ICT Hardware

ICT Hardware

Hard Disk Tools

Disk Cleanup

Disk Cleanup is a Microsoft software utility first introduced with Windows 98 and included in all subsequent releases of Windows. It allows users to remove files that are no longer needed or that can be safely deleted. Removing unnecessary files, including temporary files, can help to speed up and improve the performance of the computer. Running Disk Cleanup at least once a month is an excellent maintenance task and frequency.

There are a number of different file categories that Disk Cleanup targets when performing the initial disk analysis:

  • Compression of new files
  • Permanent Internet files
  • Temporary Windows files
  • Downloaded program files
  • Recycle Bin
  • Removal of unused applications or optional Windows components
  • Setup log files
  • Offline web pages (cached)
  • WinSxS (Windows component store)
How to open disk cleanup in windows

Microsoft Disk Cleanup can be opened by following these steps.

Windows 10 and Windows 8
  1. On the Desktop screen, press Windows key + X to open the Power User Task Menu.
  2. In the menu, tap or click the Run option.
  3. In the Run text field, type cleanmgr and press Enter.
Windows 7 and earlier
  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Click on Programs > Accessories > System Tools.
  3. In System Tools, click the Disk Cleanup utility.


  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Click the Run option.
  3. In the Run text field, type cleanmgr and press Enter.

Error Checking

Disk error checking also known as Chkdsk performs a scan on your hard disk, usually after an improper shutdown. It verifies the logical integrity of your hard drive. If it finds any logical inconsistencies in file system data, disk error checking performs actions that repair the file system data.The tool then tries to repair any that it finds. Chkdsk can repair problems related to bad sectors, lost clusters, cross-linked files, and directory errors.


In the maintenance of file systems, defragmentation is a process that reduces the amount of fragmentation. It does this by physically organizing the contents of the mass storage device used to store files into the smallest number of contiguous regions (fragments). It also attempts to create larger regions of free space using compaction to impede the return of fragmentation. Some defragmentation utilities try to keep smaller files within a single directory together, as they are often accessed in sequence.

Defragmentation is advantageous and relevant to file systems on electromechanical disk drives. The movement of the hard drive’s read/write heads over different areas of the disk when accessing fragmented files is slower, compared to accessing the entire contents of a non-fragmented file sequentially without moving the read/write heads to seek other fragments.

Virus Scanner

A virus scanner,  is a component of an anti-virus software package that scans a hard drive for viruses and other harmful items. These programs are made for various operating systems, and scanning methods can be manual or automatic. Scanners operate in conjunction with other elements of anti-virus software, such as virus containers and other tools. 

Anti-virus scanners rely on a virus database that needs to be updated over time. As more viruses and malware programs are created, anti-virus software makers incorporate them into their scanners and programs. Without an updated database, an anti-virus scanner will be much less effective and less likely to successfully quarantine viruses on a drive.

Avira, Avast, AVG, Bitdefender, F-Secure, Norton, Kaspersky, McAfee, ESET are some examples of antivirus software programs.

Disk Formatting

In order for storage media, such as a hard drive or flash drive to be recognized by your computer, it first needs to be initialized, or “formatted.” Formatting a disk involves testing the disk and writing a new file system onto the disk. This enables the computer to read the disk’s directory structure, which defines the way files and folders are organized on the disk.

You can use a disk utility program to format or reformat a disk. This will create a blank, empty disk for storing your files. Therefore, only format disks that don’t contain important data or make sure you have backed up your data before reformatting a disk!

When you reformat a disk, it will appear to be empty. This is because the directory structure has been rewritten, making the entire disk space available for writing new data. However, the old files are still on the disk. They just don’t show up since they are no longer included in the directory structure. So if you accidentally format a disk (which is pretty hard to do), you may be able to retrieve your files using a disk utility such as Norton Disk Doctor or DiskWarrior.