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Q.  Why Doesn’t Scandisk work on Windows XP? 

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. 

A.  Old-timers (That would be ME) 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!  

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.) 

CHKDSK C: /F /R 

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.  

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.

It is important to note that there is never one fix for a question.  What may work for one person might not for the next.  Depending on the problem and the way it is described by the Computer Owner there may be Six different approaches to a positive outcome.  If the first answer I give you to your question doesn’t work let me know and I will send you another.  Just give me details.

Let me know if you need anything else.

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