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Windows XP - Check for Hard Drive Errors

Welcome to this Windows XP tutorial on how to check your computer hard drive for drive errors. You should check your drive for file system errors as this could cause a bigger problem further down the line if not corrected.

Thinks To Note
  • Click the images to see a larger version
  • Yellow arrows or circles indicate where to look or click
  • Unless specified otherwise use the 'left' mouse button to click

Windows XP - Check for Hard Drive Errors

Desktop icons in windows xp

With Windows XP loaded to the desktop you should see the desktop icons.

With the mouse double click the My Computer icon.

The My Computer window will open.

showing the my computer section in windows xp

You will see a list of all the drives that are available under My Computer.

You can diskcheck any drive although it is usually the C:\ drive that requires attention more as this drive is the one that is constantly being used.

With your mouse right click on the 'c:\' and from the menu that appears left click the 'Properties' option at the bottom.

c drive properties in windows xp

You will see the properties window of 'c:'. Click the tab along the top called 'Tools'.

You will see at the top of the window an option labelled 'Error Checking' and a button labelled Check Now. Click the Check now button.

The Disk Scan program will load.

disk check and avaiable options in windows xp

There are not many options. You can tick the 'Automatically fix file system errors' option if required which is thorough and will require a computer restart. When the computer begins to boot up it will run the disk check without any interaction from you.

If you tick the 'Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors' the computer will restart again and check the drive for physical damage. If bad sectors are found it is time to replace your hard drive.

To begin a basic scan or with any of the options selected click the 'Start' button.

running a disk scan in Windows XP

You will see the progress bar move along from left to right and there are normally two or three phases.

The disk check only takes a few minutes.

disk check in windows xp

Once the disk check has completed you will recieve a notification with the result.

Hopefully yours will also say 'Disk Check Complete'.

If there were errors it will report the errors to you and offer the chance to fix those errors.

As mentioned before it is probably wise to tick the 'Automatically fix file system errors' option and then click 'Start'.

Once you have finished with the disk check program click the 'Ok' button at the bottom of the c: properties box.

Next tutorial - Check Drive Space in Windows XP

Return to Windows XP Tutorial List