Long-time subscriber Rudy wrote this week to ask a question about the Windows program "chkdsk." The name alone tells me that Rudy isn’t running Windows 7, as it’s no longer known by that name (it’s found via Computer (My Computer) > selecting the hard drive to check > Properties > Tools > Error Checking).
When running chkdsk you are given the options to "Fix" or "Repair" I understand that "Fix" rearranges confused data,and "Repair" handles physical damage.
My question is: How is (physical damage repair) accomplished?
Thank you, Rudy.
I wrote back to tell Rudy that he had a good question.
There’s no way that chkdsk can repair physical damage — it’s a program. At best, it can try to solve the problems caused by physical damage.
The two chkdsk options that Rudy mentioned are /F and /R. The confusing factor is that he isn’t using the correct description for the option.
/F — "Fix" — This checks the directory and volume–table–of–contents structure to look for bad directory entries, drive clusters that are assigned to multiple files, and other problems in the logical structure of the drive. Note that the most often error found used to be the sectors and clusters that were marked as "in use" but were not assigned to any particular file. Chkdsk would give them really non–useful names like File0001.chk.
/R — think of this as "Recover," not "Repair." This is the low-level scan of every sector of the hard drive, looking for bad sectors. If it finds a bad sector, it marks it in the drive’s “map” as being bad, and it tries multiple times to read and recover the data and move it elsewhere. This took hours and hours on the old small hard drives — I’d hate to see it on today’s 2TB drives.