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Windows XP System File Checker

Saturday, August 20th, 2005 by | Filed Under: System Tune-Up Help
 
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I tried typing “sfc.exe” in the Run window of XP and all I got was a one second DOS window flash. So, I figured that SFC wasn’t necessary. Then, to my surprise, I found out how to use SFC in XP. I’m gonna pass this info along to you today.

When you run System File Checker it looks to see if any protected files have been overwritten. If so, it grabs the correct version of the file from the Dllcache or the Windows installation source files, and then replaces the incorrect file. SFC also checks and repopulates the cache folder.

The reason System File Checker just flashed when I ran it from the Run window is that I didn’t tell it what to do. The one we want is “Scannow” which will repair the contents of the Dllcache folder.

Go to Start/Run and type in…

sfc /scannow

Make sure that you put a space in front of the slash or you’ll get an error message.

You should get an applet for Windows File Protection with a status bar. This may take a while, so go out and catch a few minutes of sunlight, breathe some fresh air, feed the kids, water the plants, and all those other things you usually neglect ;-)

After the scan finishes the applet just goes away unless a problem is found. A corrupt or replaced file gets replaced from the backup stored in the Dllcache folder or from the Windows CD. If Windows File Protection cannot locate the correct file, it prompts you for the location.

So, if strange things seem to be happening on your system, give SFC a try and see if anything comes up.

~ David

P.S. for other SFC options ADVANCED users can find them here…
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=310747

David Samuel Thomas

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