Use System File Checker to Solve Problems

Posted August 24, 2004 by mikejc in Windows

Many problems with Windows 2000 can be solved using the utility System File Checker (sfc) with the Command Prompt. Sometimes, in the course of installing a program in Windows 2000, the program will overwrite or modify Win 2000’s system files (i.e., .DLLs) with their own version. If Windows 2000 misbehaves after a program installation, read the following tutorial, and run sfc with the Command Prompt.

System File Checker (sfc.exe) is a command line utility that scans and verifies the versions of all protected system files after you restart your computer. If System File Checker discovers that a protected file has been overwritten, it retrieves the correct version of the file from the %systemroot%\system32\dllcache folder, and then replaces the incorrect file.

sfc [/scannow] [/scanonce] [/scanboot] [/cancel] [/quiet] [/enable] [/purgecache] [/cachesize=x]

Scans all protected system files immediately.
Scans all protected system files once.
Scans all protected system files every time the computer is restarted.
Cancels all pending scans of protected system files.
Replaces all incorrect file versions without prompting the user.
Returns Windows File Protection to default operation, prompting the user to restore protected system files when files with incorrect versions are detected.
Purges the Windows File Protection file cache and scans all protected system files immediately.
Sets the size in MB of the Windows File Protection file cache.

You must be logged on as an administrator or as a member of the Administrator’s group to run System File Checker. If the %systemroot%\system32\dllcache folder becomes corrupt or unusable, use Sfc /scannow, Sfc /scanonce, or Sfc /scanboot to repair the contents of the Dllcache directory.


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