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Windows 10

1. Windows Defender

1.1. How to permanently disable Windows Defender Antivirus on Windows 10

Windows Defender Antivirus is the free malware solution that Microsoft includes on every installation of Windows 10. It's a security software package meant to provide the first line of defense to protect your device and data against malware, including viruses, ransomware, rootkits, spyware, and other types of malicious programs.

Although the antivirus runs automatically, and it can disable itself as you install a third-party security software, the only caveat is that Windows 10 doesn't offer a way to disable it permanently. Perhaps the obvious reason is that Microsoft doesn't want you to use your device without any protection, which is a good thing.

However, there are still some cases where some users may prefer not to use Windows Defender Antivirus, such as on a kiosk device that isn't connected to a network and where peripheral connectivity isn't allowed.

How to disable Windows Defender Antivirus using Group Policy

On Windows 10 Pro, it's possible to use the Group Policy Editor to disable the Windows Defender Antivirus permanently.

  1. Use the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command.
  2. Type gpedit.msc and click OK to open the Local Group Policy Editor.
  3. Browse the following path:

    Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender Antivirus

  4. On the right side, double-click the Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus policy.
  5. Select the Enabled option.
  6. Click Apply.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Browse the following path:

    Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender Antivirus > Real-time Protection

  9. On the right side, double-click the Turn on behavior monitoring policy.

  10. Select the Disabled option.
  11. Click Apply.
  12. Click OK.

  13. On "Real-time Protection," double-click the Monitor file and program activity on your computer policy.

  14. Select the Disabled option.
  15. Click Apply.
  16. Click OK.

  17. On "Real-time Protection," double-click the Turn on process scanning whenever real-time protection is enabled policy.
  18. Select the Disabled option.
  19. Click Apply.
  20. Click OK.

  21. On "Real-time Protection," double-click the Turn on behavior monitoring policy.
  22. Select the Disabled option.
  23. Click Apply.
  24. Click OK.

  25. Restart your computer.

Once you've completed the steps, Windows Defender Antivirus will no longer scan and detect malware on your device, even after restarting your computer.

At any time, you can enable the Windows Defender Antivirus using the same steps, but on step No. 5, 10, and 14, make sure to select the Not Configured option. Then just restart your device to apply the changes.

2. Operating System

2.1. Network & Internet connection problems in Windows 10/8/7

If you find that your internet connection, in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7 or Windows Vista, has suddenly stopped working or that you are facing certain Network and Internet connectivity problems, here are a few troubleshooting steps you may want to try.

Network & Internet connection problems

1] IPConfig is a tool built into Windows, that displays all current TCP/IP network configuration values and refreshes Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol DHCP and Domain Name System DNS settings. You can access this tool via the command line. If you have a bad IP address, then renewing your IP address this way may help solve your internet problems.

Type cmd in start search and press Ctrl-Shift-Enter. If you wish, just out of curiosity, you may type ipconfig and hit Enter, to view the status of the computer's Internet Protocol or IP address.

Type ipconfig /release to let go of the current IP address.

Next, type ipconfig /renew to obtain a new IP address.

If you get an error message when you Run the "Ipconfig /Renew" command see KB810606.

If you recurrently face this problem, then you can have it renewed on every start-up, by creating the following .bat file and placing it in your startup folder.

Open Notepad and type:

ipconfig /release
ipconfig /renew

Save it as, say, iprenew.bat file.

Read: How to find out, renew, change IP address.

2] Frequently, internet connection problems can also be traced to a corrupted DNS cache. Resetting or Flushing this cache is an easy fix to many of these problems. This is how you can flush Windows DNS cache in Windows 10, Windows 8/7 or Windows Vista.

Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt. Right click on it and 'Run As Administrator'. Type the following and hit enter:

ipconfig /flushdns

You should be able to see a confirmation dialog window:

Windows IP Configuration. Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.

Next, type ipconfig /registerdns and hit Enter.

This registers any DNS records that you or some programs may have recorded in your Hosts file.

Just in case you are interested, to view the complete syntax for this command type ipconfig /help and hit Enter!

