What is System File Checker Tool or SFC Command?

24Jan, 2020

System file checker is a windows system utility that permits users to repair and restore the Windows system files. This is embedded in all Windows NT series operating systems. System file checker is a command line utility for all Windows operating systems series. The sfc.exe checks specific folder path including boot folders and windows folders. SFC is the integral part of Windows system protection.

If tool finds any problem, it tries to replace the error files from DLL Cache. If the file is not found in the DLL Cache or if the Cache is corrupted, the user needs to provide the network installation path or any Windows installation media. Let’s see how to run the tool and fix the system file issues using it.

Note: System File Checker solves the issue in most of the cases. When MS Outlook Unable to send emails after upgrading the Window 10 and also sometimes Sending reported 0x800CCC13 occurs.

How to Run SFC Command

sfc.exe is a simple command which can be executed from Command prompt of the Windows Operating System. The command is as follows:


Steps To Execute SFC (System File Checker) Command

  1. Run command prompt with administrative privilege. For this do: Start >> cmd >> right click on it and then select “Run as Administrator”
  2. After opening command prompt execute the command ‘sfc/scannow’.
    SFC Scannow

TIP: Do not exit command prompt until the scanning is completed fully.

This command scans all protected system files and replaces corrupted ones with cached copy. The cached copy of the files will be located in a compressed folder at: %WinDir%System32dllcache

® ‘%WinDir%’ is the placeholder for the Windows operating system folders.

The four possible output conditions for sfc.exe execution are

  • WRP doesn’t fine any integrity violations so that the system files are in healthy condition.
  • WRP is unable to perform the requested action, this can happen if PendingRenames or PendingDeletes folders exist under temp files.


  • WRP successfully repaired the corrupted files and the details are included in CBS.Log files.


  • WRP is unable to repair the corrupted system files and the details exist in CBS.Log files.cUexJE.png

How to View and Analyze the CBS.log File?

The contents from this log file can be copied to text file to analyze the corrupted file details. The extraction of the contents from log file to txt file can be carried out using Findstr command. For this operation open command prompt and execute the following:

This command copies the content of the CBS log file to a new text file named sfc_contents.txt on desktop. So that user can easily read the contents using any text editors. This file contains date time and other SFC details. One can view and analyze the details obtained by executing the sfc.exe tool.

Is there any solution to replace the corrupted files?

Let’s see if there exists any solution to repair the corrupted system files where the SFC tool failed. One possible solution is to replace the corrupted file with known good copy from other system running the same OS as that of yours. Let’s see how to carry out this task.

  • First take the administrative privilege from the damaged file. To do this Open command prompt, then execute: takeown /f FileNameWithPath
  • To grant admins full access to the file execute the following query: icacls FileNameWithPath /GRANT ADMINISTRATORS:F
  • To replace the damaged file with healthy file do: Copy SourceFilePath DestinationPath


The article described about how to recover corrupted Windows System Files using System file Checker Tool. The tool is capable of fixing all types of files corruptions. This is as free command line utility from Microsoft and can be used by anyone to fix the stem file errors. The tool automatically replaces the corrupted system files from DLL cache file.

1 Comment

  • Peter January 27, 2020 @ 10:18 pm

    Awesome post! Keep up the great work! 🙂

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