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Windows 7: Having Trouble Running "System File Checker (SFC)"!

01 Oct 2015   #1
rubyrubyroo

MS Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit (Family Pack Lic.) Upgrade
 
 
Having Trouble Running "System File Checker (SFC)"!

I really need some help here, guys! What am I doing wrong? I'm unable to run System File Checker (SFC). It generates the following text no matter how I try to execute the command (paraphrasing):

  • SFC is checking the integrity of your system files, this may take a few minutes....
  • (pauses 2-3 seconds)
  • SFC cannot run since System Recovery has repair(s) pending. Please restart the system to allow the repair(s) to complete.
  • (returns control to command prompt)
I can get the exact wording if it would help. Anyway, I have one disk with two partitions, the 100MB boot partition, and a ~450GB system partition; the former is active. I've run the command using every possible switch(es). Since I'm running SPC BECAUSE Windows is not starting up fully, I obviously can't run it from within that Windows environment (Win7 Home Premium 64-bit), but I've run it from the Windows System Recovery command prompt and from a Windows retail installation DVD command prompt window. System Recovery previously stated that it believed the problem was from a driver or system file that was recently installed or became corrupt. After MANY, MANY repeated runs through System Recovery, it now says that it finds no problems and windows loads without problem - but nothing has (outwardly) changed whatsoever. I can't get to login screen, just blackness and the mouse cursor after win-logo screen. No waiting for hours or key-combination will do anything at that point.

So what am I doing wrong? One example of many incarnations of the command I have used would be: SFC /SCANNOW (or: SFC /SCANNOW /OFFWINDIR=D:\Windows /OFFBOOTDIR=C:\).

PLEASE HELP ME! Iím pulling my hair out as you read this sentence!

Thanks!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Oct 2015   #2
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Hello ruby mate try these for starters if you haven't already because it smacks of something untoward


http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/433-disk-check.html< if necessary include the /f and /r in the command line as per Option2 - if it will let you

http://www.superantispyware.com/

http://www.malwarebytes.org/products/malwarebytes_free/

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/adwcleaner/

ADW download from bleeping computer delete any rubbish found with themalware scans

(NBIf one is running Kaspersky security it may rant about ADW - just ignore it ordisable Kaspersky while the ADW is being used)

My next course of action would be this if it were my machine Download Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10 you will see that you will need to make a bootable disk or stick (I prefer disk) and set the BIOS to boot from that source.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Oct 2015   #3
rubyrubyroo

MS Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit (Family Pack Lic.) Upgrade
 
 

Hiyya John !

I knew someone was going to reply eventually, and I am not at all surprised that it was you that did so! I appreciate the reply! And, yes, untoward this situation very much is!


OK now, not to dispute nor disregard your recommended arsenal of software, but returning to my specific question - are you implying that SPC SHOULD HAVE worked under the conditions I mentioned, and therefore itís your belief that SPC or one of itís dependencies was damaged by malware or otherwise became corrupt, and thatís why itís talking back at me in the way it is? Iím sort of weirded out that I canít run the damn thing somehow, so I would actually welcome the notion. My remaining hope was based on pulling the HDD and hooking it up to another system via USB or preferably an available SATA port, and then executing SFC using a elevated cmd.exe window w/in the other systemís Windows 7 environment. I just have one concern about the whole idea; presently I only have a couple Win7 Pro and one Home version running, and my luck being what it is, they are all 32-bit, while the damaged system/drive is 64-bit. I donít believe SFC ďgoes both waysĒ so to speak! I could be wrong though (Actually thatís just something I say - Iím never wrong!). Furthermore, there is no reason that I can dream up, which would have precluded it from working using my aforementioned technique(s), yet would allow it to work using this method. Can you (or anyone) offer some words of wisdom on these thoughts please!?

Now, to address your advise. CHKDSK: Done and doner. Ran it on day one of ďproblemĒ state, and it discovered nothing but one file that had a bad index, and was unrepairable. And since then Iíve run it again, and it says everything is spectacular now. You might want to take a look at my original post to get these and any other details I provided: System suddenly hangs on black screen w/mouse just prior to logon.

