CHKDSK Warning: F Parameter?

Tom from Pennsylvania writes:

I am running windows XP home edition service pack 3. I was running the CHKDSK and a warning come up that the F parameter was not specified. Can you elaborate on this? I have had the computer shut down and reboot while I was using it, is why I was running CHKDSK. I am using Microsoft Security essentials for virus protection.


The chkdsk utility is a built-in program from Microsoft which scans, verifies and can fix some file system errors and hard drive corruption/errors. You can launch the utility from Windows by opening a command prompt (hold down Windows Key and Press R key, type cmd.exe and press enter) and typing chkdsk. The error you are receiving about the f parameter indicates you’ve not told chkdsk to fix errors it has found.

The Chkdsk command has quite a few syntax options, the format to use is: chkdsk [volume:][[Path] FileName] [/f] [/v] [/r] [/x] [/i] [/c] [/l[:size]]

  • volume: : Specifies the drive letter (followed by a colon), mount point, or volume name.
  • [Path] FileName : Specifies the location and name of a file or set of files that you want chkdsk to check for fragmentation. You can use wildcard characters (that is, * and ?) to specify multiple files.
  • /f : Fixes 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.
  • /v : Displays the name of each file in every directory as the disk is checked.
  • /r : Locates bad sectors and recovers readable information. The disk must be locked.
  • /x : Use with NTFS only. Forces the volume to dismount first, if necessary. All open handles to the drive are invalidated. /x also includes the functionality of /f.
  • /i : Use with NTFS only. Performs a less vigorous check of index entries, reducing the amount of time needed to run chkdsk.
  • /c : Use with NTFS only. Skips the checking of cycles within the folder structure, reducing the amount of time needed to run chkdsk.
  • /l[:size] : Use with NTFS only. Changes the log file size to the size you type. If you omit the size parameter, /l displays the current size.
  • /?: Displays help at the command prompt.

You may be prompted that a volume “Cannot be scanned due to it being in use” or “Unable to be locked. Would you like to scan on next restart?” It is a good idea to select Y for yes, then restart the machine to allow chkdsk to run. Most often when scanning your primary C hard drive for errors with the intention of repairing and fixing bad sectors, you would use the following syntax: chkdsk c: /f /r


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