This past week I put up a post on Hard Drive maintenance – Don’t Wait Until Your Hard Drive Goes “Clunk-Clunk” – Check It Out Now With These Two Free Tools – which led to a query from Michael F., as to whether I had checked out a super little freeware application; CheckDiskGUI.
In fact I have. I originally posted on CheckDiskGUI in November 2010, but since CheckDiskGUI was recently updated to version 1.1.1, I’ve retested it. While I didn’t find any noticeable improvements, I continue to see this application as part of a sophisticated computer user’s system toolbox.
From time to time, as part of your computer maintenance routine, it’s a good idea to check your Hard Drive’s file system integrity, by running Windows system integrity checker – CHKDSK (short for Check Disk).
There are a number of ways to run CHKDSK. If you’re an old MS DOS hound like me, then you’re probably comfortable running from the command prompt, using the following switches.
/c – NTFS only. Skips checking of cycles within the folder structure.
/f – Fixes errors on the volume. The volume must be locked. If Chkdsk cannot lock the volume, it offers to check it the next time the computer starts.
/i – NTFS only. Performs a less vigorous check of index entries.
/l – NTFS only. Displays current size of the log file.
/r – Locates bad sectors and recovers readable information (implies /f ). If Chkdsk cannot lock the volume, it offers to check it the next time the computer starts.
/v – On FAT. Displays the full path and name of every file on the volume.
On NTFS. Displays cleanup messages, if any.
/x – NTFS only. Forces the volume to dismount first, if necessary. All opened handles to the volume are then invalid (implies /f ).
/? – Displays this list of Chkdsk switches.
After CHKDSK has completed (if you’ve used the /f, or the /r, switches, this will only occur following a reboot since the volume is locked when in use), you can then view the Application Log by launching the Windows Event Viewer.
If you’re more comfortable operating in a graphical user interface environment the following method will suit your needs.
In Windows Explorer open the volume’s “Property” Tab “Tools” – click on “Error checking” and then “check now”.
In this example, I’ve checked “fix errors”, and “recover bad sectors”, the equivalent of the /f and /r switches, in the command prompt. As I said earlier, these commands will not be executed, until a system restart.
This method is not terrible complicated, but it’s still lacking a report capability. Once again, the users must launch Windows Event Viewer in order to view the Application Log.
As an alternative to either of the these two methods, I recommend that you run the Chkdsk command using the free CheckDiskGUI application.
The following screen captures will give you a quick overview of this small, but fairly powerful application.
Read only results – no “Fix”, or Fix and Recover”, options selected. However, notice that a full report is available.
Executing in “Fix”, or “Fix and Recover mode”, will allow two options – you can either run the commands at system restart, or immediately – by choosing to dismount the selected volume.
System requirements: Win7 x32, Win7 x64, Vista, Vista x64, XP.
Download at: Major Geeks
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