When I run ScanDisk and Defrag on my computer,
why do they keep restarting and never finish?

The Windows 95, 98, and Me versions of these tools require exclusive access to the hard drive. If another program (even Windows itself) writes to the hard drive for any reason during a scan, the program starts over so that it is looking at the current file information. When this happens repeatedly this is usually a sign there is a program running that is interfering with the tool. Close any programs whose icons are in the system tray (next to the clock) by right clicking on each one. Use the Task List (press CTRL+ALT+DEL once) to view running programs. The tasks Explorer and Systray are Windows itself; end any others you find using the End Task button. You will need to redisplay the Task List after each one. If ScanDisk and Defrag still will not complete, boot into Safe Mode by restarting, and holding down the CTRL key as the PC begins to boot.

The Windows 2000 and XP versions of these tools are more tolerant of running programs and generally do not demonstrate these problems.

January 2004

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