3] The Network & Internet Diagnostic & Repair Tool in Windows 10/8/7/Vista will help you identify the potential issues preventing network connectivity, and it automatically takes appropriate steps toward correcting them. If a computer on the network loses Internet connectivity, you can graphically see which connection is down and then use Network Diagnostics to help determine the cause of the problem and find possible solutions.


internet connection problems

To access it, open Control Panel > Network & Sharing Center. In the lower part, click on Troubleshoot Problems. From the window which opens, you can select Internet Connections or any other issue you want to troubleshoot and repair.

Type the following commands in Run box and hit Enter to open the required Troubleshooters directly:

To open Internet Connections Troubleshooter:

msdt.exe -id NetworkDiagnosticsWeb

To open the Incoming Connections Troubleshooter

msdt.exe -id NetworkDiagnosticsInbound

To open the Network Adapter Troubleshooter:

msdt.exe -id NetworkDiagnosticsNetworkAdapter

4] Enable or Disable IPv6 to solve Internet connectivity problems in Windows 8/10.

5]  Reset Winsock

6] Reset TCP/IP,

7] Reset Hosts file,

8] Reset Windows firewall settings to default,

9] Reset Internet Explorer

10] Try NetChecker, NetAdapter Repair or Complete Internet Repair Tool.

11] See this post if you cannot connect to Internet after upgrading to Windows 10.

12] Go here if you see a Limited Network Connectivity message.

13] The Network Reset feature in Windows 10 will help you reinstall Network adapters and reset Networking Components to original settings.

14] See this post if you receive a WiFi doesn't have a valid IP configuration error message.

2.2. How to Set Up a Homegroup Network in Windows 10

A simpler way of networking, a Homegroup in Windows 10 lets every Windows PC in the house share the things nearly everybody wants to share: music, photos, movies, and the household printer. Set up a Homegroup, and Windows automatically begins sharing those items. The Homegroup strategically leaves out the folder you probably don't want to share: your Documents folder.

Homegroups work with any Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 computers on your network, as well. (Homegroups don't work with Windows Vista or Windows XP, unfortunately.)

Depending on your network, you may be invited to join a Homegroup as soon as your computer connects with your router. If so, jump to Step 2.

Here's how to set up a new Homegroup on your Windows PC as well as how to let Windows join a Homegroup you may have already set up with your other networked computers:

  1. Right-click the Start button and choose Control Panel from the pop-up menu.

  2. When the Control Panel appears, click the Network and Internet icon. When the Network and Internet page appears, click HomeGroup from the right pane.


    Can't find the Homegroup setting? Then type homegroup into the Settings' window's Search box, located in the window's upper-right corner. When the word HomeGroup appears in the Search Results, click it to open the Homegroup window.

  3. In the Homegroup window, click the Change Network Location link, and click the Yes button in the pane that appears on the right.

    When you first connect to a wireless network, Windows assumes it's a public network, perhaps at a coffee shop. Naturally, Windows also assumes you don't want anybody to snoop through your computer, so it leaves your PC "undiscoverable." That means nobody can find it on the network, and, you won't be able to find anybody else's computer.

    Choosing Yes, shown here, tells Windows that you're on a private network where you want to share things like files and printers.

    Click Yes to make your wireless network private and allow sharing.
    Click Yes to make your wireless network private and allow sharing.
  4. Click either the Create a Homegroup or Join Now button.

    If you see a Create a Homegroup button, click it to create a new Homegroup.

    If you see a Join Now button (as shown here), somebody has already created a Homegroup on your network. To join it, click the Join Now button.

    Click Join Now to join an existing Homegroup. Click Create to create a new Homegroup.
    Click Join Now to join an existing Homegroup. Click Create to create a new Homegroup.

    Whether you click the Join Now or Create a Homegroup button, Windows asks what items you'd like to share.

    If you're asked to change the network privacy settings on your computer, be sure to choose Private rather than Public.

  5. Choose the items you'd like to share, click Next, and, if joining an existing Homegroup, type in your network's Homegroup password.

    Shown in the following figure, the window lets you select the folders you want to share with your Homegroup family. To share an item, choose Share from its adjacent drop-down menu. To keep items private, choose Not Shared.

    Most people want to share their Music, Pictures, Videos folders, as well as their printer and media devices. Because the Documents folder contains more private material, it's usually left unshared.

    Most people share only their Music, Pictures, and Videos folders, as well as their printers and med
    Most people share only their Music, Pictures, and Videos folders, as well as their printers and media devices.

