Use System File Checker To Repair Windows Vista System Files

When you heavily tweak different aspects of Windows Vista, liken when transforming it’s looks to be like a Mac OS X chances are that, if you are not careful, some of your system files will become corrupted or get deleted and lost in the process. This can sometimes lead to Windows Vista not working properly. In such scenarios, you either use System Restore or System File Checker to restore your system files.
When using System Restore you will restore not only your system files but also your settings to a previous state. If you want to restore only your corrupted or deleted system files, it is better to use System File Checker. In this article I will show you where to find this tool and how to use it.

In order to use System File Checker, type in the Start Menu search field the word ‘command’. The first result should be the Command Prompt. Right click on it and select ‘Run as administrator’. After the UAC (User Account Control) prompt will show up, click on Continue.

Alternatively, you can find the Command Prompt by going to ‘Start -> All Programs -> Accessories’.

System File Checker

In the Command Prompt window, type sfc and you will see a command list with explanations for each one of them.

System File Checker

The most common and useful commands for System File Checker are the following:

  • sfc /verifyonly – Scans integrity of all protected system files without repairing any.
  • sfc /scannow – Scans integrity of all protected system files and repairs files with problems when possible.

Depending on your system, the scan can take up to 15-20 minutes. If the scan encountered system file errors and it fixed them, you will see a confirmation message just like in the screenshot below.

System File Checker

Related articles:
System Restore
How to disable or enable System Restore
GFI Backup 2009 Home Edition – a worthy alternative to the Backup and Restore Center
How to backup your data
How to restore your files
Change the permissions and take ownership of your files and folders

8 thoughts on “Use System File Checker To Repair Windows Vista System Files”

  1. My cmd is malfunctioning
    Dear friend,

    when i tried following your instructions, command prompt says that sfc is not recognised as an internal or external command. same is true when i tried ipconfig/all

    can you help me with these???

    • Hi,
      I tried that command but


      I tried that command but the sfc say that some of my files are corrupted and was unable to repair? do you have any idea how can i recover it?


    I had some problems with programs that I first installed and then had to uninstall. I ran the SFC per your instructions to make sure that the basics remained sound. The scan showed no corrupted files. Thanks for the instructions. I’m a newbe and welcome the chance to learn.

  3. Unable to fix
    I did the system file checker and it “found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them”. Now what?
    Is there another way of fixing them without doing an entire system restore?

  4. was having a few dramas with
    was having a few dramas with Vista (predominately not being able to get itunes installed and working with my iphone after something like 14 months of trying everything I could find on the net, and the occasional crash) I therefore jumped at teh chance to trial the new Windows 7, which was touted as a completely different experience to Vista. Now I have crashes daily, I tunes wont install at all, and there are that many other bugs and glitches that I wanted to return to Vista. Now my computer crashes when I try to reinstall Vista. I have owned PC’s and Laptops for nearly 20 years, and I now (perhaps too late) will be moving on to Apple. I have never heard of the troubles that I experience with Windows with any Apple computer and can’t wait to fork out the extra money top upgrade. I think Microsoft is a sinking ship. Bail out now people.

  5. corrupt files not fixed
    So now what? After the scan was complete, there are files that couldn’t be fixed. Now what do I do to get my computer to work? Not just work properly, but work at all?

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