How to fix Missing DLL files errors on Windows 10/8/7 PC

Missing DLL files is one of the common errors which Windows users face everyday around the world. What do you do if you receive a missing DLL file error message? If you know exactly name of the DLL file, the following articals is for you to fix the error: xlive.dll | MSVCR110.dll | d3compiler_43.dll | LogiLDA.dll | MSVCP140.dll | api-ms-win-crt-runtime-l1-1-0.dll | VCRUNTIME140.dll | xinput1_3.dll or d3dx9_43.dll. Now let’s take a look at the general steps you could take if you receive such error messages.

DLL is abbreviation of Dynamic Link Libraries and are external parts of applications that run on Windows or any other operating systems. Most applications are not complete in themselves and store code in different files. If there is a need for the code, the related file will be loaded into memory and used. If the operating system or software is not able to find the concerned DLL file, or if the DLL file is corrupted, you could receive a missing DLL file message.

Fix Missing DLL file error

If DLL files are missing on your Windows computer, the best ways to fix such errors are as follows:

  1. Run the built-in System File Checker tool to replace missing or corrupted operating system files.
  2. Run the DISM tool and repair the Windows system image and fix a corrupted Windows Component Store.
  3. Repair or re-install the software if some application throws up this error.
  4. Copy the DLL file from another system and restore it on your PC, followed by re-registering the dll file.

Let us take a look at these in details.

  1. The safest method to fix missing DLL file or corrupted errors thrown up by your Windows OS, would be to run the built-in System File Checker, which will replace missing or corrupted system files.

To do this, open Command Prompt (Admin), type sfc /scannow command and press Enter.

The scan may take 10 minutes, and once it completes successfully, you should restart your PC. Running sfc /scannow command in Safe Mode or Boot Time may give a better results.

Note: This article will help you if you receive a Windows resource protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix them error message while running the scan.

  1. If the issue is not resolve with the above method, the next thing to do would be to Run DISM to repair the System Image. Again, in an elevated Command Prompt window, type Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth command and press Enter

This checks for Windows component store corruption and restores good health. The scan may take up to 20 minutes, and once it completes successfully, you should restart your PC.

Note: This article will help you if DISM fails.

  1. If it is some installed software or application that is giving this error, all you need to do is re-install the software. Uninstall the application that is giving the error from the Control Panel, restart your computer, go to its official download page of the application and download the latest setup file, then install the software. The installer will place all the required files on your PC including the DLL files. If the software offers an option to Repair the program, you may first opt to repair the installation and see if that helps. If not, try to reinstall the application.
  1. Sometimes, an application that was meant to run on an older version of Windows, may require a specific version of a DLL file to run. If you face this problem, you should try to copy the DLL file from one of your other systems and replace it here in the proper Directory. You may have to re-register the DLL file. At times the developers of that application may offer various versions of DLL files on their sites for download, you could download these files and see if that works for you.
  1. Is there any good site from where you can download DLL files to restore them? There may be, but I would not advise using them really. The reason is simple, if you need to replace or restore DLL files, you can carry out any of the above-mentioned methods. That will ensure that you get genuine files from genuine sources. Moreover, most of the DLL files are copyright protected, and I am not sure if any dll download website has authorized permission from the OS or application developers to host and distribute the files. And plus, how would you know the genuinity of the file? So that is a call you will have to take.

File xlive.dll is missing in Windows PC

Once on a forum, I came across this error posted by a member where he was not able to get the Games working on Windows 8 Pro. You may find that you are unable to play some of your favorite Games on Windows 10/8 due to a missing xlive.dll file and you may get to see the following error message:

The ordinal 42 could not be located in the dynamic link library C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\xlive.dll

I found out that the missing dll file, xlive.dll comes with the Microsoft Games for Windows LIVE installer. So I started searching for ways to download it off the Internet. After some time I found a package that contains the specific dll, and that is the Games for Windows Marketplace Client. I went to and downloaded the Games for Windows Marketplace Client.

Once you download it, run the package. Remember the package you’re downloading is a web installer. That means it will download the contents from the Internet as it installs, so make sure you disable any third-party firewall.