    Sharing a folder simply lets other people access that folder's files to view the pictures or watch a video, for example. They can neither change nor delete those files, nor can they create or place any files in your folder.

    Finally, if you're joining an existing Homegroup, type in the Homegroup's existing password. Don't know the password? On a Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 computer, find the password by opening any folder, right-clicking the word HomeGroup in the folder's left pane, and choosing View the Homegroup Password. (The password is case sensitive, so make sure you capitalize the correct letters.)

    If you're joining an existing Homegroup, you're finished.

  6. If you clicked the Create a Homegroup button, take note of the password listed at the closing screen.

    You must enter that same password into each computer you want to include in your Homegroup. Leave your computer turned on and follow these steps on your other computers to join the Homegroup you've just created.

When you're through with these steps, you've created or joined a Homegroup that's accessible from every Windows 8.1, 8, and 7 PC on your network. You've also set up your PC to allow its Music, Photos, and Videos folders to be shared, something I describe in the next section.

Hailing strictly from the world of Windows, Homegroups won't allow you to share items with iPads, or smartphones. For sharing files between those devices, download their OneDrive app.

  • When you create or join a Homegroup, you're choosing which folders to share only from your own account. If other account holders on that PC also want to share their folders, they should do this while logged on with their account: Open any folder, right-click Homegroup in the Navigation Pane, and choose Change HomeGroup Settings. There they can add check marks to the items they want to share and then click Save Changes.

  • Changed your mind about your Homegroup settings? Follow the preceding steps to change which items you'd like to share.

  • After choosing to join a Homegroup, you may need to wait a few minutes until you're able to share files or printers with your networked computers.

  • Forgot the all-important Homegroup password? Open any folder, right-click the word Homegroup in the Navigation Pane, and then choose View the HomeGroup Password.

2.3. How to enable and disable SMBv1, SMBv2, and SMBv3 in Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8, Windows 10, and Windows Server 2012

This article describes how to enable and disable Server Message Block (SMB) version 1 (SMBv1), SMB version 2 (SMBv2), and SMB version 3 (SMBv3) on the SMB client and server components. 

Warning: We do not recommend that you disable SMBv2 or SMBv3. Disable SMBv2 or SMBv3 only as a temporary troubleshooting measure. Do not leave SMBv2 or SMBv3 disabled.

In Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, disabling SMBv2 deactivates the following functionality:
  • Request compounding - allows for sending multiple SMB 2 requests as a single network request
  • Larger reads and writes - better use of faster networks
  • Caching of folder and file properties - clients keep local copies of folders and files
  • Durable handles - allow for connection to transparently reconnect to the server if there is a temporary disconnection
  • Improved message signing - HMAC SHA-256 replaces MD5 as hashing algorithm
  • Improved scalability for file sharing - number of users, shares, and open files per server greatly increased
  • Support for symbolic links
  • Client oplock leasing model - limits the data transferred between the client and server, improving performance on high-latency networks and increasing SMB server scalability
  • Large MTU support - for full use of 10-gigabye (GB) Ethernet
  • Improved energy efficiency - clients that have open files to a server can sleep
In Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, disabling SMBv3 deactivates the following functionality (and also the SMBv2 functionality that is described in the previous list):
  • Transparent Failover - clients reconnect without interruption to cluster nodes during maintenance or failover
  • Scale Out – concurrent access to shared data on all file cluster nodes 
  • Multichannel - aggregation of network bandwidth and fault tolerance if multiple paths are available between client and server
  • SMB Direct – adds RDMA networking support for very high performance, with low latency and low CPU utilization
  • Encryption – Provides end-to-end encryption and protects from eavesdropping on untrustworthy networks
  • Directory Leasing - Improves application response times in branch offices through caching
  • Performance Optimizations - optimizations for small random read/write I/O

More Information

The SMBv2 protocol was introduced in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.

The SMBv3 protocol was introduced in Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.

For more information about the capabilities of SMBv2 and SMBv3 capabilities, go to the following Microsoft TechNet websites:

How to enable or disable SMB protocols on the SMB server

Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012

Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 introduce the new Set-SMBServerConfiguration Windows PowerShell cmdlet. The cmdlet enables you to enable or disable the SMBv1, SMBv2, and SMBv3 protocols on the server component.

