SFCFix comes to the rescue when SFC /Scannow cannot repair Windows file corruption

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 6, 2015
Updated • Dec 16, 2016

One elegant option to deal with file corruption on a Windows system is to run the SFC /scannow command on the machine running the operating system.

SFC, which stands for System File Checker, scans all protected system files for corruption and attempts to repair it by copying a cached copy of each corrupted file from the system32\dllcache folder.

This works sometimes but not all of the time. For instance, if the cached copy is corrupted as well, then it won't succeed.

A message like "Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them" highlights the issue.

That's where the free program SFCFix comes into play. It parses the CBS.log file that the sfc /scannow command creates for corrupt files to repair them. The application itself is portable and compatible with all recent versions of Windows.

The website of the program does not reveal much about how the program achieves that and how it differs, only that it "uses advanced algorithmic searches to find and replace corrupt/missing system files". On another web page, it is revealed that it is using file hashes.

Update: The program website is no longer available. We have uploaded the latest working version of SFCFix to our server. You can download it with a click on the following link: SFCFix Please note that we don't support the program in any way.

The program is easy to use, but you may want to be cautious about it nevertheless. First of all, you need to be sure that there is no malware on the system if the source of the corruption was a malware attack.

Second, you may want to create a system backup just in case so that you can restore the current version of Windows in case something goes wrong along the way.

Before you run SFCFix, run sfc /scannow as it uses the information of the log that the process creates.

  1. Tap on the Windows-key, type cmd.exe, right-click on the result and select "run as administrator" to open an elevated command prompt.
  2. Type sfc /scannow and hit enter.
  3. The process checks all protected system files for corruption and attempts to repair any files that are corrupted.

Once the process has run its course, run SFCFix on the system.

A full scan may take anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 minutes depending on several factors. The program informs you if the scan will take longer than the projected 15 minutes so that you know how long you have to wait approximately.

The program opens a notepad document after the scan listing the results of the scan. It reveals the full path of each corrupt file and whether it was fixed or repaired successfully by SFCFix.

Closing Words

Considering that it is not clear how it repairs corrupt files, it is suggested to take precautions before running it on a machine running Windows. The program may help you resolve file corruption errors that Windows itself cannot repair.

SFCFix comes to the rescue when SFC /Scannow cannot repair Windows file corruption
Article Name
SFCFix comes to the rescue when SFC /Scannow cannot repair Windows file corruption
SFC Fix is a free program for all supported versions of Windows that attempts to repair file corruptions that the SFC scan of Windows can't fix.
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  1. daryl suther said on January 16, 2024 at 1:33 pm

    i cant figure out how to use sfcfix from win10 recovery console. is that possible?

  2. Sam said on June 12, 2023 at 11:29 pm

    How to use this if my SSD with Win 10 wouldn’t boot? Can this SFCfix be used on an external drive, damaged SSD in enclosure or burn to USB?

  3. John said on July 17, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    Trying to rescue a client’s bad Windows 7 hard drive (someone said anyone using a hard drive deserves failure, I can only say that 90% of PCs are still using hard drives, and that guy should get off his high horse).
    Ran chkdsk /r
    Cloned hard drive using Clonezilla because it will handle bad sectors (took about 30+ hours).
    Cloned that error-free drive onto an SSD using Macrium Reflect.
    Installed SSD
    Repaired the startup files.
    Booted from SSD – OK
    ran sfc/scannow
    Some files could not be repaired.
    Ran sfcfix
    found 14 corrupted files. Could not connect to the server. Asked for a Windows install disk (provided).
    Only repaired two files, listed four more that are corrupt, total does not add up to 14 files.
    Not impressed.

    Note, DISM will not work in Windows 7 using the online option (there is no such option in Windows 7).

    I have run apps from Windows, Safe Mode and from a command prompt from the repair disk. Nothing works. I just can’t imagine why, in the 21st century, it’s so hard to scan the operating system, find corrupt files and replace them either from the disk or from an on-line source.

