Author: James Fleming
Wednesday, December 21, 2022

A Complete Guide to Disk Errors and How to Repair Them in Windows 10/11

 A Complete Guide to Disk Errors and How to Repair Them in Windows 10/11

Let's face it: everyone has had at least one hard drive error in their lifetime. They're a certainty that we will eventually have to deal with. Fortunately, there are several ways to fix them, and you'll find them all in this article!

Dealing with disk errors is always tricky, but you can do a few things to minimize the risk for yourself and make your computer operate more efficiently. This article will discuss how to avoid errors, what causes them, and how to fix them.

What are Disk Errors?

Disk errors are irregularities in your hard disk that make it more difficult for your computer to operate. Hard drives are complicated pieces of hardware, and sometimes there is just a hardware malfunction that makes things run differently than they should. They can be something very minor, or they can render your hard drive completely unusable. Disk Errors can be hard to detect and even harder to fix.

Causes of Disk Errors?

There are several possible causes of disk errors. Here are some of the most common:

 A Complete Guide to Disk Errors and How to Repair Them in Windows 10/11

1. Damaged Hardware

When your hard drive becomes damaged, it can become difficult for the hardware to operate correctly. Hard drives consist of several platters and spinning disks inside a metal casing. When something goes wrong inside, it is virtually impossible to detect it without using specific tools or software (even then, it's challenging to determine what is wrong).

2. Malware

Malware is all around us, but we have developed effective ways of shielding our computers from it. This can be accomplished through anti-malware software and a robust firewall. If the malware can get onto your computer, it can do all sorts of things to your hard drive, including corrupting it and making it unreadable.

 A Complete Guide to Disk Errors and How to Repair Them in Windows 10/11

3. Virus Infection

Viruses can majorly cause disk errors, but viruses are often easily detected on your computer. They hide from view in the hard drive, and they're only activated when you try to access sensitive information. This is why scanning your hard drive with regular anti-virus software is always a good idea to prevent viruses.

4. Bad sectors

Whenever you save a file or access a program on your computer, your hard drive works hard to retrieve the information you asked for. Over time, this can damage your hard drive and cause parts of it to become unreadable. Bad sectors often occur without warning, so you must keep regular backups of your files.

5. Power outages

When your power goes out, different computer parts will start to malfunction. Because hard drives are so small, they are affected more than other parts of the system. Disk errors can happen due to power outages; they can get triggered while your computer is in standby mode and not powered on or from a sudden loss of power.

6. Human error

These are the most difficult errors to deal with and some of the most common. Human error is practically unavoidable in the world of computers. Users often make mistakes that cause their hard drives to become inaccessible. This can include deleting essential files or installing faulty hardware that causes damage.

 A Complete Guide to Disk Errors and How to Repair Them in Windows 10/11

7. Corrupted Operating System

Sometimes, your computer's operating system will start to malfunction without warning. When this happens, it's normal to see your hard drive become unreadable and inaccessible. Corrupted operating systems are usually easy to fix but sometimes beyond repair.

8. Incompatible software

Incompatible software is one of the most common causes of problematic drive errors. This is especially true if you use pirated copies of your operating system, office suites, and other vital programs. To avoid these errors, it's always a good idea to purchase software from reputable sellers known to have high-quality software.

 A Complete Guide to Disk Errors and How to Repair Them in Windows 10/11

9. Corrupted Registry Files

A common cause of problematic drive errors is corrupted registry files that store data about the operating system and how programs should function. If these files become corrupted, it can cause errors in your hard drive.

Signs of a Disk Error

If you think your hard drive may be damaged, here are some signs to look out for:

1. Error Codes on the Screen of Your Computer

Looking at your computer's error code, you can quickly determine if your hard drive has a serious problem. While this isn't 100% accurate, it's still an easy way to check whether or not there is something wrong with your hard drive.

2. Your Computer Starts to Run Slower

You can determine how your computer is running by looking at its status page in Windows. If a program starts behaving abnormally or begins to run slowly and take longer than usual for specific processes, this could be a sign of a problem with the hard drive.

3. Your Computer Won't Boot

If your computer doesn't even boot, this could be a sign of an error on the hard drive causing the computer to crash during startup. It's also an excellent way to find out if there is something wrong with the boot sector of your hard drive.

