With the introduction of the NTFS file system and Windows 2000, Microsoft must have been hoping that disk checks and bad clusters would be a problem of the past. Unfortunately bad clusters continue to occur, as I recently experienced, and a disk scan is necessary to resolve the problem. ScanDisk, the utility previously available in Windows to perform this operation, has been removed from Windows 2000 and Windows XP, having been substituted with the lesser known CHKDSK.

If you need to perform a disk scan in Windows XP here are some instructions from Microsoft:

Manual steps to run Chkdsk at the command prompt

1. Click Start, and then Run.
2. In Open, type cmd, and then press ENTER.
3. Use one of the following procedures:

To run Chkdsk in read-only mode, at the command prompt, type chkdsk, and then press ENTER.
To repair errors without scanning the volume for bad sectors, at the command prompt, type chkdsk volume:/f, and then press ENTER.Note If one or more of the files on the hard disk are open, you will receive the following message:

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)

Type Y, and then press ENTER to schedule the disk check, and then restart your computer to start the disk check.

To repair errors, locate bad sectors, and recover readable information, at the command prompt, type chkdsk volume:/r, and then press ENTER.Note If one or more of the files on the hard disk are open, you will receive the following message:

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)

Type Y, and then press ENTER to schedule the disk check, and then restart your computer to start the disk check.

Manual steps to run Chkdsk from My Computer or Windows Explorer

1. Double-click My Computer, and then right-click the hard disk that you want to check.
2. Click Properties, and then click Tools.
3. Under Error-checking, click Check Now. A dialog box that shows the Check disk options is displayed,
4. Use one of the following procedures:

To run Chkdsk in read-only mode, click Start.
To repair errors without scanning the volume for bad sectors, select the Automatically fix file system errors check box, and then click Start.
To repair errors, locate bad sectors, and recover readable information, select the Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors check box, and then click Start.

Note If one or more of the files on the hard disk are open, you will receive the following message:

The disk check could not be performed because the disk check utility needs exclusive access to some Windows files on the disk. These files can be accessed by restarting Windows. Do you want to schedule the disk check to occur the next time you restart the computer?

Click Yes to schedule the disk check, and then restart your computer to start the disk check.

The following table lists the exit codes that Chkdsk reports after it has finished:

Exit code Description
0 No errors were found.
1 Errors were found and fixed.
2 Disk cleanup, such as garbage collection, was performed, or cleanup was not performed because /f was not specified.
3 Could not check the disk, errors could not be fixed, or errors were not fixed because /f was not specified.

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