Check the integrity of system files in Windows 10

To keep Windows in a good condition, Microsoft engineers have provided the ability to check and restore the files that are critical for the operation of the operating system. Depending on the tools used the damaged libraries will be restored from the safe depository or from the operating system image. Our experts explain how to do it in Windows 10.

SFC utility

Starting with Windows 98 the console SFC utility is used for detecting and repairing damages of the files, critical for the proper work of the operating system.

Invoke the Start advanced menu by pressing Win+X. Run the default shell with elevated privileges. This is a classical CMD or Windows PowerShell, as shown in the screenshot.

When the prompt line appears, type “sfc /scannow” in it and press the enter key on the physical keyboard. Wait until the scanning of the system directories and files is finished.

The following screen shot shows the final data output after the check. The utility has not found any irregularities and displays the corresponding message.

Checking from safe mode

Integrity checks launched in user session do not affect files used by the system at runtime. To perform full diagnostic procedure we are using Safe Boot Mode.

Call the panel “Windows Settings” with the key combination “Win + i”. Go to the section framed in the screenshot.

Select the block marked with one from the side menu. Scroll to the highlighted item on the right side of setting window. Press “3” to reboot the PC.

On the main page of the safe mode menu you find the section with troubleshooting tools.

Open the section indicated in the screenshot with the frame.

Activate the command line. Before the system will allow you to use it you will need to enter your password, which is used to log into Windows.

Type “diskpart” in the window that will open. Press Enter.

Once the Disk and Partition Management Console Utility starts, the prompt will change to. Type the command to view the attached drives “

  • st volume”.

    Find the partition where the operating system is installed. By default it is marked with a “C”. Type “exit” to finish diskpart. Enter the command “sfc /scannow /offbootdir=C:\ /offwindir=C:\Windows”. Press Enter to start the check and wait for it to finish.

    Confirm that the system is fully operational, or get a notification that the damaged files have been replaced. Close the command line and reboot your PC. Log in to Windows in the usual way.

    DISM utility

    The -DISM utility is designed to deploy the operating system and manage services. Used since Vista and is a modern analog of the SFC. You can control it with classic CMD commands or Windows PowerShell commands.

    DISM allows the user to check the system status, perform an integrity check or combine it with a restore. Operations are performed by command “dism /On

  • Ne /Cleanup-Image” with different arguments. By entering the “ScanHealth” parameter, DISM analyzes the records of the system components and checks if there is any damage to their store.

    The command with the argument “CheckHealth” puts the DISM tool into check mode. The components placed in the repository are tested for integrity and lack of damage.

    Use parameter “RestoreHealth” for automatic recovery. If it finds damaged Windows files the utility calls the Update Center and replaces them with serviceable copies.

    Similar results are achieved by using the “Repair-WindowsImage” PowerShell command. The following screenshot shows how it can be used for the above DISM commands.

    To conclude

    Using the tips given by our experts, you will be able to check and, if necessary, restore Windows 10 system files after a serious failure.

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