Running ScanDisk & Defrag

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For the Mac equivalent, visit our Repair Disk Permissions and Repair Disk guide.

It's good practice to run ScanDisk and Disk Defragmenter regularly to keep system file management at peak performance. First, make sure you have closed all background applications as they may cause ScanDisk & Defrag to malfunction.

Note: Do not defrag a Solid State Drive (SSD)

ScanDisk

Windows XP
  1. Double-click My Computer.
  2. Right-click the hard disk drive you wish to scan.
  3. Click Properties.
  4. Click the Tools tab.
  5. Under Error-checking, click Check Now.
  6. Select the Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors check box and the Automatically fix file system errors box.
  7. Click Yes to schedule after the restart.
  8. Restart your computer for the scan to run.
Windows Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8
  1. Click the Start button (Windows Key + Q in Windows 8).
  2. Click Computer.
  3. Right-click the hard disk drive that you wish to check (this will commonly be C:\).
  4. Click Properties.
  5. Click the Tools tab.
  6. Under Error-checking, click Check Now.
  7. Under Check disk options, select Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors box and Automatically fix file system errors box.
  8. Select Yes to schedule after restart.
  9. Restart your computer.

Defrag

Note: Do not perform disk defragmentation (defrag) on Solid State Drives (SSD) as it may cause permanent damage to the drive. If you are unsure what type of disk drive you have, consult your PC manufacturer.

Windows XP
  1. Double-click My Computer and select the local disk you want to check.
  2. Click File.
  3. Click Properties
  4. Click the Tools tab.
  5. Click Defragment Now.
  6. Select the volume to defragment.
  7. Click Defragment.
Windows Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8
  1. Click Start (Windows Key + Q in Windows 8).
  2. Select Computer.
  3. Right click on the Hard disk that you wish to check.
  4. Select Properties from the pop-up menu.
  5. Click the Tools tab.
  6. Under Defragmentation, click Defragment Now.
  7. Select volume to defragment.
  8. Click Defragment.

System File Checker

Run the System File Checker to scan for damaged or missing files in Windows.

Note: This command may require access to the Windows installation source files.

Windows Vista/Windows 7

You will first need to open an elevated command prompt window.

  1. Click Start.
  2. Select All Programs.
  3. Under Accessories, right-click Command Prompt.
  4. Click Run as Administrator.
  5. If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password or click Allow.
  6. In the Command box, type sfc /scannow.
  7. Follow the prompts to check the integrity of your files.

Windows 8

  1. Windows Key + Q.
  2. Right-click Command Prompt.
  3. Select Run as administrator.
  4. In the Command box, type sfc /scannow.
  5. Follow the prompts to check the integrity of your files.

Windows XP

  1. Click Start.
  2. Go to Run.
  3. In the run box, type sfc /scannow.
  4. Follow the prompts to check the integrity of your files.

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