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Windows - Disk Diagnostic Tools

This document explains how to use Check Disk and Disk Defragmenter in Windows.

Frequent system crashes and freezes, or noticeable decreases in system performance can often be attributed to a poorly maintained hard-disk.

This will be especially relevant to FAT32-formatted drives, though NTFS-formatted drives can also benefit from these procedures. Scandisk and Disk Defragmenter are two hard-drive maintenance tools included on Windows operating systems to help provide optimal disk performance.

Check Disk

  • Check Disk is a utility that checks your hard-drive (or floppy drive) for problems. It will check for directory structure errors, file errors, etc.
  • To start the Windows' version of Check Disk, open the disk from an Explorer Window (such as from the"Computer" icon on the desktop, or by typing Computer into your Win8 Metro screen) then right-click the drive and select Properties.

  • You will now see a pie-chart of the drive's usage. Click on the Tools tab. In the "Error-checking" section, click the Check Now button.

  • There should be two options listed. One to automatically fix file system errors (which requires a restart if you are scanning your primary operating system drive) and another to scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors. Select the options you want and hit start to begin the scan.

Additional Check Disk Notes

  • If you are attempting to scan the primary operating system drive (the C drive for example) with the "Automatically fix file system errors" option enabled, Windows will automatically schedule a disk check on the next reboot before Windows loads.

Disk Defragmenter

  • If you are experiencing slow system performance this may be due to your hard-drive files being fragmented. This will occur over time as files are deleted, added, and rearranged. Disk Defragmenter will rearrange the files and free space so that your computer can access the files more efficiently.
  • To run Disk Defragmenter, perform the same steps as shown above and open the disk from an Explorer Window (such as from the My Computer or "Computer" icon on the desktop) then right-click the drive and select Properties.
  • Click on the Tools tab. In the "Defragmentation" section, click the Defragment Now button.

Additional Disk Defragmenter Notes

  • Disk Defragmenter does not need to be run that often. Usually, once every 2-3 months should be enough unless your computer has above-average use. Vista by default schedules automatic defrags so running manual defrag scans should not be necessary unless the automatic scan was disabled by the user.

Keywords:harddrive diagnostic tools diagnosis windows XP win7 scandisk checkdisk defragmenter optimize vista win9x2kdisclaimer win8 eight 8 10 win10 ten   Doc ID:229
Owner:Help Desk KB Team .Group:DoIT Help Desk
Created:2000-07-31 18:00 CSTUpdated:2018-06-14 14:08 CST
Sites:DoIT Help Desk
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