Scandisk and Defrag.
Ok as a good computer user you must make sure all your data is nice and healthy. You do check up on your hard drive, don’t you? I mean, did you know that hard drives sometimes wear out sectors (small areas) of data and they just turn out useless, or dead. Not the entire hard drive, but just small bits and pieces. So if you had data on that space that wore out and died then that data is gone or corrupted . This is normal in the life of a hard drive.
So how would one know how well your hard drive is doing? Well you must use a great tool that comes with all Windows os’s. Scandisk. This tool came out in MS-DOS or maybe earlier i don’t know for sure, i’m not that old. but it works. It checks your hard drive for errors and even fixes them. It’s great, in fact i think that now in Windows 7 it does that automatically, not sure, but even then you want to check things manually to remind your machine who’s in control. So let’s get to the nitty gritty. (note, if you;ve use windows scan disk already, you may know some of this stuff)
1. Open my Computer, right click the hard drive you want to check, click properties. Ohh you know what! Here’s a picture.
Oh nice, lots of neat info, compress the hard drive, (will talk about that in some future post) How much space you have on there, but let’s go into the tools tab. There you will see all you can do. Actually only 3 but good enough.
Check now for error checking, if you click on all the two check boxes, then it will ask to reboot and you will get this screen.
This may take around 20 to and hour depending the size on your hard drive. You may want to do some laundry while this goes on, after it’s done, it tells you how many errors it found, fixed, or avoided for future data storage. It measure them in weird ways, but the percentage should be useful for you. Anything more that 10% errors means your hard drive is going bad and you may need to back up your info just in case.
In the same Tools tab i showed you earlier you may have noticed the Defragment Button. What does it do? Well, the way Windows XP and Vista/7 store data is in pieces, sometimes when those pieces are too big to fit in one section, it cuts it up and puts the rest somewhere else in order to maintain Hard disk space effeciency, but as you add and delete stuff, this order is sometimes lost. So to regain your order in your PC kingdom you must send out the drones and put those data back in line. Click on defragment now button and you should see this, (and maybe familiar window)
OK this one’s easy, you know what to do. Disk defragmenting should take about an hour or less depending since when you have done it last. Some people ask me how often they should defragment, i say, once a month along with virus check and backups. But no one listens to me. That’s why i have so much business! Defragmenting will improve the speed of your hard drive and keep it from forcing it too much by keeping your data together. For the Disk Defragment, there are even third-party tools that the internet offers for free that do a much better job. See http://www.piriform.com/defraggler for a free and decent tool for disk defragging, you can use your pc while doing this, however it will be slow, both the pc and the defragmenting. But once it’s done, it will be a bit faster, and always worth it to keep your PC happy.
Now we get to the good one. System File Checker. This one is found in the command line. You don’t know what the Command line is? Sigh no one reads my posts. Ok I’ll tell you. Basically you type stuff in here and it does stuff, easy right? Now, what about SFC? This program checks all the important files windows “needs” in order to run. Without those files being fit and healthy windows can die. So it is up to you, the Windows Medical doctor, to give him frequent check ups and medicine.
1. Click on start button. In XP, click run, on vista/7 type in Search box. cmd
2. Type in the black command Prompt box that popped up. sfc
Wow looked what showed up! This explain (or at least tries) what the SFC does, and how to use it, basically the commands are self explanatory, the red circles are what i typed in, the blue box is the output of what i typed in. So type in sfc /scannow
And you will get this.
So do as it says and don’t worry if you don’t have the cd, it will scan for you anyway, it basically usually only asks for the cd so if it finds that some of the system files are messed up, it will replace them with the ones on the cd.
And after that it will begin to scan and will take a very very very long time. Usually you should have no errors, if you do, then it’s time to call your friend, Google. and ask it how to fix the problem for you. I hope this has been informative for you on how to do check ups and maintain your computer.
Posted on December 2, 2010, in Windows and tagged Command-line interface, Defragmentation, Disk Management, File Management, Hard disk drive, Microsoft Windows, Personal computer, Windows XP. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.