How to Test Hard Drive Partitions With Windows Disk Check

Disk errors are common to ageing computers especially the ones that lack maintenance but luckily, Windows has a disk checking tool included on its set of system utilities which is capable of scanning your hard disk partitions from bad and lost sectors and as well as corrupted files.

The files that are checked and fixed by the Disk Check Utility on Windows commonly causes system problems which can become more serious if not addressed right away. It is therefore important that you know how to use this tool so you can do a disk check regularly and fix issues that keeps plaguing your machine more often.

Before exploring the Disk Check Utility you need to take note that only an administrator account can perform disk scans. This means that you need to be logged is as an “Administrator” by now.

Launching the Disk Check Tool

First, you need to launch Windows Explorer (Windows 7) or File Explorer (Windows 8). Once the Windows Explorer/File Explorer Window appears, click on “Computer” from the left side pane then right click or press and hold the drive which you want to check for any errors. Once the right-click menu appears, click on “Properties”.


The “Properties” Window will then appear, from here, go to the tab labeled “Tools” and you’ll see three system utilities  “Error checking, Defragmentation and Backup ” where “Error checking” is listed first (Windows 7) or two options “Error checking or Optimize and Defragment drive” (Windows 8).


To initiate the disk check process, click on the “Check now. . .” button (Windows 7) or the “Check” button (Windows 8).


The disk error checking Wizard should start after you click on the button. From this point forward, the process on Windows 7 and Windows 8 are different that’s why we’ll cover how the process is done on each platform once after the other. We will start with Windows 7.

Checking Disk Errors on Windows 7

You should see the “Check Disk” Window after clicking in the “Check now. . .” button where you will be asked to choose between two options:

  • Automatically fix file system errors- enables Windows to scan and automatically repair the problems detected during the scan process. If this option is unchecked, Windows will just display the files and problems detected without attempting to fix them.
  • Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors- Windows will perform a deeper scan which will fix physical errors found on your computer’s hard drive. If you check this option, the scanning process will take longer than normal but it detects and identifies more problems if in case any exists.

Once you are done checking the options that you want to enable during the scan and fix process, click on “Start”.

A progress bar will appear telling you the overall progress of the scanning process.


Once the scanning process completes, you will see a compact list of descriptions and results. If you want to see more details regarding the scan result, just click on the “See details” dropdown arrow at the bottom.

A report which contains a long list of information and results like the number of bad sectors identified during the scan, the free space available on the hard disk, partition space and the files currently used by your system will be displayed after clicking the “See details” dropdown arrow.

After going over the list of results, just close it by clicking on the “Close” button.


Windows 8’s Error Checking utility is way better than its predecessors because it allows you to scan and check all partitions including the one that contains your operating system. This means that you don’t have to do a reboot or schedule the scan process like Windows 7. This is no doubt a great improvement!

That’s it! You now learned the process of disk checking using the free Disk Check Utility on Windows 7 and Windows 8. If you are having problems with some files which got corrupted after a power outage then this valuable tool can literally save your day.