Once it has downloaded the application, the installation will commence. In case the download fails you can check out the log find located under C:\Users\<Current-user>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\GFWLive\Install\Logs.There will be two different log files setupexe.log and xliveinstall.log, both can be opened in a Notepad. If you are not sure what it means, you could always post them in our forums where one of our experts will be more than happy to help you out. Remember you may need to reinstall your games once you install Games for Windows Marketplace Client. So the advisable method is to uninstall your games, install Games for Windows Marketplace Client then reinstall your games and test it.

If this does not work, it’s advisable to run sfc /scannow command:

  • From the Modern UI screen type cmd;
  • Right-click and from the bottom screen click on Run as administrator;
  • Then type in SFC /SCANNOW.

Once it’s complete you should reboot the system and test your games again.

Antivirus Slowing Your PC Down? Maybe You Should Use Exclusions

Protecting your computer with an antivirus solution is par for the course when you’re dealing with a Windows PC, but unfortunately it slows you down at the same time. Here’s how to improve your performance, at least a little bit.

We’re not going to sit here and tell you to go without antivirus, since that would be irresponsible. What we’re going to do today is explain how you can exclude certain folders with write-heavy operations to speed up your PC without putting yourself into extra danger.

Note: Before you start excluding any files, you keep in mind that changing any of the default security settings could be risky, and you should probably close the browser tab and run away. Or maybe print off the article and burn it.

What Files Should You Exclude?

The general idea is that if you have some applications that are writing to the hard drive constantly, you should probably exclude the folders they are writing or reading from, as long as those applications are trusted and safe.

For example, if you’re using a virtual machine, which does both reads and writes from the hard drive on a fairly constant basis, you should make sure your antivirus application is not scanning those files and folders. Here’s a few examples of some things you may consider excluding:

  • Virtual Machine Directories: If you’re using VMware or VirtualBox, you should make sure those locations are excluded. This is actually what prompted this article, and probably the only significant performance boost out of the things we’re mentioning.
  • Subversion/TortoiseSVN Folders: Have you ever tried to do a big checkout of a source control project and had it fail? There’s a good chance that it’s conflicting with your antivirus application. This one has personally happened to me.
  • Personal Photo/Video Folders: Got you have a massive library of photos or videos that you’ve taken with your digital camera? As long as you only use this location for files copied from your SD card, there’s no reason to be scanning it and slowing your PC down while doing photo editing.
  • Legitimate Music Folders: If you’re downloading music from shady sources, this does not apply. If you’ve ripped your own CDs or downloaded from somewhere legitimate like Amazon, then you can safely exclude your music folder.
  • Windows Update Folders: This actually comes straight out of a Microsoft KB article, you’ll notice that they don’t recommend it, because they can’t do that in case somebody writes a special virus for the purpose of suing them, but the same principle applies.

Other Scenarios

There’s a nearly infinite number of applications and scenarios for everybody’s PC, so it’s hard to say exactly what is going to work on your PC, but there’s a way you can figure it out for yourself using Process Monitor, the great tool from Sysinternals at Microsoft.

Just open up Process Monitor, and then uncheck all of the little icons on the right-hand side of the toolbar, leaving only the Show File System Activity one checked. At this point you’ll see loads and loads of items in the list, with every access to the file system.

You can use this data to figure out which applications are constantly reading and writing to the hard drive, and then based on the safety of those files, you can choose whether or not to exclude them.

Don’t Exclude File Types, Exclude Folders

When you exclude a filename or file extension, you are telling your antivirus software to completely ignore those files anywhere on your system, which could cause a security problem. It’s a much better bet to exclude a particular folder that you know is safe, like your virtual machine folders.

Always Scan Files from the Internet

I’ll start by saying this should go without saying… which always seems to be said anyway… but you should make absolutely certain to scan any files that come from anywhere on the internet, and especially when those files come from torrents or other similar sources rife with viruses.

All Antivirus Applications Work Differently

The next thing to mention is that not every antivirus application is going to work the same way (for instance, by default, AVG only scans a specific set of file extensions, and files with no extensions). There’s no way to tell (without benchmarking, at least) whether excluding folders will make a performance difference if they don’t scan those extensions.

Some other anti-virus applications, however, don’t limit themselves to specific file types, so you’ll need to dig into the settings for your particular application.

