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How to Use Check Disk to Detect And Fix Hard Drive Errors


How to Use Check Disk to Detect And Fix Hard Drive Errors

How to Use Check Disk to Detect And Fix Hard Drive Errors

Hard drive is extremely prone to errors. These errors vary in severity and are caused by a number of things, from hardware faults and power cuts to interrupted data write process. Now, if any serious hardware faults occur, there is very little you can do. In fact, you would be better off backing up all your data, getting a new hard drive, wiping everything off the old one and chucking it into the bin.

The good news is that you have to do nothing of the sort in case of minor hard drive errors. Most of these errors are easily fixed with the help of a tool called Check Disk. Check Disk (CHKDSK) is a built-in Windows utility that can scan your hard drive for errors and bad sectors, repair logical errors, prevent further deterioration by moving data to the healthier parts of the disk and make sure new data is not saved to the bad sectors. This way Check Disk can improve the stability of your PC. Generally speaking, it’s good to run Check Disk on a regular basis, like once a month.

How to run Check Disk

Running Check Disk is really easy even though the scan can take a long time to complete. So make sure you don’t need to use your computer for something like 30-40 minutes (though sometimes it may take up to 2 hours), as Check Disk needs exclusive access to your system. Basically, the larger your disk, the longer Check Disk will need to complete the scan. That’s why it’s good to schedule Check Disk to run either at night or when you’re out.

You can launch the Check Disk tool in two ways – from (My) Computer or from the Command Prompt. Here is how it’s done from (My) Computer:

1. Go to Start Menu and open (My) Computer or This PC.

2. Right-click on the drive you wish to check and click Properties.

3. Go to the Tools tab and click on the Check Now button.

4. A pop-up window will appear and ask you whether you want to Automatically fix file system errors and Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors
Make sure you check both check boxes – otherwise Check Disk will only report errors without fixing them.

5. Click Start to launch the tool.

Check Disk needs exclusive access to the drive. This means that no other programs should be running. This includes Windows. So if you are checking your system drive, Check Disk will not be able to perform the scan straight away. Instead, it will offer you to schedule the scan for the next reboot. To do that, just click on Schedule Disk Check and then click OK.

Now it’s time to grab that mug of coffee, reboot your computer and let Check Disk do the work. And if you don’t feel like doing the disk checking after you reboot your PC, don’t worry - you’ll have 10 seconds to cancel.

It’s also possible to run Check Disk (CHKDSK) from the command prompt.

1. You will need to run Command Prompt with administrative privileges. To do it, click on Start Menu and type CMD.exe in the Search box.

2. Right-click on CMD.exe and select Run as Administrator.

3. Now type CHKDSK C: /f in the Command Prompt window. C: is the letter of the drive you will be checking and /f will make the tool fix file system errors.

4. Check Disk will try to lock your drive and you will be prompted to schedule the task for the next reboot.

There are more command prompt options for CHKDSK, the full list of CHKDSK command prompt options can be found via the Command Prompt itself: just type CHKDSK /? to get the details of what each option does.

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