How To Run The System File Checker Tool In Windows


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System File Checker is a Windows utility that scans for corrupted Windows system files and restores any corrupted files that it finds.

Run System File Checker (SFC.exe)

Here are the steps on running the tool;

#1; Open the command prompt;
  • Open the Start menu and type “Command Prompt” or “CMD” into the search box
  • Right-click on the Command Prompt and click Run as Administrator
  • Type your password or click allow when prompted to and open Command Prompt as an administrator

#2; If you’re running Windows 8 or higher then run Inbox Deployment Image Search and Management first before you start up the System File Checker. Skip straight to step three if you’re running Windows 7 or Vista.

Type out the following command and wait a few minutes for it to complete;

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

Important: Please note that DSIM uses Windows Update to get the files needed to fix the corruption. However if the Windows Update client itself is broken then you should use the Windows installation to repair the damage or use a Windows side-by-side folder using removable media or a shared network. A Windows DVD is a good choice.

Use the following command instead to do this:

DISM.exe/Online/Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:C:\RepairSource\Windows /LimitAccess

Replace C:\RepairSource\Windows with the location for your repair source.

#3 Repairing the Windows Image

Type the following into the command prompt and press enter:

sfc /scannow


The command of sfc/scannow scans protected system files and uses a cached copy of the file from %WinDir%\System32\dllcache to replace any corrupted files.

This %WinDir% placeholder represents the location of the Windows operating system folder, such as C:\Windows.

#4 Don’t close the command prompt until the verification is complete. The results of the scan are displayed after the process completes.
  • When the process is complete you may be presented with one of these messages;
  • “Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations” – this means there are no missing or corrupted system files
  • “Windows Resource Protection could not perform the requested operation”
  • You may resolve this issue by performing the System File Checker scan using safe mode and ensuring that %WinDir%\WinSxS\Temp contain the PendingDeletes and PendingRenames folders
  • “Windows Resource Protection found corrupted files and successfully repaired them. Details are included in the CBS.Log %WinDir%\Logs\CBS\CBS.log
  • Read through How to View the Details of the System File Checker Process to learn more about the system file scan and any restored objects
  • Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them. Details are included in the CBS.Log %WinDir%\Logs\CBS\CBS.log.

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