The System File Checker or sfc.exe is a Microsoft Windows utility located in the C:WindowsSystem32 folder. This utility allows users to find and repair corrupted Windows system files. In this article, we will see how to run the System File Checker and also see how to scan SFC logs.
Run System File Checker
In Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista, System File Checker is integrated with Windows Resource Protection, which protects registry keys and folders, as well as important system files. When changes are detected in a protected system file, the modified file is restored from a cached copy located in the Windows folder itself.
So if at any point you find yourself hacking some system files or maybe applying some tweaks or replacing system files maybe while tweaking your windows and now you find your windows not working properly you can consider running this utility first before attempting a system restore. To do this, you first need to open an elevated Command Prompt window.
To run System File Checker in Windows 11/10/8/7, enter the command in the Start Search box. In the result that appears, right-click on the command and select “Run as administrator”.
If you are not running the command prompt as an administrator, you will see a message:
You must be an administrator running a console session to use the sfc utility.
Therefore, it is extremely important that you do so.
Run sfc /scannow on Windows 11/10.
In the command prompt window that opens, type the following and press Enter:
The sfc utility will run for a while, and if any corruption is found, replace it on reboot.
Windows Resource Protection was unable to start the requested service or start the recovery service
If you are unable to run the System File Checker and are instead getting the error “Windows Resource Protection could not start the Repair Service”, you can check if the installation of Windows service modules is disabled. To do this, enter services.msc at the beginning of the search and press Enter. The status of this service should be set to Manual.
Alternatively, you can also download our very useful free utility FixWin and click on the “System File Checker” button. This will launch sfc.exe.
When you run this tool at the end of a scan, you may see one of the following messages, some of which may indicate errors: These may be:
If this happens, you can try running the System File Checker in Safe Mode or repair the Windows Component Store using DISM and see if that works.
See this post if SFC doesn’t work or won’t work.
Read: First DISM vs SFC? What should I run first on Windows 10?
Run System File Checker offline, in safe mode, or at startup
Just boot into safe mode and follow the same procedure. System File Checker will also work in safe mode.
The /scanonce and /scanboot syntax was broken after Windows XP and does not work on Windows 8 and later.
Follow this procedure if you want to run System File Checker in safe mode, at startup, or offline.
You can also use the sfc.exe tool to troubleshoot user mode crashes in Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, and Vista. These failures may be due to missing or corrupt operating system files. This may require access to the log files.
Read . How to scan and repair a single file using the System File Checker.
How to View the SFC Log File
The sfc.exe program writes information about each check operation and each restore operation to the CBS.log file. Each sfc.exe program entry in this file has [SR] label. The CBS.log file is located in the %windir%LogsCBS folder.
You can search [SR] tags to help locate SFC.exe program entries. To perform this type of search and redirect the results to a text file, follow these steps:
Click Start, type command in the Start Search box, right-click cmd in the Programs list, and select Run as administrator.
Type the following command and press Enter:
findstr/s:”[SR]” %windir%logscbscbs.log >sfcdetails.txt
The sfcdetails.txt file contains entries that are logged each time the SFC.exe program is run on the computer.
How to interpret SFC log file entries:
The sfc.exe program checks files in groups of 100. Therefore, there will be many groups of SFC.exe program entries. Each entry has the following format: date, time, entry type, details. For more information on how to interpret, visit KB928228.
Hope this post helped you.