Chkdsk Alternatives: 5 Free Tools To Check Hard Disk For Errors

Check Disk (chkdsk) is a command line utility in Windows which scans for and tries to fix errors in the hard drive. We look at some of the chkdsk alternatives in this article.

Digital media storage offers a cheap and smarter way to backup our data. If you have used the old media like the tape drives, floppy drives etc., you will certainly appreciate the advancements in the digital storage sector. But the problem with digital storage is that it is never reliable. It can get damaged anytime without any reason. The data cannot be recovered if the media is physically damaged.

chkdsk alternatives to check the hard drive

The only way to ensure that we are on the safer side is to take regular backups of our data and keep on monitoring the health of the system especially the digital media. Here I will share with you 5 tools to check hard disk drive for errors. You can think of these tools as Chkdsk alternatives. Chkdsk is a built in Windows tool to check hard drive for errors.

Ariolic Disk Scanner

Ariolic Disk Scanner is a free and portable utility which checks the hard drive for read errors. It checks each sector of the hard disk and draws a visual representation. It can be a good alternative to chkdsk but the down side of this tool is that it is only limited to checking of the hard disk. There is no option to repair the damaged sectors.

ariolic disk scanner

Download Ariolic Disk Scanner


HDDScan is a free utility to test the hard drive for errors and an advanced chkdsk alternative. It also supports USB flash drive, Firewire and RAID volumes. HDDScan can be very useful in regular hard drive health testing. By using the utility you will have better idea in which condition your hard drive is. It can also inspect S.M.A.R.T data on supported hard drives.


Download HDDScan

Windows Surface Scanner

Windows Surface Scanner scans and finds bad sectors from the hard drive. It can only scan the hard drives mounted in Windows. It supports Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.Windows Surface Scanner is very similar to Ariolic Disk Scanner as it only reports the bad sectors. There is no way to fix those bad sectors. It can be used in conjunction with ChkDsk. Windows Surface Scanner finds the errors and ChkDsk tries to fix them.

Windows Surface Scanner

Download Windows Surface Scanner


Gsmartcontrol is a graphical interface for smartctl which is a popular tool for analyzing the hard drive for bad sectors. It can be used to monitor the hard drives. It can issue early warnings to make sure that the data is backed up before the hard drive becomes dead. This utility can be used in Windows, Linux and Mac OSX alike.


Download Gsmartcontrol


SeaTools is a comprehensive app especially for Seagate hard drives but can also be used with other manufacturers. It can determine the condition of the hard drive. It supports almost all kinds of hard drives including SATA, USB, 1394, ATA (PATA/IDE) and SCSI drives. Since I have a Seagate hard drive, SeaTools is the utility of my choice.


Download SeaTools

I hope these tools will provide you with the perfect chkdsk alternatives for your needs. All the tools are good and consist of some unique features. What is your choice which you use as a chkdsk alternative?

11 thoughts on “Chkdsk Alternatives: 5 Free Tools To Check Hard Disk For Errors

  1. What about HD Tune? I am using this utility for quite sometime and it has never let me down.

    I am not sure whether it will work on Windows 8 or not because the latest version was somewhere in 2011. I hope the publisher will do the job of updating this great utility.

    1. If you are running chkdsk within Windows, it won’t help you a lot. You will need to run check disk utility on Windows startup. Then only it will complete all the scanning and repair process.

  2. any ideas on chkdsk alternatives? I read several webs and forums and noone is close to the correct answer. I don’t need disk scanner, nor partition manager, nor format recovery. I want CHKDSK+, which can remove some logical partition errors like “filename too long” or wrong characters in a filename. Is this so hard to understand?:(

  3. These are not alternatives to chkdsk. These are disk surface scanners. Chkdsk does NOT check the disk surface for errors. These are in no way even remotely related to CHKDSK.

    CHKDSK has a monopoly on the “ability to scan and repair an NTFS file system” function, and it really irritates me to see people flaunting surface-scanners as “alternatives”.

    Here’s the analogy: surface scanners make sure the paper in front of you is clean and usable. CHKDSK makes sure the formulas and information you wrote on the paper actually makes sense. No use using a utility that can’t even speak the language you write. Surface scanners are important (and HD Tune is all you need for that), but they are NOT even in the same category as what Chkdsk does.

    1. Matt thanks a lot for a detailed explanation. All the tools I mentioned have to be used in conjunction with chkdsk in order to get better results and maintain the hardware properly..


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