Computer Hygene 101 – Checking Your Disc For Errors

Every so often you’ll get a message that your disc drive may have corruption.  Windows has been getting better at automatically checking this sort of thing, but sometimes it gets confused and you may have to do it on your own.

Since I live in the Florida Power and Light area of Florida, and we get a lot of what I call “Power Pops”, we also get a lot of files that get corrupted.  Since hurricanes have hit South Florida before, the infrastructure here can be quite creaky and things surge and break.  That “ate” two of my computers when I moved down here and I have two different filters on this computer I am typing on.

My own opinion is that a computer is safer on a power strip or an “Uninterruptable Power Source”, and a laptop will tolerate power fluctuations better because the wall current runs through a brick that takes some punishment as well.

From time to time you may have to run a “chkdsk” on your hard drive.  That’s a program in Windows that will look at the hard drive and attempt to fix any errors found.  My own opinion is that if chkdsk can’t fix it, you’re best to consider your options – however make sure you have a good backup of what is on that disc. 

After all Data is more expensive than Hardware!

Since Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 are slightly different in the way you run chkdsk, I’ll treat them separately.

Relax, it only looks difficult!

Windows 7:

  1. Click on the Start Button – or hit the Windows Key on your keyboard.
  2. Click on “All Programs” to expand the menu.
  3. Click on Accessories to expand the menu.
  4. Find Command Prompt and Right Click on the item.  You will know you have done that correctly because you will get a pop up menu to show. 
  5. Click on “Run as Administrator“.  This will let you have more control over your computer.  It also will allow you to do things like delete your windows files – so be aware of what you are doing.
  6. “User Account Control” will grey your screen and pop up a window asking “Do you want to allow the following program to make changes to this computer?”.   Click on the “Yes” button.
  7. The “Administrator: Command Prompt” window will open.
  8. In the command prompt, type the following command:  chkdsk c: /f and hit enter.
  9. You will get a message saying “Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process.  Would you like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts?  (Y/N)
  10. Type: y 
  11. Hit enter.
  12. Type: exit
  13. Hit enter.
  14. Restart your computer. 

Windows 8 and 8.1

  1. Go to your start screen.
  2. In the upper right there is a search box.  
  3. In the search box type: cmd
  4. You will have a list of items.  Find Command Prompt and Right Click on the item.  You will know you have done that correctly because you will get a pop up menu to show. 
  5. Click on “Run as Administrator“.  This will let you have more control over your computer.  It also will allow you to do things like delete your windows files – so be aware of what you are doing.
  6. “User Account Control” will grey your screen and pop up a window asking “Do you want to allow the following program to make changes to this computer?”.   Click on the “Yes” button.
  7. The “Administrator: Command Prompt” window will open.
  8. In the command prompt window, type the following command:  chkdsk c: /f and hit enter.
  9. You will get a message saying “Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process.  Would you like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts?  (Y/N)
  10. Type:
  11. Hit enter.
  12. Type: exit
  13. Hit enter.
  14. Restart your computer.

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