Information, Technology & Consulting

Run Check Disk or Disk Defragment on Windows

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System Utilities

CheckDisk (ChkDsk) and Disk Defragmenter are two utilities Microsoft provides with its operating systems for routine maintenance on drives. Check Disk is a disk analysis and repair program you can use to check your hard disk for logical and physical errors. ChkDsk checks and fixes problems in the following areas:

  • File Allocation Table (FAT).
  • Long file names.
  • File system structure (lost clusters, cross-linked files).
  • Directory tree structure.
  • Physical surface of the drive (bad sectors).

Make a backup before running ChkDsk.

For Windows 7, click Start, single click Search Programs and Files. Enter cmd and press Enter. A terminal window will open. At the prompt, enter chkdsk, then press Enter.

For Windows 8, launch the Start Screen by pressing the Windows key or clicking the lower left corner of the Taskbar. From the Start Screen, search for the Windows Command Prompt by typing cmd. Right-click the Command Prompt and choose Run as Administrator from the bar at the bottom of the screen. At the prompt, enter chkdsk, then press Enter.

If there are errors after the check is completed, contact your IT Service Desk. If there are no errors, enter exit, then press Enter to close the terminal window.

Disk Defragmenter is a utility that defragments files that have been spread over a hard drive in non-contiguous sectors. This can significantly increase the speed of your computer. You cannot defragment network drives, assigned or substituted drives, or drives compressed with utilities other than DriveSpace or DoubleSpace. You should make a backup of your files before running Disk Defragmenter.

To start this utility, click Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, then Disk Defragmenter. Select the drive you want to defragment. The utility shows you how fragmented the drive is, and tells you whether defragmenting is recommended. Click Start if you want to defragment the drive. This can take a long time! However, the defragmenting can be stopped at any point.

Topic: 
Computer and Device Services
Subtopic: 
Desktops and Laptops
Last updated: 
Monday, July 18, 2016

If you have questions or need further information, contact your department's IT support office, or contact the IT Service Desk via email at [email protected], via phone at 603-646-2999 or walk in to see them in Baker/Berry 178J.

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Information, Technology & Consulting