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How To Perform Disk Check? [Mac, Windows & Linux]

We explain methods for Windows, Linux, and MacOS.

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When you perform a disk check, the system scans the hard drives for errors, bad sectors, inaccurate data, and other irregularities that may harm its operation. The scan will find and solve problems within the system’s disks or prompt the user to fix them. Thus, understanding how to perform a disk check on your computer is crucial in detecting and fixing hard drive issues

Key Takeaways
  • Running a disk scan on your computer can keep your data safe from bugs, resolve disk errors, and prevent disk data loss.
  • On Windows, you can perform a disk check using the chkdsk [Disk’s Letter]: /f  command in the Command Prompt. 
  • Mac users can go to Disk Utility and perform a disk check using the First Aid feature. 

WARNING: Back up essential data to avoid losing important files in case anything goes wrong during the disk check.


There are two ways to execute a disk check in Windows; you can either do it from the Command Prompt or the disk’s properties. Personally, I found both of them effective and easy to navigate.

Command Prompt

Move ahead with these steps to run the disk check in Command Prompt:

  1. Launch Command Prompt: Open the Command Prompt by searching cmd in the Taskbar’s Search Panel > Run As Administrator.
    How To Perform Disk Check
    Command Prompt – Image Credits [Tech4Gamers]
  2. Execute Codes: Enter chkdsk [Disk’s Letter]: /f to scan the disk. For example, if you wish to scan Local Disk D, the code would be chkdsk D: /f > Let the scanning complete.
    How To Perform Disk Check
    Run Disk Check In Command Prompt (Image By Tech4Gamers) 

Disk Properties

Here are the instructions to scan the disk via the Properties menu:

  1. Access Disk Properties: Click on This PC from the Desktop > Right-click on the disk you want to scan > Properties.
    Select Properties – Image Credits [Tech4Gamers]
  2. Check For Errors: Go to the Tools tab > Under the Error Checking section, hit the Check button.
    How To Perform Disk Check
    Perform Disk Check (Image By Tech4Gamers) 
  3. Scan The Disk: Select Scan Drive from the dialog box > Allow the scanning to finish.
    How To Perform Disk Check?
    Scan Drive (Image By Tech4Gamers) 


Running a First Aid scan on my macOS PC analyzed its disks for potential errors and mishaps that could be causing issues on my system. The process is particularly useful in repairing corrupt disks. Here is how I ran the disk check on Mac.

  1. Open Finder Menu: Click the Finder button in the upper pane of the Desktop screen.
  2. Navigate To Disk Utility: Open Applications > Expand Utilities > Disk Utility.

    Scroll To Utilities (Image By Tech4Gamers) 
  3. Use First Aid: Highlight the disk you wish to scan on the left panel > Press the First Aid button on the top bar.
    How To Perform Disk Check
    Press First Aid (Image By Tech4Gamers) 
  4. Run First Aid On Disk: Hit the blue button, Run.
    Click The Run Option (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  5. Finalize The Process: Confirm with Continue > The system will scan the disk for errors and irregularities.
    Press Continue (Image By Tech4Gamers)


Linux has a built-in software, Terminal, where users can execute commands to perform different system operations, such as running a disk check. I ran the specific code associated with disk scanning to carry out the task at hand using the steps below.

  1. Open App Screen: Press the Apps symbol on the left bar.
    Launch Apps Section (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  2. Choose Terminal: Open Terminal from the list of apps.

    How To Perform Disk Check
    Select Terminal (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  3. Run The Code: Execute the command:
    sudo fsck /dev/sdb
    Run Code In Linux
    Run Code In Linux (Image By Tech4Gamers)

When Should You Perform Disk Check?

Running a disk scan periodically helps maintain the drive’s health by diagnosing and repairing any potential errors that may be developing. Consider performing a disk check when;

  • Your system crashes or shuts down abruptly.
  • The computer displays signs of instability, and you detect slower operation than usual.
  • You have updated the operating system or installed a new one on your computer.
  • You cannot save new files on your disks.
Tip: I advise scanning your system’s disks at least once a month to identify potential issues before they disrupt the computer’s functioning.

Does Performing Disk Check Solve Errors?

Scanning the disk when faced with errors is a tried and tested troubleshooting step, which helped our team fix multiple errors, like “Automatic Repair Couldn’t Repair Your PC”  and “The Computer Has Rebooted From A Bugcheck.”

Pros And Cons Of Running A Disk Check

✅ Eliminates system and disk errors❌ May take long to finish
✅ Repairs bad or corrupt disk sectors❌ Temporarily slows down the system
✅ Prevents data loss by identifying disk faults early❌ May be ineffective on a full hard drive

Final Words

By performing occasional disk checks on my PC, I avoid errors to ensure optimal system performance. Based on my experience, I recommend initiating this process when you do not want to use the computer immediately, as the procedure may take some time to complete. Plus, do not turn off the computer until the scan is complete, or it may cause the system to malfunction.

Frequently Asked Questions

When Should I Perform A Disk Check?

Run a disk check if your computer is slowing down, you cannot save new files to your disks, or when you encounter drive or system errors.

How Long Does A Disk Check Take?

A disk scan can take 1 to 6 hours, depending on your disk size and the presence of errors or bad sectors.

What Happens If A Disk Check Is Interrupted?

It is highly advised not to turn off your system during the disk scan; otherwise, the system files can get corrupted, affecting your PC.

More PC Processes:

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