How Can I Check My Hard Drive For Errors?

Hard drives can, and do, go wrong.

Just this weekend I had a problem with mine. Thats not surprising considering that it is OLD. Very old.

I’m always prepared, having learned the importance of making regular backups a few years ago when my web host ‘lost’ my website and their backups at almost the exact same time I suffered a total hard drive failure!

Luckily this time the damage was nothing like so severe. Only a minor portion of the disk was corrupted, though this did take out my Chrome browser which was a bit of a pain. Ho hum.

But it did get me thinking about the need to perform regular maintenance on your hard drives. Mine had shown a few signs that it may be playing up but I just ignored them. Yeah, I’m busy, but thats no excuse really. Is it?

Anyways, here is a quick and simple guide to performing some basic checks and fixes on your hard drive:


Firstly, click the Start button and then click on Computer.


Now choose which hard drive you wish to check. Right click on it and a small window will appear. Choose the bottom option from this window which is Properties.


You will now be presented with the window seen above. Click on the Tools tab which will take you to the window shown below:


Here, under the Error-checking section, you will need to click on the Check now… button. You may be prompted to enter your Windows administrator password or confirm your request at this point.


Now you will see that you have to check boxes to choose from. If you select no boxes then the scan will simply notify you of any errors but do nothing about them. Clicking on Automatically fix file system errors will, as the name implies, cause the program to attempt to fix files and folders.

Selecting Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors will get the program to attempt to fix physical errors on the hard disk. This operation could take some time.

Of course there are other and better tools out there for managing hard disks and data recovery but this method is quick and free and may just give you the heads up you require in order to repair, replace or backup a failing drive.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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