Excluding Files from Microsoft Security Essentials

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) makes it real simple to exclude files, just head into the Settings, choose Excluded files & locations on the left-hand side, and then add folders into the list on the right-hand side.

You’ll probably notice that MSE doesn’t slow your system down very much anyway.

Excluding Files from AVG Anti-Virus

As we mentioned earlier, AVG works a little differently, if you head into Tools → Advanced settings

Then head to Resident Shield → Advanced Settings to see the list of file types that are currently being scanned. You’ll notice that AVG always scans files with no extensions, which shouldn’t normally pose a problem, but depending on the applications you’re using there might be a problem.

You can switch to the Resident Shield → Excluded Items to add in folders or specific files to exclude from scanning.

We’re not going to cover every other antivirus application, but they all pretty much work the same. Also, we prefer Microsoft Security Essentials.

Wrapping Up: Use This Tip At Your Own Risk

Just to wrap up, and as we said earlier, forget that you read this article, and if you get a virus don’t blame us. This especially applies if you’re not really sure what you’re doing, this probably isn’t something you should mess with.

How to Run Malwarebytes Alongside Another Antivirus

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a great security tool that’s particularly effective against potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) and other nasty software traditional antivirus programs don’t deal with. But it’s intended to be used alongside an antivirus and doesn’t replace one entirely.

If you’re using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, you should be running it alongside a primary antivirus program to keep your computer in tip-top security shape. But traditional advice is not to run two anti-malware programs at once. Here’s how to thread that needle.

On-Demand Scans

The standard, free version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware just functions as an on-demand scanner. In other words, it doesn’t run automatically in the background. Instead, it only does something when you launch it and click the Scan button.

This version of Malwarebytes shouldn’t interfere with your antivirus program at all. Just install it and occasionally launch it to perform a scan and check for the potentially unwanted programs almost no one actually wants. It will find and remove them. Using an anti-malware program as an on-demand scanner is a safe way to get a second opinion.

You shouldn’t have to do any extra configuration here. If Malwarebytes reports some sort of error removing a piece of malware it finds, you could potentially pause or disable real-time scanning in your main antivirus program to prevent it from interfering, and then reenable real-time scanning right after. But even this shouldn’t be necessary, and we’ve never heard of anyone encountering a problem like this one.

(This is the only way Malwarebytes works on a Mac, too. It can’t perform automatic, real-time scans (just on-demand scans). Malwarebytes shouldn’t interfere with other Mac antivirus applications, if you are actually running one.)

Real-Time Scanning

The paid version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium also contains real-time scanning features. Malwarebytes will run in the background, scanning your system and files you open for problems and preventing them from taking root on your system in the first place.

The problem is that your main antivirus program is already functioning in this way. The standard advice is that you shouldn’t have real-time scanning enabled for two antivirus programs enabled at once. They can interfere with each other in a variety of ways, slowing down your computer, causing crashes, or even preventing each other from working.

Malwarebytes is coded in a different way and is designed to run alongside other antivirus programs without interfering. It may even work without any further configuration. But, to make it work as well as it possibly can and improve performance, you should set up exclusions in both Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium and your standard antivirus program.

To do this in Malwarebytes, open Malwarebytes, click the Settings icon, select Malware Exclusions, and add the folder (typically under Program Files) containing your antivirus program’s files.

In your antivirus program, load the antivirus program, find “exclusions”, “ignored files”, or a similarly named section, and add the appropriate Malwarebytes files. You should exclude these files, according to the official Malwarebytes documentation:

C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes Anti-Malware\mbam.exe
C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes Anti-Malware\mbamdor.exe
C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes Anti-Malware\mbampt.exe
C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes Anti-Malware\mbamservice.exe
C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes Anti-Malware\mbamscheduler.exe

For more specific instructions, you might want to perform a web search for Malwarebytes and the name of your antivirus program. Or just perform a web search for the name of your antivirus program and exclusions to find out how to add those exclusions and exclude the files named on the Malwarebytes website.

Malwarebytes is designed to run alongside a normal antivirus program so you shouldn’t have to worry about this most of the time, especially if you’re just using the free version. If you’re using the paid version, setting up exclusions can help you avoid problems and maximize your computer’s performance. But even that won’t be completely necessary most of the time.

