Scan Disk or SCANDISK is a maintenance tool used in the Microsoft Windows systems and in MS-DOS. It checks the hard drive of your computer for errors. Once it finds an error on the hard drive, it attempts to repair it.
These errors are caused by a number of reasons, which includes:
- improperly closed applications
- the presence of harmful programs such as viruses
- system crashes
Scan Disk provides a report that contains the amount of disk space it has scanned and the number of errors it has found.
It is an important application because it ensures that all data in your hard drive are safe from being corrupted. This guarantees that your computer will perform at an optimum level of performance.
Brief History of Scan Disk
SCANDISK is the earliest version of Scan Disk introduced in MS DOS 6.2. Previous versions of scan disks were of the simpler and merely text-based program CHKDSK.
In Windows 95 and 98, SCANDISK was given a graphical user interface (GUI), which allows people to interact with electronic devices like hand-held devices, computers, office equipment and household appliances. In this graphical environment, the user can locate buttons, progress bars and information regarding the amount of disk space scanned and the number of errors if any.
The MS DOS program maintained the Text User Interface (TUI), to distinguish them from text based user interfaces.
The disk scanning utility of Windows XP, Windows 2000 and Windows NT is known as CHKDSK, which differs from MS-DOS CHKDSK. It is capable of checking NTFS disk drives. This version of Scan Disk can handle several physical errors and even recover data that are still readable.
How to Run Scan Disk in Windows 2000 and Windows XP
In Windows 2000 and Windows XP, you can run the Scan Disk program by performing the following steps:
- Click the Start menu
- Click My Computer
- Under Hard Disk Drives, highlight disk you want to scan
- Open the File menu and select Properties
- Open the Tools tab
- Click the Check Now… button
Running Scan Disk In Windows Vista
You can run the Scan Disk program in Windows Vista by performing the following steps:
- Click the Computer icon
- Right click the drive you want to scan and then select Properties
- Click on the Tools tab
- Click the Check Now button, which is under the Error-checking section.
- If you want to check for errors, check the checkbox that states “Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors”
- Click Start
This will cause the Check Local Disk window to appear.
In Windows Vista, it is essential to schedule the Scandisk to make it run at boot time because Vista has mechanisms which do not allow it to run while the system is operating.