SFC /SCANNOW : Run in Command Prompt at Boot

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    SFC /SCANNOW : Run in Command Prompt at Boot

    SFC /SCANNOW : Run in Command Prompt at Boot

    How to Run the System File Checker in a Command Prompt at Boot
    Published by
    Designer Media Ltd


    How to Check / Repair the Windows System Files from a Command Prompt at Boot

    This shows how to start the PC and open a command prompt at boot so the Windows system files can be checked and repaired if possible, if the PC will not start to Windows normally or in safe mode.

       Note

    For those that are dual/multi booting or if the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) does not 'see' the Windows Operating System needing repair, see Method Two below.


    Let's get started!

    In the BIOS set the boot order to boot first from the CD/DVD Drive, insert the Windows full version installation DVD or a created repair CD and restart the PC.



    Method One

    For Windows 7 and Vista full version installation media, after the "Press any key ... " black screen do steps #1 & #2 then skip down to step #5 below to continue.

    For a Windows system repair disk start at step #3 below.

    1) At the Select Language screen click next.
    click any image to enlarge
    SFC /SCANNOW : Run in Command Prompt at Boot-language.jpg
    2) At the next screen click Repair your Computer.
    SFC /SCANNOW : Run in Command Prompt at Boot-repair.jpg
    3) For a Windows created repair CD, after the "Press any key ... " black screen there will be a Loading Files screen.
    SFC /SCANNOW : Run in Command Prompt at Boot-loadind.jpg
    4) Then click Next for this System Recovery Options dialog box.
    SFC /SCANNOW : Run in Command Prompt at Boot-recovery.jpg
    5) At this System Recovery Options dialog box, make sure there is a dot at "Use Recovery Tools" and be sure to make note of the Location drive letter as it probably will not be C: and the correct drive letter must be entered in the following steps; then click Next.
    SFC /SCANNOW : Run in Command Prompt at Boot-letter.jpg
    6) At this System Recovery Options dialog box click Command Prompt.
    SFC /SCANNOW : Run in Command Prompt at Boot-command.jpg
    7) In the command window that opens type this command below and hit the <enter> key, be sure to use your drive letter, where mine is F: for this demonstration yours probably will not be the same.

    Code:
     
    sfc /scannow /offbootdir=f:\ /offwindir=f:\windows
    SFC /SCANNOW : Run in Command Prompt at Boot-type.jpg
    8) You will get a blinking curser while it checks and attempts to repair any issues it may find, it could take quite a bit of time to complete.
    SFC /SCANNOW : Run in Command Prompt at Boot-type2.jpg
    9) To close the command window after the scan type exit and hit the <enter> key.
    SFC /SCANNOW : Run in Command Prompt at Boot-type3.jpg
    Though my demonstration / test found no errors to repair, yours may and if it does it may take you running this command a couple separate times to completely repair any issues it finds so don't give up after just one attempt.

    For further important information on this process, see Option Two of this tutorial at the link below.

    SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker

    10) To restart the PC when the command window closes, remove the Windows / repair disk from the ODD and click Restart in the System Recovery Options dialog box that's still open.
    SFC /SCANNOW : Run in Command Prompt at Boot-restart.jpg
    Method Two

    It has been suggested by Brink to include this method for those dual/multi booting and for those that have issues with WinRE 'seeing' the Windows Operating System partition needing repair.

    In the BIOS set the boot order to boot first from the CD/DVD Drive, insert the Windows full version installation DVD or a created repair CD and restart the PC so diskpart can be started, if need be, view this tutorial for those methods.

    How to Boot to DISKPART at PC Startup

    1) In the diskpart command window type list volume and hit the <enter> key.

    2) After it lists the volumes type exit a single time and <enter>.

    ckick to enlarge
    SFC /SCANNOW : Run in Command Prompt at Boot-diskpartsources2.jpg
    3) Now type the command below using your specific volume drive letters <enter>.

    If you are dual/multi booting or have a System Reserved partition as I do and the system boot files are stored on a separate partition than the Operating System partition needing repair, in any case, the volume drive letter where the system boot files are stored goes in the first part.

    offbootdir=c:

    In the second part you would use the volume drive letter for the Windows OS partition you want to attempt the repair on.

    offwindir=f:

    Code:
     
    sfc /scannow /offbootdir=c:\ /offwindir=f:\windows
    4) You will get a blinking curser while it checks and attempts to repair any issues it may find, it could take quite a bit of time to complete.
    SFC /SCANNOW : Run in Command Prompt at Boot-diskpartscan.jpg
    5) Though my demonstration / test found no errors to repair, yours may and if it does it may take you running this command a couple separate times to completely repair any issues it finds so don't give up after just one attempt.

    For further important information on this process, see Option Two of this tutorial at the link below.

    SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker
    SFC /SCANNOW : Run in Command Prompt at Boot-diskpartexit.jpg
    6) To close the command window after the scan type exit and hit the <enter> key.
    Then remove the Windows disk from the ODD and restart the PC to start Windows.


    Enjoy :)








  1. Posts : 5,840
    Vista Ult64, Win7600
       #1

    Very well done, informative and easy to follow instructions, as usual BFK,
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  2. Posts : 22,814
    W 7 64-bit Ultimate
    Thread Starter
       #2

    Thank you Jim! :)
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  3. Posts : 17,322
    Win 10 Pro x64
       #3

    Well done Ted, another excellent tutorial!
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  4. Posts : 22,814
    W 7 64-bit Ultimate
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Thank you Derek, I still have some additions to add, Brink has made an excellent suggestion; I'll post in the thread at chillout when I finish working them out.
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 908
    Vista Home Premium x86 SP2
       #5

    Hello!

    Excellent work! You might also want to reference this: You cannot use the System File Checker tool to verify or to repair Windows Vista if Windows Vista is in a mounted image file or in a bootable WIM file

    Possibly? Your decision. This one is really for the Techs. If they understand it, it might matter to them. If they don't understand it, then less likely. A small reference would be enough. I also think that this error can be generated if you run chkdsk too soon before SFC. Often a few restarts are required. Can someone confirm all of this? I think it is right, but I am right on the very edge of my comfort zone.

    Richard
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  6. Posts : 22,814
    W 7 64-bit Ultimate
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Hello Richard.



    Thank you very much.

    It's still a work in-progress so I will look into your information.
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 10,994
    Win 7 Pro 64-bit
       #7

    Very nice, Ted. If a technically challenged person like me can follow your instructions then anyone can! :)
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 22,814
    W 7 64-bit Ultimate
    Thread Starter
       #8

    Hello Lee, thank you; I have to make them easy to follow so I can understand them too.


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  9. Posts : 8,679
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       #9

    Great Tutorial BFK! Also Happy Birthday! :)
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