Scan and Fix Hard Disk Drive Errors in Microsoft Windows 8

Hard disk drives are the most important storage devices that store and retrieve data as per users’ needs. Unlike other storage mediums, such as CDs/DVDs, etc., the HDDs consist of ‘Platters’. The platters are coated with magnetic material and magnetic heads are needed to read and write data on them. Platters are logically divided into smaller units called ‘Sectors’. It is the sectors in which the data is stored. The size of one sector is 512 Bytes.

In case of accidental shutdown of the computers (i.e. if proper shutdown method is not performed), sectors of the rotating platters may get corrupt because of the scratches due to the friction caused between the heads and the platters. This causes the data stored in the affected sectors unreadable and/or un-writable.

Sometimes errors can also be caused due to corrupt software applications. Irrespective the cause of error, the error is referred to as Disk Error. When the error is due to any software, it can be scanned and fixed easily. On the other hand, at hardware level, the physical damage can be scanned and detected but cannot be rectified whatsoever. In such situations, the hard disk drives must be replaced immediately to protect data from any loss.

Disk Error Checking

Hard disk error checking is a process in which Windows scans the HDD for errors (like directory errors, cross-linked files, lost clusters and/or bad sectors). The process often contains tools to fix the errors, but if the process scans the disk and detects the error that cannot be rectified, the hard disk must be replaced.

How to Scan and Fix Disk Error in Microsoft Windows 8?

  1. Log on to Windows 8 computer with an administrator account.
  2. On the Start window, click the Desktop icon.
  3. On the desktop screen, click the Windows Explorer icon from the taskbar.
  4. On the opened Libraries window, from the navigation pane in the left, click Computer.
  5. From the Computer window, right-click the drive that is to be scanned for errors.
  6. From the context menu, click Properties.
  7. On the opened disk properties box, go to the Tools tab.
  8. Click the Check button from the Error Checking section.
  9. On the opened Error Checking box, click Scan Drive option.
  10. Click OK when scan process completes.
  11. Close all the opened windows.

Note: In case the target drive is the system drive, i.e. it has the operating system installed on it, the system may require a restart, and the scan process is then scheduled at the next boot.

Author: Vivek Nayyar

Works as Systems Admin in Siskin Technologies, India. Corporate trainer on Microsoft and Cisco platform. Specialized in Virtualization Technology. LAN Consultant for some local organizations.