Here are some instructions for Windows 7.
Check a drive for errors
You can solve some computer problems by checking a drive or drives for errors. For example, you can check your computer's primary hard disk to fix some performance issues, or you can check an external hard drive if it's not working properly.
Click to open Computer.
Right-click the drive that you want to check, and then click Properties.
Click the Tools tab, and then, under Error-checking, click Check now. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
To automatically repair problems with files and folders that the scan detects, select Automatically fix file system errors. Otherwise, the disk check will report problems but not fix them.
To perform a thorough check, select Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors. This scan attempts to find and repair physical errors on the drive itself, and it can take much longer to complete.
To check for both file errors and physical errors, select both Automatically fix file system errors and Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors.
Depending on the size of your drive, this might take several minutes. For best results, don't use your computer for any other tasks while it is checking for errors.
If you select Automatically fix file system errors for a drive that's in use (for example, the partition that contains Windows), you'll be prompted to reschedule the check for the next time you restart your computer.