Automate your Windows Disk Checking

Don't have time to run Disk Check ? No need to worry. You can automate this task and schedule it as and when you like.

Scheduling a task to handle this chore automatically at regular intervals takes only a few minutes. First, to check your disk manually, click Start, Run (or press Windows-R) to open the command line, type cmd.exe /c echo y|chkdsk c: /f /x, and press Enter. 'Cmd.exe' is the command processor, which opens a command-prompt window in Windows. The '/c' switch tells the command prompt to run the commands that follow, including the all-important chkdsk utility, which examines your drive for errors. (Change '/c' to /k if you want the command-prompt window to remain open so you can see any screen messages that might appear.) In this example, we are checking the C: drive with the fix (/f) function and telling it to lock out the disk (/x) if necessary while the scan takes place. If you're checking the Windows drive, the command won't work while Windows is running but will schedule a check for the next time you restart your system. That's where the 'echo y|' portion comes in: It sends a "yes" answer to approve this option.

To automate disk checking in XP, choose Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Scheduled Tasks. Double-click Add Scheduled Task to start the Scheduled Task Wizard, and click Next. In the Application list, select Command Prompt and click Next. If you don't see an entry for Command Prompt in the list, click Browse, find and select the file 'cmd.exe' in Windows' System32 folder, and click Open. Choose a time interval (Monthly is a good choice) and click Next. Specify the time, day, and months, and click Next again. Enter the account name and password that you use for logging in, and click Next once more. Check Open advanced properties for this task when I click Finish, and then click Finish. With the Task tab selected, edit the text in the Run box so that it reads c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe /c echo y|chkdsk c: /f /x (your path and options may differ). Click OK, and enter your account name and password again. Finally, click OK one more time (you may be asked to confirm your log-in ID and password once more).

To automate disk checking in Vista, choose Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Task Scheduler. In the Actions pane on the right, click Create Task. Use the appropriate boxes to type a name for the task and, if you want, a description. Check Run with highest privileges and any other settings you wish. Select the Triggers tab and click the New button. Set the interval for checking your drive: For example, choose Monthly, Select all months in the Months drop-down menu, click On, and select First in the first drop-down to the right of the button and Monday in the second drop-down. Specify the time and other settings if you wish, and click OK. Select the Actions tab and click the New button. For 'Program/script', type cmd.exe. For 'Add arguments (optional)', type /c echo y|chkdsk c: /f /x (your options may differ). Click OK. Finally, click the Conditions and Settings tabs to see if either of those dialog boxes has any other circumstances you want to specify. When you've completed these steps, click OK. If you need to edit the settings later, select Task Scheduler Library in the left pane of the Task Scheduler to see your tasks in the top center pane. Either edit the settings in the bottom center pane, or double-click the task name to reopen the dialog box.