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How to Repair a Damaged Hard Drive Using CHKDSK

This article applies to Windows XP/2000

<>Introduction:

Over time, your hard drive could develop errors for a variety of reasons. The most common reasons are:

  • Improper Shutdowns
  • Power Outages
  • Power Surges
  • Age of Drive

In this article I will explain a method that can repair a damaged hard drive. It is also possible to be able to tell if the hard drive is nearing its end by using this method.

Warning: Depending on the extent of the damage to your hard drive, this test can cause the hard drive to actually fail. So, prior to running this test, be sure to backup all data.

<>Start Repair Method:

  1. Insert your Windows XP/2000 installation CD and restart your computer to launch the CD. If you receive a prompt asking what boot method you would like to use. Select the option that allows you to boot from the installation CD.
     
  2. The next prompt will ask what you would like to do? Select the letter "R" to enter the Windows Recovery Console.
     
  3. When asked what partition you would like to boot to, select the partition that has your Windows operating system installed on it. You may be asked for an administrator password at this point. If you use one, then enter it now. If not, simply press enter to continue.
     
  4. A command prompt should now appear. Type in the following command and then press enter on your keyboard: chkdsk /p
     
  5. Your system will begin testing for errors on your drive. If you receive a message that states; "One or more errors detected on the volume", then it is possible to use CHKDSK to repair these errors. If no errors were found, CHKDSK will not be able to repair your drive.
     
  6. If one or more errors were found, type in the following command at the command prompt and then press enter on your keyboard: chkdsk /r
     
  7. Once you press enter, the CHKDSK utility will begin checking every sector on your hard drive for errors and automatically repair them. This test could take some time depending on the size of your hard drive.
     
  8. Once your system stops scanning and returns you to the command prompt, type the following command again, then press enter: chkdsk /p
     
  9. If after the scan completes and it has found no errors, this means that you have successfully repaired your drive. If errors are again reported, this means that the CHKDSK utility was unable to repair these errors and it could also indicate that the drive is on its last leg.
     
  10. Exit the Recovery Console and remove your Windows XP/2000 installation CD. Be sure to (if you haven't already) backup all data on your drive.

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