Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

CHKDSK can be run with your Task Scheduler. The trick is getting it to run at the right time before your automatic backup.

Windows 7 SP1. Utility CHKDSK. Cannot schedule to run before automatic Windows backup starts. Leo, I've searched your answers and most of the web generally and it's clear that the CHKDSK is little understood by most users.

The last useful answer was the Windows 7 forum in 2009. I want to schedule CHKDSK to run before Windows backs itself on schedule every Sunday because I often find that the backup has failed, error message "Could not open folder on drive D." I then run CHKDSK on the backup drive which is a Passport 650 GB USB 3 external drive.

So if you have any ideas. I feel many of your readers would be pleased. As for Google, I find many ask this question as often asked but never properly answered.

In this excerpt from Answercast #4, I'll discuss how to find your Task Scheduler and set it up to run CHKDSK before that backup starts.

How to Schedule CHKDSK

So, I'm not sure what it is that complicates this. To me, the answer seems fairly simple. CHKDSK can be scheduled. I have an article on scheduling defragging and the same technique applies to scheduling CHKDSK.

You can use Windows 7's built-in Task Scheduler (TaskSched.msc) and schedule CHKDSK. Set up the schedule that runs CHKDSK automatically; add a specific time on a specific day.

You can schedule it to run Saturday evening if that makes sense. Windows own backup, if it's running automatically, is also scheduled somewhere in Task Scheduler. Either you set that up or Windows backup has set itself up in there.

Schedule compatible times

All you really need to do is understand Windows backup schedule and make sure that you schedule your automatic CHKDSK to run enough prior to that so that CHKDSK will have finished.

You'll need to know the CHKDSK running time. I'd run it manually first to see how long it takes on that particular drive. Then double or triple that time and schedule the automated CHKDSK to be that much ahead of the automated backup.

Like I said, there doesn't seem to be a lot of complexity here. All of the magic is inside the Task Scheduler which is also, by the way, in the Control panel. I believe it's in administrative tools. And that's the direction to head off in to make this happen.

Article C5146 - March 29, 2012 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

John Germann
April 2, 2012 11:51 AM

Would your answer on scheduling CHKDSK before an automatic backup have been different if the drive the OP wanted to "check" had been the "C:" drive rather than his USB "D:" drive?

Somewhat. You'd have to allow CHKDSK to "run on boot", and then automatically reboot the machine - all before running the backup.
Lloyd Tennison
February 11, 2013 1:27 AM

An easy way to set a quick chkdsk that does not require human intervention is to run the following and the a reboot program (lots of those):

fsutil dirty set c: (or whatever drive)

chkntfs c: /c (change the FIRST c only to the drive you want.

Just make this a bat or cmd file followed by a reboot command in the task manager.

Comments on this entry are closed.

If you have a question, start by using the search box up at the top of the page - there's a very good chance that your question has already been answered on Ask Leo!.

If you don't find your answer, head out to to ask your question.