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Run Check Disk Utility

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Whenever a program crashes or you experience a power outage, your computer may create errors on its hard disk (sometimes referred to as a hard drive). Over time, the errors can result in a slow PC. Fortunately, the Windows operating system includes several PC tools, including a Check Disk program, to identify and clean any errors on your computer and to help keep it running smoothly.

Note: You must be logged on as an administrator to perform these steps. If you aren't logged on as an administrator, you can only change settings that apply to your user account.

 

Run Check Disk

Windows 7 and Windows Vista users:

  • Click the Start and then click Computer.
  • Right-click the hard disk drive that you want to check, and then click Properties.
  • Click the Tools tab, and then, under Error-checking, click Check Now.
  • To automatically repair problems with files and folders that the scan detects, select Automatically fix file system errors. Otherwise, the disk check will simply report problems but not fix them.
  • To perform a thorough disk check, select Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors. This scan attempts to find and repair physical errors on the hard disk itself, and it can take much longer to complete.
  • To check for both file errors and physical errors, select both Automatically fix file system errors and Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors.
  • Click Start.
  • Depending upon the size of your hard disk, this may take several minutes. For best results, don't use your computer for any other tasks while it's checking for errors.

    Note: If you select Automatically fix file system errors for a disk that is in use, you'll be prompted to reschedule the disk check for the next time you restart your computer.

Windows XP users:

  • Click Start and the click My Computer.
  • In the My Computer dialog box, right-click the drive you wish to check for errors (for most of us, this is the C: drive, unless you have multiple drives on your computer), and then click Properties.
  • In the Properties dialog box, click the Tools tab. In the Error-Checking section, click the Check Now button. A Check Disk dialog box appears.
  • In the Check Disk dialog box, select all the check boxes, and then click Start.
  • You will see a message box that says you can schedule the disk check to start the next time you restart your computer.
  • Click Yes.
  • The next time you restart your computer, it will automatically run through a disk check before displaying your login screen. After the disk check finishes, Windows will automatically bring you to your login screen.

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