Notes When you enable or disable SMBv2 in Windows 8 or in Windows Server 2012, SMBv3 is also enabled or disabled. This behavior occurs because these protocols share the same stack.

You do not have to restart the computer after you run the Set-SMBServerConfiguration cmdlet.
  • To obtain the current state of the SMB server protocol configuration, run the following cmdlet:
    Get-SmbServerConfiguration | Select EnableSMB1Protocol, EnableSMB2Protocol
  • To disable SMBv1 on the SMB server, run the following cmdlet:
    Set-SmbServerConfiguration -EnableSMB1Protocol $false
  • To disable SMBv2 and SMBv3 on the SMB server, run the following cmdlet:
    Set-SmbServerConfiguration -EnableSMB2Protocol $false
  • To enable SMBv1 on the SMB server, run the following cmdlet:
    Set-SmbServerConfiguration -EnableSMB1Protocol $true
  • To enable SMBv2 and SMBv3 on the SMB server, run the following cmdlet:
    Set-SmbServerConfiguration -EnableSMB2Protocol $true

Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2008

To enable or disable SMB protocols on an SMB Server that is runningWindows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, or Windows Server 2008, use Windows PowerShell or Registry Editor.

Windows PowerShell 2.0 or a later version of PowerShell

  • To disable SMBv1 on the SMB server, run the following cmdlet:
    Set-ItemProperty -Path "HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Parameters" SMB1 -Type DWORD -Value 0 -Force
  • To disable SMBv2 and SMBv3 on the SMB server, run the following cmdlet:
    Set-ItemProperty -Path "HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Parameters" SMB2 -Type DWORD -Value 0 -Force
  • To enable SMBv1 on the SMB server, run the following cmdlet:
    Set-ItemProperty -Path "HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Parameters" SMB1 -Type DWORD -Value 1 -Force
  • To enable SMBv2 and SMBv3 on the SMB server, run the following cmdlet:
    Set-ItemProperty -Path "HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Parameters" SMB2 -Type DWORD -Value 1 -Force
Note You must restart the computer after you make these changes.

Registry Editor

Important This article contains information about how to modify the registry. Make sure that you back up the registry before you modify it. Make sure that you know how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up, restore, and modify the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
To enable or disable SMBv1 on the SMB server, configure the following registry key:
Registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\ParametersRegistry entry: SMB1
REG_DWORD: 0 = Disabled
REG_DWORD: 1 = Enabled
Default: 1 = Enabled
To enable or disable SMBv2 on the SMB server, configure the following registry key:
Registry subkey:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\ParametersRegistry entry: SMB2
REG_DWORD: 0 = Disabled
REG_DWORD: 1 = Enabled
Default: 1 = Enabled

How to enable or disable SMB protocols on the SMB client

Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2012

Note When you enable or disable SMBv2 in Windows 8 or in Windows Server 2012, SMBv3 is also enabled or disabled. This behavior occurs because these protocols share the same stack.
  • To disable SMBv1 on the SMB client, run the following commands:
    sc.exe config lanmanworkstation depend= bowser/mrxsmb20/nsi
    sc.exe config mrxsmb10 start= disabled
  • To enable SMBv1 on the SMB client, run the following commands:
    sc.exe config lanmanworkstation depend= bowser/mrxsmb10/mrxsmb20/nsi
    sc.exe config mrxsmb10 start= auto
  • To disable SMBv2 and SMBv3 on the SMB client, run the following commands:
    sc.exe config lanmanworkstation depend= bowser/mrxsmb10/nsi
    sc.exe config mrxsmb20 start= disabled
  • To enable SMBv2 and SMBv3 on the SMB client, run the following commands:
    sc.exe config lanmanworkstation depend= bowser/mrxsmb10/mrxsmb20/nsi
    sc.exe config mrxsmb20 start= auto

  • You must run these commands at an elevated command prompt.
  • You must restart the computer after you make these changes.

3. Microsoft Outlook

3.1. How to Set an Ethernet Connection as Metered in Windows 8 and 10

Windows 8 and 10 both allow you to set certain types of connections as metered so that you can limit the amount of data Windows (and certain apps) can use without asking. You can use the regular Settings interface to set mobile and Wi-Fi connections as metered, but for some reason Windows assumes you won't need to do this with wired Ethernet connections. If you use an ISP that has monthly data caps, you know better. The good news is that a quick Registry edit will fix you right up.

