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Article ID: 837326 - Last Review: December 6, 2006 - Revision: 3.1

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To obtain accurate results from the Check Disk tool (Chkdsk.exe), you must run the tool against a volume that is offline. You cannot always do this in a production environment. Instead, you can use the Verify Disk tool (Vrfydsk.exe) to check a volume for errors without taking the volume offline.


Vrfydsk.exe is a command-line tool that checks the consistency and the integrity of the FAT file system or of the NTFS file system on a specified volume. Vrfydsk.exe creates and displays a status report for the volume. This status report also lists any errors that are on the volume.

Note Vrfydsk.exe cannot correct any errors that it discovers. To correct these errors, run Chkdsk.exe in fix mode (chkdsk /f).

To download and to install Vrfydsk.exe, visit the following Microsoft Web site: (
Note Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) contains new fuctionality that lets the Chkdsk.exe tool run in "read-only" mode to create and to use a snapshot to check the volume. This resembles what the Vrfydsk.exe tool does. If you have Windows Server 2003 SP1 installed on a system, we recommend that you use the Chkdsk.exe tool in read-only mode instead of using the Vfrydsk.exe tool. Read-only mode does not use switches.

How to use the Vrfydsk.exe tool

To test drive C for corruption, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Windows Resource Kit Tools, and then click Command Shell.
  2. At the command prompt, type Vrfydsk C: /V, and then press ENTER.


Vrfydsk.exe uses the following syntax:

Vrfydsk [volume[Path]] [/V] [/I] [/C] [/?]


Vrfydsk.exe uses the following options:
  • volume[Path]- This option specifies the fixed storage capacity of a disk or a tape that you want to test for corruption. You can use the volume name, the drive letter, or the mount point as an input for the target volume. If you do not specify the volume information, Vrfydsk.exe uses the current volume as the target volume.
  • /V - This option runs Vrfydsk.exe in a verbose mode that displays any clean-up messages.
  • /I - This option runs Vrfydsk.exe in a mode that performs a test of index entries that is less vigorous than the default test. Use this option to reduce the time that it takes to run the tool. This option applies to NTFS only.
  • /C - This option runs Vrfydsk.exe in a mode that skips cycle-testing in folder structures. Use this option to reduce the time that it takes to run the tool. This option applies to NTFS only.
  • /? - This option displays command-line usage.

Note The Vrfydsk.exe options are a subset of the Chkdsk.exe options. All the options for Vrfydsk.exe are passed directly to Chkdsk.exe as options for the corresponding switch.

Differences between Chkdsk.exe and Vrfydsk.exe

Chkdsk.exe provides functionality that is similar to the Vrfydsk.exe functionality. However, if you run Chkdsk.exe on an active computer, on a startup volume, or on a data volume that another program or another process is using, Chkdsk.exe might report nonexistent errors. Vrfydsk.exe does not have this limitation.

If you run Chkdsk.exe on a volume that is being used, Chkdsk.exe might report nonexistent errors because the volume changes while Chkdsk.exe runs. To make sure that Chkdsk.exe receives a consistent view of the volume, you may have to take the volume offline. This can be an issue if you maintain a service level agreement that has the following specifications:
  • You must maintain high availability.
  • You must make sure that the volumes are not corrupted.
Vrfydsk.exe uses the Volume Shadow Copy service to create a shadow copy of the volume and then checks the file system consistency of this shadow copy. Vrfydsk.exe generates a status report. The status report lists any errors that it discovers. After Vrfydsk.exe displays this report, Vrfydsk.exe deletes the shadow copy. Therefore, Vrfydsk.exe permits you to check the volume for errors without taking the volume offline and making it unavailable.

Vrfydsk.exe does not create a complete copy of the data. Vrfydsk.exe only creates a shadow copy of the data. Therefore, it does not take much longer to run Vrfydsk.exe than to run Chkdsk.exe.

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Web Edition
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