In Microsoft-based operating systems such as Windows XP, hard disks can be checked for errors in their file systems using a command line utility known as "scandisk." Linux operating systems do not have the scandisk utility, but fulfil the same functionality using the "fsck" (file system check) program.
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Open Terminal. The procedure for this will vary depending on the configuration of your Linux system, but generally there is a shortcut in the main menu.
Type the following command:
Replace "/dev/hdc1" with the device name for the disk to be checked. Alternatively, you can specify the mount point for the disk in the file system.
Wait for the program to finish and respond in the affirmative to any repair dialogs.
Tips and warnings
- The "-r" option can be added to tell fsck to ask the user to confirm any repairs fsck makes. This is a good choice the first few times you run fsck to ensure that no mistakes are made.
- The "-A" flag can be added to cause fsck to go through all devices listed in the "/etc/fstab" file and check them all.
- Adding the "-C" will display progress bars on those file systems that allow it.
- Adding the "-P" flag will check the root file system at the same time as other file systems. This can speed up the process, but could be dangerous.
- There are multiple versions of fsck that ship with different versions of Linux. Since problems in fsck can cause irreparable damage to the file system and loss of data, read the man page for fsck before running it for the first time on your system. Type "man fsck" to access the man page.
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