Scandisk for Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 98 SE and Windows ME
So why should you run Scandisk and what is Scandisk anyway?
Scandisk does just what it sounds like, it scans your hard drive looking for errors and correcting them. The hard drive is where Windows is installed, also all of your programs and any files you may have created. If you ever turned off your computer by just turning off the power ( you should never do that, but sometimes you just have to, or the electricity goes off and so does your computer) then errors can occur on your hard drive. If you get errors in the wrong place, then some programs won't work right, maybe they won't even open. You can't find files you know should be there someplace because you saved them. ( You did save them, didn't you?)
So after awhile you need to run Scandisk. Before you open Scandisk, make sure you don't have any programs open. If you have a screensaver, make sure it is turned off. Right click on your Desktop (any blank space) and when the menu comes up, select 'Properties'. When that menu appears, click the tab that is marked Screensaver and select 'None'. Don't forget to click the 'Apply' button. Then close the Properties box.
Now click on your Start button and select Programs. In the Programs menu select 'Accessories', then select System Tools. Now click on Scandisk. When the Scandisk Program opens, put a check mark in the little square at the bottom to automatically fix errors. (Figure 1) Then start the program & go find something else to do for a while. Scandisk can take a long time to run, so don't do this if you have something else you want to do on your computer right away. If you are using Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 98SE or Windows ME, you need to run Scandisk once a month.
Scandisk for Windows 2000, Windows XP, Vista & Windows 7
There is not really a scandisk for these systems; instead there is 'error checking'. You can start the error checking by opening the My Computer icon (or computer in Vista and Windows 7), right-clicking on the hard drive icon, selecting 'Properties', selecting the 'Tools' (tab), and then clicking the 'Check Now' button. When you open error checking, select 'Automatically fix file system errors' and 'Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors'. The error check will be performed the next time you restart your computer after you click 'Yes' to schedule the disk check. (Figure 2)
Generally, you probably won't need to run the error check unless you are having a problem.