System Files - SFC Command

How to Repair and Verify the Integrity of Vista System Files with System File Checker
System File Checker (SFC) checks that all Vista files are where they should be and that they are uncorrupted. This will show you how to verify and repair the integrity of Vista system files with the System File Checker (SFC) command codes.
How to Repair and Verify the Integrity of Vista System Files with System File Checker

information   Information
System File Checker (SFC) checks that all Vista system files are where they should be as they were by default and not corrupted, changed, or damaged. This will show you how to verify and repair the integrity of Vista system files with the System File Checker (SFC) command codes.
Tip   Tip
If SFC Cannot Finish or Repair a File:
This is for when after you run the SFC scan below, it cannot finish or repair a file. There is no guarantee that SFC can repair the system files if they are corrupted or damaged to much. If SFC still cannot repair them after this, then you might try running Check Disk (chkdsk), System Restore, a Repair Installation, or a clean reinstall of Vista.

1. How to Read the CBS.LOG
When SFC runs, it logs it's actions to the C:\WINDOWS\LOGS\CBS\CBS.LOG. You can find the specific SFC entries by searching for the [SR] tags in the log.
A) For how to see only the SFC scan details in the CBS.LOG:​
  • Open a elevated command prompt.
  • Copy and paste the command below into the elevated command prompt and press Enter.
    findstr /c:"[SR]" %windir%\logs\cbs\cbs.log >%userprofile%\Desktop\sfcdetails.txt
  • Close the elevated command prompt.
  • Click on the sfcdetails.txt file that was just placed on your desktop to see the SFC scan details (ones with the [SR] tags) in the CBS.LOG.
  • You can safely delete the sfcdetails.txt file afterwards if you like.
2. Replace the Files that SFC Cannot Fix
If SFC cannot fix a file, it will be listed in the CBS.LOG above. Read the CBS.LOG to find out what file it is so you can replace it with a good copy.
A) For how, see:​
warning   Warning
Be aware that if you have modified your system files as in theming explorer/system files, running sfc/scannow will revert the system files such as explorer.exe back to it's default state. Make the appropriate backups of your system files that you have modified for theming if you wish to save them before running sfc/scannow.

Here's How:
If sfc cannot start or finish, then try running it Safe Mode.
2. In the elevated command prompt, type the command that you want to do in bold below in steps A to E to run System File Check.​
A) sfc /scannow - Scans the integrity of all protected system files and repairs the system files if needed. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: Restores Vista's original setup of system files. (EX: Fonts, wallpapers, System32 files, etc.)

B) sfc /verifyonly - Scans and only verifies the integrity of all proteced system files only. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: If it finds anything like in the screenshot below boxed in red at the bottom, you should run step A to see if it can fix it. See how to read the CBS log above for details on the SFC scan results.​

C) sfc /scanfile=(full path of file) - Scans the integrity of the chosen system file and repairs it if needed.​
EX: sfc /scanfile=C:\Windows\System32\kernel32.dll​
D) sfc /verifyfile=(full path of file) - Scans and only verifies the integrity of the chosen system file.​
EX: sfc /verifyfile=C:\Windows\System32\kernel32.dll​
E) sfc /? - For a list of all sfc command codes with description. (see screenshot below)​

3. Press Enter.​
NOTE: It may take a while to finish.​
4. Close the elevated command prompt when it finishes.​
5. If you got a message to restart the computer in the command prompt, then restart the computer to finish the repair.​

Note   Note
If SFC could not fix something, then run the command again to see if it may be able to the next time. Sometimes it may take running the sfc /scannow command 3 times restarting the PC after each time to completely fix everything that it's able to.

If not, then download and run the 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) System Update Readiness Tool for your same installed 32-bit or 64-bit Vista, restart the PC afterwards, and try the sfc /scannow command again.

If still not, then you can attempt to run a System Restore using a restore point dated before the bad file occured to fix it. You may need to repeat doing a System Restore until you find a older restore point that may work.

If still not, then you can use the steps in the yellow TIP box at the top of the tutorial to manually replace the files that SFC could not fix.

That's it,

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william gunkel

Preacher Man
Thanks for the welcome!!

Unfortunately I didn't notice the problem for quite some time, not having needed any usb devices. All the system restore points I have are too recent to be any help. I'm going to try and copy the FileRepository from a friend's computer and stick it on mine.
Again, any suggestions would be very welcome!!
If this fails you might want to do a System Recovery. You can purchase the disks from the mfg. of your computer or at least you can if it is a H P. The disks comes with instructions. The other is to use the Recovery Manager. Click on the start button in the notification area and in the search box type in 'Recovery Manager' and it will bring up the program to restore your computer back to factory. Just follow the instructions on the program. Now I am thinking you have a partition on your disk for this. Also when I purchase my computer which is a HP with Vista home Premium it allows you to make one set of Recover Disk which you might want to do after you get your system back to where it should be. See if you have a Partition D on you 'C" drive. Post back with the results.
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I haven't gotten around to trying anything yet... I have a problem with too many files and not enough hard drive space, even my external is almost full. I'm borrowing another computer this evening so I'll use it to do a backup, then I'm going to try a repair install. If that doesn't work I'm going to use the HP recovery dvd(burned from the former recovery partition). I was hoping to avoid the HP solution because it took forever to remove all the crap that comes with a Compaq. I'll post updates here.

Okay, I backde up evertything to another computer and then did a repair install of vista with a friend's vista dvd... Everything seems to be good now.
Thanks for all the suggestions!!


New Member
I ended up at this thread chasing down why chkdsk wasn't running, and sfc scannow found autochk.exe and 2 other files corrupt which it could not repair due to source files also being corrupt. I manually replaced them from the vista dvd, and was able to get chkdsk to run on startup....once. Chkdsk didn't find any problems, and I reran sfc to ensure everything was well. AGAIN, autochk showed up as corrupt and not repairable. I tried to run chkdsk on startup, and once again it wouldn't run.

