Scanning your hard drive using Error Checking can help diagnose and even correct a wide range of hard drive errors.

Error checking will check for various hard drive issues, including bad sectors. Error Checking replaces older Windows hard drive diagnostics such as "scandisk" and "chkdsk".

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours or more, depending on the size and speed of the hard drive
Here's How:

Open My Computer by double-clicking on the icon on the desktop.

Right-click on the drive letter that you wish to check for errors (usually C:) and click on the Properties menu item.

Choose the "Tools" tab and click on the Check Now... button.

Two options are available in the next window:

Automatically fix file system errors will correct many file system errors detected. This is highly recommended.

Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors will perform a search for areas of the hard drive that may be damaged or unusable. If found, this tool will mark those areas as "bad" and prevent your computer from using them in the future. This is a very useful feature but may extend the scan time as much as a few hours.
Click Start.

Allow the Error Checking program to run its course until complete.

Restart the PC if prompted to do so.

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