Drive repair

How to fix hard drive problems on Windows 10

If you're experiencing weird problems using Windows 10, it could be related to hard drive issues — Here's how to check and fix them.

Fix hard drive and SSD problems on Windows 10

On Windows 10, eventually, you’ll start experiencing hard drive errors and other problems whether your device is equipped with a traditional rotating platter hard drive or Solid-State Drive (SSD). And the issues will always vary, for instance, Windows 10 may stop recognizing the drive. You may notice strange behaviors like a particular app locking up. You may encounter problems upgrading to a new version of Windows, and other issues.

If you’re experiencing problems, even if you’re not sure it’s a hard drive related issue, you can use the built-in Check Disk tool to resolve many common problems.

Check Disk (chkdsk) is a tool that has been around for years, and its basic purpose is to scan the integrity of the file system on a volume and fix any logical errors. In addition, the tool is capable to scan and repair bad sectors if data didn’t write properly to the drive, or because of physical problem with the drive.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to check and repair hard drive errors using the Check Disk (chkdsk) tool built in to Windows 10.

How to repair hard drive errors using Control Panel

If you’re experiencing hard drive problems, you can use the Check Disk tool on Windows 10 to fix most errors with these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer.

  2. Click on This PC from the left pane.

  3. Under “Devices and drives,” right-click the hard drive you want to check and repair and select Properties.

    File Explorer drive context menu
    File Explorer drive context menu
  4. Click on the Tools tab.

  5. Under “Error checking,” click the Check button.

    Check Disk tool on Windows 10
    Check Disk tool on Windows 10
  6. Click the Scan drive option.

    Hard drive error checking tool on Windows 10
    Hard drive error checking tool on Windows 10
  7. If the utility didn’t find any errors, click the Close button, but if there are errors that couldn’t be repaired, you’ll be prompted to schedule another scan during the next restart.

Once you’ve completed the steps, your hard drive should continue to work without problems.

How to repair hard drive errors using Command Prompt

Alternatively, it’s also possible to check and fix for hard drive errors using the Check Disk (chkdsk) tool using Command Prompt with these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select Run as administrator.

  3. Type the following command to run the chckdsk tool and press Enter:

    chkdsk /f c:
    Windows 10 chkdsk command
    Windows 10 chkdsk command

    Or if you want to fix bad sectors on the hard drive, then use this command and press Enter:

    chkdsk /r c:

You should always start with the /F switch to fix errors, but if you’re still having problems, then you should the check disk tool with the /R command, which also runs the command with the /F switch turned on.

After the scan, if errors are found, but there are open files, you’ll prompted to schedule a scan during the next restart, which is something recommended that you do.

Once you’ve completed the steps, the hard drive should now be free of errors and bad sectors, and it should start working properly again.

If you want to learn more about the available options using chkdsk, then use the chkdsk /? command.

This guide is aimed for devices running Windows 10, but Check Disk has been available for a long time, and the steps outlined here should also work on Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.

If the hard drive is having physical problems, then it’s time to replace it. Here are the three best affordable options you should consider getting:

While the Samsung 970 EVO is the fastest option, you need to make sure that your device includes a M.2 slot in the motherboard. If you’re not sure, you should get the Samsung 860 EVO that will fit on most laptops and desktops. The Seagate option offers the most storage, but it’ll only fit on a desktop computer.