How to Extract Files From CHK Files

By Ray Padgett

Any time a program unexpectedly crashes (or Windows itself crashes), the operating system saves one or more CHK archive files. These archive files store any files that were in use at the time of the crash, aiding automatic recovery. Windows, however, will not allow you to extract the files from a CHK file manually. If you wish to do so, you need to use one of several free third-party programs.

Step 1

Extract files from CHK files with CHK-Mate (see Resources.) This is the most user-friendly CHK extractor but, as a result, also the largest in terms of file size. It offers a window that will run you through the extracting process, letting you view the files within a CHK and select the ones to extract.

Step 2

Extract files from CHK files with UnCHK (see Resources.) This basic program will open a CHK file, display the files and let you extract them individually. To do so, it creates a copy of the CHK file, leaving the original intact to Windows to access.

Extract files from CHK files with FileCHK (see Resources.) This is a variant on UnCHK that makes several changes. Unlike UnCHK, FileCHK modifies the same of the CHK file when you open it. This helps you figure it out which CHKs you have opened, but it will impede automatic recovery if you still need Windows to access the CHK.