4. Your Computer Doesn't Recognize Your Hard Drive

If your computer can't detect your hard drive, you should examine it closely for some problems. This indicates something seriously wrong with it, and you may have to replace the hard drive entirely.

5. Files are Not Accessible

If your hard drive doesn't let you access specific files, you could be dealing with a severe problem on the hard drive. This is a sign that the hard drive is not functioning correctly, and there might be permanent damage.

 A Complete Guide to Disk Errors and How to Repair Them in Windows 10/11

6. Clicking or grinding sound from the hard drive

If you hear clicking noises coming from your hard drive, this is an indication of disk errors. Sometimes, if the clicking is loud and consistent, this could signify a physical problem.

7. Apps or programs start to freeze

You should always keep your operating system and all the applications up to date. If your computer is running slowly, it could be because the hard drive has become corrupted and prevented programs from loading correctly.

8. System crashes.

If your computer isn't responding, it could be because your hard drive is bad and no longer lets it boot properly. A black screen appears on your screen, or you cannot access the start menu; this could be a sign that your hard drive has become corrupted.

How to Check Disk Errors

If you suspect your hard drive has disk errors, the first thing to do is run a disk scan. One of the most popular disk scan programs is CHKDSK, which is included in Windows operating systems.

What is CHKDSK?

CHKDSK (Check Disk) is a program with every Windows operating system. It can check for disk errors and fix any issues that are found. CHKDSK is an essential program for checking your hard disk for errors. You can explore the disk and find any problems or damage that may be present. While CHKDSK isn't designed to fix the issues it finds, it's an excellent way to ensure everything is running smoothly on your computer.

How to Run CHKDSK using Command Prompt

  1.  Open the Command Prompt by clicking "Start" and entering "cmd.".Right-click on the command prompt, run as an administrator, and press Enter.
  2.  Type "CHKDSK " and press Enter. CHKDSK will run a full scan on your hard drive and report any issues.


CHKDSK will not be able to fix any errors it finds on the hard drive. You'll have to run a different command to resolve these issues.

 A Complete Guide to Disk Errors and How to Repair Them in Windows 10/11

How to Run CHKDSK Using Windows Explorer

  1. Right-click on the Start Menu and click "Explorer."
  2. Find your hard drive, right-click on it, and select "Properties."
  3. Click on the Tools tab and "Check Now" under Error checking. Clicking this button will automatically run a disk scan for you. The results will be displayed in a window on your screen that looks like the one below.
  4. Click "OK" on the message box with your scan results.
  5. If there are errors, you will be prompted to fix them by CHKDSK.
  6. Click "Finish" to close the window.

How to Repair Disk Errors with CMD (Command Prompt)

After checking your hard drive with CHKDSK, you may find errors on the disk. You can repair these errors using the command prompt if this is the case.

  1. Run the command prompt as an administrator by entering "cmd" in the search bar and pressing "Enter."
  2. Type "CHKDSK /F" and press enter. This will run a scan for errors and then attempt to fix them. Be aware that this command may take some time to finish running the scan process.

 A Complete Guide to Disk Errors and How to Repair Them in Windows 10/11

What does CHKDSK /F /R /X do?

The CHKDSK program has several different scan processes you can use. They are as follows:

  • CHKDSK /F: This will scan and fix disk errors on your hard drive.
  • CHKDSK /R: This works the same as CHKDSK /F, but it will not only fix any errors on the disk but also detect and repair bad sectors or unreadable sectors from the disk.
  • CHKDSK /X: It briefly disconnects any power to the disk when the scan is performed.
  • CHKDSK /F /R /X: This combination of CHKDSK command lines fixes errors on your hard drive, scans for and repairs bad sectors, and disconnects power from the disk. It is one of the more comprehensive disk scan processes available in Windows.


Running a disk scan is essential for computer maintenance and will help you find any issues with your hard drive. If you have noticed that your computer isn't running as fast or isn't functioning correctly, this may be a sign that the hard drive is wrong and needs to be replaced. Following the steps above, you can troubleshoot any issues related to your hard drive and repair them if necessary.

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