How to Use the Built-in Windows Defender Antivirus on Windows 10

Windows 10 has built-in real-time antivirus named Windows Defender, and it’s actually pretty good. It automatically runs in the background, ensuring all Windows users are protected against viruses and other nasties. Here’s how it works.

Starting with the Creators Update for Windows 10, Windows Defender’s interface changed a bit, and it was integrated into the new Windows Defender Security Center—which also provides access to security-related tools like family protection, firewall settings, device performance and health reports, and browser security controls. If you haven’t yet updated to the Creators Update, you should still be able to follow along pretty well.

What Is Windows Defender?

Microsoft offered a standalone antivirus app named Microsoft Security Essentials in the days of Windows XP, Vista, and 7. With Windows 8, the product was tidied up a bit, bundled with Windows, and renamed Windows Defender. And it’s pretty good, if something of a mixed bag. It’s true that other antivirus apps (like BitDefender and Kaspersky) protect against more viruses in benchmarks.

But Windows Defender boasts some advantages, too. It’s by far the most non-invasive app, handling things in the background whenever it can and not nagging you all the time. Windows Defender also plays nicer with web browsers and other apps (respecting their security and privacy settings more than most other antivirus apps).

What you use is up to you, but Windows Defender is not a bad choice (and has overcome most of its problems from a few years back). We do, however, recommend running an anti-malware app like Malwarebytes in addition to whatever antivirus app you choose.

Take Advantage of Automatic Scans and Updates

Like other antivirus apps, Windows Defender automatically runs in the background, scanning files when they’re downloaded, transferred from external drives, and before you open them.

You don’t really have to think about Windows Defender at all. It will only pop up to inform you when it finds malware. It won’t even ask you what you want to do with the malicious software it finds, it just cleans things up and quarantines the files automatically.

You’ll occasionally see a notification popup to let you know when a scan has been performed, and you can usually see the details of the last scan by opening the Action Center in Windows 10.

If Windows Defender does find a threat, you’ll also see a notification letting you know that it’s taking action to clean those threats, and no action is required from you.

Antivirus definition updates automatically arrive through Windows Update and are installed like any other system update. These types of updates don’t require rebooting your computer. That way, don’t need to worry about updating Windows Defender, because it’s all handled quietly and automatically in the background.

View Your Scan History and Quarantined Malware

You can view Windows Defender’s scan history anytime you want, and if you’re notified that it has blocked malware, you can view that information too. To fire up the Windows Defender Security Center, just hit Start, type defender, and then select Windows Defender Security Center.

In the Windows Defender Security Center window, switch to the Windows Defender tab (the shield icon) and then click the Scan history link.

The Scan history screen shows you all current threats, plus information about your last scan. If you want to see the full history of quarantined threats, just click the See full history link in that section.

Here, you can see all the threats that Windows Defender has quarantined. To see more about a threat, click the arrow to its right. And to see even more, click the See details link that shows up when you expand a particular threat.

You don’t really need to do anything else here, but if you didn’t have Windows Defender delete the threat when it was found, you’ll be given the option to do that on this screen. You’ll also be able to restore the item from quarantine, but you should only do this if you’re absolutely sure the detected malware is a false positive. If you’re not absolutely, 100 percent sure, don’t allow it to run.

Perform a Manual Scan

Back on the main Windows Defender tab, you can also have Windows Defender run a quick manual scan by clicking the Quick Scan button. Typically, you won’t need to bother with this since Windows Defender offers real-time protection and also performs regular automatic scans. However, if you just want to be safe (maybe you just updated your virus definitions) there’s absolutely no harm in running a quick scan.

You can also click the Advanced scan link on that screen to run three different types of scans:

  • Full scan: The quick scan only scans your memory and common locations. A full scan checks every file and running program. It can easily take an hour or more, so it’s best to do this when you don’t plan on using your PC much.
  • Custom scan: A custom scan lets you choose a particular folder to scan. You can also do this by right-clicking any folder on your PC and choose Scan with Windows Defender from the context menu.
  • Windows Defender Offline scan: Some malware is tough to remove while Windows is running. When you select an offline scan, Windows restarts and runs a scan before Windows loads on the PC.

