How do I run Microsoft ScanDisk?

To run scan disk and check your hard drive for errors follow the steps below for your version of Windows. Before running scan disk on the computer, keep in mind that it can take several hours to complete depending on the size of your hard drives, and any errors that may exist with the drive.

Tip: Before running scandisk we suggest all open programs be closed to help prevent any data loss and prevent any problems during scan. Windows 95, 98, and ME users may even want to boot the computer into Safe Mode before running scandisk.

Microsoft Windows XP, 2000, Vista, and 7 users
Microsoft Windows 95/98 users
Microsoft Windows NT users
Microsoft Windows 3.x and MS-DOS users

Microsoft Windows XP, 2000, Vista, and 7 users

Keep in mind that these versions can be a networking operating system and it's possible that the privileges to run scandisk may have revoked by the system administrator. To run Scandisk we recommend you follow the recommend steps.

  1. Double-click My Computer
  2. Highlight a local hard drive by clicking on it once
  3. Right-click the highlighted local drive
  4. Click Properties
  5. Click the Tools tab and click check now to check the drive for errors.
  6. The computer will need to restart in order to run scandisk without getting interrupted.

Although not required we suggest having Scandisk automatically find and fix any errors found.

Microsoft Windows 95/98 users

To run scandisk from Windows 95 and 98 follow the steps below.

  1. Click Start
  2. Click Run and type scandisk in the run box
  3. Click ok
  4. Within the scandisk window select the drive that you want to be checked.
  5. Choose the option between standard and through. It is recommended you run standard first, if you encounter issues with scandisk using standard, run the through scan.
  6. Finally, click start to begin scandisk.

Also, Windows 95 OSR2 and Windows 98 run scandisk automatically if the computer is shutdown improperly, to verify whether the hard drive encountered issues when the computer was improperly shutdown.

Microsoft Windows NT users

Windows NT is not shipped with Microsoft Scandisk. However, various third-party companies offer utilities that can scandisk and check your hard drive for you. Symantec a well respected computer company offers such a program.

Microsoft Windows 3.x and MS-DOS users

Scandisk was first available in MS-DOS 6.2 and was available ever since. If you are running MS-DOS 6.2 or 6.22 and would like to run scandisk, follow the steps below.

  1. If you are in Windows 3.x, click File and then Exit to get to the MS-DOS prompt.
  2. From MS-DOS type CD\DOS and press enter.
  3. From the C:\DOS> Type scandisk and press enter.  Scandisk should begin running on the computer.

Finally, some computer manufacturers have changed the installation directory of where scandisk is located; if you are unable to run scandisk from the DOS directory, go to the Windows directory by typing CD\Windows.

Additional information and other options available for running scandisk from the command prompt can be found on our scandisk command page.

Additional information