You are here

Performing a System File Checker scan

The System File Checker (SFC) is a tool built into every version of Windows, since Windows 98, that allows you to scan for, and restore, corrupt Windows system files.

This knowledge base article explains how to start an SFC scan for both Windows XP and Windows 7 as the methods for each are slightly different.

Note: To complete this scan on Windows XP you may need your Windows installation CD

    ​For Windows XP

    1. Open the Start Menu and click on Run
    2. Type cmd in the open box and click OK
    3. This will open a command prompt window. At the command prompt type sfc /scannow and press ENTER
    4. The sfc scan will start and run for a number of minutes. You may need to insert the Windows XP CD if files are missing. Any errors will be reported in the command prompt window.

     

    ​For Windows 7 or Vista

    1. Open the Start Menu and click All Programs, click Accessories and right click on Command Prompt and then click run as administrator. If you are prompted about permission click Allow.
    2. This will open an elevated command prompt window. At the command prompt type sfc /scannow and press ENTER
    3. The sfc scan will start and run for a number of minutes. Any errors will be reported in the command prompt window. Further details are recorded in the %windir%\Logs\CBS\CBS.log log file.