How To Use SFC /Scannow to Restore Windows System Files?

The SFC /scannow command, the CMD utility gathering System File Checker, is among the distinct switches open in the SFC command. While there are multiple things you can perform with this Command, SFC /scannow is the most typical way that the SFC command is utilized.

All crucial Windows files on your computer, including Windows DLL files, will be inspected by Sfc /scannow. The System File Checker will replace any protected files that have issues sfc scannow.

How to Use SFC /Scannow

  1. Launch an “elevated” Command Prompt by opening sfc scannow Command Prompt as an administrator.
  2. Important: For the SFC /scannow command to function properly in Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista, it must be run from an elevated Command Prompt window.
sfc /scannowHow to Use SFC /Scannow

After entering the following Command, hit Enter.

Important To utilize System File Checker from the Command Prompt via Advanced Startup Options or System Recovery Options, make the appropriate adjustments to the Command as described in the Executing SFC /SCANNOW From Outside of Windows section below.

Every protected operating system file on your computer will now be checked for integrity by the System File Checker. It can take some time to complete sfc scan.

If errors were discovered and fixed, you’d see something similar to this when the verification procedure is finished in the Command Prompt window:

Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them. Details are included in the CBS.Log windir\Logs\CBS\CBS.log. For example C:\Windows\Logs\CBS\CBS.log. Note that logging is currently not supported in offline servicing scenarios.

…or something similar, assuming no issues were discovered:

Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.

Tip: You might require access to your original Windows installation CD or DVD at some time throughout this process in some circumstances, most frequently in Windows XP and Windows 2000.

  1. If SFC /scannow fixed files, restart your computer. You might or might not receive a restart request from the System File Checker, but you should restart.
  2. To see whether SFC /scannow fixed your issue, repeat the procedure that first gave you trouble.

Understanding the CBS.log File

A LOG file that lists each file that was checked. And each successful repair operation is created each time System File Checker is launched.

The log file can be accessed using Notepad or any text editor here. Presuming Windows is installed on the C: drive:

C:\Windows\Logs\CBS\CBS.logHow to Use SFC /Scannow

This document may be helpful for complex troubleshooting. Or as a resource for a tech support agent who may assist you.

SFC /SCANNOW External Windows Command

You must specify the exact location of Windows when using the sfc command from a location other than Windows, such as the Command Prompt that appears when you boot from your Windows installation disc or flash drive, your System Repair Disc, or your Recovery Drive.

Here’s an illustration:

sfc /scannow /offbootdir=d:\ /offwindir=d:\windows

The/offbootdir= option specifies the drive letter and the Windows path. Which includes the drive letter, is specified by the /offwindir= option.

When used outside of Windows. The Command Prompt may not always assign drive letters the same way. You see them inside Windows, depending on how your computer is set up. In other words, Windows may be located at D: Windows from the Command Prompt in ASO. Or SRO, but C: Windows when you use it.

In the majority of Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7 install, C: typically changes to D: but in Windows Vista, C: typically remains C: Unless you have numerous installations of Windows on different drives, the one on which Windows is installed will be the one with the Users folder, so hunt for that drive to be sure. Use the dir command to search for folders in the Command Prompt.


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