Scandisk doesn't work on Windows XP?

Category: Windows

A reader asks I had the SCANDISK program in Windows 98. Now I'm running Windows XP and I can't find ScanDisk. Is it under another name? The short answer is YES...

Old-timers may remember that the DOS command to check a hard disk for errors was CHKDSK. When Windows 95/98 came along, the name changed to SCANDISK. But under XP, the CHKDSK command lives again! (I'm betting that they'll change it to something else when Longhorn comes out, but I digress...)

There are two ways to do a disk check under Windows XP. If you are comfortable with a command prompt, issue the command below from a DOS prompt or via the Windows/Run command input box. (If you want to scan something other than the C: drive, then change the command accordingly.)


The /F option means to fix any errors found, and the /R option tells CHKDSK to check scan for bad disk sectors and recover any readable information.

If you're strictly a point & click person, you can still run CHKDSK. Click on My Computer, then right-click on the C: line and select Properties. Now click the Tools tab and under the Error Checking heading you see a button labeled Check Now. Give that sucker a good whack and you're off to the races.

NOTE: Sometimes CHKDSK cannot correct disk errors because it needs exclusive access to certain files that are in use. In this case, CHKDSK will offer to run the check automatically when the computer is re-started.

If CHKDSK offers to "convert lost chains to files" or otherwise recover lost data, you should accept. After CHKDSK finishes, you should look for files named FILE0000.CHK, FILE0001.CHK, etc. You can open these files with Notepad or another text editor to see if they contain any useful information.

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Most recent comments on "Scandisk doesn't work on Windows XP?"

Posted by:

21 Dec 2006

Normally when a power failure occurs disk check should run automatically, but it doesn't happen in mine.I always have to run chkdsk manually after a power failure.I'd like to know how to correct this.I use XP Professional edition.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This may help:

Posted by:

Don Chantry
08 Apr 2007

I use CHKDSK but it says that security discripters are a problem. But never fixes them?

EDITOR'S NOTE: This may help:

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