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Summary :

Recover data after CHKDSK

Does CHKDSK utility delete your important data? Don't worry. This article will tell you how to solve this problem and help you to recover data with a piece of professional data recovery software. After that, it will show you more details about the CHKDSK command.

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CHKDSK Deletes Your Data

Since you are here, it's likely that you ran CHKDSK recently and finally found it deletes some of your data. Actually, you are not alone to this issue. Before telling you how to recover data after CHKDSK, I’d like to show you 2 real cases I’ve found from the internet.

Case 1: files get lost after CHKDSK.

When Vista told me to run CHKDSK for my external hard drive, I foolishly did it. Then I saw a lot of "deleting index..." messages and I knew it was bad news. After CHKDSK, a whole lot of files, including personal backups, photos, videos, and some other files, got lost. Is there a good way to get these deleted data back?– Macko from GetData forum

Case 2: all files disappeared on my secondary HD.

On my computer with Win7, after only one execution of CHKDSK, all files disappeared on my secondary HD (around 500Gb of very important data). I read the CHKDSK log file and it has found many mistakes on the HD including on the MFT. Is it possible to recover missing files as well as MTF?– Guuk from Superuser

Under such circumstances, I bet most of you would be willing to know the way to restore CHKDSK deleted files. In general, there are two available ways:

  • Recovering by using third-party data recovery software
  • Recovering from Found.000 folder

Now, I will introduce these two methods in detail in the following part.

2 Ways to Recover Data after CHKDSK

Please note: please make a backup for your drive where data loss appears before doing any recovery to prevent any unexpected accidents.

Recover CHKDSK Deleted Data with Third-party Data Recovery Software

MiniTool Power Data Recovery is a piece of powerful data recovery software which can be used to recover CHKDSK deleted data safely. This software has four options for you:

  • This PC
  • Removable Disk Drive
  • Hard Disk Drive
  • CD/DVD Drive

four options

Among these four recovery options, This PC can be used to recover files from formatted, logical damaged or RAW partition. And of course, you can use it to recover CHKDSK deleted data from a drive that is listed in the software.

raw disk file recovery thumbnail
How To Recover Data From RAW File System, RAW Partition & RAW Drive

With the powerful tool I recommend in this article, every one of you is able to recover data from RAW hard drive without troubles.

Read More

You may use the MiniTool Power Data Recovery Trial Edition to scan the device which contains the lost files. Just download it to your computer and finish the installation.

Warning: You can’t save and install the software to the drive contains lost files. Otherwise, secondary damage will be brought and cause permanent data loss.

Free Download

Recovery steps:

Step 1: open the software and you will see the This PC option is selected by default. Then, you need to choose the partition which has performed CHKDSK and contains the deleted files. After that, you should click on the Scan button to start the scanning process.

start the scanning process

Step 2: it will take some time to finish the scanning process. During the scan, you will see more and more files found by the software and listed in the scan result interface.

files found by the software

Step 3: you can choose to browse scan result for needed files during the scan. You may expand the searched partitions to look for needed files, since the original name of each file in this kind of partitions will be reserved.

browse scan result for needed files

However, if you fail to find desired data from these partitions, please select the All Raw Files partition to browse without file name or wait for the completion of the scan.

Step 4: check the files you need and click on the Save button to save them. You’d better choose another path on your computer as the destination. Otherwise, the CHKDSK deleted files may be overwritten and become unrecoverable.

check the files you need

You can discover that it is so easy to recover CHKDSK deleted files with this software.

But what you should keep in mind is: if you want to use this software to recover your data, please get a license for a full edition. Otherwise, you’ll see the following window after clicking on the Scan button.

limitations

Related reading: I Find CHKDSK Deleted My Data – How To Recover Them.

Note: This data recovery software will fail to recover lost files that have been overwritten by new data. It is also unable to repair corrupted files, so data recovery software is in no use if the lost files are corrupted before the loss or corrupted due to any other factor after the loss. In these cases, you'd better ask professional data recovery companies for help.

Recover CHKDSK Deleted Data from Found.000 Folder

When CHKDSK is going to delete files, it may send you a confirmation message: “20 lost allocation units found in 5 chains”, “Convert lost chains to files”, etc.

  • If you press Y, Windows will save each lost chain in the root directory of your drive as a file with a name in the format Filennnn.chk. When disk check is completed, you can check these files to see whether they contain data you need.
  • If you press N, Windows will just fix the disk, but it does not save the contents of the lost allocation units.

So, you can go to the root directory of your drive to see if there is a found.000 folder which is hidden by default when find files get lost after CHKDSK.

Firstly, you should view hidden folders in Windows 10.

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Select View in menu bar.
  3. Navigate to Options.
  4. Select Change folder and search options from the submenu.
  5. Shift to View
  6. Check Show hidden files, folders, and drives.
  7. Click on the OK button to confirm changes.

Change folder and search options

Show hidden files, folders, and drives

Secondly, you will see the FOUND.000 folder and you need to open it.

FOUND.000 folder

Thirdly, you can see lots of files with .chk extensions and you need to use third party tools to recover CHK files by checking the headers of these files and identifying what type a file is and what its original extension should be.

lots of files with .chk extensions

Definitely, these files are inaccessible since their extensions have been changed. If you know exact extension of each file, changing .chk of every file to the correct extension may restore them.

For example, if the first file is a word document, to change .chk to .doc or docx may make the word document available again.

But in fact few people can remember extensions of each file especially when there are lots of lost files, so this method is infeasible without a third-party tool.

Besides, there are some cases in which you have to use data recovery software to do the recovery:

  • There is no 000 folder in root directory of your drive.
  • You haven't found desired data from this folder.