What gives? Any ideas on what might be blowing up autochk? I think I might try an experiment - replace it again, reboot but w/o running chkdsk, and test sfc again. I've already run hdd and memory diagnostics and turned up nothing.


New Member
I would consider doing a backup and clean install. Did you replace the files with the ones from the service pack version you are on instead of the base DVD?


I typed cmd into the "start search" and it came back with "No items match your search".
This also occurs with mrt.exe,slmgr.vbs etc.
What have I done wrong ? How do I put this right ? :confused:
Thanks for any help.


Staff member
Hello Nelly,

I have updated step 1 with a link on this to help.

Hope this helps,


New Member
thanks dude for the information.. however it does not really helped me in my problems :( . i got a problem that involved "hpz3r5mu.dll". it happened when i installing driver for my printer which is hp deskjet 2560. i thought this scan can help me in looking source or process that involved hpz3r5mu.dll. anyway thanks for the info again..


Staff member
Hello Edenapis,

That file is from your printer drivers according to Google. You might post your problem with as much details as possible in the Drivers forum to see if someone may know of an easy solution for you hopefully.



New Member
hi shawn,

i used this to try to fix my windows live messenger as it had the error code 8007007e but it still won't let me log on.

can you help?


Staff member
Hello Tishaa, and welcome to Vista Forums.

I'm sorry, but the SFC command will only help with Vista system files and not with Windows Live Messenger. :(

You might consider posting your question in the Windows Live sub-forum of Software forum to fit the subject better for a hopeful solution.



Vista Expert
Vista Guru
Hi Shawn, i wanted to try the sfc /scannow as one of my customer was unable to install updates. I tried the windows update reset methods but it did not work. When i tried sfc /scannow, it says that it cannot be started. i also tried sfc /scanonce and sfc /scanboot but nothing happens. I also tried the system file checker tool but it wasn't of any help. Any comments please?


Vista Expert
Vista Guru
I already tried a system restore but it did not work. When the system is at the desktop, it gives errors. Some services like Remote Procedure Call, Software licensing and TCPIP over netbios stops working and gives the error. everytime the system restarts, it gives a different blue screen. so i had to reinstall vista but even while installing, it gave a blue screen 0X00000050. so i had to reinstall it all over again by deleting all the partitions. Huh! that way very annoying. Anyways, Thanks for your help Shawn.


Vista Pro
thanks brink for the reply,
it was very informative,but before i tried a sfc command i thought i would try a system restore and i think the system restore worked but i appreciate your help thanks.



I tried running sfc/verifyonly at first and it said that source protection found integrity violations. So I ran sfc/scannow, it says that it cannot repair the problems. I looked at the log and 2 problems come up.
1.) 0000012a [SR] Cannot repair member file [l:20{10}]"tcpmon.ini" of Microsoft-Windows-Printing-StandardPortMonitor-TCPMonINI, Version = 6.0.6001.18000, pA = PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE_AMD64 (9), Culture neutral, VersionScope = 1 nonSxS, PublicKeyToken = {l:8 b:31bf3856ad364e35}, Type neutral, TypeName neutral, PublicKey neutral in the store, hash mismatch
2.) 0000014b [SR] Cannot repair member file [l:24{12}]"settings.ini" of Microsoft-Windows-Sidebar, Version = 6.0.6001.18000, pA = PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE_AMD64 (9), Culture neutral, VersionScope = 1 nonSxS, PublicKeyToken = {l:8 b:31bf3856ad364e35}, Type neutral, TypeName neutral, PublicKey neutral in the store, hash mismatch

I'm not tech savy, but from what I can understand, Windows Printing and Windows Sidebar are currupted. And since there's only 2 of them, I was wondering how do I manually replace them? I've seen the prior post, but can't really understand everything i read. Do I insert the vista DVD and manually look for the file i need?


Staff member
Hello Icynyx,

You might see if doing a System Restore using a restore point dated when you believe that this was not a problem to see if it can fix it for you. You may need to do it a few times with older dates until you find one that doesn't report any errors in SFC though.

Trying to do it manually is not easy, and is often not successful anyway. :(

Hope this helps,


System Restore wont be very useful for me since I delete it every other week. I might try restoring it to the oldest one and check though. Hopefully that'll restore stuff. But I believe the odds are low. If it doesn't restore the files, I don't think I would mind though since I don't plug in my laptop to the printer and I don't like using the sidebar anyways...

One last question, I did a chkdsk before sfc and it froze at stage 5 43% for 3 hours, I talked to Dell tech support and they told me to just reboot the laptop. I'm wondering if the corrupted files maybe the reason for chkdsk not being able to finish.

Thanks for the quick response. :D


Vista Pro
dear icynyx,if you say the system restore did not work and your not interested in restoring your personal files (etc) a last resort is a system recovery that will bring your computer back to when you bought the computer new, and back to factory settings you should have recovery discs that either came with the computer or advised you to burn when you bought the computer they you allow you to burn them but its a one time deal if you dont have them you can purchase them from microsoft and its a simple procedure you install #1 disc and hit restart and then follow the instuctions on screen i did it just last week, has i had some files that where corrupted and cleaned my computer like new. but i would advise in the future to backup your files to an external hardrive so if you have to do a system recovery you will be able to restore your files to your pc, just remember when you backup your files that your computer is in good working order no virus or corrupt files as you will just be importing the problem back and remember a system restore brings your computer to a previous date when your pc was working properly keeps all your files(etc) where as a system recovery brings it back to like you bought it from the store, hope this helps you out good luck patch41