How to Run Check Disk & Disk Defrag & How Many Phases to Check Disk?

Written by vladimir khavkine
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How to Run Check Disk & Disk Defrag & How Many Phases to Check Disk?
The hard drive holds all your data. (hard disk - binary on platter image by Andrew Brown from

If your PC is running slowly and bombards you with errors, it's a sign that you need to perform some maintenance. Don't buy expensive maintenance and optimisation software until you learn a few tricks to improve your PC's performance. Disk problems are the main cause of a slow computer, so a little tweaking can considerably boost its performance.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open "My Computer," right click the drive you want to check for errors and click Properties.

  2. 2

    Select the Tools menu and click on "Check Now" to launch the Check Disk utility.

  3. 3

    Check the two boxes to have Check Disk fix file system errors and attempt to recover data from the bad sectors it finds, and click "Start."

  1. 1

    Open "My Computer" and right-click on any drive.

  2. 2

    Click on Properties, and go to Tools.

  3. 3

    Click "Defragment Now" to launch Disk Defragmenter.

  4. 4

    Select the drive you want to defragment, click on "Defragment" and wait for the process to complete.

Tips and warnings

  • The Check Disk utility has three main phases, during which Check Disk initially checks the files, their indexes and finally their security descriptors, and two optional phases when it checks for bad sectors and attempts to recover data.
  • Check Disk can also be run from command prompt by typing "chkdsk".
  • Disk Defragmenter can also be accessed via the Start Menu. To do this, launch the Start Menu, go to All Programs, Accessories and look under System Tools.
  • Both Check Disk and Disk Defragmenter access the hard drive directly, so make sure there's no danger of power outage while the utilities are running, otherwise your disk might be permanently damaged.

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