Maintenance: Scan for Hard Drive Errors
Recommended Frequency: Once a Month
Estimated Time: Two Hours
It’s important to regularly scan for hard drive errors on your PC. This regular scanning will not only turn up errors that Windows will fix, it will also head off problems before they start. Performing other maintenance, like defragmenting, is difficult unless your drive is free of errors. Scanning / repairing your drive is especially important if you’ve had your drive for a long period of time.
To scan your hard drive for errors and repair them in Windows 7 or Windows Vista, click Start, then Computer. Right click the drive you want to scan, and click Properties. Click the Tools tab, then click Error-checking, then Check Now. There are two optional check boxes: Automatically Fix File System Errors and Scan For and Attempt Recovery of Bad Sectors. Each of these methods repairs your hard drive in a different way, and the second takes much longer than the first. Without these boxes checked, Windows will simply scan for errors without repairing them.
To scan your hard drive for errors and repair them in Windows XP, click Start, then Run… then type cmd. At the prompt, type chkdsk X:/f and press Enter. Replace the X with the letter of your hard drive (usually C: or D:). To scan for bad sectors and repair those, type chkdsk X:/r and press Enter instead. This process takes much longer. If the drive you’re scanning is the one currently in use, Windows XP will schedule the scan/repair for the next time you restart your PC. Restart now if you’d like to perform the scan/repair immediately.
This regular scan process will extend the life of your hard drive, and prevent many blue screens of death (BSoDs) from occuring.
Steve Horton has been working with computers for over 20 years. He's dedicated to helping people get the most out of their PCs, and likes playing cards and writing comics.
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