Guide to Scandisk & Defrag for Windows 9x

If your system is running slower than usual you might need to run these built-in Windows utilities: ScanDisk and Disk Defragmenter. ScanDisk checks your hard drive for errors and fixes them if it finds any, and Disk Defragmenter arranges file data so that it can be efficiently accessed when you need it.

Before you run these utilities, do the following:

1. Close AOL, PowerTools, and any other open applications.

2. During defragmentation, disk Defragmenter must restart each time other programs write to the disk. Therefore, be sure that no programs are running. Press CTRL + ALT + DEL one time to bring up the Close Programs list. Highlight each program listed there, except for Explorer and Systray, and click End Task. (These programs will automatically be reloaded when you reboot your computer.)

3. Empty your Recycle Bin.

4. While these utilities are running, don’t try to do any other computing functions; this may interfere with the process.



Run ScanDisk anytime your computer goes down improperly (like a power outage), when you are thrown offline, when you get GPF or IPG error messages, and when you accidentally shut down your computer without closing programs. Running ScanDisk immediately after such problems can locate and repair problems and may prevent severe damage to good programs and data later. Because errors like crosslinked files can grow in magnitude, early corrective action is best. Always run ScanDisk before you run the Disk Defragmenter.


1. On your Windows95/98 Taskbar, click the START button, then highlight Programs > Accessories > System Tools > ScanDisk icon.

2. Select the drive you want to scan, usually C: If you are running programs on other drives, you may need to scan more than one drive. For Type of Test, select Standard, and put a check in the Automatically Fix Errors box.

3. Click Start and wait for the process to end. You should run a ScanDisk every time you get error messages that force you to close AOL and PowerTools.



Defragmenter will put files and folders back into continuous units. This will improve hard disk performance, and increase the available free space (so you can save more data). Even if your system does an automatic defrag using the Scheduler, we recommend a manual defragmentation at least once or twice a week. When Disk Defragmenter is run on the Scheduler, Windows samples the drive first, and ONLY runs if fragmentation is high on that sample (which may not accurately reflect how fragmented the rest of the drive is). Running Defrag manually will remove all fragmentation without relying on a sample, thus ensuring a proper defrag.

1. On your Windows95 Taskbar, click on the Windows START button, then highlight Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter icon.

2. You will then be asked to select a drive, select your C: drive, then click OK. You may get a message saying you do not need to defrag your hard disk at this time. If the disk is more than 1% fragmented, run Defragmenter anyway. NOTE: If your hard drive is partitioned into more than one drive, you should do this process for all drives.

3. Win 98: Click the Settings button, then make sure Check the drive for errors is selected. If you choose “Rearrange program files so my programs start faster,” defrag will take much longer to complete. That option isn’t necessary each time you Defrag.

Win95: Click the Advanced button, then select Full Defragmentation. Be sure that Check drive for errors is selected. Also select Save these options and use them every time. Then click OK. [This is the optimal defrag setting for Win95, and we recommend using this each time you defrag the hard drive. Once you have these options selected, you will not need to click the Advanced button each time you defrag.] 4. Click OK, then OK (Win98) or START (Win95) When Defragmenter is complete, reboot your computer. When you are online a lot, you should run the Disk Defragmenter every 2-3 days. This will not harm your computer in any way.



Scandisk and Defrag are available only in DOS ver. 6.0 +. To check your DOS version, go to your C:\ prompt in DOS, type ver, then press ENTER. If your system is running slower than usual you might need to Scandisk and Defrag your hard drive(s). Scandisk checks your hard drive for errors and fixes them if it finds any, and the Defrag program organizes your hard drive so it will operate faster. This is called “defragmenting.” Please follow ALL the directions carefully:


1. Close AOL and PowerTools.

2. Press CTRL + ESC keys to bring up the Task List. Highlight each listing except for Program Manager and click End Task. Repeat until only Program Manager is showing on the Task List.

3. Open File Manager in the Main Group in your Program Manager.

4. Highlight the C:\ at the top in the left window and click on File menu, then Search. At the search window type in: ~*.tmp and click OK. This will search out the temporary files which you can delete by highlighting each and clicking on File menu, the Delete. At the Delete window, say Yes.

5. After you finish removing ~tmp files, Exit File Manager to return back to Program Manager.

6. Close Program Manager: Click File menu, Exit. This will close Windows and put you in the DOS mode at the C:\ prompt.

7. To be absolutely certain that Windows is NOT running, type exit, and press the ENTER key. You should see C:\ once again. If not, you should not use Scandisk/Defrag.


1. To run Scandisk from DOS at the C:\ prompt, type scandisk and press Enter. Scandisk begins to examine your disk. During this process, scandisk may find files that need to be corrected or are being misreported. If this occurs choose “Fix It” and at the next prompt choose “Skip undo.” If there are more than one file to be fixed, this process will repeat. When complete, choose Exit.

2. When Scandisk finishes, it will ask if you wish to do a surface Scan for bad segments. It is recommended to preform this operation at least twice a month.


1. Once you return to the C:\ prompt, type defrag c: /f as it appears here. Include the spaces. This will begin the process of defragmentation. CAUTION! This process may take from several minutes to an hour or more, depending on how fragmented your hard drive is and on the speed of your processor. Do NOT turn off the computer during this time. When the process has finished, restart your computer. If you have more than one hard drive, you should perform Scandisk and Defrag on those drives as well. To switch drives: At the C:\ prompt, type the letter of the other drive with a colon and a backslash; for example, D:\, then press ENTER. That will change the drive, and you can repeat the Scandisk and Defrag processes above.

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