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What is SFC Command and How to Use It?


What is SFC command?

SFC is short for System File Checker, The SFC command is a Command Prompt command that can be used to verify and replace important Windows system files. Many troubleshooting steps advise the use of the SFC command. Technically, the SFC is the inbuilt command file that simply scans the entire file system and replaces the incorrect file version with the correct one.
 
System File Checker is a very useful tool to use when you suspect issues with protected Windows files, like many DLL files. The sfc command is available from within the Command Prompt in most Windows operating systems including Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows 2000.

The basic form of SFC

Its basic form, "sfc options [=full file path]" is the syntax required to execute System File Checker options.
 
sfc [/scannow] [/verifyonly] [/scanfile=file] [/verifyfile=file] [/offbootdir=boot] [/offwindir=win] [/?]
 
While there are plenty of different things you can do with the command, sfc /scannow is the most common way that the sfc command is used.
 
Sfc /scannow will inspect all of the important Windows files on your computer, including Windows DLL files. If System File Checker finds an issue with any of these protected files, it will replace it.
 
Note: The sfc command can only be run from the Command Prompt when opened as an administrator. The availability of sfc command switches may differ somewhat from operating system to operating system.

Run the System File Checker tool (SFC.exe)

If some Windows functions aren't working or Windows crashes, use the System File Checker to scan Windows and restore your files.  To initiate the Windows file scan process using SFC, initially user has to look for Windows version being used. For Windows 10 or 8.1, user has to simply click the Start button followed by opening of command prompt. For other Windows versions, user has to search for command prompt in Start button.
 
      1. Open an elevated command prompt.
      2. Type the following command, and then press Enter.
DISM.exe / Online / Cleanup-image / Restorehealth

      Note: It may take several minutes for the command operation to be completed. When you run this command, DISM uses Windows Update to provide the files that are required to fix corruptions. However, if your Windows Update client is already broken, use a running Windows installation as the repair source, or use a Windows side-by-side folder from a network share or from a removable media, such as the Windows DVD, as the source of the files. To do this, run the following command instead:
 
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:C:\RepairSource\Windows /LimitAccess

      Note: Replace the C:\RepairSource\Windows placeholder with the location of your repair source.
 
      3. At the command prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER:
 
sfc /scannow
sfc command
 
The sfc /scannow command will scan all protected system files, and replace corrupted files with a cached copy that is located in a compressed folder at C:\Windows\System32\dllcache.
 
       Note: Do not close this Command Prompt window until the verification is 100% complete.
 
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