Use CHKDSK to Detect And Fix Hard Drive Errors
Did you know that your hard drive is one of the very few mechanical computer parts? Unlike CPU and RAM that have electronic components, hard drives have a mechanical arm that moves whenever anything is written to the disk or read from the disk. That’s why it’s not surprising that your hard drive is the slowest part of your computer. But that’s not all – it’s also 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 CHKDSK (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. Or at least get yourself a large mug of coffee, sit back and relax.
The process of running Check Disk is the same for all Windows versions, which makes things a lot easier. You can launch the tool in two ways – from (My) Computer or from the Command Prompt. Here is how it’s done from (My) Computer:
Make sure you check both checkboxes – otherwise Check Disk will only report errors without fixing them
Like I said before, 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.
Want to learn how to use all CHKDSK options? Read more about CHKDSK in our ebook “Turbo Windows – the Ultimate PC Speed Up Guide”. Download it for FREE now!