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Microsoft

Check for damaged disks in Windows 2000 Pro with CHKDSK and CHKNTFS

Windows 2000 Professional has two disk-checking utilities: CHKDSK, which checks and fixes problems with FAT, FAT32, and NTFS volumes, and CHKNTFS, which displays or specifies whether automatic system checking is scheduled to be run on the computer's volumes when the computer is started.

If you've ever worked with DOS or Windows 9x, you're probably familiar with the CHKDSK utility that checks a disk for errors and (optionally) fixes those errors. Windows 2000 Professional also includes a copy of CHKDSK that not only checks and fixes problems with FAT and FAT32 volumes, but also checks and repairs NTFS volumes. CHKDSK must lock the volume for exclusive use to check for errors, and if it can't (because it's the system volume, for example), CHKDSK schedules the check for the next time the system reboots. You can view the options for CHKDSK by opening a command console and typing CHKDSK /?.

Another disk checking utility included with Windows 2000 Professional is CHKNTFS, which displays or specifies whether automatic system checking is scheduled to be run on the computer's volumes when the computer is started. CHKNTFS does its thing for FAT, FAT32, and NTFS volumes. As with CHKDSK, you can view the options for CHKNTFS by typing CHKNTFS /? at a command console. To schedule a check, for example, issue the command CHKNTFS /C, and a check will run the next time the computer starts.

Another tweak you might want to make is to change the countdown timer for CHKNTFS, that is, the time the system waits during startup before starting the check. You might want to increase the countdown timer to give you more time to abort the check. To set the countdown timer, issue the command CHKNTFS /T:n and replace n with the number of seconds you want the system to wait before executing the check.

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