Definition of ScanDisk
ScanDisk is a Windows disk-checking and repair tool that examines the integrity of your media, which includes hard disks and floppy disks. Scandisk can repair many problems concerning mis-organized data, such as cross-linked files and lost file fragments.
NOTE: Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition (SE) start ScanDisk for MS-DOS (Scandisk.exe) automatically when the operating system is shut down improperly or your disk contains critical errors. Windows Millennium Edition (Me) starts ScanDisk for Windows (scandskw.exe) automatically when the operating system is shut down improperly or your disk contains a critical error.
For additional information, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Article ID: Q152404 Title Ã‚Â“ScanDisk Runs After Improper Shutdown or Hard Disk ErrorÃ‚Â”
Configuration, settings, and features available in Scan Disk.
Type of Test
- Standard: Use this option to check files and folders for errors.
- Thorough: Use this option to perform the Standard test and also scan your disk for physical errors. ScanDisk may take a long time to check your disk for errors depending on the size of your disk. If you use the Thorough option, the following ScanDisk configuration settings are available when you click Options:
Areas of the Disk to Scan:
- If you want use ScanDisk to check your entire disk for physical damage, including both its system and data areas, click System And Data Areas.
- If you want ScanDisk to check only the system area on your disk, click System Area Only. Errors in the system area of your disk may indicate that your disk needs to be replaced. ScanDisk usually cannot repair errors in the system area.
- If you want ScanDisk to check only the data area of your disk, click Data Area Only.
Additional Surface Scan Features:
- If you do not want ScanDisk to verify that sectors can be read from and written to on your disk, click the Do Not Perform Write-Testing check box to select it. If you do not want ScanDisk to repair hidden and system files on your disk, click the Do not repair bad sectors in hidden and system files check box to select it.
ScanDisk Advanced Options
When you click Advanced, the following configuration settings are available:
- Display Summary: You can use ScanDisk to display a summary each time ScanDisk finishes checking your disk. The summary provides information about the disk and displays whether ScanDisk detected or repaired any errors. If you want to display the summary each time ScanDisk finishes checking your disk, click Always. If you do not want ScanDisk to display the summary after checking your disk, click Never. If you want to display the summary only when ScanDisk locates errors, click Only If Errors Found.
- Log File: You can use ScanDisk to store a history of ScanDisk events in a log file named Scandisk.log. If you want to replace the Scandisk.log file each time ScanDisk is used, click Replace Log. If you want to save information in the Scandisk.log file each time ScanDisk is used, click Append To Log. The Scandisk.log file is stored in the root folder of your hard disk. You can view the Scandisk.log file with any text editor (such as Notepad). If you do not want ScanDisk to create a log file, click No Log.
- Cross-linked Files: You can use ScanDisk to locate cross-linked files. A cross-link occurs when two or more files use the same cluster (area of a disk) at the same time. If you want ScanDisk to remove any cross-linked files it locates on your disk, click Delete. If you want ScanDisk to make separate copies of the cross-linked files in separate locations on your disk, click Make Copies. If you do not want ScanDisk to detect cross-linked files on your disk, click Ignore.
- Lost File Fragments: You can use ScanDisk to detect file fragments that are not in use by programs. File fragments are parts of files on your disk that were lost by a program. If you want ScanDisk to remove file fragments to recover space on your disk, click Free. If you want Scandisk to save file fragments, click Convert To Files. When you save file fragments to your disk, the file fragments are converted to file names such as File0000.chk and are stored in the root folder of your disk. You can use any text editor (such as Notepad) to view the saved file. This file may or may not contain any useful information.
- Check Files For: You can use features included with ScanDisk to verify file names, file dates and times, and locate duplicate files on your disk. If you want to locate files on your disk that may contain invalid names, click the Invalid File Names check box to select it. If you want to locate files that may have invalid dates and times, click the Invalid Dates And Times check box to select it. If you want to locate duplicate files on your disk, click the Duplicate Names check box to select it.
- Additional ScanDisk Features:
- Check Host Drive First: Errors on a compressed drive are often caused by errors on its host drive. By default, ScanDisk for Windows scans the host drive before scanning the compressed drive. To prevent ScanDisk for Windows from checking host drives first (not recommended), click the Check host drive first check box to clear it.
- Report MS-DOS Mode Name Length Errors - MS-DOS does not allow paths to files or folders to be longer than 66 characters. By default, ScanDisk for Windows does not check for MS-DOS mode name length errors. To force ScanDisk for Windows to detect these errors, click the Report MS-DOS mode name length errors check box to select it. This causes ScanDisk for Windows to detect folders that cannot be opened in MS-DOS mode because the MS-DOS patch is longer than 66 characters. If you have not selected the Automatically Fix Errors check box, ScanDisk for Windows prompts you to ignore this error and continue, repair the error by moving the folder, or delete the affected folder. Note that the default action (regardless of whether the Automatically Fix Errors check box is selected) is to ignore this error and continue.
For additional information about this issue, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Article ID: Q132883 Title Ã‚Â“Err Msg: Drive C Contains Errors That Must Be Corrected...Ã‚Â”
Automatically Fix Errors
If you want ScanDisk to repair most errors automatically without any prompts, click the Automatically Fix Errors check box to select it.
Run Scan Disk.
To start ScanDisk, perform the following steps:
- Click the Start button, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click ScanDisk.
- Select the options and features you want to use, and then click Start.
The information contained in the above document consists of excerpts from Microsoft Knowledge Base. Any content editing was done for space considerations. Where possible, the document was left in its entirety. The technical information and troubleshooting described herein are for informational purposes only.
For additional information or the complete document, please go to: Microsoft Support
Article ID: Q186365 Title Ã‚Â“Description of ScanDisk for Windows (Scandskw.exe) in Windows 98/MeÃ‚Â”
Quick Tips content is self-published by the Dell Support Professionals who resolve issues daily. In order to achieve a speedy publication, Quick Tips may represent only partial solutions or work-arounds that are still in development or pending further proof of successfully resolving an issue. As such Quick Tips have not been reviewed, validated or approved by Dell and should be used with appropriate caution. Dell shall not be liable for any loss, including but not limited to loss of data, loss of profit or loss of revenue, which customers may incur by following any procedure or advice set out in the Quick Tips.