Windows 7 Disk Checking Tools

February 5, 2011, By Christian Cawley

If you wanted to check a floppy disk, USB Flash drive or even a hard disk drive, what utility would you use?

Disk checking utilities are few and far between these days for Windows, with the departure from floppy disks and Microsoft’s gradual inclusion of more disk management functionality with subsequent Windows releases.

As such, beyond using the standard Windows disk checking utility it can be hard to find an alternative. However there are several available for free which can do the same job, arguably more effectively.

Windows 7 Disk Checking tools

Disktest PRO

Available from www.tucows.com/preview/347622, Disktest PRO can help you to analyse, detect errors, modify and repair 3.5” floppy disks. While floppy disks are not as widely used as they once were, there remains a need to remove data from them and transfer this to hard disk. As such being able to read and repair errors on such media is vital.

To use Disktest PRO, unzip the contents of the download and run the .EXE file.

Weighing in at just 266.11 KB, this utility features a rather retro user interface but is very simple to use – all you need to do is insert the floppy disk that you want to repair, select Repair and wait!

Once the repair job is complete, copy the data onto your hard disk drive and ensure you have it included in your backup regime in order to avoid losing it in future.

CheckDisk 1.2

An alternative disk checking tool, CheckDisk 1.2 can be downloaded from www.paehl.de/cms/checkdisk or www.softpedia.com/get/System/Hard-Disk-Utils/CheckDisk.shtml – at just 389 KB this shouldn’t take long (note that some AV software may flag this up. There is a notorious adware/scamware disk checking utility with the same name which causes this false positive).

Using CheckDisk 1.2 is simple – insert the disk you want to check (or select a hard disk partition) and select a type of test (Standard, Thorough, Check if dirty) before running the scan with the Check drive button. Any problems can be fixed with the Correct errors option.

This freeware tool has been used successfully since 2006, so give it a try!

Windows Disk Error Checking

Finally, the disk check utility that ships with Windows is another choice that you shouldn’t overlook.

Available for use with all inserted disks, the Windows disk error-checking tool can be launched via Start > Computer > right-click drive > Properties > Tools > Error-checking > Check now…. This will display a couple of options – Automatically fix file system errors and Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors. With your selections made, (you can use either, both or none) click Start to begin the disk check.

This tool can be used on hard drive partitions, USB devices and floppy disks alike; if you’re using a floppy, don’t forget to copy your repaired data to your computer afterwards.

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