I have not run SUPERAntiSpyware (SAS) yet, I donít know that they actually have a bootable version of their scanner available, but I will double check on that matter.

MBAM is installed on that system and was active up until the end. Again, I question if they have a boot-time version of their scanner. I've personally never used it if they do have such a monster. Iíll check their ďother toolsĒ section I suppose.


And ADW suffers from the same problem as the rest of them. Correct me if Iím wrong, but there appears to be a trend here! The solutions are effectively ďstrange loopsĒ, They require me to load them within windows to fix windows which is just plain broke! Now if I had another 64-bit system running Windows 7, I think I could use it to scan the drive - with a big olí emphasis on the ďifĒ part! Iím not sure if that was not communicated correctly on my part or an oversight on your side of the pond! Irregardless, Iím pretty much at the same place I was last night, or so it seems.

(And nope, despite your relentless promotion of Kaspersky, I do not use it presently. By the way, how exactly would I disable it, seeing as Iím unable to load windows!?...whoa, Deja Vu!)

Finally, regarding ďKasperskyís recovery diskĒ Iím assuming itís got various tools and anti-malware capabilities that execute from a WinPE framework, no? Are you suggesting it for the use of itís anti-malware, or another purpose? Iím asking this whilst not knowing much about it. Iíll check it out momentarily...

Thanks for the post, maybe Iím missing something, but at least Iím holding onto some hope with the Kaspersky rescue disk for the moment! Any thoughts!?


(And by the way, Iíll drop you a PM later-on to talk a little more off-topic.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Oct 2015   #4
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Ok mate well I always go through the unanswered posts because so many get left for even weeks and I think it a bit unfair so that is how I pick up stuff.

Now if I am reading it right none of the scans can be done so that is why I included the Kaspersky rescue disk simply because it runs without involving Windows. It will boot and just do it's own thing at least the last time I used it - it did. Now there are other rescue disks that do the same thing and if the KR does not work then we might try the Bitdefender one at least.

I would if it were my machine be very suspicious that it loops through SFC if that is what I am reading it as and why I suggested the scanners. Now I think SAS and MBAM do have portable versions but have not tried those.

Now unless I have it terribly wrong too isn't the SFC a x86 system tool? if so it should run via a 64bit machine seeing the Windows has the Program files x86 as well as the straight Program files. I don't think it would do any harm anyway if you tried it at least.

Let me know how the KR goes
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Oct 2015   #5
rubyrubyroo

MS Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit (Family Pack Lic.) Upgrade
 
 

I've run Kaspersky RD 10, using the most detailed powerful options available under settings (deep scan), and it located two trojans which were deleted successfully (although they've probably already unloaded their "payload" and done whatever damage they were intended to do, IMO.) Other than that one file that was called a ďNotAVirus:PotentiallyIllegalSoftwareĒ, which means it was some sort of key-generator or cracked program that was recognized as such. I removed that file, although I know what it was (nothing illegal) and located in a dormant deep sub-folder where I personal placed it many years ago. The point is that it seems unlikely related - again, IMO.

Kaspersky took 6 hours to scan <200GB!!! Geez! But I did use the 'registry explorer' s/w it included to look for obvious things that might cause the problem, and while I'm not an expert I pretty much know my way around the registry - and saw nothing suspicious.

I ran Bitdefender, (which is very slow compared to Kaspersky) and it came up empty handed, 100% clean!

The problem still persists, unchanged!


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ICIT2LOL
I would if it were my machine be very suspicious that it loops through SFC if
that is what I am reading it as and why I suggested the scanners.
I just wanted to be sure were on the same page here, when you say "loops through", I think you understand me, that it basically starts to look like it's working for about a three seconds, then it gives the message about recovery having pending repairs, and goes back to the command prompt. It's probably just the wording, but I wanted to be clear that there was not any actual "looping", like loss of control to the program where it endlessly runs or anything like that.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ICIT2LOL
Now I think SAS and MBAM do have portable versions but have not tried those.
I searched the manufacturer's websites, and personally couldn't locate them. That's really the only place I would D/L it from. I probably looked right past it, so I'm not saying it's not there, only that "these ol' eyes" Couldn't locate them!