Set an Ethernet Connection as Metered by Editing the Registry

To set your Ethernet connection to metered, you'll have to dive into the Windows Registry to make a quick edit.

Standard warning: Registry Editor is a powerful tool and misusing it can render your system unstable or even inoperable. This is a pretty simple hack and as long as you stick to the instructions, you shouldn't have any problems. That said, if you've never worked with it before, consider reading about how to use the Registry Editor before you get started. And definitely back up the Registry (and your computer!) before making changes.

To get started, open the Registry Editor by hitting Start and typing "regedit." Press Enter to open Registry Editor and give it permission to make changes to your PC.


In the Registry Editor, use the left sidebar to navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\DefaultMediaCost


Before you go any further with the edit, you're going to have to take an additional step. The DefaultMediaCost key you just navigated to is protected, meaning that you don't by default have the permissions necessary to edit it. You're going to have to take ownership of and set some permissions on the key before you can edit it for the first time. It's quick and you'll only have to do it once. After you set the permissions, you'll be able to edit the key freely in the future.

Once you've set those permissions on the DefaultMediaCost key, you're going to edit one of the values inside it. Click the DefaultMediaCost key to select it and then in the right pane, double-click the Ethernet value to edit it.


On the Ethernet value's properties window, change the number in the "Value data" box from 1 to 2 and then click OK.


You can now close Registry Editor. Your Ethernet connection is now set to metered, meaning that data-intensive Windows services like Windows Update and automatic app downloads won't happen without asking your permission first. You might also find that some apps behave differently, as certain apps from the Windows store might be designed to respect this setting.

Unfortunately, the Settings interface in Windows won't update to show you that the connection is metered, as it does when you enabled metered connections for mobile and Wi-Fi connections. To verify, you'll need to return to Registry Editor and check the settings. Just remember that a setting of 2 means metered, and 1 means unmetered.

If you need to reverse the setting and change your Ethernet connection back to unmetered, just return to the DefaultMediaCost key and set the Ethernet value from 2 back to 1.

Download Our One-Click Registry Hacks


If you don't feel like diving into the Registry each time to set your connection as metered or unmetered, we've created two downloadable registry hacks you can use. One hack enables a metered connection for Ethernet and the other hack changes it back to an unmetered connection, restoring the default setting. Both are included in the following ZIP file. Before you can use these hacks, though, you will have to fire up Registry Editor once to take ownership of and set permissions for the DefaultMediaCost key, as we discussed in the previous section. After you've done that, you can then use our Registry hacks whenever you want. Double-click the one you want to use and click through the prompts to give it permission to make changes.

These hacks are really just the DefaultMediaCost key, stripped down to the Ethernet value we described above, and then exported to a .REG file. Running the "Enable Metered Ethernet Connection" hack sets the Ethernet value to 2. Running the "Restore Unmetered Ethernet Connection (Default)" hack sets the value back to 1.  And if you enjoy fiddling with the Registry, it's worth taking the time to learn how to make your own Registry hacks.

And that's it. If you're using an Ethernet connection, but still have an ISP that limits data, setting the Ethernet connection to metered can prevent Windows and some apps from using that data up when you're not paying attention.


3.2. Outlook can't send after upgrading to Windows 10

I just upgraded to Windows 10 and now Outlook can't send anymore. All the mail server settings are correct and interestingly enough, the test message is successful as well. The error message I get it;

Error message: 'Robert – Sending' reported error (0x800CCC13): 'Cannot connect to the network. Verify your network connection or modem'

How can I get sending back to work again?

Send/Receive Broken buttonThis issue seems to be common for some specific configurations although the actual cause isn't clear at this point. It can happen with any version of Outlook.

However, recovering from this is relatively easy but of course still annoying.

Windows Resource Checker – sfc /scannow

To recover from the issue, you must run the Microsoft Windows Resource Checker tool, also know as "System File Checker" or "sfc". This tool scans and verifies the integrity of all protected system files and replaces incorrect versions with correct versions.

  1. Right click on the Start button of Windows and choose: Command Prompt (Admin).
    • If you don't see this, instead choose: Windows PowerShell (Admin)
  2. Behind the prompt type: sfc /scannow
    (note the space in the command)
  3. Wait until the process completes. This usually doesn't take longer than 20 minutes with a regular hard disk and takes much shorter when you have a fast SSD drive.
  4. Restart your computer.