Configure Virus and Threat Protection Settings

By default, Windows Defender automatically enables real-time protection, cloud-based protection, and sample submission. Real-time protection ensures Windows Defender automatically finds malware by scanning your system in real time. You could disable this for a short period if necessary for performance reasons, but Windows Defender will automatically re-enable real-time protection to keep you safe later. Cloud-based protection and sample submission allow Windows Defender to share information about threats and the actual malware files it detects with Microsoft.

To enabled or disable any of these settings, click the Virus & threat protection settings link on the main Windows Defender tab.

And then toggle the settings on the screen that appears.

Set Up Exclusions for Certain Folders or Files

If you scroll down the very bottom of that same Virus & threat protection settings page, you can also set exclusions (files, folders, file types, or processes that you don’t want Windows Defender to scan). Just click the Add or remove exclusions link.

If antivirus is dramatically slowing down a certain app you know is safe by scanning it, creating an exclusion can speed things up again. If you use virtual machines, you might want to exclude those large files from the scanning process. If you have a huge photo or video library that you know is safe, you don’t really want scanning slowing down your editing.

To add an exclusion, click the Add an exclusion button, select the type of exclusion you want to add from the dropdown menu, and then point Windows Defender to whatever you want to exclude.

Just be careful to use exclusions sparingly and smartly. Each exclusion you add reduces your PC’s security by a bit, because they tell Windows Defender not to look in certain places.

What if You Install Another Antivirus?

Windows 10 automatically disables Windows Defender if you install another antivirus app. While another antivirus app is installed, Windows Defender won’t continue performing real-time scans, so it won’t interfere with your other app. You can still use Windows Defender to perform a manual (or offline) scan as a backup to your preferred antivirus app, though.

If you ever uninstall the other antivirus, Windows Defender will automatically kick into gear once again and take over, providing antivirus protection.

Do note, however, that certain anti-malware apps (like Malwarebytes) can be installed alongside Windows Defender and both will offer complimentary real-time protection.

Whichever antivirus product you prefer, it’s good that every single new Windows installation going forward will come with at least a baseline built-in antivirus protection. While it may not be perfect, Windows Defender does do a decent job, is minimally intrusive, and (when combined with other safe computing and browsing practices) might just be enough.

Run DISM to repair Windows System Image and Windows Component Store in Windows 10

This post will show you how to use the DISM Tool to repair a Windows System Image in Windows 10/8.1. The System Update and Readiness Tool or CheckSUR tool will scan your Windows computer for inconsistencies, which may be caused by various hardware failures or by software issues and potentially fix that corruption. In Windows 10/8 and Windows Server, the Inbox Corruption Repair brings the functionality of CheckSUR into Windows. You do not require a separate download to get the tool.

Windows Component Store Corrupt

Repair Windows System Image using DISM

If a Windows image becomes unserviceable, you can use the Deployment Imaging and Servicing Management (DISM) tool to update the files and correct the problem. In the case of system inconsistencies and corruptions, you can use the DISM tool by using the Cleanup-Image functionality along with these available switches.

Open an elevated Command Prompt and use command Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image followed by these switches:

  • /ScanHealth: This checks for component store corruption and records that corruption to the C:\Windows\Logs\CBS\CBS.log but no corruption is fixed using this switch. This is useful for logging what, if any, corruption exists. Use Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth. This could take 10-15 minutes.
  • /CheckHealth: This checks to see if a component corruption marker is already present in the registry. This is merely a way to see if corruption currently exists. Think of it as a read-only CHKDSK. Use Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth. This could take less than a minute.
  • /RestoreHealth: This checks for component store corruption, records the corruption to C:\Windows\Logs\CBS\CBS.log and fixes the corruption using Windows Update. This operation takes 15 mins or more depending on the level of corruption. Use Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth.

Inbox Corruption Repair

You can use this:

  1. If your System File Checker is corrupted or not working and the sfc /scannow command is unable to repair corrupted system files because the store is corrupted.
  2. To fix Windows component store corruption when the same Windows Updates continue to appear to be available to install even though they already show successfully installed in update history.
  3. If a Windows image becomes unserviceable, you can use the Deployment Imaging and Servicing Management (DISM) tool to update the files, correct the problem and repair Windows image. You can use DISM to repair an offline Windows image in a WIM or VHD file or an online Windows image.

Source: Microsoft TechNet.

See this post if you receive a DISM fails The source files could not be found error message.

