Jun 5, 2013

What is SFC Command in Windows

The sfc is an utility in Windows and stands for System File Checker. The sfc utility is primarily used when you suspect that some of system files in your Windows machine are corrupted. If sfc command with /scannow switch is run, it looks for altered or damaged protected system files and replaces the incorrect files by retrieving the correct version of that file from %systemroot%\system32\dllcache folder.



It was first introduced in Windows 98 and still available with Windows XP/Win Vista/Win 7 and Win 8. This command is run from the command prompt. It has many switches available but the one which is most common is /scannow. This switch basically scans all the Windows Protected System Files and replaces the incorrect protected system files with correct copy of the file from dllcache folder or from Windows CD. Some of the common switches are as follows along with the command syntax -

sfc [/scannow] [/scanonce] [/scanboot]

/scannow : It starts immediately and scans all protected system files

/scanonce : This is used to scan all protected files once only

/scanboot : This is used if you want to scan all the protected system files every time the computer is restarted


There are other paramaneters also which goes with it. I have just covered few basic once which are available in all Windows Version of OS. There are some parameters which was specific to particular version of Windows Operating System.

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