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Chapter 19. Maintenance & Troubleshooting > Checking for Disk Errors

Checking for Disk Errors

Improper Windows shutdowns—usually caused by power outages, mechanical problems, or system crashes (blue screens)—may create defects on disk surfaces. These errors can cause numerous problems, such as random crashes, data corruption, or the inability to save or open files. Check Disk, a more powerful upgrade to the Windows 9x ScanDisk utility, scans the disk surface for errors and fixes any that it finds.

To detect and repair disk errors

Exit all programs.

Right-click a drive icon in My Computer; then choose Properties > Tools tab > Check Now (Figure 19.21).

Figure 19.21. Check Disk works best for NTFS-formatted drives. See the appendix.

Check or uncheck the following boxes:

Automatically Fix File System Errors. Check this box to make Windows repair any errors it finds; if it’s unchecked, errors are merely reported, not fixed. If the disk is in use, or if you’re checking the system disk (the one with Windows on it), you’ll see Figure 19.22; click Yes to defer the scan until the next time you restart your PC.

Figure 19.22. This message appears if the disk is in use. Check Disk runs the next time you restart your system. The disk won’t be available for other tasks during the check.

Scan for and Attempt Recovery of Bad Sectors. Check this box to make Windows recover readable files and folders it finds in the disk’s defective sections and move them elsewhere on the disk. This option fixes errors as well, even if the other option is unchecked. Unrepairable sections are locked out of available storage.

Click Start to begin the checking process.

The progress bar indicates the phase Check Disk is in. When all phases are complete, a dialog box tells you how things turned out.



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