How to Use a System File Checker Tool to Find and Repair Corrupt System Files

System File Checker

There’s nothing worse than having your files malfunction right as you were putting the finishing touches on them. Whether this happens when you’re adding the final argument to your dissertation or adding the last chart to your work presentation, it’s one of the most frustrating things you’ll ever experience. But all is not lost, especially if you’re using our cloud backup solution, which helps you backup and recover all your most important files. (Next to our SEO tool that helps you attract more visitors to your website and our website builder that lets you create a gorgeous website in minutes, our cloud backup tool is one of the most requested tools from our web hosting clients.)

If your Windows functions are malfunctioning or if Windows crashes, you can scan and repair your corrupt files using the System File Checker Windows 10 tool.

Running the System File Checker Windows 10

To run the System File Checker Windows 10 (SFC.exe), follow these steps:

1. Open an elevated command prompt.

Because you’re using the System File Checker Windows 10, you have to run the inbox Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool before you run the System File Checker Windows 10.

2. To run the DISM tool, type this command, then press Enter: DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

You may have to wait a couple minutes for the command operation to be completed.

Note that when you run DISM, it uses Windows Update to show the corrupted files. If your Windows Update client is broken, you’ll need to use a different repair source. For example, you can use a Windows side-by-side folder from a network or from a removable media, such as the Windows DVD, or you can use a running Windows installation.

If this is the route you’re taking, run the following command instead:

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

(Type the repair source you’re actually using, in place of “C:\ActualRepairSource\Windows”.)

Once you’ve done this, you’re ready for the next step.

3. At the command prompt, type this command, then press ENTER: sfc /scannow

You’ll see a message that says something like “Beginning system scan. This process will take some time.” Don’t close the Command Prompt window until verification is 100% complete.

The sfc /scannow command will scan all protected system file and replace corrupted ones with a cached copy located in a compressed folder at %WinDir%\System32\dllcache.

The %WinDir% placeholder represents the Windows operating system folder.

When the process is finished, you’ll see one of the following messages: “Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations”, or “Windows Resource Protection could not perform the requested operation.”

If you get the first message, you don’t have any missing or corrupted system files. If you get the second message, move to the next step:

4. Perform the System File Checker Windows 10 scan in safe mode, making sure that the PendingDeletes and PendingRenames folders exist under %WinDir%\WinSxS\Temp.

When you do this, you’ll get one of two messages:

“Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them. Details are included in the CBS.Log %WinDir%\Logs\CBS\CBS.log”, or “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.

If you get the first message, your files are fine now. If you get the second message, you’ll need to figure out which corrupted files couldn’t be repaired, then you’ll need to manually repair them.

Figuring out which corrupted files couldn’t be repaired

To view the details of the scan, you’ll need to visit the CBS.Log file. To do this, you’ll need to follow these steps:

1. Open an elevated command prompt.

2. At the command prompt, type the following command, then press ENTER:

findstr /c:”[SR]” %windir%\Logs\CBS\CBS.log >”%userprofile%\Desktop\sfcdetails.txt”

3. Open the Sfcdetails.txt file from your desktop.

Verify the date and time to make sure you’re looking at the files that were identified in this system file check and not one that was carried out before.

You’ll now know which corrupted files couldn’t be repaired by the computer. Here’s how you manually repair these files:

Manually replacing a corrupted system file with a good copy

To repair the corrupted file, follow these steps:

1. Open an elevated command prompt.

2. Type the following command, then press ENTER:

takeown /f Path_Followed_By_File_Name

(Replace “Path_Followed_By_File_Name” with the path and file name of the corrupted file. For example, takeown /f C:\Documents\tightropewalking.doc)

3. To give admins full access to the corrupted system file, type the following command, then press ENTER:

icacls Path_Followed_By_File_Name /GRANT ADMINISTRATORS:F

(Replace “Path_Followed_By_File_Name” with the path and file name of the corrupted file.)

4. To replace the corrupted system file with a good copy of the file, type the following command, then press ENTER:

Copy Source_File Destination

(Replace “Source_File” with the path and file name of the good copy of the file and replace “Destination” with the path and file name of the corrupted file.)

And that’s how you use the System File Checker Windows 10! If you followed the steps correctly, you should now have a good file in place of your corrupted file. But if none of this worked, backup all the files you can on a flash drive or external hard drive and reinstall Windows.

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