Deployment Image Servicing & Management Tool (DISM.exe) in Windows 8/10

Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) is a command line tool that you can use to service a Windows image or prepare a Windows PE image.

Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM)

The DISM tool replaces the Package Manager (pkgmgr.exe), PEimg, and Intlcfg tools used with Windows Vista. Deployment Image Servicing and Management or DISM consolidates the functionality found in those three tools, as well as delivers new functionality to improve the experience of offline servicing.

When used in Windows 8, you get the added functionality. You can use DISM to:

  1. Add, remove, and enumerate packages and drivers.
  2. Enable or disable Windows features.
  3. Apply changes based on the offline servicing section of an unattend.xml answer file.
  4. Configure international settings.
  5. Upgrade a Windows image to a different edition.
  6. Prepare a Windows PE image.
  7. Take advantage of better logging.
  8. Service down-level operating systems like Windows Vista with SP1 and Windows Server 2008.
  9. Service all platforms (32-bit, 64-bit, and Itanium).
  10. Service a 32-bit image from a 64-bit host and service a 64-bit image from a 32-bit host.
  11. Make use of old Package Manager scripts.

DISM fails in Windows 10. The source files could not be found

DISM fails The source files could not be found

If the DISM Tool fails, you have 2 options – clean up the system components, and specify an alternative Windows image repair source, which will then be used to repair a corrupted Windows image. You can do this using the Group Policy.

Normally, during the repair operation, the automatic corruption repair provides files. But of this itself has got corrupted, you can use a specified repair source on your network or use Windows Update to retrieve the source files that are required to enable a feature or to repair a Windows image.

Clean up system image components

Open an elevated Command Prompt windows, type the following and hit Enter:

Dism.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup

Once the operation completed, type the DISM Tool /RestoreHealth command and see if it works.

If it does, great, else you will have to proceed to the next option.

DISM fails The source file could not be downloaded

If you receive an Error 0x800f081f or 0x800f0906 The source files could not be downloaded message, then you will have to set an alternative source file. Read on to learn how to do this.

Configure an alternative Windows Repair Source

You can configure your system to use an alternative repair source, via a Group Policy setting, Run gpedit.msc to open the Group Policy Editor, and navigate to the following setting: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System.


Select Enabled and enter the Alternate source file path. You may also choose:

  • Never attempt to download payload from Windows Update
  • Contact Windows Update directly to download repair content instead of Windows Server Update Service (WSUS)

This policy setting specifies the network locations that will be used for the repair of operating system corruption and for enabling optional features that have had their payload files removed. If you enable this policy setting and specify the new location, the files in that location will be used to repair operating system corruption and for enabling optional features that have had their payload files removed. You must enter the fully qualified path to the new location in the “”Alternate source file path”” text box. Multiple locations can be specified when each path is separated by a semicolon. The network location can be either a folder, or a WIM file. If it is a WIM file, the location should be specified by prefixing the path with “wim:” and include the index of the image to use in the WIM file. For example “wim:\\server\share\install.wim:3”. If you disable or do not configure this policy setting, or if the required files cannot be found at the locations specified in this policy setting, the files will be downloaded from Windows Update, if that is allowed by the policy settings for the computer.

Click Apply or OK and exit.

Remember that you will need to keep and maintain a repair source which is current with the latest servicing updates, etc. on your network.

TipTo use a running Windows installation as the repair source, or use a Windows side-by-side folder from a network share or from a removable media, such as the Windows DVD, as the source of the files, you can use the following command:

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:C:\RepairSource\Windows /LimitAccess

Here you will have to replace C:\RepairSource\Windows with the location of your repair source.

Run System File Checker in Safe Mode, Boot Time or Offline on Windows 10/8/7

In this post we will see how to run System File Checker in Safe Mode, Offline or at Boot Time in Windows 10/8.1. This is useful if SFC will not run or start.

One of the useful tool Microsoft introduced on Windows, is the ability to run System File Checker to check the stability of core system files. We have discussed about the System File Checker earlier. One of the most effective ways to run this tool is to run in Safe Mode or at boot-time. This may be an option you may want to consider, if you find that your System File Checker run does not complete successfully. At boot time, system files won’t be connected to any other Windows services so it could be easier for the to complete its run successfully and replace the files.

