Restoring corrupted windows OS files without affecting the existing configuration files

Many a times we have the difficulty of having to restore some corrupted OS files. But this is always scary as there is a high chance of the other existing configuration files getting corrupted as well.

Well, in one of my tight situations I found that Microsoft was a life saver yet again! Microsoft provides a command line tool System File Checker “SFC” which can be used to recover the corrupted windows operating system files.

Since the discovery of this tool, I have used SFC in many production windows server environment successfully and the problem got fixed every time!

When you are not really sure that all the OS files are good and you doubt that system files have been somehow corrupted, do use SFC. This tool will validate the digital signatures of all the Windows system files and if there are any incorrect files, they are restored.

During the recovery process if possible it will use the on-disk cache files. But in some cases, this tool may request the original installation CD. This is because; the SFC tool will replace a damaged file from CD if it is not available in the on-disk cache.

So before start the system files recovery process using the SFC utility tool we should have original OS CD.

To run the System File Checker utility

  • Step1: Go to Start menu and select Run
  • Step2: Enter the command SFC /Scannow - Press enter button

This command will take few minutes to trigger the System Scan process. If any of the system files are replaced by the SFC, a reboot is required. This will not affect any previous configuration settings.

Check this Microsoft link for Microsoft documentation on SFC


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