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Check Disks with chkdsk on Data Recovery CD/USB

By , Last modified: 2014-11-18.

How to check and repair file systems on hard disks using Disk Check in Data Recovery CD/USB

First thing to do in Data Recovery CD/USB is to check that hard disk(s) is/are fine.

This is especially applicable in case of Windows failing to boot to normal or Safe Mode, or in case of errors such as "A Disk Read Error Occurred. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart". In the latter case the hard drive might also be dead, but bad cases of messed or unreadable files can also cause the error message.

If you are looking for a way to check and repair disks or file systems while Windows is running normally, see the Check disks tutorial instead.

Data Recovery CD uses a special command-line interface for running the good old Windows XP chkdsk.exe (Check Disk) program. Open Start menu, browse to Programs, Disk Tools, Diagnostic and click Check Disk. Data Recovery CD. To run disk check, open Start menu, Programs, Disk Tools, Diagnostic. Then click 'Check Disk'.

A black Command Prompt window opens, asking to enter the drive to check. As Windows disk has most probably drive letter C: or D:, type "c:" or "d:" here and press Enter key.
Drive letters and their sizes are listed on Desktop. Windows is never installed on a drive that is less than 400 MB (megabytes) in size. If you have Windows Vista, 7 or 8, drive C: might have a size of about 100 MB to 350 MB - this is NOT the drive where Windows is installed, this is a hidden recovery partition. In such cases, Windows is probably installed on drive D:. Data Recovery CD, Disk Check. Type the drive letter of the disk you want to check. Then press Enter.

As Data Recovery CD/USB uses US keyboard layout, the key mapping is here:
Standard PC keyboard layout for United States

Next, Check Disk asks for the type of check to perform on the selected drive. In case of Windows boot failures and unreadable files, it is strongly recommended to select the third type - "Fix errors, locate bad clusters and recover readable info". The test might take up to several hours, but it makes your data recoverable or Windows bootable again.
If you are 100% sure that the disk is fine, use option number two here - "Fix errors on the disk". This test will normally take 5-30 minutes.
Type 3 or 2 and press Enter. Data Recovery CD, Disk Check, Please select check type. Type '3' and press Enter. This will perform an exhaustive test.

Please wait until the test completes. Do not turn off or restart your computer during this check!
After the checking and repairing finishes, see the log details. Use the scrollbar on the right or resize the Command Prompt window to see the full log.
If you see a line "Windows has made corrections to the file system" somewhere, you must repeat the check until no such line appears in log. This ensures that file system on the drive is intact.
If you see a line "Windows has checked the file system and found no problems", the drive is fine and you can safely carry on with data recovery. Data Recovery CD, Disk Check, Windows has made corrections to the file system. Please repeat the last test to ensure the file system is fine.

Press Enter or Space to close Command Prompt. If errors were corrected, start Disk Check again from Start menu and repeat the last test.

If Windows could not boot before the disk check, restart your computer and see if it is able to start normally now.

In case there are many unreadable sectors on the hard drive, you should use either Raw Copy for cloning the contents to a new hard disk or Unstoppable Copier to recover all readable data to a USB stick or external hard drive.



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