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ICIT2LOL
Now unless I have it terribly wrong too isn't the SFC a x86 system tool? if so
it should run via a 64bit machine
I'm not sure, it's on both systems but I can't compare them according to size even since the one may be corrupted or infected. You're probably right (good call if so!), but that thought in turn leads me to wonder about another potential problem. I don't know the specifics of how SFC works, most importantly how it decides where to locate clean versions of the system files it is analyzing so that it can compare them to the system files your checking and to use for replacing those that are damaged. Windows keeps a separate copy of all these files for such purposes, so there would be a copy of the 64-bit system files on the bad system drive and a copy of 32-bit files on the 32-bit version of windows that is running on the system I hook the bad drive up to. When SFC looks for a fresh copy of a 64-bit file I would expect it goes to the ACTIVELY RUNNING SYSTEM'S system file cashe (like using "%windir%/<whatever>" - but that points to the 32-bit backed-up system files! Maybe I'm wrong, but do you follow my logic at least? If I happen to be right, I may get x86 files written over a great deal of my 64-bit system files! Even if SFC only uses the backed up system files for replacing "damaged" files without using them for comparison purposes, it might overwrite any files that are found to be damaged with the wrong version.

It could be that the /OFFWINDIR switch changes both the windows system disk that is scanned AND where it derives fresh copies from. But then it doesn't make sense that for other people having system file issues where a malware has damaged both the system file AND the backup copy on the system disk, since SFC will just copy the damaged version normally, they are told to run SFC from a command prompt in WinPE off the Windows installation DVD for their version of Windows (where the files are easily found undamaged by SFC). This seems to support my hypothesis. It MAY, or I should say I HOPE it does, check to see if the versions match either when SFC is first run or for each file possibly. Good programming habits suggest that it would do so, but not all windows programs/commands do. I honestly don't know...

By the way, did you get a chance to read my other post (URL above)? It addresses how the problem occurred (long story short, Windows updates were set to prompt me first, and one day after many months of not restarting the computer it didn't prompt me but just decided to close everything and restart to update! 64 updates later and Windows started this!)

What da'ya think?

Thanks for the help! I greatly appreciate any I can get right now!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Oct 2015   #6
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Quote:
I just wanted to be sure were on the same page here, when you say "loops through", I think you understand me, that it basically starts to look like it's working for about a three seconds, then it gives the message about recovery having pending repairs, and goes back to the command prompt.
Yes mate in a nutshell just another way I suppose of saying it is bouncing back to the start up each time.

I am surprised at the time the rescue scans took though KRD has never taken that long with me and the Bitdefender well I not impressed with that either .

Thinking a little left field mate I wonder if the drive is ok see this thread I took part in back in May http://www.sevenforums.com/performance-maintenance/371362-sfc-scannow-wont-run-stuck-win7-logo-screen-2.html

Am also thinking maybe a drive test might not go amiss like Seatools and the surface test via Partition Wizard at very least it would eliminate any problems lying there MiniTool Partition Wizard | Best partition magic alternative for Windows PC and Server see my pic for running it.


Attached Thumbnails
Having Trouble Running &quot;System File Checker (SFC)&quot;!-mini-tool-surface-2.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Oct 2015   #7
rubyrubyroo

MS Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit (Family Pack Lic.) Upgrade
 
 

KRD probably took so long because I selected all the maximum search parameters available from settings. But maybe you've taken that into account already and there is data corruption or rotten sectors!

I'll try the program/application that you've linked to. I trust it too is a bootable version, or so it seems from it's name. Thanks for the link and the idea to try the more sophisticated disk scan!

I read through the other post you mentioned, and it's interestingly close to my problem! Differences are clearly present (obviously). CHKDSK has run several times and works fine for me, and my SFC does not "freeze", and finally, my windows logo screen doesn't freeze, the black screen following it does, but with the mouse interrupt still fully functional. While I am amazed at the similarities, I've also noticed these subtle differences between many other posts that hang (or take a tremendous amount of time) at either the logo, black screen w/ or w/o mouse, the logon screen, or just after logon. I'm not sure how closely that is tied to the error's cause (especially if it's something random that's damaged). Because I've seen some that are identical to mine BUT are quickly fixed with ďlast known good configĒ, or ďsafe mode + restartĒ. Just food for thought!

