General questions and answers regarding Microsoft ScanDisk

Updated: 05/21/2018 by Computer Hope

Microsoft Windows scandiskBelow is a listing of general questions and answers commonly asked regarding Microsoft ScanDisk.

How do I run Windows ScanDisk?

How often should I run ScanDisk?

Every computer and how often its used is different, so this can be a difficult question to answer. However, for most users who use the computer frequently, we suggest running ScanDisk at least once every 2-3 months. If you believe the hard drive has problems run ScanDisk more frequently.

How long does it take to run ScanDisk?

This all depends on the size of the hard drive and if problems are found. With today's hard drives, it is not abnormal for this scan to take several hours to complete.

Can ScanDisk cause physical problems?

ScanDisk is a software utility designed to look at the data integrity like any other software application and if needed makes changes to the data on the hard drive. ScanDisk does not cause any physical problems to the hard drive regardless of how many times it is ran.

Which versions of Microsoft Windows have ScanDisk?

ScanDisk was first introduced in MS-DOS 6.2 and was also in MS-DOS 6.21 and 6.22. Users who had these versions of MS-DOS with Windows 3.11 could also run ScanDisk. ScanDisk has also been in all versions of Microsoft Windows with the exception of Microsoft Windows NT. Although each version of Windows has their on version of the program.

ScanDisk found a large number of errors

If ScanDisk finds errors on your disk, we recommend that you backup all data, assuming the worst-case scenario. Hard drive errors frequently indicate a serious, and potentially worsening, hardware failure in the drive.

Can I ScanDisk a CD or DVD?

No. CDs, DVD's, and other discs cannot be fixed using the ScanDisk utility. If you are having difficulties reading a disc try cleaning the disc.

How do I run ScanDisk on a network drive?

Microsoft ScanDisk cannot scan or fix errors over a network. If you need to check a drive remotely, connect to the remote computer, then run a check. Or, schedule the remote computer to be scanned the next time it reboots.

After running ScanDisk computer no longer works.

Unfortunately, this can happen if there are serious errors with Windows and we recommend you first try reinstalling Windows. However, it is more than likely that this problem happened because of a failing hard drive and if reinstalling Windows does not help or cannot run we recommend replacing the hard drive.

Virtual drives and ScanDisk

A virtual drive should not be scanned using ScanDisk as it can cause corruption and other errors.

Other ScanDisk problems

If you have other questions or problems with ScanDisk refer to our ScanDisk help page.

Additional information