Error Checking The Hard Disk

Dear Computer Lady,

I have Windows 7 Home.

Under the hard drive (C:) Properties, then Tools, I see Error Checking. Is this something that should be done periodically, as with disk defragmenting and disk cleaning?

Thank you for all your help. Lucille

Dear Lucille,

Error checking is a utility that scans your hard drive for errors. It can repair problems with files and folders that it detects.

Error checking can also scan for and attempt to recover files from bad sectors. Bad sectors are physical locations on your hard drive that are no longer able to store information.

Error checking cannot fix the actual bad sectors, and it will not make your computer last longer or run faster. It can only alert you when your hard drive begins to develop them, and move your files to a better location on the drive so you won’t lose data.

I don’t usually run the error checking program unless I suspect problems with the hard drive, and when I do suspect a problem, I prefer a program called, SpinRite at which does an excellent job of recovering files from bad sectors.

If you do want to run error checking from time to time, just follow these directions.

1. Click on “Start” then click on “Computer” (or “My Computer” in older versions of Windows).

2. Right-click on your hard drive icon, and click on “Properties” in the context menu that appears.

3. In the drive properties dialog box, click on the “Tools” tab.

4. Click on the button that says, “Check Now” in the error checking section.

Hopefully, your hard drive will live a long, error free life.


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