How to Check and Fix Hard Drive Errors in Windows 10/11?

Learn how to check and fix errors in Windows 10/11 system, hard disk, and external drive that not function properly due to bad sectors, sudden shutdown or metadata corruption.


By Lucas / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Need to check hard drive for errors in Windows 10/11

After a period of time, you may find that Windows 10 reports different kinds of disk errors to remind you that there is something wrong with your hard drive. When an error occurs, you won’t be able to open some certain file or application normally. If you happen to come across one of the following disk errors, it is high time to perform hard drive error checking and repair.

☛ Windows 11/10 detected a hard disk problem. This error usually prompts after a system startup. To some extent, it means your hard drive is failing or some system files are corrupted.

☛ Repairing disk errors. This might take over an hour to complete. This error sometimes emerges after installing Windows 10/11 from USB bootable device. It says it needs an hour to complete repairs, but chances are that it lasts more than one hour, and worse, did not complete.

☛ A disk read error occurred. Please press Ctrl + Alt + Del to restart. This error is annoying because even if you restart your machine, nothing is better. Except for checking your hard disk for errors in Windows 10/11, it is also suggested to shut down the PC for at least 5 hours in this case.

Non-system disk or disk error. Replace and press any key when ready. A little different from other errors, this error generally pops up in Windows 10 reinstallation. If it is not the problem of system files, it could be the problem of the selected disk.

Some possible causes for hard drive errors would be bad sectors, damaged system files, unexpected shutdown, corrupted software, file system errors, lost clusters, and metadata corruption. You need to check hard disk errors and take measurements accordingly.

How to check and fix hard disk errors in Windows 10/11?

If you get a disk error message, you can check the drive status first in Control Panel >Security and Maintenance > unfold Maintenance > Drive status. If nothing goes wrong, you’ll see: All drives are working properly, which is typically the case. If you still get the error, what do?

Windows 10/11 provides several methods to do hard drive scanning and repairing. For instance, the Check Disk (CHKDSK.exe) utility in Command Prompt and File Explorer helps you to check hard drive integrity, file system errors, bad sectors, lost clusters, and so on. Let’s take a closer look.

Check hard drive for errors in Windows 10 CMD

In the first place, bring out Command Prompt by pressing Windows key + R, input cmd, and hit Enter. Be sure to run it as administrator. Following are a couple of commands that you may need.

• chkdsk. chkdsk displays only the status of volume and does not fix any errors.

• chkdsk d: /f. This will check and fix errors that it found on D: volume. You can replace d with another drive letter. For example, you want to scan an external hard drive for errors in Windows 10.


If you run chkdsk without the /f parameter on an active partition, it might report spurious errors because it cannot lock the drive.

• chkdsk f: /f /r /x. /r will locate the bad sectors on the drive and recover readable information and /x forces the drive to dismount before the process starts. Some data cannot be recovered with /r. Therefore, it is important to develop the habit of building schedule backups.

f r x chkdsk

Please note that /f command will lock the selected drive. If it cannot be locked, a message appears that asks you if you want to check the drive the next time you restart the computer. If you check the system for errors in Windows 10, it will prompt you to check it the next system restart.

• chkntfs /c. Use NTFS only. To schedule the volume to be checked the next time the computer is restarted.

• chkdsk /i. Use NTFS only. Perform a less vigorous check of index entries, which reduces the amount of time required to run chkdsk.

• chkdsk /b. Use NTFS only. Clears the list of bad clusters on the volume and rescans all allocated and free clusters for errors.

• chkdsk *.*. Check all files on a FAT disk in the current directory for non-contiguous. It will display a status report, and then lists the files that match the file specifications that have noncontiguous blocks.

• chkdsk /?. Display help with all commands if the covered ones are not what you need.

Sometimes you may receive return codes along with the result.

Here are descriptions of these exit codes:

0: no errors were found.
1: errors were found and fixed.
2: Performed disk cleanup (such as garbage collection) or did not perform cleanup because /f was not specified.
3: Could not check the disk, errors could not be fixed, or errors were not fixed because /f was not specified.

You can also run Repair–Volume in PowerShell to check and repair errors. Apart from command line checking, Windows also embeds check disk utility with the graphical interface, Windows File Explorer. Open This PC, right-click the drive you want to check, and select Properties > Tools > Check.

If errors are found, you’ll receive the message: Restart your computer to repair the file system. You can restart right away or schedule the error fixing on the next restart.

Tips: above chkdsk.exe also applies to check the hard drive for errors in Windows 11/ 7/8/8.1/XP/Vista.

Check Windows 10 installation for errors

As covered, you may receive the error: Non-system disk or disk error when installing Windows 10 from USB drive or installation disc. If you are quite sure there is nothing wrong with your installation device, it could be the problem with the selected disk.

1. Check the disk’s IDE or SATA cable.

2. Check if the disk has a corrupted MBR. You can fix MBR in this way. Bring up Command Prompt by using an installation device. Input the following commands:

bootrec /scanos
boot rec /fixmbr
bootrec /fix boot
bootrec /rebuildbcd

Bootrec Commands

Alternatively, you can fix MBR on Windows 10 in another simple way.

Check disk error with third-party tools

The aforementioned methods may be good enough for disk checking, however, some users encountered CHKDSK stuck at 100 percent, scanning and repairing drive stuck in Windows 10/1, or CHKDSK Windows 10/11 stuck error. In that case, you can check disk for errors in Windows 10 with professional third-party tools.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is a free partition manager that will help you check partitions and disk. It is free for Windows 8/8.1/7/XP/Vista as well. Free download to have a try.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

• Check Partition for errors in Windows 10/11

Run AOMEI Partition Assistant on your Windows 10/11. Right-click the drive you want to check and go to Advanced > Check Partition. In the pop-out window, you have three options available, check the error only, check and fix the error, and find bad sectors. Choose the one that suits you.

Check Partition

Tips: the feature can be used only on formatted partitions.

• Check external disk for errors in Windows 10/11

1. Open AOMEI Partition Assistant. Right-click the disk you want to scan and select Test > Disk Surface Test. It will mostly check the bad sectors of the selected disk.

System Disk Test

2. Click Start to do the surface test. You may want to tick Quick Check to perform a fast test.

Start Test System Disk


Different ways on how to check hard drive for errors in Windows 10/11 have been discussed, choose the one that is suitable for you. If you find the disk is failing, it is suggested to switch from HDD to SSD or another HDD as soon as possible.

Lucas · Staff Editor
I prefer peaceful and quiet life during vacation,but sometimes I watch football match if my favorite club performs brilliantly in that season. And I love reading, painting and calligraphy, thus I send my friends festival handwriting cards every year.