How to Perform Hard Disk Error-Checking in Windows XP

Tune-up your hard drive with the Error-Checking utility (formerly known as ScanDisk).
by Updated January 29, 2009

The ScanDisk utility that was in previous versions of Windows is no longer available in Windows XP. Not to worry because you can now use the Error-Checking tool to check the integrity of your hard disk. Perform the following steps to run the Error-Checking utility.

  1. Double-click My Computer, then right-click on the local disk drive that you want to check for errors (typically this is your C: drive).
  2. Click Properties, and then click the Tools tab.
  3. In the Error-checking section, click the Check Now button, and the Check Disk dialog box will open up.
  4. Under Check disk options, you should check both boxes for Automatically fix file system errors and Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors.
  5. Now click Start.
  6. Another window will open up that essentially says Do you want to schedule this disk check to occur the next time you restart the computer?
  7. Click Yes, the Tools tab reappears.
  8. Click the OK button and then Restart your computer.
  9. When the computer restarts the Error-Checking utility will begin running automatically.
  10. When the error checking process is finished, the computer will restart.

On restart you will get a screen that will say:

Checking file system on C:
The type of the file system is NTFS. 

CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 5)…

Note: Depending on the size of your hard drive and the speed of your computer, it may take well over an hour to complete all 5 stages. I just ran this on my computer and it took 1 hour and 30 minutes. So before you decide to run the Error-Checking utility make sure that you don’t need to use the computer for at least an hour or two.



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