Prior to running Scandisk or Defrag, be sure to shut down all programs running in the background by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Delete (at the same time)and "End Task" on each program listed except for Explorer and Systray. It's usually best to do the Scandisk first, then Defrag. Virus Scanning programs and Find-fast can make your Scandisk loop over and over again. If it's any consolation, if you do it frequently (once every week or two), it goes much faster. Also make sure you delete all the unneeded files (Cookies, History, and Temporary Internet Files) prior to doing the above. Shut down your screen saver temporarily as this can also freeze scandisk and defrag.
After opening Scandisk, place a CHECK mark in ?Automatically Fix Errors. Click on the "Advanced" button, then make sure the settings look like this:
Log File=Replace Log
Lost File Fragments=Free
Check Valid Files For=Place a check in ALL of the options
Check Host Drive First
If for some reason, it still doesn't work, run both programs in "Safe Mode". Restart the computer, pressing the F8 key once per second, till it loads a selection screen. Use the up and down arrows to select "Safe Mode", press enter, and the computer will load into a safe mode. When you?re done, restart the machine and it will boot normally.
If all else fails, run Scandisk in DOS. Gain access to a Command Prompt in Windows ME this way: Shut down the puter, place the Windows ME start up disk in the floppy drive, start the machine. When the menu appears choose "Minimum Boot". Press Enter. When the command prompt appears, type "scandisk", then press enter.