Windows XP had a useful utility called ScanDisk that would check your hard drive for any bad sectors, damaged files, and other problems.

For some reason, ScanDisk is not available as a standalone utility in Windows 7 but there’s a new way to check your hard disk as illustrated in the above screencast.

Open My Computer (or Windows Explorer), right-click the drive icon and choose properties. Switch to the tools tab and click “check now” under Error checking.

You may also set this up in Windows Task Scheduler so that you hard-drive gets check at regular intervals automatically.

Related: Test Hard Drive for Problems