What do I do if my hard drive has corrupt sectors or my file system may be corrupt?

Windows Vista and XP have a built in disk checking utility called CHKDSK (pronounced CheckDisk). This utility can find and repair common file system errors automatically. This scan cannot be run on the system disk when in use.

You can schedule the check by opening Windows Explorer > right-clicking your hard disk and choosing Properties > Tools > and under Error-checking, select Check Now. Check both boxes > click Start > and you will be asked if you want to schedule the check for the next start. Click Schedule Disk Check to do so.

You can also schedule the task from the command prompt by following these steps: Click START > in the Start Search box (or for XP users, click Run) type CMD and press enter > type CHKDSK /R and press Enter. If the system disk is in use, it will ask if you want to schedule the check for the next reboot. Type Y and press Enter to do so.

Once complete, some users schedule CHKDSK to run a second time to confirm that there are no longer any errors.