I've attached what may very well be a pertinent log file, especially in light of the fact that the update was the last thing that windows did before this problem started. It only has a little bit of useful data logged towards the end (last 25%) of the file. There is at least one error condition listed, I think I found another error in there as well, but then a few lines refer to the first error as "FATAL". While I don't know all the details of what the information necessarily mean, at least enough to make it useful for me to interpret much from it, the last section of each line is a comment that is pretty readable by the average person. I know there's a line before that that lists where the entry originated (e.g.: AU=Automatic Updater) Most of the numbers are IDs like the process ID is one of them I believe, and so on. Then obviously the date is the first column and the time follows that. So this is a very short time-span, and if you recall I had 64 updates on that day (9/20/15) So only the info from like the last five or so recorded, as I understand it anyway. But, Perhaps you're already well versed in the update log, in which case I'm simply stating a bunch of superfluous information!

Please see if you can make out anything from the file. I going to try to locate the update file(s) it's referring to, especially the erroneous one! But, REALLY, what I'll do with that knowledge I'm unsure, since if the file exists What does that mean or what can I do with it? Pretty much nothing. And if it's absent what does that tell me? Did it not D/L? Did it download and then it has already been used and deleted? Has it been erased by Windows because of the error it detected? I really wouldn't know much more than I do now!

I'll let you know how the drive check goes...


Attached Files
File Type: log WindowsUpdate.log (1.04 MB, 3 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Oct 2015   #8
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 


Ok now I know why KRD took so long but even so it still was too long in mymind.

Now the updates 64 in one hit seems to be an awful lot and I amwondering what exactly those UD's were and there does seem to be aninordinate number of people having problems after the 10 UD debacle, and my UDhistory there were or are a fair number of failed 10 updates. I very foolishlylet the upgrade UD install on this machine I am on right now and am verytempted to do a clean install so that I can block the darn thing when itcomes. I always set UD's to let me see what there is and then choose what I wantto download, because that way but how you do it is your choice what you use.
I suppose if the worst comes to the worst it might mean a clean install.

Look the listing you sent really mean not a lot to me either it probably would be better to see the history of the latest UD's as I cannot see anything that sticks out obviously. I am wondering to whether it would be good to have a look at the dump files that include the msinfo32, diaxdiag etc

Just a by the by if you have that 10 upgrade KB 3035533 on the machine just be aware it can be uninstalled but if you do what I did as above it embeds itself in the registry under Software > Microsoft > GWX and cannot be removed but the nag and icon in the system tray can be hidden as the nag and icon are very annoying by customizing the system tray and removing the process from Task Manager.


Now as it has you and I a bit at a loss what about asking for some help on this one?? I can post it there if you think it might somewhere.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Oct 2015   #9
rubyrubyroo

MS Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit (Family Pack Lic.) Upgrade
 
 

Sorry for the delay, John, but I did run Seagate SeaTools for DOS, using the long diagnostic scan, and it came up error-free. SMART is active and everything is 'within normal levels'. I also ran the Mini Partition Wizard 64-bit surface scan on the whole disk and it produced zero errors, seems like a 100% physically fit HDD!
.
Quote:
Now the updates 64 in one hit seems to be an awful lot


Yep, I feel confident in saying that's above average! I'll get back to the reason why, just wait one second...


Quote:
I amwondering what exactly those UD's were


I've been on the edge of my seat wondering about this one too since the first day the error occurred! I'm not one to say that I don't believe in coincidence, but I know they are the exception, not the rule. If my system worked fine for five years and then the first real "incident" that has occurred was during an update, my money is on the update as the causative agent. The real problem is on the other side of causality, namely what were the effects of the screwed up update. I could imagine any number of scenarios here, so unless we can know more about the hows/wheres/whys of that final update process, and how it played out, were kind of walking around blind, working off of symptom analysis rather than a more educated understanding of where it came from.

