The FixMeTip: How to check your Windows system files

Have you ever found that your PC acts strangely and you are not sure why? It could be that one of the important system files that makes up your Windows Operating System has been corrupted. By running a simple System File Check (also called an sfc scan) you can diagnose and solve the issue yourself.

Open Command Prompt  

  • On Windows Vista and Windows 7: Open the Start Menu. In the search bar at the bottom type out CMD and in the results that appear above right-click on Command Prompt. Select Run As Administrator. 
  • On Windows 8, 8.1 and 10: Right-click on your Start Menu and then select Command Prompt (Admin)
Examples or Windows 7 (left) and Windows 10 (right)

Examples of Windows 7 (left) and Windows 10 (right)

The computer may ask you if you want to allow the following program to make changes to this PC. Click yes.

Type out sfc /scannow

In the new black window that appeared, type the following command (as shown in the picture below). To start the scan of your system files type: sfc /scannow and press enter on your keyboard.

As soon as you type it more script will appear as the computer runs the scan itself. There isn’t anything else for you to do. The Command Prompt window will let you know how much time is left and when it is finished the scan.sfc

The results

At the end of the scan you may see one of the following messages:

    • Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations
      This means that your computer did not have any corrupt system files. You’re good to go!
    • Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them. Details are included in the CBS.Log %WinDir%\Logs\CBS\CBS.log.
      This means that corrupt system files were found but were successfully repaired! You’re good to go!
    • 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.
      This means that Windows could not repair the files and you may need to do it manually. This can be done by following Microsoft’s instructions here.

Running a scan like this can solve issues that otherwise seem unsolvable to the average PC user. It can also save you hundreds of dollars at the computer repair shop!



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