’s waiting for your input.

Simply type:

“chkdsk c: /f /r” (without the quotes) and hit ENTER. (you can replace c: by the drive letter you want to scan) like in the image below:

Windows 8 chkdsk via command prompt

As a result of this, Windows will display a message in the command prompt notifying you that chkdsk needs exclusive access to the drive being scanned and since Windows is running from this disk, the scan needs to be scheduled at the next reboot of your computer. Type “y” (without the quotes) to confirm this scheduled scan and hit ENTER.

Now you can type “exit” and hit ENTER to close the command prompt.

Next, you can restart your computer in order to run the scheduled Windows 8 chkdsk. Of course you can also continue other work before you restart your computer and let chkdsk run.

At the next startup of your computer, you will see Windows 8 chkdsk in action:

Windows 8 chkdsk via command prompt

There are a bunch of Windows 8 chkdsk command line parameters that you can use to control the behavior of the scan, for the extreme left-brainers who love this stuff. To get a complete list of the parameters that you can use, open an elevated command prompt like described above and type:

chkdsk /?

which will give you the parameters along with a short description for each. The screenshot below shows the typical command line parameters help output of Windows 8 chkdsk:

Windows 8 chkdsk command line parameters

From Windows 8 chkdsk to other Windows tips & tricks.


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