Quote:
I always set UD's to let me see what there
is and then choose what I wantto
download, because that way but how you do it is your choice what
you use.
Okay now, I absolutely agree with you on this matter for my own systems (I generally tell others to keep on auto updates unless they seem to be 'computer literate' enough,) AND this is exactly how all of my systems are set too. So, returning to why there were so many (64) updates that day...I'm chalking it up to laziness on my part. The system needs to restart to install the updates and I've always got SO MUCH stuff open that I don't get around to a point that I can shut the computer off for months on end! Dangerous,...Absolutely! It’s not that I’m ignorant to this reality, I know better and have every intention on avoiding updates in the future - but you know how that goes - life get’s in the way after a while and you’ve let your guard down! I'm just interested on getting the "broke" out of the system at this point! Oh, and by the way, I never touched any update related windows or icons that day, IT just decided to shut-down, unannounced, when I was working online....started forcibly shutting down all the apps and probably upwards of 75 browser tabs that were open, and proceeded with the pent-up list of updates!

So this brings me back to wanting to see more information on the updates! So the dump reports you requested (and any other logs or whatever that might prove helpful - I'd sure like to get my hands on the events logs to see the last registered events, and if they are indicative of anything,) but just tell me where to find them or the command line to generate them and I'll gladly upload the DMP/LOG files you requested and whichever others may be of use.

I'm also curious about specifically where/when the boot process is effectively complete. The Windows 7 Logo screen displays and is animated as it normally is, then the black screen that normally flashes between that and the logon, but only for a brief flash, that's where I get stuck with the mouse working. Do any of these things mark the end of the actual "boot" process? I'm asking, because, while I tended to believe it was done executing the boot procedures and windows system logon files had taken control at that point, is my understanding flawed here? Might it be a boot issue of some sort?

My working theory is that the update process I've described above, in some way, be it directly or indirectly, caused damage to some system file(s) or installed an incorrect or incompatible update package, maybe installed something in the wrong order without a prerequisite update or the likes. I also, now, believe that SFC.exe is not damaged or corrupt, nor are any of the auxiliary resources that it may rely on to execute properly. Part of that is based on the cumulative evidence I've seen up to this point, and part is just purely based onprobability. I think that the SFC response I am getting is somewhat "normal" or at least to be expected under the circumstances. I can't get to a command prompt without initiating startup repair/recovery console, and that it places that flag on my system that SFC checks for prior to scanning. It's an endless loop/vicious cycle. I'm only hoping to catch it by some matter of chance one time when that flag for a "pending recovery" is not raised.

Finally, are you at all familiar with DISM.exe (Deployment Image Service & Management tool)? I have come to know that it's capable of a wide array of functions, which include the instillation of drivers from the command line, repairing damaged system file, and releasing the very lock/flag that I'm speaking of on a Windows 7 system. I am curious how promising it is in my situation though, since removing such a flag requires a reboot and then to get back to a command prompt I'm effectively locking myself out of the SFC command all over again.

And as far as that last line (question/statement?) in your post...I’m really not sure what you (seem) to be asking. Seems like it’s about posting somewhere or having someone else help or something along those lines? Whatever brings more intelligent help if that’s what you’re asking, fine by me! If I have misinterpreted the text and your actually quoting a line from Finnegans Wake, then you should consider citing the source!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2015   #10
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Quote:
My working theory is that the update process I've described above, in some way, be it directly or indirectly, caused damage to some system file(s) or installed an incorrect or incompatible update package, maybe installed something in the wrong order without a prerequisite update or the likes. I also, now, believe that SFC.exe is not damaged or corrupt, nor are any of the auxiliary resources that it may rely on to execute properly.
Yep mate well there has been so many problems just lately it seems and like I said I am pretty sure it is Microsoft and the way they are forcing updates down peoples throats - the 10 ones in particular are very annoying.

Quote:
Finally, are you at all familiar with DISM.exe
No sorry mate but I can have a look and see what the heck it is though I am no expert when it comes to the inner machinations of the system, especially if it comes to stuff like this https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/lib...edded.81).aspx


I am really scratching around now as the more I look at it the more I am thinking reinstalling

Though one thing did cross my mind and that was a memtest maybe it is involved because it is instrumental in getting the system going after all and though it is a tedious process it is worth eliminating it eh? RAM - Test with Memtest86+ don't forget though mate 8 passes

The help well if the memtest doesn't come up anything then maybe we can ask
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