How to Check for Missing or Corrupted Files

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According to Microsoft, a corrupt file is any file that will not work properly. Most often, you will discover a file is corrupt when you, or a program you are running, try to use the file and get an error. To find missing or corrupt files before they cause a problem you will need to check your disk. You should check your disk regularly and especially after any system crashes, errors or sudden power losses. There are two utilities built in to Windows for this purpose: the disc error checker and system file checker.

Disk Error Checker

  • Close all open files and programs.

  • Go to "My Computer." Either double-click on the the My Computer icon on your desktop or open the start menu and click on My Computer.

  • Right click on the drive you want to scan and then click properties. The hard drive with your windows installation will be called "C:".

  • Click on the "tools" tab. Click the "check now" button under Error Checking. This will open the disk error checker. This utility will scan your entire disc for corrupt files, errors and bad sectors and attempt to fix them.

  • Check both boxes and then click "start." The error checking will begin. This process can take a long time, depending on the size and speed of your hard drive. If you receive an error message that check disc cannot run because the volume is in use, click yes to schedule it to run. Restart your computer and it will run at startup.

System File Checker

Tips & Warnings

  • These utilities can be used, as described, in both Windows XP and Windows Vista.

References

  • Photo Credit hard disc image by Witold Krasowski from Fotolia.com
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