How To Use Windows's Built-in Hard Drive Diagnostic Utility using Check Disk

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Often times, when building a system, we end up with defective hard drives or at least over the course of a system's lifespan, we encounter what we believe to be a hard drive failure taking place if and when the system seems to be either performing sluggishly with elongated boot times and application startups. Under such an event, the first course of action would be to make sure the system hasn't been hit with malware. Once free of malware and shortlisted to the hard drive being a culprit in the system it's a good idea to run subject the hard drive with a diagnostic tool before shipping it off for an RMA. If the above situation doesn't occur, it's always a good idea to periodically run a hard drive diagnostic tool to it's status. Here's how you can use Check Disk to diagnose any issues with your hard drive.

The tool can be accessed using Windows Commander under an elevated command but do note that it's advised to back up your data and that your system is under battery backup in case the power cuts out.

Tap the Windows key on your keyboard or click on "Start" and type CMD.

Right click on CMD and click on Run as Administrator.

In the CMD window, type "chkdsk" and hit enter.
This will set off the Check Disk utility to scan the OS drive.

If you'd like to scan other drives/partitions then type the following syntax chkdsk *drive letter*: .

The above two steps do not specify any parameters for fixing any issues in the file structure. To allow the utility to find and fix errors simply type chkdsk /f *drive letter*: .
If the drive you'd like to find any errors is in use(notably if it's OS drive) then the utility will prompt to schedule the check at system reboot prior to desktop load up.

You can type exit or Click on Close at the top right hand corner of the window to close windows commander.

You have now verified if the hard drive is in optimal condition or warrants a replacement.

Disclaimer: Check Disk locates errors by comparing the volume bitmap with the disk sectors assigned to files in the file system however Check Disk can not repair corrupted data within files that appear to be structurally intact.