Estimated difficulty and completion time: up to several hours depending on size of drives and results of scans, low difficulty.

Signs that you might have a hard drive corruption or failure may include but are not limited to: Blue Screens of Death (BSOD’s), sudden application crashing, file corruption and Windows failing to start up occasionally. There are a few ways to fix or alleviate bad or corrupted sectors, but the older your hardware gets, the more frequently these issues will appear.

First, if your system is experiencing BSOD’s fairly frequently or having trouble booting into Windows, we suggest running a System File Checker (sfc) scan, which checks critical Windows files for corruption and fixes them, if possible. To do so, right click on the Windows Start Menu in the lower left of your screen and select “Windows PowerShell (Admin)” from the popup. NOTE: Depending on your settings it may say “Command Prompt (Admin)” instead. Either one will work. Once it is open, type “sfc /scannow” without the quotation marks. The scan will take some time to finish, and may give several different messages upon completion. If the scan seems to finish very quickly (3 minutes or less, generally) then that is a sign of corruption of Windows files. In any case, when it does finish it will give some output, usually one of 3 outcomes.

  1. Sfc scan found no integrity violations.
  2. Sfc scan found and repaired corrupt files.
  3. Sfc scan found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them.

If you get result 1, then chances are that your Windows installation is not the problem. If you got result 2, restart your system and continue to use as normal but keep note of any more irregularities or instability. Even though sfc found and repaired errors, they may not have been the only cause of your issues. If you got result 3, then your system definitely has some Windows corruption. At this point, some of your options may be to revert to a previous Restore Point, to reinstall the bootloader (if you are having issues booting), or to back up your data and perform a fresh install of Windows.

If you would like to check your hard drives for any bad sectors or corruption, you can do so with the chkdsk /r command. To run a chkdsk, open a Windows PowerShell or Command Prompt as admin, and type “chkdsk /r” without the quotation marks. If you are trying to run chkdsk on your primary (C:) drive, note that chkdsk cannot run on any drive that is currently being used by Windows. The command prompt will tell you that a chkdsk will be run the next time the system boots. If you want to run the chkdsk immediately, simply reboot the system. After you see the Velocity Micro screen, the chkdsk should automatically start running. Depending on the size of your hard drive, it will take some time to complete. Once complete, the output will give you a rundown of how many bad sectors, clusters, etc. were found and repaired. The system will either reboot or continue into Windows. Continue to use your system as you normally would but keep an eye out for more issues that may arise.