Tutorial: How to Recover Files Deleted by CHKDSK [4 Options]

This post is mainly about how to recover files deleted by CHKDSK. Specifically, 4 options are introduced. If you have lost your files after running CHKDSK, read this post carefully to get back your files.


By Ellie / Updated on April 2, 2024

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How do I recover files deleted by CHKDSK?

“I ran CHKDSK to repair the file system corruptions on my hard drive. However, in the process of fixing the errors, CHKDSK deleted my files. These removed files are important to me. How can I recover files deleted by CHKDSK?”

Common questions about CHKDSK

Before getting to know how to recover files deleted by CHKDSK, you’d better get to know some common questions about CHKDSK.

What is CHKDSK and why does it cause file loss?

CHKDSK, which stands for “check disk”, is a Windows utility that checks the file system integrity of a volume on your hard drive and repairs logical errors and bad sectors. It goes through all of the data listings, making sure that everything on the disk is correct.

The CHKDSK utility marks bad sectors on the hard disk so that Windows knows not to store or read data from those bad sectors. As a result, Windows stops accessing the marked bad sectors, resulting in the data stored in those bad sectors being permanently lost.

How does CHKDSK Utility Work?

When you run CHKDSK, it does whatever is necessary to repair the logical file system, though it may result in data loss. The CHKDSK process has five stages, three of which are mandatory and two of which are optional. When you run CHKDSK in CMD, you can see the various stages of the utility.

Stage 1. File checks and verification

Stage 2. Examines volume indexes

Stage 3. Verifies the security descriptors for each Volume

Stage 4. Data verification (optional)

Stage 5. Checks for free space (optional)

Note: Stages 4 and 5 are two additional passes to look for bad sectors that are performed when the parameter /r is used while running CHKDSK; for example, chkdsk X: /r where X is the drive letter.

chdsk cmd

Can CHKDSK recover files?

It is not a data recovery tool and will not recover lost or damaged files. CHKDSK will simply ensure the information currently on the disk is in a consistent and safe state. If files are damaged, the CHKDSK utility attempts to separate the damaged files and save the remnants as Filenn.chk.

Recover files lost due to CHKDSK command [4 options]

Next, it's time to learn how to recover files that have been lost due to the CHKDSK utility. 4 tried-and-true methods for recovering files deleted by CHKDSK are mentioned here.

Option 1. Retrieve deleted files via professional data recovery software [recommended]

The first option to retrieve deleted files is to use professional data recovery software, such as MyRecover.

Easy-to-operate. It allows you to recover lost/deleted files from Windows within 3 easy steps.
All-inclusive. It applies to various file loss scenarios in Windows, including recovering files from formatted drives, corrupted partitions, after system crashes, virus attacks, etc.
High-speed. It recovers lost files at high speed. High recovery rate. It recovers your files with a high recovery rate, even if it was permanently deleted.
Widely-compatible. It supports NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, and ReFS in Windows 11/10/8/7 & Windows Server.
Comprehensive. It can recover lost/deleted texts, pictures, videos, audios, emails, compressed files, etc., in original format.

Download, install and launch MyRecover on your computer.  

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Hover the mouse over the partition used to store the deleted files. Click Scan.

Select partition to scan

Step 2. Then the scanning process will start automatically. You don’t need to wait for the process to complete if you find the PowerPoint files you want to recover.

Scan Lost Data

Step 3. Choose the files that you want to recover. Click Recover xx files and choose a destination path to save the restored files.

Select Deleted PPT Files Click Recover

Option 2. Restore files using Backup and Restore utility

The second option to recover data with backup is to use Backup and Restore utility provided by Microsoft. But you need to make sure that you have enabled this service in advance.

Step 1. Navigate here: Control Panel > System and Security > Backup and Restore (Windows 7). Click on Restore my files to selectively recover permanently deleted files. You can also choose Restore all users’ files to get all deleted files back.

Restore My Files from Windows Backup

Step 2. Search for your PowerPoint files by using the Browse for files or Browse for folders option.

Restore With Windows Backup

Step 3. Choose a location to save the backup, select your files and click Restore to recover them.

Option 3. Restore files using the File History

If you have turned on File History to save copies of your files, then you can get them back if they are deleted.

Step 1. Input Control Panel in the Windows search bar, and start it.

Open Control Panel

Step 2. Click System and Security.

System and Security

Step 3. Click File History.

File History

Step 4. Click Restore personal files.

Restore Personal Files

Step 5. Select the files you need to recover and then click the Restore button.

Restore Deleted File

Option 4. Recover deleted files with Windows File Recovery

The final option is to recover permanently deleted files using CMD via the tool Windows File Recovery.

Notes: The outcomes of this tool are unpredictable and it is only compatible with Windows 10 versions 2004 and up. 

Preparation work before using Windows File Recovery:

To use this tool, check out your File System first. Go to This PC > right-click on the external drive that contains the deleted files > click Properties.

Check File System SD Card

In addition, you need to use recovery mode and switches to get back your files. To decide which mode to use, refer to this table.

File system Scenarios Mode
NTFS Deleted recently Regular
NTFS Deleted for a while Extensive
NTFS Formatted disk Extensive
NTFS Corrupted disk Extensive
FAT and exFAT Any Extensive

Switches are used to filter the scanning range, thus can save the scanning time.

Switches Meaning Supported mode(s)
/n Filter the scan range: scans for a specific file with its file name/path/type, etc. All
/y: Recover specific extension groups. Signature
/k Recovers system files. NTFSSegment
/u Recovers undeleted files, for example, from the Recycle Bin. NTFSSegment

Step 1. Download and install Window File Recovery on your computer from Microsoft Store and then open it.

Install Windows File Recovery

Step 2. Open Powershell or Command Prompt (run as administrator). In the Command Prompt, enter commands in the following command format:

winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches]

For example, if you need to recover deleted pdf files from F: drive (the external hard drive) to D: drive, then the command will be like:

winfr F: D: /regular /n *.pdf

Winfr Regular External Hard Drive Files

The Bottom Line

The comments on CHKDSK are extremely polarizing. There have been numerous discussions in which CHKDSK has failed to repair a file and made it worse, while others believe that failing to use the CHKDSK utility even when prompted will result in a disk failure and, ultimately, data loss.

Whatever, you shall not be worried about data loss whether you have used CHKDSK or not as we have introduced 4 options on how to recover files deleted by CHKDSK command in this post. Besides, you can also use AOMEI Backupper to back up your system, disks, partitions, or files to avoid any kind of data loss.

Ellie · Editor
Ellie, a professional and experienced writer who is good at solving iOS-related problems and writing iOS backup/transfer tips.