USN Journal is part of Windows NTFS that stores changes made to the volume. At times, you might find CHKDSK hangs at verifying USN Journal. What’s more, it even asks you to run another CHKDSK command. Take it easy. This guide from MiniTool Website will explain the causes and offer multiple solutions for you.

Stuck at CHKDSK Is Verifying USN Journal

The full name of CHKDSK utility is Check Disk. It can be run in Command Prompt to verify the logical integrity of the file system. Usually, the time CHKDSK takes depends on the size of your hard drive and the number of corrupted files. If you use a larger hard drive or there are many bad sectors on your drive, the scanning process will take longer.

CHKDSK has 5 stages and it can get stuck during any of these stages. For example, when the CHKDSK utility performs at stage 3, you might find that it seems to take forever to verifying USN journal.

CHKDSK is verifying USN Journal

What causes CHKDSK stuck at verifying the USN Journal? The possible culprits are:

  • Third-party app or service conflicts.
  • Virus and malware attacks.
  • Corrupted Usn Journal.
  • Corrupted system files.
  • A bug in the recent Windows update.
  • A hard drive failure.

Reboot your computer and run the same CHKDSK command again, if you still encounter the same error, move to the solutions listed below.

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How to Fix Stuck at CHKDSK Is Verifying USN Journal on Windows 10/11?

For some of the solutions below, you need to boot into the desktop. If your computer fails to access Windows in normal mode, you need to boot into Safe Mode to execute these solutions.

Fix 1: Run CHKDSK in Safe Mode

Safe Mode can start Windows in a basic mode with a minimal set of drivers, services, and applications so that you can rule out possible conflicts and troubleshoot problems like stuck at CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal. To do so:

Step 1. Shut down your computer > turn it on > press the Power button again to shut it down when the Windows icon appears. Repeat this process for three or more times until prompted by the Automatic Repair screen.

Step 2. Click on Advanced options > Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.

Step 3. In the Startup Settings screen, press F5 or F6 to boot Safe Mode with a network or Command Prompt.

enable Safe Mode

Step 4. Run the CHKDSK utility again.

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Fix 2: Repair Corrupted System Files

System file corruption is one of the common causes of some severe computer issues such as stuck at CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal. Running the combination of System File Checker (SFC) and Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) can scan the corrupted system files and replace them with the cached copies stored on the PC. Here’s the detailed tutorial:

Step 1. Run an elevated Command Prompt.

Step 2. In the command window, type sfc /scannow and hit Enter.

run sfc /scannow

Step 3. If SFC fails to address CHKDSK stuck at verifying the USN Journal and shows a message saying Windows Resource protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix them, run the following commands one after another and don’t forget to hit Enter after each command:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Step 4. Restart your computer and run CHKDSK once more to inspect if CHKDSK stuck at verifying the USN Journal disappears.

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Fix 3: Uninstall Recent Windows Update

Usually, you are supposed to update your Windows to the latest version because the latest update contains new features, patches, and security fixes. On rare occasions, this may come with a few bugs and trigger some issues like CHKDSK stuck at verifying the USN Journal. Therefore, uninstalling the recent Windows update might help to solve the problem. To do so:

Step 1. Type control panel in the search bar and hit Enter.

Step 2. Expand the View by menu and select Category.

Step 3. Under Programs, click on Uninstall a program.

Step 4. In the left pane, hit Uninstall a program to see all the installed updates on your computer.

Step 5. Right-click on a recently downloaded update > hit Uninstall > confirm this operation.

hit Uninstall

Step 6. When your computer restarts, check if CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal still gets stuck.

What to do if you fail to uninstall the update? See this guide - Fix Error: Not All of the Updates Were Successfully Uninstalled to get some troubleshooting methods.

Fix 4: Create Another Usn Journal File

A corrupted Journal file can also make you get stuck at CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal. If this is the case, the best solution is to recreate the file. Here’s how to do it:

Warning: It is noteworthy that you should only delete the USN Journal file when Check Disk is unable to get past it after repeated attempts and even in Safe Mode.

Step 1. Press Win + R to open the Run dialog.

Step 2. Type cmd and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to launch Command Prompt with administrative rights.

Step 3. Paste the following command and tap on Enter to delete the USN Journal on the C: Drive.

drive: fsutil Usn deletejournal /d c:

delete the Usn Journal

Step 4. Execute the command below to create a new USN journal on the C: drive.

drive: fsutil Usn createjournal m=1000 a=100 c:

Step 5. Restart the computer and run the Check Disk utility again.

