Tip: Check for and Repair Damaged System Files while Windows is Running

If you receive an error message that indicates there is a damaged system file while you are running Windows, try running the command-line utility Sfc. Note that you need an account with administrative privileges (or access to elevated credentials) to do this.

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Simply open the Start menu, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and choose Run As Admin┬Čistrator. Respond to the User Account Control prompt. Then, at the Command Prompt, type sfc /scannow.

The utility will scan your system files and attempt to repair any damage that it finds. Note that it might ask you for the Windows 7 distribution media in order to carry out these repairs.

From the Microsoft Press book Windows 7 Inside Out by Ed Bott, Carl Siechert, and Craig Stinson.

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