    Might as well go back to stone knives and bear skins.

    1. AJ North said on July 17, 2018 at 9:42 pm

      Hello John,

      If you have a Win 7 installation disc (or an ISO), then you could try performing a “repair installation” (which should retain all files & settings; of course, all updates will need to be reinstalled): https://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3413-repair-install.html .

      (Also please see this recent article by Tim Fisher https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-perform-a-startup-repair-in-windows-7-2626170 .)

      I hope that this proves to be useful; good luck.



      1. John said on July 18, 2018 at 4:19 pm

        Thanks for the reply.

        I am aware of the startup repair capabilities for both Windows 7 and 10, but thanks for the link.

        I did end up doing a repair install yesterday. The system seems to be working fine now. It’s still perplexing that we can’t seem to have a scanner that will identify corrupt files and replace them. I wouldn’t have thought this would be difficult to do. Replacement files should be available from Microsoft online, or from the install disk. The scanner should be able to identify the files, download them or ask for the client to insert the install disk, and then reboot to replace those files.

        I don’t understand why this is so difficult. In fact, I’m surprised the repair disk doesn’t have this exact feature.

  4. Anonymous said on June 5, 2018 at 8:37 pm


    ” you need to be sure that there is no malware on the system if the source of the corruption was a malware attack ”

    Does this mean that the computer must be first disinfected of malware before repairing with the tool or that the tool is not intended to fix issues that were caused by a malware attack ?

    Thank you in advance Mr. Brinkmann

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 5, 2018 at 9:23 pm

      The main issue with malware is that it may cause the same issue over and over again if it is not removed. While you may use the tool to restore files, it may not do you any good if the malware is still running on the system.

      So, first clean the system, then run sfcnow.

  5. 13 said on April 13, 2018 at 11:48 pm

    It was worth a shot. It could not repair some 50+ files that got corrupted because of a bad windows update freeze up during a large 150+ “important” files update. I swear they do that shit on purpose to make you get Win10. Not.Going.To.Happen. I’m going to restage this bitch and get it running even if it kills me and then cutting off windows update.

  6. Anonymous said on January 28, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    The program and the forum are still live and kicking
    Sysnative. com the tool can be found in the Sticky for Windows Updates

    And yes it runs on W10

  7. Shua Li said on December 15, 2016 at 12:24 am

    Just so you know, SFCFix and the website it was originally hosted on are both alive and well. It is currently on version, newer than the version you have archived here.

    Original download file:

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 15, 2016 at 8:04 pm

      Thanks. Do you have by chance a link to the page where it is hosted on, and maybe updated?

      1. Shua Li said on December 21, 2016 at 12:36 pm

        Yes, it’s located in a locked thread by niemiro in the Windows Update forum on sysnative.com:


        The thread is 4 years old now, but the download link always points to the most recent version.

      2. AJ North said on December 16, 2016 at 3:38 am

        Hello Martin,

        The link above is at https://www.sysnative.com/blogs/ (if not also at additional pages of their site).

        MajorGeeks also list SFCFix (and presumably maintain the most current version): http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/sfcfix.html .

        Best wishes for a safe & happy holiday — and new year!



  8. EdT said on August 27, 2016 at 3:29 am

    Running sfc in safe mode, lets it work.

  9. Parean said on March 16, 2016 at 11:33 am

    If windows can’t boot, you can run SFC from Windows Recovery Console:

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

    Extracted from: http://www.sysadmit.com/2016/03/windows-reparar-archivos-del-sistema.html

  10. Dwight Stegall said on March 10, 2016 at 9:59 am

    This thing is really great. I ran sfc /scannow and it didn’t fix my files. SFCFIX fixed everyone of them.

  11. PhoneyVirus said on December 11, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Just put the Windows 10 disc into the optical bay drive and boot from it click Repair, system don`t start after that, nuke it from orbit and start doing some heavy writing to the drive, BSOD the drive is failing and that means NO strip bar for this weekend enjoy.

