dosfsck - Linux


dosfsck is a utility specifically designed to repair and maintain DOS (MS-DOS or FAT) filesystems on Linux systems. It’s primarily used to check for and resolve inconsistencies or corruption within DOS filesystems, ensuring their integrity and accessibility.


dosfsck [options] [device]

Required Arguments:

  • device: The path to the DOS filesystem device (e.g., /dev/sda1) that needs to be checked or repaired.


  • -a: Automatically repair any detected filesystem errors without prompting for confirmation.
  • -C: Check for invalid UTF-8 sequences and attempt to correct them.
  • -f: Force the filesystem check, even if the filesystem is not mounted.
  • -i: Interactive mode. Prompts the user before making any changes to the filesystem.
  • -n: Non-destructive check. Displays potential errors but does not make any changes.
  • -v: Verbose mode. Outputs additional information during the check and repair process.
  • -w: Enable write mode. Allows for modifications to be made to the filesystem.


Simple Check

dosfsck /dev/sda1

Check in Interactive Mode

dosfsck -i /dev/sdb2

Automatic Repair

dosfsck -a /dev/sdc1

Force Check

dosfsck -f /dev/sdd3

Check for and Correct Invalid UTF-8 Sequences

dosfsck -C /dev/sde3

Common Issues

  • Device Not Found: Ensure the provided device path is correct and the device is connected.
  • Permission Denied: Ensure you have sufficient permissions to access the device. Use sudo if necessary.
  • Filesystem Not Found: Verify if there’s a valid DOS filesystem on the specified device.


dosfsck can be used in combination with other commands for advanced tasks:

  • mount to mount the repaired filesystem.
  • fsck.vfat to repair VFAT filesystems (a more modern variant of FAT).
  • ddrescue to recover data from damaged devices.

Related Commands

  • fsck: Generic filesystem checking utility for various filesystem types.
  • debugfs: Advanced filesystem debugging tool for EXT2/3/4 filesystems.
  • ntfs-3g: Tool for accessing and repairing NTFS filesystems.