How to Overcome a Cyclic Redundancy Check

By Lisa Bass

A cyclic redundancy check, known as a CRC error, often occurs when you're attempting to transfer data to a hard drive. It's most commonly caused by an interruption in the recording process, but also can be a sign that you've got problems with your hard drive or optical drive. Unless you have a detailed knowledge of the algorithms used to describe CRC errors, it's usually fixed through a process of eliminating several potential errors with your hardware.

Step 1

Rule out problems with your computer. Start by defragmenting your disk. Click the "Windows" button in the lower-left corner of your computer screen and select "Control Panel." Click the "System and Security" icon. Choose "Administrative Tools," then "Defragment your hard drive." This will clear up clutter on your hard drive that could be causing the error.

Step 2

Use the CHKDSK program in Windows to see if there are other problems with your hard drive. Click the "Windows" button and select "Computer." Right-click the drive with the CRC error. Choose "Properties," then select the "Tools" tab. Click "Check Now." Make sure the program will fix disk errors by checking the top square in the dialog box. Click "Start."

Step 3

Clean your CD or DVD, if the CRC error appears to be caused when you're copying data or a program from optical media. You can also clean your optical drive with short, gentle bursts of compressed air or a commercial CD cleaning product. Be extremely careful when you clean an optical drive; it's easily damaged by excessive pressure.

Step 4

Ask the person or company who provided the file or media to give you a new copy. Often, this is the quickest and most pain-free solution to resolving a CRC error. Be sure you've ruled out problems with your computer before resorting to this step.