Check Disk (chkdsk) is a wonderful tool which is built-in to Windows for scanning and fixing errors due to inconsistencies and data corruption in the hard drive. While Chkdsk is a very useful tool, we will look at some chkdsk alternatives in this article so that we have more options at our disposal when countered with a critical situation.
When the Operating System crashes abruptly or there’s a cold start to the computer, most of the times it goes without errors. But if the data is being written to the disk, this crash will cause the data to be corrupted and become unreadable. Chkdsk is used to check and fix these types of data corruptions.
Let’s go through some of the chkdsk alternatives that can be useful at times. But one thing should be very clear that you should always use chkdsk first and then try out these alternatives if chkdsk fails to fix things.
Ariolic Disk Scanner
Ariolic Disk Scanner is a free and portable utility which checks the hard drive for read errors. It checks each sector of the hard disk and draws a visual representation. It can be a good alternative to chkdsk but the down side of this tool is that it is only limited to checking of the hard disk. There is no option to repair the damaged sectors.
HDDScan is a free utility to test the hard drive for errors and an advanced chkdsk alternative. It also supports USB flash drive, Firewire and RAID volumes. HDDScan can be very useful in regular hard drive health testing. By using the utility you will have better idea in which condition your hard drive is. It can also inspect S.M.A.R.T data on supported hard drives.
Windows Surface Scanner
Windows Surface Scanner scans and finds bad sectors from the hard drive. It can only scan the hard drives mounted in Windows. It supports Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.Windows Surface Scanner is very similar to Ariolic Disk Scanner as it only reports the bad sectors. There is no way to fix those bad sectors. It can be used in conjunction with ChkDsk. Windows Surface Scanner finds the errors and ChkDsk tries to fix them.
Gsmartcontrol is a graphical interface for smartctl which is a popular tool for analyzing the hard drive for bad sectors. It can be used to monitor the hard drives. It can issue early warnings to make sure that the data is backed up before the hard drive becomes dead. This utility can be used in Windows, Linux and Mac OSX alike.
SeaTools is a comprehensive app especially for Seagate hard drives but can also be used with other manufacturers. It can determine the condition of the hard drive. It supports almost all kinds of hard drives including SATA, USB, 1394, ATA (PATA/IDE) and SCSI drives. Since I have a Seagate hard drive, SeaTools is the utility of my choice.
I hope these tools will provide you with the perfect chkdsk alternatives for your needs. All the tools are good and consist of some unique features. What is your choice which you use as a chkdsk alternative?
In my opinion, the best way to stop data loss is to keep regular backups of your important data and keep monitoring the SMART details of the hard drive. SMART will let you know about possible hard drive failure before hand and you can copy all your data and replace the hard drive. For monitoring your Hard Drive for SMART information, you may use DiskCheckup tool for monitoring important information.