1. #1
    plodr's Avatar
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    Running check disk

    Someone pointed this out to me at the seven forums
    Brink said
    Usually it's a good idea to run chkdsk at least once a month, or as needed.
    Source: sfc /scannow and chkdsk...what's the diff? Solved - Windows 7 Help Forums
    2nd post near the bottom

    I was shocked by this. I can't remember the last time I ran check disk on any computer. I rarely run it.

    I'm curious if the experts here agree or disagree that it needs to be run at least once a month.


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    Re: Running check disk

    Well, I guess if you take into account the "or as needed" part, it is technically true. Otherwise, I never do unless I am seeing disk problems, which is very rare. IMO, running "at least once a month" is, at best, a waste of time. At worse, it generates unnecessary wear and tear on the drive.

    I might suggest it if a computer has been experiencing a rash of unexpected lockups, reboots or shutdowns (perhaps due to power failures) because those events often leave corrupt data on the drive, or corrupt information in the file tables. But to run chkdsk (or Windows "Error checking") as a matter of routine? Never!
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    Re: Running check disk

    I agree.
    I'd say once a year.
    I'd run once a month a defrag, only if the defrag task was disabled by the user in task scheduler.

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    Re: Running check disk

    Like Bill, I see no valid reason for routinely running it, better to use a good SMART monitoring software (I have a paid version of Hard Disk Sentinel) to check occasionally (or have sit in the background, if you have the free resources) - though I might make an exception in the case of a W10 installation that has a tendency to need extra work after a major update patch and run a check before each one due to install but that would only be ~2x a year.

    Manual defrag frequency really depends on % of free space, esp. free contiguous space, once every three months or so might be ample for some machines.

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    Re: Running check disk

    I never run Check Disk unless I have reason to suspect HDD failure.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Running check disk

    Well, I don't want to run this off topic to a defrag issue, but I see no reason to disable automatic defragging - therefore, no need for regular manual defragging either. If free disk space is that short, it's time to free up or buy more space.
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    Re: Running check disk

    I do recommend users to run it once in a while, it is another way to keep track of the hard drive and quite often does help. I run it myself once in a while ever since right after a clean install my OS had NTFS corruption last year. (the cause of the corruption was something else, but chkdsk was worthwhile).

  8. #8
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    Re: Running check disk

    Thanks for the feedback. Since he stated at least once a month or as needed, I took 'or as needed" to mean more than once a month if it is needed.

  9. #9
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    Re: Running check disk

    I took 'or as needed" to mean more than once a month if it is needed.
    If chkdsk "needs" to be run more than once a month, what really needs to happen is an immediate backup of any data that needs to be saved, and then the drive needs to be replaced.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Running check disk

    This is very bad advice.

    First up, it's really important to make a clear distinction about whether we are talking about Windows 8 and newer, or Windows 7 and older. The NTFS Health Model got completely redesigned in Windows 8 and the two utterly different systems should not be talked about in the same sentence. You can read all about it here: Redesigning chkdsk and the new NTFS health model Building Windows 8

    In Windows 8 and Windows 10, chkdsk essentially runs in the background continuously. There is of course a little more to it than that (see link above for full details), but truly there is absolutely no need to force a full manual rescan every month when the disk is being continuously checked as it's used in the background. It'll only stress the disk and put unnecessary wear on your drive.

    With regards to Windows 7 and older, which flag the disk as dirty (requiring a full check on next boot), perhaps you could make an argument that performing a forced check each month might help catch disk corruption sooner so you can back-up your data in time. I find seriously problems with this argument though:

    1) Once again, it stresses the disk and puts unnecessary wear on your drive.
    2) It will still only indicate corruption retrospectively and most of the time not signal a bad drive proactively.
    3) Windows will probably find this corruption before you do anyway.
    4) There are purpose built tools much better suited to checking a disk's health - SMART, and, you know, actual disk checking tools e.g. SeaTools for Windows, Western Digital Data Lifeguard, etc.
    5) chkdsk can be extremely damaging. Whilst it does occasionally recover file fragments (have you ever been able to open and read one though???), chkdsk's primary stated aim is recover your drive to a non-corrupt state. Back when it was first released hard drive corruption was common from causes like power failure or software bugs. chkdsk fixed your computer for you. Nowadays hard disk corruption is pretty much only caused by hard disk failure, and that's a whole different kettle of fish.

    Most of the time chkdsk's "fix" for your drive is to simply delete the corruption. Sure, it does have other fixes in its toolboxes - reindexing orphans for example - but it's primary method of attack against failing blocks (most usually caused by HDD failure), is to mark the blocks as bad and then clean orphans. End result - the data is lost.

    Seriously - if my HDD is starting to die, and I don't yet know - I do not want to find out when chkdsk deletes all files in any way associated with the corruption. I want to find out when SeaTools for Windows runs some input-output tests on empty space on the disk and tells me the readback wasn't correct.

    So, all in all, monthly runs of chkdsk not advised. As with all regular maintenance and security (e.g. disk defrag, virus scans, Windows Update, firewall etc.), Windows 10 handles it admirably on its own and is best left alone to do its thing in peace :)

    Addendum: I don't recommend monthly SeaTools for Windows runs either due to very high stress they put on the drive. Keeping an eye on your SMART statistics? There's merit in that. But, of course, they're only for the most part statistics and must also be treated with caution.
    Last edited by niemiro; 12-04-2017 at 02:48 PM.
    RepairandRestore says thanks for this.

  11. #11
    GeraldineWebb's Avatar
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    Re: Running check disk

    nice

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