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When to run chkdsk and sfc /scannow?


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#1 codytsman

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 02:00 AM

Hey all,

 

I am trying to figure out when it is necessary to run chkdsk and sfc /scannow?

 

When I clean viruses and malware I typically don't run these unless I suspect that there is an issue with the HDD or system files. I have a co-worker that insists that these should be run prior to any removal of infections so I am looking for input. Do you all run those prior to removal of infections? If so, why?

 

My thought process is to clean the infections and then if there are still issues present, I will go further down into the rabbit hole with diagnosing the HDD and OS files.

 

Thoughts?

 

Attached is the "checklist" that my co-worker created (if needed, we will run other programs such as HitmanPro, Rkill, etc.).Attached File  cleanup-checklist.JPG   78.55KB   1 downloads

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Cody


Edited by codytsman, 13 October 2016 - 02:06 AM.


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#2 codytsman

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 02:01 AM

If this is in the wrong category, I apologize. Please let me know where to post and I will fix!

Thanks!



#3 MDD1963

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 04:07 AM

If someone truly thought/strongly suspected there was a possibility of hard drive failure/imminent failure/ 'pre-failure', few data recovery specialists would recommend potentially hastening it's demise by giving it a full workout of a chkdsk, when those potential last gasps of serviceable 'life' might possibly be better spent 'saving/ migrating' data from it. (Certainly, a serviceable drive will not be harmed by either process you mentioned; perhaps a cautious GSmrtCntrl clean bill of health might ease one's concerns, whereas a result filled with errors might wisely dictate a more cautious approach)

 

I would not necessarily advocate trying to run such processes before disinfection, not would I personally 'mandate' their use even after. Probably just depends on the circumstances of the problem/potential infection. (I.e, an annoying piece of easily removed addware vs. a complex infection that keeps pulling a 'Lazarus', and known to roost in legit system32 areas, etc...)

 

Of course, opinions vary on the truly correct 'approach', and, the right of the people to choose as they do is their own. (Just because 55% of folks argue that it is a 'best practice' does not 'make it so') :)

 

 


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#4 usasma

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 04:18 PM

Check Disk (CHKDSK) is a program for detecting and repairing corruptions of the file system (NTFS, FAT32, etc)

System File Checker (SFC) is a program for detecting and repairing corruptions in the protected system files of the Windows operating system.

 

As for when to run them - run them when you suspect file system or system file corruptions.

I would first suggest running them in their non-invasive mode.  Then examine the output to determine if you need to run it in "fixing" mode

And I agree with MDD1963 - first fix any malware problems BEFORE running them.

 

For Check Disk, run "chkdsk" (without the quotes) from an elevated (Run as administrator) Command Prompt.

If corruption is detected, run "chkdsk /r /f" (without the quotes) to repair problems that were found

Some will disagree with my inclusion of the "/r" - but the /r isn't documented in current builds of chkdsk (AFAIK), yet I've been using it for years without problem.

 

For the System File Checker, run "sfc /VERIFYONLY" (without the quotes) from an elevated (Run as administrator) Command Prompt

If corruption is detected, run "sfc /SCANNOW" (without the quotes) to repair problems that were found.

 

As an aside - CHKDSK and SFC can both show no problems if run on a hard drive that is having physical problems (such as a failing hard drive)

So, it's not a reliable diagnostic tool for a failing hard drive - only use the manufacturer's hard drive diagnostics for that.


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#5 codytsman

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Posted 15 October 2016 - 10:09 AM

Thanks a ton for your input everyone!



#6 codytsman

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Posted 15 October 2016 - 10:18 AM

.


Edited by codytsman, 15 October 2016 - 10:48 AM.





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