Microsoft ScanDisk

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Microsoft ScanDisk
Text-based version of Microsoft ScanDisk running on Windows 98
Text-based version of Microsoft ScanDisk running on Windows 98
Other namesScanDisk
Initial release1993; 28 years ago (1993)
Operating systemMS-DOS 6.2 and Windows 9x
TypeUtility software
LicenseProprietary commercial software
External images
image icon Graphical version of ScanDisk on Windows 98
image icon ScanDisk prompt when it finds an error
image icon ScanDisk Surface Scan Options dialog box
image icon ScanDisk Advanced Options dialog box

Microsoft ScanDisk (also called ScanDisk), is a diagnostic utility program included in MS-DOS and Windows 9x. It checks and repairs file systems errors on a disk drive, while the system starts.


The program was first introduced in MS-DOS 6.2[1] and succeeded its simpler predecessor, CHKDSK. It included a more user-friendly interface than CHKDSK, more configuration options,[2][3] and the ability to detect and (if possible) recover from physical errors on the disk. This replaced and improved upon the limited ability offered by the MS-DOS recover utility.[4] Unlike CHKDSK, ScanDisk would also repair crosslinked files.[5]

In Windows 95 onwards, ScanDisk also had a graphical user interface, although the text-based user interface continued to be available for use in single-tasking ("DOS") mode.[6][7]

However, ScanDisk cannot check NTFS disk drives, and therefore it is unavailable for computers that may be running NT based (including Windows 2000, Windows XP, etc.) versions of Windows; for the purpose, a newer CHKDSK is provided instead.

On Unix-like systems, there are tools like fsck_msdosfs[8] and dosfsck to do the same task.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wolverton, Van (2003). Running MS-DOS Version 6.22 (20th Anniversary Edition), 6th Revised edition. Microsoft Press. ISBN 0-7356-1812-7.
  2. ^ "ScanDisk command-line options". Microsoft Support. Microsoft Corporation. 2007-01-23. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
  3. ^ "MS-DOS 6.2 ScanDisk.INI". Microsoft Support. Microsoft Corporation. 2003-10-14. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
  4. ^ "What Does RECOVER Do? (Revision 3.0)". Microsoft Support. Microsoft Corporation. 25 November 2003. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
  5. ^ "How to Fix Cross-linked Files (Revision: 2.0)". Microsoft Support. Microsoft Corporation. 10 May 2003. Retrieved 24 December 2011. If you are running MS-DOS 6.2 or later, run ScanDisk, instead of [~snip~]
  6. ^ "Windows 95 Documentation". Microsoft TechNet. Microsoft Corporation. 1996-03-03. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
  7. ^ "Description of ScanDisk for Windows (Scandskw.exe) in Windows 98/Me (Revision: 1.3)". Microsoft Support. Microsoft Corporation. 23 January 2007. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
  8. ^ "FSCK_MSDOSFS". FreeBSD System Manager's Manual. The FreeBSD Project. 13 August 1995. Retrieved 24 December 2011.

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