How to Check your PC Disk Drive for Errors
Using the Error-Checking Tool within Windows, you can easily check your disk drive for file system errors and even physical disk damage. Slow PC performance, crashes, and freezes can be caused by a malfunctioning hard drive with corrupt system files and bad sectors. We will detail all of the error check options of the Check Disk utility in this tutorial and explain the nuances of each.
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Note: You may want to read the section further below first, which describes the functions of the Check Disk Error-checking Tool in more detail.
Follow the 5 Steps detailed below this diagram
to check your PC Disk Drive for System Errors.
Launch Local Disk Properties
Open your "Computer" or "My Computer" folder (usually located on your Desktop or in the Start Menu) to view your Hard Disk Drives. Then Right-Click on the Disk Drive that you want to check for errors and Left-Click on "Properties". A box will pop up titled "Local Disk (C:) Properties" or whichever disk drive letter you have chosen.
Open the Tools Tab
Next, Left-Click on the "Tools" tab on the second row from the top as shown in the image above.
Launch Check Disk
Then Left-Click on the "Check Now" button and a small box will pop up titled, "Check Disk Local Disk (C:)" or whichever drive you are going to check for errors.
Check Disk Options
Make sure the first selection, "Automatically fix file system errors" is checked otherwise errors will only be reported but not fixed. Only check the second box, "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors" if you suspect your hard disk drive is physically failing. WARNING: Using the second option will take a long time to scan. Both options are explained in detail below.
Start Check or Schedule Disk Check
Finally, Left-Click the "Start" button and a box will usually appear suggesting, "Windows can't check the disk while it's in use" unless you are checking a drive not in use - like a data drive that does not have Windows installed. If the check begins without a restart, it is best NOT to use your computer for anything else during the process. A good time to go for a break, but you will probably want to stick around to see what errors (if any) are displayed.
If you are checking the Windows drive or a drive in use by another program, you will be asked, "Do you want to check for hard disk errors the next time you start your computer?". You will need to Left-Click "Schedule Disk Check", then Left-Click "OK" in the "Local Disk Properties" box. Close your folder and "Restart" your PC. Windows will automatically run the "Error-Checking" tool on bootup. Wait for it to finish and any PC Disk Drive Errors will be repaired automatically.
The Check Disk Error-Checking Tool
A corrupt system file or a bad sector on your disk drive can lead to slow PC speed and cause many PC problems such as screen freezes. The built-in Windows Check Disk Error-checking tool can automatically repair your PC or at the very least, make you aware of potential problems. Since your PC relies on your hard disk drive continuously during operation, restarts and even a full system crash are certainly possible on a disk full of errors.
Check Disk Options:
When you run the Check Disk Error-Checking tool, it will perform a scan of your disk drive for any problems. you can set it up in multiple ways as described below.
Automatically fix file system errors - This option reports and repairs data errors. If you check this option, the disk data errors will be repaired automatically. If you uncheck this option, the errors will be displayed to you, but not fixed.
Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors - While many modern disk drives have built-in recovery routines that may fix errors automatically, it never hurts to get a second opinion. This option will scan your entire disk drive platter for physical damage. Since it has to go over every sector on your drive, it takes a long time to complete. If it finds any bad sectors, it will attempt to repair or recover the damaged sector if possible. If it fails to repair a bad sector, it may be a sign to immediately backup all of your important data and consider purchasing a new disk drive. Frankly, even if it finds a bad area and successfully repairs it, I would still be concerned that a sector became corrupted in the first place. You may also want to consider your drive manufacturer's utilities software (if available) for a possibly more thorough and complete disk drive check.
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