• Use of chkdsk on SSD


    Hello all you bright and helpful folks out there.

    My PC is about 5 years old and a few months ago on startup I started getting a message to use chkdsk /f after bootup with a message to “press any key within 10 sec on a countdown clock and “hit any key to stop chkdsk”.   This message does not appear to be on any schedule and I am unable to detect any regularity to the timing.  My boot drive is an SSD.

    I read something some time ago that chkdsk was not particularly helpful for the health of an SSD.  If I allow execution of chkdsk /f it appears to go through the normal checking sequence, although I do not get any detailed readout of the progress as you would by executing chkdsk from the command line.  It also ends with “100% complete”, but the rotating circle of dots continues to rotate with no particular end in sight and I have to manually turn off the desktop to restart.  I have, however, checked my drive with SMART each time chkdsk was run, and the SSD seems to be “OK”.

    My questions: Is there currently consensus that chkdsk on an SSD is harmful?  I cannot figure out what is causing this behavior, and don’t know how to, or if it is even possible, to turn this “feature” off.  l think I am in favor of not using chkdsk on a frequent schedule. Thanks in advance for any info on this rather unique event.

    Viewing 5 reply threads
    • #2436184


      Not recommended and not necessary to run chkdsk /f on SSDs.
      Windows 10 (or 11) have a build-in schedule to check SSD health.
      See the scheduler if there are any errors.

      Why Does My Computer Run Chkdsk at Startup?

      Disabling Chkdsk From Startup

      While you can’t prevent Check Disk from triggering due to detected file system issues, you can use the Chkntfs or Check NTFS utility to disable Check Disk from triggering due to an improper system shutdown. Click “Start” and type “cmd” in the Search box, and press “Enter.” Type “chkntfs /x c:” and press “Enter.”

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2436227

        After experiencing and seeing small amounts of data loss (using a traditional hard drive), I respectfully disagree.

        If you have ever had to force a shutdown, after sudden power loss, or screen of death event, it is recommended to run chkdsk (check disk) to repair or at least check that the NTFS journal is intact. NTFS does a good job of maintaining integrity after sudden stops, but it is not perfect and data loss will happen if corruption continues.

        The “/f” parameter instructs chkdsk to scan and repair the NTFS journal, look for some lost data, also repair and preen some NTFS data structures, it does not search for bad sectors to recover data.

    • #2436229

      Not just got to KB 4592438 have you?

      Maybe check the event log is clean just before shutdown? Alternatively if you have no reason not to, maybe Windows update might fix it if you don’t print…

    • #2436236

      Using the check disk with the “/v” verbose parameter outside of Windows is a good way to see results. (That Partition Wizard tool appears to perform similarly to the Windows check disk utility, by looking at the screen captures.)

      Open the Event Viewer under Windows Logs and then Application, look for a recent event Source named Wininit, it may have a recent verbose check disk log.

    • #2436253

      Or, if you don’t want to dig through the Event Viewer, there’s another way to see the results of the chkdsk scan.

      Chkdsk creates a log of what it’s done every time it’s run in the following location: C:>System Volume Information>Chkdsk. I used the > character instead of the back slash character due to ongoing issues with that character not always displaying properly within posts here on Askwoody.

      However, the System Volume Information directory is deliberately hidden by Windows, so you’ll have to unhide it with a special procedure. AND, the chkdsk log files’ default security permissions don’t allow a normal user to open them to look at them, you have to be an administrator to change the permissions to be able to open them.

      To me, this is six of one, half dozen of the other.

      My choice is changing the permissions on the files to see the results of the scans. I run chkdsk once a month after installing the latest monthly update and using the built-in disk cleaning utility to clean up the resulting “clutter” that’s invariably left behind. I run it from an elevated command prompt using the /F and /V switches on my SSD. No problems encountered thus far since August of 2020.

      The consensus on Askwoody by the MVPs here has generally been that it’s OK to run chkdsk/F on an SSD, but DON’T run chkdsk/R. IIRC, the feeling was that chkdsk/R will ruin the SSD because of what it tries to do that’s over and above simply fixing the basic file structure on the drive.

      I seem to recall there being a rather involved forum or thread a couple of years ago here, but I haven’t been able to “resurrect” it via the site’s search tool. I’ve probably not tried the exactly correct search term or terms. 😐 🙁

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by Bob99.
      • #2436411

        That is one of reasons why I prefer run chkdsk from Windows PE instead of “normal”, installed Windows.

        In that scenario, one can scan each volume (scanning the volume on which the current OS is installed requires scheduling that scan and performing it at next boot. Moreover, also “System Reserved” and System EFI volumes can be checked) at one command prompt session, and then see the result without need to change any permissions (and so, there is also no need to revert the changes).

        However, that way requires determining volume letters each time (they are usually different than on “normal” Windows and they can be different every time) and, of course, booting Windows PE.

        To make scan as quick as possible, it is useful to open Notepad first, type “chkdsk /F /r [drive letter of target volume]:” for each volume that one want to scan, every in a separate line, with one blank line after last command. Then, one just need to select all, copy and paste it to command prompt window – volumes will be scanned, without need to wait for one scan to complete and type command to perform the next one.
        The idea resembles script, however, since drive letters can be different each  time in Windows PE, it would be harder to make one (except script to scan every volume).
        Because chkdsk scans can take a lot of time, it is much more comfortable.

      • #2436692

        There are also two another, safer and probably easier ways to view chkdsk scan results than changing permissions.

        1. Specify outputfile in a custom location, lets say:

        chkdsk /F /r E: >%userprofile%\Desktop\chkdsk_scan_result.log

        The outputfile will, however, contain unnecessary portions of information (tried it with FAT32 volume, it resulted in many, many lines with information about current progress of scan, like “comleted 30%”, completed 31%” etc.).

        2. Simply copying logs from System Volume Information, i.e. to the current user’s desktop:

        copy “C:\System Volume Information\Chkdsk\*.log” %userprofile%\Desktop\

        The second one should be much more convenient and universal (at least for NTFS volumes), because it allows examining logs from any previous scan, also those scheduled by the OS (not by the user), like it seems to be in this case.

    • #2436373

      If you are getting a chkdsk message at boot then Windows has detected problems on your disk and needs to run the check.

      An SSD makes no difference and will not be affected by running chkdsk in any form (/f /v etc).

      You need to identify why Windows is detecting issues.
      Is the machine being shutdown correctly?
      Any power issues?
      View Event Viewer (or use Nirsoft FullEventLogViewer) to check for disk errors.
      Reseat the disk cables (while the power is off).

      cheers, Paul

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2439235

      Chkdsk is – at current patch versions as of today – perfectly safe and sometimes needed for use on SSD’s.   There was a kerfluffle a few months ago with a bad patch, assuming one has patched beyond that it’s good to go.

      ~ Group "Weekend" ~

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