Keeping your computer healthy – Part 4

Keeping in line with the current subject of essential ways to care for your computer and keeping it running in peak condition this week I will answer a number of questions that I have received from our readers over the past couple of weeks.

‘Problems with programs restarting Scandisk’

“Hi Chris,

Following your article entitled “Computer Health Check” in Saturdays Herald Express I thought I would give it a go since I have no computer knowledge as such and so I rely on people like yourself for information as to what I should be doing to look after my computer.I ran the Scandisk program you suggested but after about 5 minuets I got a message on the screen saying “Scandisk has restarted 10 times” and that I should close all other programs so it can finish sooner.I don’t understand this because I was not running any other programs as I had just turned the computer on to run Scandisk.

I would be grateful to hear any suggestions you may have as to the reason for this and how I can overcome it.

Many thanks

Mike Wayne, Torquay”

Hi Mike

The message you have received is a result of any program that is currently working in memory accessing your hard disk in some way, for example to load or save a file.Obviously this is cause for concern for a disk checker such as Scandisk or a Disk Defragmenter as the contents of your hard drive are constantly changing and so it is difficult for the program to get an accurate representation as to what is on your hard drive - Image trying to complete a puzzle that it always changing.

You mention that you had only just turned on the computer and so there shouldn’t be any programs running in the background, however, as featured in last weeks article, many programs will automatically load themselves as part of Windows whether we want them to or not.I have e-mailed you last weeks article for details of how to remove these programs permanently, however here is a short term fix for you and any other readers at home that are having problems running Scandisk or Disk Defragmenter properly because of this reason.Okay then, when Windows has started up press the following keys all at the same time.‘Control (Or Ctrl), Alt and Delete’, you should now see a small Window that lists the programs currently running in memory. Click on one of these and then click ‘End Task’, keep doing this until you have removed all programs except for ‘Systray’ and ‘Explorer’.Don’t worry, all the programs you remove will load up again when you restart your computer, now simply run Scandisk and Disk Defragmenter as usual and then reboot.

‘Cannot find the Scandisk program’

“Hi Chris,

Following last weeks article regarding using Scandisk, I went to start the program up from System Tools and the program wasn’t on the menu at all – Could you shed any light on this matter?I am using Windows 98 and have never run Scandisk before.

Many Thanks

John Wotton, Stoke-in-Teignhead”

Hi John,

First off, lets try the simple approach, it is possible that Scandisk is on your computer, but just doesn’t have an icon present in the start menu.To test out this theory first click on ‘Start’ and then ‘Run’.Type in ‘Scandisk’ and see if anything happens.If you get a message that the program cannot be found then we will have to install it, as detailed below.

If my memory serves me correctly, Scandisk is an optional part in some versions of Windows 98, therefore it is quite conceivable that Scandisk simply hasn’t been installed on to your computer.This is easily fixed; simply go to ‘Start’ and then to ‘Control Panel’ and ‘Add Remove Programs’.Click on the ‘Windows Setup’ tab on the window that will open and scroll down to ‘System Tools’.Click ‘Details’ and then check mark the box next to the text that says ‘Scandisk’ and click OK.Windows will now attempt to install and setup Scandisk; you may need your original Windows 98 CD-ROM for this.

About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.