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Chkntfs \windows\system32\chkntfs.exe

Display or change the checking of a disk (using Chkdsk) at Windows startup.

To Open

Command Prompt chkntfs


chkntfs [drive | /d | /t:time | /x drive | /c drive]


Chkdsk, described earlier in this chapter, is run automatically during Windows startup, either if the previous session was not ended gracefully (the computer was turned off without shutting down) or if errors are detected. Chkntfs is used to modify this behavior for one or all of your drives.

If you run Chkntfs with only a drive letter (e.g., chkntfs c:), you get a somewhat cryptic report, like this:

The type of the file system is NTFS.
C: is not dirty.

The identification of the filesystem type on the first line is fairly self-evident. The “not dirty” report implies that the drive was properly “cleaned up” the last time the system shut down. In other words, the system shut down properly. If the system isn’t shut down properly, any drives in use (drives containing one or more files that were open when the computer lost power, for example) are marked “dirty,” and those drives are scanned the next time Windows starts. To change this behavior, use one of the following options. Note that all options, including the specification of the drive letter above, are exclusive; only one can be used in any time.


Type chkntfs /d to restore the default behavior of the entire machine; all drives automatically check to boot time, and any drives found to be “dirty” are checked with Chkdsk.

/t :time

Used to change the countdown before this scan is started, during which time the user can press the Spacebar to skip the scan. Time is simply any number, in seconds: chkntfs /t:5 configures Windows to wait five seconds before running Chkdsk.

/x drive

Excludes a particular drive from those checked at startup. For example, type chkntfs /x e: to exclude drive E: from the auto-check.

/c drive

Includes a particular drive in those checked at startup; /c is the opposite of /x. For example, type chkntfs /c e: to instruct Windows to check drive E: during startup, and if found “dirty,” to run chkdsk e:/f.

See Also


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