Scandisk & Defrag are both utilities that are in Windows.
Scan Disk checks the health of your hard drive, while defrag gathers up all segments of a program & places them a together in one place on you hard drive.
Running each of the utilities once a month should help your system.
To run the programs open My Computer - then RIGHT CLICK on any hard drive you choose.
You will then have a window with 2 to 4 tabs across the top General - Tools - Sharing CLICK on the Tools tab.
You will then see a window with 2 or 3 sections in it, depending on you configuration.
The top section will have the heading " Error-checking status" with a button "Check Now" CLICK this button.
In the next window you can select any drive you wish to check, not just the drive you right clicked on. I always do a "Thorough" scan & have "Automatically fix errors" ticked.
NOW BE WARNED this can take some time. If you have a screen saver running TURN IT OFF
If a fault is found scandisk will restart, or if the contents of the hard drive changes it will restart. If scandisk restarts 10 times a notice will pop up saying something like "Scandisk has restarted 10 times would you like to continue to receive notification of errors. Just click NO & let it get on with it.
Defrag is in the bottom section of the tools window with a "Defragment Now" button. CLICK this & then the "START" button.
This will also take some time (especially the first time it is run)
Scandisk & Defrag can also be started from the start menu. But the exact position of the short-cut can be changed.
Try this sequence. START - PROGRAMS - ACCESSORIES - SYSTEM TOOLS - then CLICK on DISK DEFRAGMENT or SCANDISK
Some computers struggle to complete the above task. This is usually because of another program running in the background. If this is the case try running your computer in safe mode. Restart you computer & press the ( F8 ) key. Press press & press F8 F8 F8 F8 F8 F8 F8 F8 F8 F8 F8 & so on, until you see a menu with a list of options on it with "Safe Mode" being No3. Chose this option to start your computer with a minimal set of drivers & run "Scan Disc" & "Defrag" in "Safe Mode" then restart your computer normally.
Win XP, NT & 2000
Can be open as above - BUT
For Win XP, NT & 2000 using NTFS file system you can
schedule a scan the next time windows starts. In other words tick the boxes to
schedule the scan then restart you computer, to get it done out of the way.