How to Run ScanDisk in Windows XP

by eHow Computers Editor

ScanDisk is a Windows utility which detects and corrects errors. Windows XP introduced a significant change to ScanDisk. The utility was integrated into the operating system. You should run ScanDisk whenever you notice a hard drive is not performing well and also on a regular basis to fix errors as soon as they happen.

Open "My Computer" in Windows XP.

Find the icon for the hard drive you want to run ScanDisk on. You can run ScanDisk on the system's primary hard drive and also on any secondary hard drives or external hard drives. Right-click on the icon for the hard drive and select "Properties."

Choose the "Tools" tab from the hard drive properties window. The ScanDisk utility can be activated from the Error-checking box at the top of the Tools tab. To begin, click the "Check Now" button.

Note the two check boxes displayed. You will want to choose the "Automatically Fix File System Errors" box. This will perform a basic fast scan of the drive, which will take only a few minutes.

Put a check in the "Scan for and Attempt Recovery of Bad Sectors" box for a more thorough scan. With this checked, Windows XP will take 10 hours or longer to run ScanDisk depending on the size of your hard drive. Run this if you have noticed a problem with the hard drive's performance. For regular checks, run the basic check most of the time and the longer check only occasionally.

Hit the "Start" button to start ScanDisk.

Wait for Windows XP to finish running ScanDisk and view the report. ScanDisk will tell you what errors it found and fixed. Click the "Close" button when are finished viewing the report.