CHKNTFS is a command used in Windows Command Prompt to display or modify the checking of the disk at boot time. This tool is primarily used for the configuration of the automatic disk checking at startup, determining whether specific volumes are dirty or clean, and if they need to be checked on the next reboot. It is especially useful for system administrators and for troubleshooting disk issues in both domestic and enterprise environments.


The basic syntax for the CHKNTFS command is as follows:

CHKNTFS volume_name1 [volume_name2 ...]
CHKNTFS /T[:time]
CHKNTFS /X volume_name1 [volume_name2 ...]
CHKNTFS /C volume_name1 [volume_name2 ...]
  • volume_name: Specifies the drive letter (followed by a colon), mount point, or volume name.


  • /D: Restores the machine’s default behavior; all drives are checked at boot time and chkdsk is run on those that are dirty.
  • /T[:time]: Changes the autochk initiation countdown time to the specified amount of time in seconds. If no time is specified, displays the current setting.
  • /X volume_name: Excludes a drive from the default boot-time check. Excluded drives are not accumulated between command invocations.
  • /C volume_name: Schedules a drive to be checked when the computer is started.


  1. Check the Current Status of a Volume:


    This command will display whether or not the C: drive is scheduled to be checked at the next reboot.

  2. Exclude a Drive from Default Boot-Time Check:


    This command prevents the E: drive from being checked when the computer starts up.

  3. Schedule a Drive to be Checked on Startup:


    Forces the D: drive to be checked at the next system boot.

  4. Set Autochk Initiation Countdown Time:

    CHKNTFS /T:30

    Sets the countdown timer for the autochk to 30 seconds at startup.

Common Issues

  • Volume Locking Error: A volume cannot be locked if it’s in use. To work around this, schedule the disk check for the next reboot or close any programs that might be using the disk.
  • Syntax Mistakes: Ensure correct use of colons and spaces. Misplaced characters can lead to syntax errors which prevent CHKNTFS from executing properly.


The CHKNTFS command can be effectively combined with other system utilities in scripts or batch files for system maintenance. For example:

@echo off
ECHO C: drive will not be checked at startup
SHUTDOWN /r /t 00

This script will exclude C: drive from being checked and then reboot the computer immediately.

  • CHKDSK: Checks the file system and file system metadata of a volume for logical and physical errors.
  • FSUTIL: Displays or configures the file system properties.
  • DISKPART: A command-line tool to manage disk partitions including creating, deleting, and resizing partitions.

For further documentation, you can check Microsoft’s official documentation on CHKNTFS.