In addition to running Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter to optimize the performance of your computer, you can check the integrity of the files stored on your hard disk by running the Error Checking utility.
As you use your hard drive, it can develop bad sectors. Bad sectors slow down hard disk performance and sometimes make data writing (such as file saving) difficult, or even impossible. The Error Checking utility scans the hard drive for bad sectors, and scans for file system errors to see whether certain files or folders are misplaced.
If you use your computer daily, you should run this utility once a week to help prevent data loss.
Run the Error Checking utility
- Close all open files.
- Click Start, and then click My Computer.
- In the My Computer window, right-click the hard disk you want to search for bad sectors, and then click Properties.
- In the Properties dialog box, click the Tools tab.
- Click the Check Now button.
- In the Check Disk dialog box (called Error-checking in Windows 7), select the Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors check box, and then click Start.
- If bad sectors are found, choose to fix them.
[box type=”note”]Only select the “Automatically fix file system errors” check box if you think that your disk contains bad sectors.[/box]
Run Check Disk via Command Prompt
- Open a Command Prompt Window.
- Windows XP: Open start menu -> Run -> Type CMD and press enter
- Windows Vista/7: Open Start menu, in the search box type CMD, Right click on CMD in search result and choose Run As Administrator.
- Type chkdsk /f /x in command prompt window and press enter.
- Wait for the scan to finish.