Run System File Checker in Safe Mode

Simply boot in Safe Mode, open an elevated Command Prompt, type sfc /scannow and hit Enter. System File Checker will run in Safe Mode too.

Run System File Checker at boot

On Windows XP we have a command called sfc /scanbootIt scans all protected system files every time the computer is booted. Running sfc /scanonce would run it once only at the next reboot. Unfortunatelythese commands have been removed on later versions of Windows. So in order to run this command, we have to go to Windows RE and run it from here. We can also call it Run Offline System File Checker.

Run Offline System File Checker

To execute this run, insert the Windows installation disc or USB flash drive, or a system repair disc, and then shut down your computer. Then restart your computer. When prompted, press any key, and then the instructions screen should appear.

On the Install Windows screen, or on the System Recovery Options screen, choose your language and other preferences, and then click Next.

Click Repair your computer.

Select the Windows installation you want to repair (I have used D:, since the Windows drive is D:), and then click Next.

On the System Recovery Options menu, click on Command Prompt, then type in the following command and hit Enter:

sfc /scannow /offbootdir=d:\ /offwindir=d:\windows


Once it has completed the repair, type exit and hit Enter, then reboot the system. In case the command does work or if the Windows failed to repair, then you need to run a Repair Windows 7 or Refresh Windows 8 to fix those corrupted files.

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System File Checker: Run sfc /scannow & analyze its logs in Windows 10/8/7

The System File Checker is a utility in Microsoft Windows located in  C:\Windows\System32 folder. This utility allows users to scan for and restore corrupt Windows system files. In this post, we will see how to run System File Checker and also see how to analyze System File Checker logs.

Run System File Checker

In Windows 10/8/7/Vista, the System File Checker is integrated with Windows Resource Protection, which protects registry keys and folders as well as critical system files. If any changes are detected to a protected system file, the modified file is restored from a cached copy located in the Windows folder itself.

So if at any point of time if you find that you have hacked some system files or maybe applied some tweaks or replaced system files, maybe while customizing your Windows, and you now find that your Windows is not working properly, you may want to consider running this utility first, before trying a System Restore. To do so, you will have to first open an elevated Command Prompt window.

To run the System File Checker in Windows 10/8/7, type cmd in Start search box. In the result, which appears, right-click on Command Prompt and select Run As Administrator.

Run sfc /scannow

In the command prompt window which opens, type sfc /scannow and hit Enter.

The System File Checker utility will run for a while and if any corruptions are found, replace them on re-boot.

Windows Resource Protection could not perform the requested Service or Start the Repair Service

In case you are unable to start the System File Checker, and you instead get the Windows Resource Protection Could Not Start the Repair Service error, you may want to check up if your Windows Modules Installer service has been disabled. To do so, type services.msc in Start search and hit Enter. The status of this service should be set to Manual.

Run System File Checker Offline or in Safe Mode or Boot Time

Simply boot into Safe Mode and follow the same procedure. System File Checker will run in Safe Mode too.

The /scanonce and /scanboot syntax have been discontinued after Windows XP and does not work on Windows 8 and later.

Follow this procedure if you want to run System File Checker in Safe Mode, Boot Time or Offline.

You can also use the sfc.exe program to help you troubleshoot crashes that occur in the user mode part of Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7 & Vista. These crashes may be related to missing or damaged operating system files. To do so, you may have to access the log files.

How to view the SFC log file

The System File Checker program writes the details of each verification operation and of each repair operation to the CBS.log file. Each System File Checker program entry in this file has an [SR] tag. The CBS.log file is located in the %windir%\Logs\CBS folder.

You can search for [SR] tags to help locate System File Checker program entries. To perform this kind of search and to redirect the results to a text file, follow these steps:

  • Click Start, type cmd in the Start Search box, right-click cmd in the Programs list, and then click Run as administrator;
  • Type findstr /c:”[SR]” %windir%\logs\cbs\cbs.log >sfcdetails.txt and hit Enter;
  • The sfcdetails.txt file includes the entries that are logged every time that the System File Checker program runs on the computer.

How to interpret the SFC log file entries

The System File Checker program verifies files in groups of 100. Therefore, there will be many groups of System File Checker program entries. Each entry has the following format: date time entry_type details. For more details on how to interpret, visit KB928228.