Fix 5: Disable CHKDSK from Running at Boot

If you receive CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal on startup in every restart and it stalls for an incredibly long time, you can run the CHKNTFS command to disable the automatic disk checking. Follow these guidelines:

Step 1. Launch Command Prompt with administrative privileges.

Step 2. In the command window, type chkntfs /x c: and hit Enter to stop CHKDSK from scanning C drive on startup.

The /x parameter requires Windows not to check the particular drive when your computer boots up the next time, even if the volume is marked as requiring CHKDSK.

disable CHKDSK from boot
If you want to disable CHKDSK for more drives, you can add the drive letters to the command. For example, to stop CHKDSK on C:, D:, and E: drives on startup, you need to run chkntfs /x c: d: e:.
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Fix 6: Run a Malware Scan

Malware and viruses can alter the core functions of your computer, leading to various problems like PC stuck at CHKDSK verifying Usn journal. You should run a deep scan to detect and remove any possible threat via Windows Defender or other third-party antivirus software.

If your computer gets stuck at CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal after installing certain programs or downloading some files, removing them might help you out.

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Fix 7: Check Bad Sectors

When nothing else works, there might be some bad sectors on the target drive. How to confirm if there are any bad sectors? A disk partition software called MiniTool Partition Wizard might be the best choice for you. It offers a Disk Surface Test function to scan each sector’s status. To do so:

Step 1. Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard.

MiniTool Partition Wizard FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Step 2. In the right pane, click the target disk you want to check. Then, select Surface Test from the left pane.

hit Surface Test

Step 3. Click on Start Now to start the disk surface test.

hit Start Now

After completion, the bad sectors will be marked in red. Once there are some bad sectors, consider using specific software to shield bad tracks and transferring all data on this disk as soon as possible.

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Is CHKDSK stuck at verifying at USN Journal forever?  How to fix it to run CHKDSK without errors again? All the answers you need are listed in this guide.Click to Tweet

Suggestion: Clone Your Hard Drive with MiniTool ShadowMaker

After fixing these bad sectors, it’s time to select a suitable backup solution. As you continue to use a failing hard drive, it becomes increasingly unreliable over time and even makes your computer crash. Therefore, you had better back up the data on the drive in time so as not to lose any crucial files. How to transfer all the data on the target drive to another drive?

Here, it is strongly recommended to use MiniTool ShadowMaker. It is a professional PC backup software as well as a hard drive cloning software. The Clone Disk feature allows you to transfer all the content including data, system, and applications from one hard drive to another one to prevent data loss.

Two types of disk clone modes are supported: sector by sector cloning and used sector cloning. Now, let’s see how to clone a hard drive with this tool:

Step 1. Download, install, and launch MiniTool ShadowMaker Trial Edition for free.

MiniTool ShadowMaker TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Step 2. In the Tools page, click on Clone Disk.

hit Clone Disk

Step 3. Click on Options at the bottom > select New disk ID > switch to Disk clone mode to choose from Used sector clone and Sector by sector clone.

select New disk ID

Step 4. Select the source drive & target drive, and then start the cloning process.

select the source disk
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At the same time, If you would like to move Windows to another drive or clone SSD to larger SSD, MiniTool ShadowMaker can also satisfy your need.

Final Words

When CHKDSK stalls during verification of USN Journal, it can be fixed by the solutions mentioned above. If there are many bad sectors on the hard drive, please clone the data on it with MiniTool ShadowMaker and then replace it with a new one.

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To avoid similar issues cropping up, you need to scan your system with antivirus software and back up crucial data regularly. For more queries about MiniTool software, don’t hesitate to contact us directly via [email protected].

CHKDSK Is Verifying USN Journal FAQ

Is it safe to stop CHKDSK at stage 5?
It is risky to stop CHKDSK at stage 1, 2, or 3 as that might lead to unexpected data loss or system malfunctions. When you are at stage 4 or 5, it is completely safe to stop it. To stop CHKDSK at stage 5, you need to press Ctrl + C or Ctrl + Break.
Where is the USN Journal located?
USN Journal is used by File History to determine which files have been modified since the last backup so that only files that have changed are added to File History so far. It is stored in the NTFS metafile named $Extend\$UsnJrnl and begins as an empty file. Whenever a change is made to the NTFS volume, a record will be added to the file.  
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