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The hard disk is a key component of the computer and it is strongly required to perform almost continuous reading and writing. It contains your operating system, your software, your data, in short, it is essential in computing. Unfortunately, it may happen that your hard disk encounters problems which can manifest themselves by a slowdown of your computer, crashes or untimely restarts.
A hard drive is often a fragile material with a limited lifespan, hence the importance of making backups of your data and saving the operating system. But before changing your hard disk or formatting it, you can already try to correct possible errors on your hard disk related to Windows by following this tutorial. Chances are, it will help you fix your Windows and your computer will behave normally again!
Why Does My Hard Drive Have Errors?
In addition to strictly hardware problems, your operating system can cause errors:
- Errors related to an abnormal shutdown such as a power outage, forcing a shutdown (by staying pressed on the power button for a long time), "hot" unplugging a USB hard drive or even a crash of your computer (the famous Windows blue notch).
This can cause errors in the partition table of the hard disk or even bad sectors (parts of the hard disk that can no longer be used).
- Windows errors at startup due to the installation of an incompatible driver, a virus or malware (malicious program).
Beware, if your hard drive/USB key is not accessible and you cannot see your files, stop using the hard drive (you may lose data). Start by using a data recovery software to recover your files before fixing the disk errors. You may need to solve the problem and have Windows recognize your hard drive/USB key, update and reinstall its driver. If the drive is still not recognized, you will probably have to format the drive (after saving your data elsewhere, of course).
Fixing Hard Drive Errors using Windows
This way of fixing hard disk errors is the easiest to follow, especially for less experienced users.
The method used here is for Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 10, but the approach is pretty much the same for other versions of Windows(Windows 7, Windows 8 etc…).
- Right click on the Windows 10 start menu and select Disk Management.
- In the Windows disk manager, right-click on the disk partition you want to analyze and repair (usually it’s C: where your operating system is located) and select Properties.
- In the Properties window, click on the Tools tab and then in the Error Checking section, click on the Check button.
As stated, " This option allows you to check for file system errors on the drive. "
- In the new window opened, click on Analyze the drive.Beware, errors may have been detected directly, so the window displayed will potentially be different.
- If anomalies were detected during the analysis of the hard disk, you should have the message: " Errors have been detected on this drive. To avoid data loss, repair this drive now".
For older versions of Windows, instead ofstep 1, you can open a file explorer (keyboard shortcut: Windows key and E) and right-click the partition/hard drive you want to repair.
Repair Hard Disk Errors with Checkdisk
Sometimes the method explained just above does not work (computer freezes while trying to fix errors for example). Then it’s time to try an alternative method that relies on a powerful command-line utility offered by Windows called Check Disk, which is usually abbreviated as Chkdsk.
This utility checks the integrity of the hard disk (or removable media such as an SD card or USB removable hard disk) and tries to repair logical errors detected on the hard disk.
Repair hard drive error withchkdsk command in Windows 10
- Right click on the Windows Start menu (bottom left of the screen) and select Command Prompt (admin) or PowerShell if Command Prompt is not available in the Start menu.
- In the command prompt, type chkdsk F: /F /R being careful to replace F: by the letter of the partition of your hard disk that you want to repair (most often C: which is by default the Windows installation partition) and then press the Enter key.
The /F parameter allows you to correct the detected errors while /R analyzes the defective sectors of the hard disk and recovers the readable information.
- Most likely you will get the following message: " Chkdsk could not run because the volume is used by another process. Chkdsk will be able to run after this volume is unmounted. DESCRIPTORS OPENED ON THIS VOLUME WILL NO LONGER BE VALID. Do you want to force the unmounting of this volume? (Y/N)".
- Confirm by pressing the O key on the keyboard and then restart your computer, the repair utility will be executed when your computer starts.
- After running the chkdsk utility, you will get the results of the error checking and correction.
Here there are no errors to be corrected, but if your hard disk is having problems, there is a good chance that the display will be different.
Again, the procedure and screenshots are from Windows 10 (Pro version) but the procedure is similar with other versions of Windows (including Windows 7 and Windows 8). After checking and correcting the hard disk errors, I advise you to clean your hard disk in order to save disk space by deleting unnecessary files related to your operating system.
If, despite all this, your hard disk and your computer are still struggling, it may be time to replace your hard disk (because a physically defective hard disk cannot be repaired) or to reset Windows! If your hard drive is defective and it starts to show signs of imminent death, I advise you to recover all the files on your hard drive before it dies, it will be a shame to lose your personal data…