When should you run chkdsk

I service and support a lot of computers for my clients, and I often encounter unexplained situations with program misbehavior that I eventually resolve by running the chkdsk program in Windows. If you're a complete novice, Chkdsk, with its most commonly used options, checks the integrity of the internal directory that the operating system uses to record and control the locations where files are stored on the hard drive. Chkdsk (pronounced "check-disk") goes way back in history to the earliest versions of Microsoft operating systems, and although it has changed to some extent at least on the surface, it's the same program.

Here is a decent explanation of the program and how to run Chkdsk

One of the problems I've had with chkdsk is simply knowing when to run it, and I have a new trick. I heartily recommend, sell and install a backup program called Retrospect. This program has also been around for a very long time, and there is one error that I see periodically called Error 1101 that I have discovered can be a 'canary in the coal mine' to indicate when chkdsk should be run. Now, the Retrospect Knowledge Base doesn't support this contention. Here's the official explanation and fix for Error 1101.

However, I've also successfully used the appearance of Error 1101 as an indicator that something might be going a little funky with the operating system table that affects the integrity of files on the drive. I have successfully run chkdsk and had the Error 1101 message disappear the next time Retrospect runs.

At no other time have I discovered a program or utility that says, in essence, "Time to run chkdsk!". But it seems to me that Retrospect is an excellent canary that indicates when you might have an emerging problem.

Obviously you can't take advantage of this if you don't use Retrospect, but you can download a 45-day trial of Retrospect here and try it for yourself. I'll be glad to talk to you about the Retrospect program and how it can help the security of your business.