If you are running XP and have the installation cd onhand you simply boot from that to the recovery console and type chkdsk /r at the command prompt there. As the first blue screen with options appears you press R for repair at the recovery console. That will see the check disk tool started manually there.
The task is easy enough there. But you can look over the page on using the check disk tool at How to run a disk check in Windows XP
The screen shots for this are seen at the bottom of the page there.