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When to run "System File Checker"?

Posted on 2013-01-10
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Last Modified: 2013-01-14
1. Are there symptoms that indicate one should run "System File Checker"?

2. Does running "System File Checker" in Safe Mode or from a Boot CD do a better job?
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Question by:scottjnorris
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by:Vergis
Vergis earned 1000 total points
ID: 38766145
You can run the SFC on normal mode also, if you are facing normal mode booting issue then you can try with safe mode

Using System File Checker in Windows XP

1.    Open a command prompt (or the Start-Run line).
2.    Type and enter "sfc /scannow" (without quotes but with the space).

Your files will then be scanned and repaired if necessary. It may take 10 or 20 minutes, depending on your system.

Unfortunately, in Windows XP it is quite possible that SFC will first ask for your Windows installation disk. Most people only have a restore disk so it is necessary to take some rather involved steps before running SFC. Even if you have an installation disk, it probably won’t work unless Service Pack 3 is on it. A discussion of how to proceed if you have no proper installation disk is at this Bleeping Computer forum.  

Using System File Checker in Windows Vista/7

The procedure generally goes much smoother in the newer versions of Windows.

1.  Open a command prompt with administrator privileges.
2.  Type and enter "sfc /scannow" (without quotes but with the space).

Your files will then be scanned and repaired if necessary. Again, it may take 10 or 20 minutes, depending on your system.

If your Windows Vista/7 system won’t boot, there is still a possible way to try a repair. In such cases, SFC can be run offline using  the Windows Recovery Environment (RE). Again, the catch is that you need a setup disk.

After running System File Checker

It is best to go to Windows Update after any repair is done to ensure that you have the latest file versions.
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nobus earned 1000 total points
ID: 38766181
chkdsk, and sfc are different programs
in general, i don't run either one BEFORE i'm relatively sure the disk is ok, to avoid worsening problems.
so here is how i do it :
1- run the disk manufacturer's diag to ensure the disk is OK (find all diags on the UBCD :
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/                              ultimate boot cd
http://ubcd.mirror.fusa.be/ubcd511.iso                        direct link UBCD
2- then run chkdsk - for repairing file system problems
3-if needed, run sfc /scannow
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