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Tip of the Week --- Running Scandisk and Disk Defragmenter

PublicationDate: 6/5/98
Summary: Tip of the Week --- Running Scandisk and Disk Defragmenter
Author: CPS - Central Processing System (CPS)

Posted June 5, 1998

TO: All Destination Points
FROM: CPS Customer Service
RE: Tip of the Week --- Running Scandisk and Disk Defragmenter

This week's tip on running Scandisk and Disk Defragmenter is the second in a three-part series of tips on maintaining optimum database and PC performance. Following the processes outlined in these messages could help improve your processing speed. Last week's tip covered the Repair and Compact utilities; the third and final tip next week will address clearing your temporary file directory.

EDExpress and Pell Payment for Windows users should run the Scandisk utility weekly on all standalone or network workstation PCs. Scandisk is a Windows 95 and DOS utility that checks for and resolves problems on your hard drive and in the FAT (File Allocation Table), which keeps track of the location and size of your PC's files.

Please note Scandisk should only be performed on the hard drives of PCs with the Windows 3.X or Windows 95 operating system. Windows NT users should NOT run the Scandisk utility.

You should ensure you have a reliable system back-up before running Scandisk or any other utility. Also, consult your technical staff to determine if Scandisk or any other utilities are already being performed on your PC(s).

Windows 3.X users: To run Scandisk, first exit all running applications and close Windows, so you are at a DOS prompt. At the C:\prompt, type scandisk, and hit enter. This will initiate and run the Scandisk utility. If Scandisk finds an error, select "fix it" or "repair" (choice will vary depending on the Windows 3.X version you are running). After locating this first error, Scandisk will also ask if you would like to create an "undo" diskette --- select "skip undo." Also, if Scandisk finds lost file fragments, choose to "delete or discard lost file fragments." NOTE: You may need to use your arrow keys to select options during the utility process if your mouse does not function in DOS mode.

Windows 95 users: To run Scandisk, either go to your Start menu, and then to Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Scandisk, or go to Start/Run, type scandisk, and hit enter. On the Scandisk window that opens, select your hard drive designation (usually C:mark "Standard" for "Type of test," click on the "Automatically fix errors" checkbox, and then click on the Scandisk "Start" button. Once finished, repeat this process for any additional hard drives you may have on your PC(s).

The Scandisk utility for both Windows 3.X and Windows 95 users offers a "Thorough" option. A "thorough" Scandisk process performs an additional surface scan of your hard drive. This option can take several hours to run, and is not necessary unless you are experiencing severe system-related problems.

Disk Defragmenter speeds up disk access by rearranging the files and free space on your computer so your files are stored in adjoining units and free space is consolidated into one contiguous block. Run Disk Defragmenter after running Scandisk.

Windows 95 users: To run Disk Defragmenter, go to Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools and click on Disk Defragmenter. You will need to designate the drive you want to defragment and then click "OK."

Windows 3.X users: To run Disk Defragmenter you must first exit all running applications and close Windows, so you are at a DOS prompt. At the C:\prompt, type Defrag.

Note: While Windows defragments your disk, you can safely use your computer to carry out other tasks. However, your computer will operate more slowly.

If you have any questions, please contact CPS Customer Service at 1-800-330-5947, or via e-mail at CPS@NCS.COM.

Last Modified: 08/16/1999