    1. Dave Johnson said on November 6, 2017 at 7:15 am

      Old as hell article ;but this guys reply is beyond short bus rider status.
      BSOD is 99.9% not your hard drive failing, SMART if enabled and in most cases is by default
      will keep you informed if your HDD is failing (if you’re still using mechanical HDD for your OS or at all really as SSD drives and hybrids are super cheap these days then you deserve HDD failure IMO).
      BSOD in most cases is either a memory leak or failing RAM or ram slot or Pagefile too small issue.
      If you’re getting fault in non-paged area or similar it is for sure either memory as in ram memory leak,ram or pagefile issue.
      First try:
      Increase your pagefile ,right click computer on Pre-windows 8/10 or ThisPC on Win 8/10
      Advanced system settings
      Performance options
      Virtual Memory
      See what the recommended size is
      select custom size and increase it it 1000MB over the recommended size put the min at 10 mb over recommended size click set then ok and reboot.
      If you get BSOD again then it’s a ram error and you can remove sticks one at a time and switch out the last one left if you still get it with the other sticks removed.
      Then add sticks until your stable leaving out the stick that was in the first slot.
      If all else fails give your computer away and get an Android box

  12. psc said on November 29, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    It is also not clear the where to download this sfcfix program. The link given seem to point to a highjacked website.

  13. Declan said on November 7, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    A couple of weeks ago I was trying to manually handle the mess of Windows updates that MS has tossed at us. I got the good ones installed and the bad ones off. Every thing was working fine. Then I decided that while I was in the mood, I would go through my monthly routine of cleaning & defragging in preparation for my monthly clone. I decided to check for updates one last time, and BAM, it couldn’t connect and check for updates. I checked everything from network connection to malware to system restore. I spent almost a whole day researching the web for other’s comments on the same issue (gosh there were a lot) and solutions that didn’t work. I tried them all, including sfc/scannow….nothing.

    Then on some website run by a kid in Ontario I saw the comment on SFCFix.exe. What the heck, so I tried it also. BINGO. It worked. I don’t know what it did, or how it did it, but it worked. So, I uninstalled all the updates I added the day before and started over, now with a clean, working system. One by one I added and then checked each of the updates. I found the culprit … kb3083710. It updates the WindowsUpdate client and replaces files for several other updates. Somehow that update, which is not necessary, BTW, corrupted the update client and I needed to return it to a working state before I could continue connecting and downloading new updates. It was kb3083710 that was preventing that connection.

    Well, there’s a lot more to the story, and I’d be happy to share it with anyone who needs help if they’re having a similar problem, but I simply wanted to let the readers know that SFCFix.exe worked when nothing else would. I have absolutely nothing to do with that little gem, I wanted to say that so it was clear I wasn’t pushing something for my benefit. I just wanted to tell a story. Indeed, this is a little known tool that worked wonders for me and it might help solve other people’s problems that MS has caused with it’s forced updates. Thanks, Martin, your mention of it should help a lot of people fix file corruption issues.

    1. Tom said on November 14, 2015 at 8:38 pm

      Excellent article, Martin. I ran SFC today and it reported problems it could not fix. I will give SFCFix a whirl tomorrow.

      Thanks to Declan for a well written response delineating his update problems ( why can’t MS get it right 1st time !!) and the SFCFix solution.

      Just remembered why MS screws up Windows. Because the new CEO fired a couple of thousand programmers and software testing engineers !

  14. George said on November 7, 2015 at 11:41 am

    Thanks, I’m sure this will come in handy at some point. On Windows 10, seems to me the sfc /scannow command has a higher success rate than previous Windows versions.

  15. Flux said on November 6, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    It uses dism to repair the system. Very nearly the same results can be achieved by running dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
    Although SFCfix does a bit more with dism. It uses the most appropriate method of repair based on the Cbs log, not just one command every time.

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