Repair tool

How to fix hard drive problems on Windows 11

You can check and repair drive logical errors with the Check Disk tool on Windows 11, and here's how.

Windows 11 error check and repair

On Windows 11, errors and other problems are expected during the life of any hard drive, including for Solid-State Drive (SSD) or traditional Hard Disk Drive (HDD). For example, you may encounter problems upgrading to a new version, the drive may disappear, or strange behaviors like apps locking up may occur.

Regardless of the reason, on Windows 11, you can use the Check Disk tool to fix most logical problems through File Explorer, Command Prompt, and PowerShell.

Check Disk (chkdsk) is a tool that can scan the integrity of the file system on a partition and repair any logical errors. The command-line tool can also check and repair bad sectors if data does not write correctly or there is a physical problem with the drive.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to find and fix errors with the Windows 11 installation drive and secondary storage.

Fix hard drive errors on Windows 11

To repair hard drive errors with Check Disk on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer on Windows 11.

  2. Click on This PC from the left pane.

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

    Open Drive properties

  4. Click the Tools tab.

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

    Error checking

  6. Click the Scan drive option.

    File Explorer scan drive

Once you complete the steps, if the utility did not find any errors, click the Close button, but if some errors cannot be repaired, you will be prompted to schedule another scan during the next restart.

Fix hard drive errors with Command Prompt

It is also possible to check and fix hard drive errors using the Check Disk (chkdsk) tool using Command Prompt.

To fix drive problems like bad sectors on Windows 11 with Command Prompt, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

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

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

    chkdsk /f c:

    chkdsk command

  4. Type Y and press Enter to schedule the scan during the next restart.

  5. (Optional) Type the following command to fix bad sectors on the hard drive and press Enter:

    chkdsk /r c:
  6. Type Y and press Enter to schedule the scan during the next restart.

Once you complete the steps, errors and bad sectors should disappear. If you want to learn more about the available options using “chkdsk,” then use the chkdsk /? command.

When using the Check Disk tool, you should always start with the /f switch to fix errors, but if you still have problems, you should use the check disk tool with the /r option, which also runs the command with the /f option turned on.

After the scan, if errors are found, but there are open files, you will have to schedule a scan during the next restart (something recommended).

Fix hard drive errors with PowerShell

The Check Disk tool equivalent for PowerShell is the “Repair-Volume” cmdlet. The tool offers virtually the same functionality as the one for Command Prompt, but the one for PowerShell offers more control. 

To fix hard drive errors with PowerShell, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

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

  3. Type the following command to check for problems with PowerShell and press Enter:

    Repair-Volume -DriveLetter C -Scan

    PowerShell Repair-Volume

  4. (Optional) Type the following command to check the drive for issues showing process details on the screen and press Enter:

    Repair-Volume -DriveLetter C -Scan -Verbose
    Quick note: This is a variant of the command in step No. 3. You can use either one.
  5. Type the following command to repair problems if the previous scan returns errors and press Enter:

    Repair-Volume -DriveLetter C -SpotFix
  6. (Optional) Type the following command to scan and repair volume issues and press Enter:

    Repair-Volume -DriveLetter C -OfflineScanAndFix

    PowerShell Repair-Volume SpotFix command

    Quick note: Instead of running the scan and then the repair commands you can simply use this command to perform the check and fixes with one command.

After you complete the steps, the PowerShell command will scan and fix problems with the hard drive you specified.