It is not a common task to recover data from a CHK file but you might find a situation when you need to do this. For example, you might have a problem with your computer that is causing file corruption. If this happens, CHKDSK might run automatically, see the corrupted files, move and rename them to CHK files. In some cases the file that has been marked as corrupted is still important to you and in that case you will need to recover data from CHK files.
Can You Recover Data From CHK Files?
If you want to recover data from CHK files they are most likely files that have been created by CHKDSK.
.CHK file can be:
- A single entire file if you are lucky.
- A fragment of a file which can be possibly useless on its own.
- Or a mixture of both.
It may contain:
- Some kind of document or text file, portion of full. Good chance of recovery.
- Recovered portions of of binary files. Not useful.
Obviously the best scenario would be if your CHK file contained a single full file or even multiple full files, but not fragmented ones.
The Easiest Way to Recover Data from CHK Files
This is the most simple way to recover data from CHK files but is also often overlooked.
If you know what the original file extension was you can almost always simply rename the file. For example, you might have only had Microsoft Word files on your USB drive, so when you find CHK files on the same drive you know that the original file extensions would be .doc or .docx.
Here is an example list of some common file extensions:
·doc – Open with Microsoft Word or Open office (pre 2007)
.docx – Newer Microsoft Word or Open office
.txt – Opens with Notepad.
.xls – Open with Excel
.pdf – secure document file. Open with Adobe Reader
.pps – slideshow presentation. Open using PowerPoint
.ppt – editable presentation file. Open with PowerPoint to edit.
Find Out Who What Where?
Sometimes if you open the .CHK file in WordPad (not Notepad) you can see some clues as to what program created the original file. You might also see a file signature that can give-away the file type. For example some filetypes begin with a signature of several characters – EXEs and DLLs begin with “MZ”, bitmaps with “BM”, JPGs with “JFIF”, and so on. If you can work out the filetype, try renaming the file and opening it.
More CHK File Resources
Sometimes you may have a problem with a CHK file. You might need to recover it or even extract the original file from within the CHK file. Here are some handy tutorials I found on the internet.
Use Software to Recover Data from CHK Files
Chk-Back data recovery software can help restore data corrupted by the Windows CHKDSK process. If data is lost during CHKDSK (check disk), this utility can scan these individual files to determine if the files are useable, if the software is able to recognise files it will then create a copy of each file within a directory where the original CHK files are stored. Most common file types are supported: jpg, bmp, jpg, exe, png, dwg, qbb, mp3, rar, mp4, wma, mpg, pdf, gif, mid, xml, tif, mso, avi, wav. This application allows users to select a specific directory containing CHK files using a user friendly interface, a few clicks later the application will interogate each file and determine if this file contains useable data, if the file type is recognised then a copy of this file is created within a new directory within the original, this application DOES NOT change the original files in any way, the files are tested then a copy is made if the file type is recognised. In some instances the file type can be recognised but corruption can cause the file to be unuseable. It is not recomended that Chk-Back is stopped mid way through a scan.
See more about CHK-back data recovery at Cnet.