Disk errors persist while working on a machine and that shuts down automatically due to power failure or any other issue that does not involve proper closure of the operating system. Windows XP uses the chkdsk utility that looks for issues in the disk that might be caused due to any issue. The utility program is capable of resolving all issues that might be related to the file allocation table and file system by any chance. The broken links, damaged sectors, cross linked files as well as the issues related to directory errors is all being dealt with the chkdsk utility.


The utility needs stand alone access to the disk while the process is taking place therefore no other file should be in use at the time when you wish to check your disk for errors. The best way to do this is manual though the utility automatically works on occasions when your system encounters an abnormal situation. The utility runs at a speed that completely depends on the number of files and folders on the disk. You can start the chkdsk utility in two ways that refer to the command prompt execution of the chkdsk utility and the execution of chkdsk utility from my computer of the explorer.


Click Start and then move on to run. You can even access this utility by pressing the Windows key+R to move into the run application. Write cmd to move into the command prompt. An alternative way to do this is to locate through the Programs menu and then the Accessories menu. After moving in to the command prompt, you have three options. One execution of chkdsk is in the read only mode that only locates all the errors that might persist in the disk. This execution does not report accurately in the read only mode. The other option is to make the execution in a way as to repair the errors and issues as well during the process without scanning the volume for bad sectors. The third option is where the utility performs the complete action that includes finding errors, bad sectors and an attempt to resolve the issue. Simply write chkdsk in the command line to run the read only version while chkdsk (volume letter):/f. This switch would only run when there will be no file opened from the volume specified. This command would only look for errors and resolve them without scanning for the bad sectors. chkdsk (volume letter):/r would get you to the third option. This option also requires complete access to the disk volume so no other file should be opened simultaneously.

The graphical interfaced version of chkdsk utility is in the system tools. You can access them through My Computer. Double click on My Computer followed by a right click on the volume that you wish to check. Move on to the properties at the bottom of the disk volume right click menu, you need to start the chkdsk option by clicking Check Now under the Error-Checking Tab.

Here again, you would be given with three options that would be available in form of check boxes selection. You can either do the read only checking by clicking no check box, or the repair and fix checking by checking the Automatically fix file system errors check box, or the repair and fix errors as well as the bad sectors by checking the Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors check box.