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Author Topic: How to Run System File Checker (sfc /scannow) without a Windows XP disc  (Read 37351 times)


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How to Run System File Checker (sfc /scannow) without a Windows XP disc.

What's it for and what does it do?

The main reason for using this utility is when you suspect there may be a problem with a Windows XP system file.
Perhaps a dialogue box appears informing you of a problem with a .dll file, or a program will just not load!
It is therefore worth checking to see if there are any corrupt system files using sfc /scannow.
To do this simply go to the Run box on the Start Menu and type in: sfc /scannow

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

First you will have to set the folders to show System files by going to:-

"My Computer > Tools > Folder Options > View > "uncheck" Hide protected operating system files"
(Just revers this back to the default setting when you have finished)

Now check to see if the folder already exists on your HDD, if it's there.
Make sure you have the correct i386 folder.
(The correct one will contain close to 7,000 files (475MB), two of which will be winnt.exe and winnt32.exe).
If it's there and faulty, start at step 1
If it's there and the correct one, then go straight to step 2.

Step 1.
If the folder does not exist then you can make one:
You will need to get your XP CD and locate the folder called i386 (I386)
This is a major folder and should be one of the first you see, now copy this onto your hard drive into the system root.
For most of you that is going to be C:\  so you should end up with a folder that looks like:  C:\I386

Step 2.
NOTE: Carrying out this operation may entail altering the registry, so you should "Back it up" first.
From the Start Menu select "Run..." type "regedit" (without the " " quotes)

Now you will need to tell your computer you now have the files on your PC.
We do this is the registry by navigating to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Setup

You will now see various entries here on the right hand side.
The one we want is called: "SourcePath"

It probably has an entry pointing to your CD-ROM drive, and that is why it's asking for the XP CD.
All we need to do is change it to: C:\

Simply double click the SourcePath setting and a new box will pop up allowing you to make the change.

Now restart your computer and try "sfc /scannow" again!

A more comprehensive and detailed explanation can be found here:
« Last Edit: October 03, 2008, 01:21:21 AM by oldfogy »