Command: sfc /scannow
With sfc /scannow some critical Office files are being put back where they needed to be after upgrading to Windows 10.

3.3. How to Scan & Fix Hard Drives with CHKDSK in Windows 10

Microsoft's hard disk scanning and repair utility, CHKDSK ("check disk"), was introduced over 30 years ago but still has a useful place today. Users running even the latest Microsoft operating system can still use the command to examine their hard drives for errors and repair them if necessary. Here's how to run CHKDSK in Windows 10.

Even in Windows 10, the CHKDSK command is run via the Command Prompt, but we'll need to use administrative privileges to properly access it. To launch a Command Prompt as an Administrator, press the keyboard shortcut Windows Key + X to bring up the power users menu, then let go of those two keys and tap the A key. Alternatively, with the power users menu open you can use your mouse or trackpad to select the Command Prompt (Admin) option.

windows 10 command prompt admin

You'll be presented with a UAC window requesting permission to launch the Command Prompt as Administrator. Click Yes to proceed and you'll see a new Command Prompt window. You can verify that you've successfully granted the Command Prompt administrative privileges by ensuring that "Administrator: Command Prompt" is present in the window's title bar.

windows 10 command prompt admin uac

From the Command Prompt, type the command "chkdsk" followed by a space, then the letter of the drive you wish to examine or repair. In our case, it's internal drive "C."

chkdsk windows 10

Simply running the CHKDSK command in Windows 10 will only display the disk's status, and won't fix any errors present on the volume. To tell CHKDSK to fix the drive, we need to give it parameters. After your drive letter, type the following parameters separated by a space each: "/f /r /x".

The "/f" parameter tells CHKDSK to fix any errors it finds; "/r" tells it to locate the bad sectors on the drive and recover readable information; "/x" forces the drive to dismount before the process starts. Additional parameters are available for more specialized tasks, and are detailed at Microsoft's TechNet site.

To summarize, the full command that should be typed into the Command Prompt is:

chkdsk [Drive:] [parameters]

In our example, it's:

chkdsk C: /f /r /x

chkdsk windows 10 reboot

Note that CHKDSK needs to be able to lock the drive, meaning that it cannot be used to examine the system's boot drive if the computer is in use. If your target drive is an external or non-boot internal disk, the CHKDSK process will begin as soon as we enter the command above. If, however, the target drive is a boot disk, the system will ask you if you'd like to run the command before the next boot. Type "yes" (or "y"), restart the computer, and the command will run before the operating system loads, allowing it to gain full access to the disk.

chkdsk windows 10 reboot scan

A CHKDSK command can take a long time, especially when performed on larger drives. Once it's done, however, it will present a summary of results including total disk space, byte allocation, and, most importantly, any errors that were found and corrected.

The CHKDSK command is available in all versions of Windows, so those on Windows 7, 8, or XP can also perform the steps above to initiate a scan of their hard drive. In the case of older versions of Windows, users can get to the Command Prompt by going to Start > Run and typing "cmd". Once the Command Prompt result is displayed, right-click on it and select "Run as Administrator" to grant the program the necessary privileges to execute CHKDSK successfully.

A final note: we've covered how to run CHKDSK in previous versions of Windows, and some users who followed the suggested steps were alarmed to find that their hard drive space was significantly reduced after running the command. This result is due to a failing hard drive, as one of the crucial functions that CHKDSK performs is to identify and block bad sectors on the drive. A few bad sectors on an old drive will typically go unnoticed to the user, but if the drive is failing or has serious problems, you could have huge numbers of bad sectors that, when mapped and blocked by CHKDSK, appear to "steal" significant portions of your hard drive's capacity.

flaming hard drive
Dramatization: actual failing hard drive may not spontaneously combust.
Image: Sandra.Matic / Shutterstock

This is expected behavior, and it means that those sectors, and any data potentially stored on them, have failed, even if you or your operating system didn't realize it yet. CHKDSK will attempt to recover data from bad sectors when using the /r parameter, but some data may be corrupted and unrecoverable. Therefore, make sure to always keep good backups of all of your important data, and don't blame CHKDSK (i.e., kill the messenger) for confirming that your PC's hard drive is about to kick the proverbial bucket.