Click here if you are interested in folder recovery process.

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Get a Better Understanding of CHKDSK

Now, you know how to recover your CHKDSK deleted data by using both data recovery software and FOUND.000 folder. Then, you may want to know more about CHKDSK:

  1. What is CHKDSK
  2. When and how to run CHKDSK
  3. Common CHKDSK Parameters

Please see the following introduction.

What Is CHKDSK, Exactly

  • Microsoft says CHKDSK creates and displays a status report for a disk based on the file system. It also lists and corrects errors on the disk. Used without parameters, CHKDSK displays the status of the disk in the current drive.
  • Wikipedia says CHKDSK is a system tool in DOS, OS/2, and Windows to verify the file system integrity of a volume and fix logical file system errors. It can also check the disk surface for bad sectors and mark them.

In my opinion, CHKDSK is a Windows built-in utility to report disk/volume state if you run it without giving any parameters, and repair problems caused by or related to, bad sectors, system errors, cross-linked files, directory errors and lost file clusters.

When and How to Run CHKDSK Properly

When to run?

Case 1:

After a system crash or improper shutdown, Windows might force a CHKDSK the next time you restart computer, which is to fix any disk-related issues that may have resulted from the crash or shutdown. At this time, you'd better do as system suggests.

system crash or improper shutdown

Here’s how to fix operating system not found error.

Case 2:

When you open a file, you might receive an error message saying the file is corrupted and asking to run CHKDSK utility. Of course, such an error message might pop up from the lower right corner even if you are doing nothing. To deal with this issue, you can choose to delete the corrupted file or run CHKDSK to fix it. As long as the corrupted data is not that important, just delete it. On the contrary, run CHKDSK utility to fix the problem.

corrupt file

Please note that if Windows asks you to run CHKDSK utility frequently and report corrupt on different files, it's likely that there are serious problems on your hard disk, and it may fail before long. Then, it's wise to backup the entire hard disk in case of any data loss, and you can view the post Copy Disk to get operating steps.

Of course, even if Windows does not ask you to run CHKDSK, you can also do it manually when you think it's time to check disk.

How to run (in Windows 7)?

Method 1:

  1. Enter Windows Explorer.
  2. Right click on the drive you want to check.
  3. Click Properties.
  4. Shift to Tools
  5. Click on Check now.
  6. Choose between Automatically fix file system errors and Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors.

Check disk options

  • Automatically fix file system errors: with checking this option, CHKDSK will scan and fix system errors it found.
  • Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors: with checking this option, CHKDSK will scan and try to recover information from bad sectors, but this is more time-consuming.

After making your decision, just click on the Start button to check the appointed drive. Nevertheless, if a process is using the drive you'll be checking, you may receive the following message (the former picture for system drive and the latter for data drive).

system drive message

data drive message

Under these situations, you have 2 choices:

  • Click on Cancel, close any file or program that uses this drive, and try again. For data volume only.
  • Tap on Schedule disk check, and the checking process will be performed the next time you start your computer. For both system volume and data volume.

Method 2:

You can also run CHKDSK in command line.

  1. Click on the Start
  2. Type command prompt into the Search programs and files box.
  3. Find this program from the research result.
  4. Right click on it and choose Run as administrator.
  5. Type CHKDSK *: /f (* stands for the exact drive letter).
  6. Press Enter in the keyboard.

run CHKDSK in command line

Nevertheless, you may receive the same error messages if the drive is in use. Just do as the former part suggests.

Please note: CHKDSK will delete files holding invalid file name in directory or delete corrupted index entries and attribute records.

Common CHKDSK Parameters

Functions of commonly used CHKDSK parameters are as follows:

  • /F: Fixe errors on the disk. The disk must be locked. If CHKDSK cannot lock the drive, a message appears that asks you if you want to check the drive the next time you restart the computer.
  • /R: Locate bad sectors and recover readable information. The disk must be locked, too. In addition, /r does things /f does, but it is more multifunctional and powerful, and the only defect is that it costs much more time.
  • /I: Use with NTFS only. Performs a less vigorous check of index entries, reducing the amount of time needed to run CHKDSK.

For more parameters, please see Microsoft's introduction to CHKDSK.

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Conclusion

In this post, I have walked you through the steps to recover data after CHKDSK by using a piece of powerful data recovery software or finding files from Found.000 Folder. After that, I have introduced the definition of CHKDSK, when and how to use it, as well as the common CHKDSK parameters you may need. You can read the part you’re most interested in.

Recover Data after CHKDSK FAQ

✏️ Does chkdsk /f fix bad sectors?
The chkdsk /f command will not check the drive it scans for bad sectors. In fact, this command is mainly used to check for software problems, such as file system corruption and other logical errors. To check & fix bad sectors, you should run the chkdsk /r command.
✒️ How do I run chkdsk /f?

Here’s how to run chkdsk /f in Windows 10:

  1. Click on the search icon/box on the taskbar.
  2. Type cmd and right click on Command Prompt app.
  3. Choose Run as administrator.
  4. Click Yes in the User Account Control window.
  5. Type chkdsk /f.
  6. Press Enter on the keyboard.
? Will chkdsk fix corrupt files?
No, the chkdsk will only fix the logical problems on the drive, not repair corrupt files. If you run chkdsk without any parameters, it will scan your drive in read-only mode and report the errors it found. You should add the /f to it for repairing logical file system errors.
? How long does disk check take?
There’s no exact answer to this question. However, the study shows it will generally take less than 30 minutes to run the disk check completely. It should be finished within 5 minutes to check a clean 1TB volume while the time will be much longer when checking a dirty one.
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