Have you noticed your Windows 7 computer acting strange? Is a specific application having problem(s)? Does your Windows 7 computer seem to run slower?
Believe it or not all of those afore mentioned problems can be attributable to hard disk errors. Microsoft has a command called chkdsk that can check your hard disk for errors. This can be a very useful tool for your computer maintenance.
I recommend running this command every few months as part of your computer maintenance. You can run chkdsk on Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10. You want to open up command prompt with administrator rights first, before you run check disk command windows 7.
On Windows 7 click the Windows start menu button. Type in "cmd" without quotes into a "Search programs and files" field. You will see a command prompt icon.
Right click this icon and select "Run as administrator" from a popup menu. Select "Yes" at a "User Account Control" prompt. A command prompt with administrative privileges is now open.
Now you want to kick off a chkdsk scan. Since your file system is already mounted you will get prompted with this message:
The type of the file system is NTFS.
Cannot lock current drive.
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)
You want type in Y for yes so that the next time you reboot your computer, a chkdsk scan will begin. This allows chkdsk to run on a file system that is not mounted. If you just run chkdsk without any variables it will perform a read only scan and report to you any error(s).
In order to check your hard drive for bad sectors you want to run this command, chkdsk /f /r.
C:\WINDOWS\system32>chkdsk /f /r
Also, you can specify what drive letter you want to have scanned. For example you can actually scan a flash memory drive or a secondary hard drive.
C:\WINDOWS\system32>chkdsk f: /f /r
The /f option will attempt to fix any errors on your hard disk. The /r option will attempt to scan your hard disk for bad sectors. As an added benefit chkdsk will attempt to recover any data on a bad sector and move that data to a good sector.
Also, chkdsk marks that bad sector so that Microsoft Windows does not write any data to that sector again. This is why I highly recommend you run a chkdsk scan periodically as part of your computer maintenance. This scan can take quite awhile depending on factors such as how much data you have, the health of your hard drive, size of your hard disk, etc.
You might want to set aside a couple of hours for this scan to complete. Even on a healthy hard drive a chkdsk scan can take quite awhile to complete especially if you choose to scan for bad sectors. There are five stages in a chkdsk scan when you specify the /r option, to check for bad sectors.
About Author Aaron J. Berg
Aaron J. Berg is the owner of Anet Computers, host of the Reality PC podcast, and blogger at AnetComputers.com. For over thirteen years, he worked for fortune 500 companies and the United States Federal government supporting computers. Now he helps you solve your most common computer problems.