Using CHKDSK from the Command Line

XP includes the Check Disk utility as a way to search for and repair file system errors on your hard disks. While the graphical version of the tool is accessible from the Tools tab in the properties of a disk, XP also includes a command-line version of the tool in the form of CHKDSK. When run from the command line, this tool allows you to scan for file system errors, fix those errors, and even specify which specific files should be checked if you don’t want to scan an entire volume.

For example, the command CHKDSK E: /R will scan drive E: for errors, and fix any errors encountered. An example of this command is shown below. As part of your regular maintenance schedule, run CHKDSK at least once per month to ensure good disk and file system health.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.