The System File Checker (SFC) utility is a built-in Windows tool that helps users scan and repair corrupted or missing system files. Whenever you feel Windows 11 slow, not responding or apps fails to open running the SFC utility is a good starting point. The tool scans your computer’s protected system files and replaces any incorrect versions with the correct ones from the Windows component store. However, sometimes you may encounter issues where the “sfc /scannow” command fails to work as expected in Windows 11. Users report, “windows resource protection could not start the repair service“ error message is displayed while running the SFC utility.
Why is SFC scannow not working?
Did you get the Windows resource protection Could not start the repair service error? This error usually occurs if the Trusted Installer or the Windows Module Installer service is not Running or Stopped Responding. This service has full access to Windows Resource Protection files and registry keys and needs to be running in order to restore missing or corrupted system files. Again Insufficient Permissions, Third-Party Software Conflicts or errors on your computer’s hard drive or storage device cause SFC Scannow Not Working in Windows 11.
Restart the Windows Module Installer service and run the sfc command with administrative privileges probably fix the problem and allow the sfc scan to complete. Sometimes you need to run the SFC scan in Safe Mode to get past this issue.
Run the SFC command as Administrator
Executing the SFC command requires administrative privileges to make changes on system files and perform repairs.
- Press the Windows key + S and type cmd, right-click on the command prompt select run as administrator,
- Now type the system file checker command sfc /scannow and press enter key to execute.
- Check if the scanning started, let it complete 100%
Restart Windows Module Installer Service
The Windows Module Installer (trustedinstaller) service is responsible for installing, modifying, and removing Windows updates, as well as optional components and system files. And the SFC utility uses the Windows Module Installer service to check the integrity of system files and repair any corrupted or missing files it encounters. If the Windows Module Installer service is not functioning correctly or has stopped, it can affect the operation of the “sfc /scannow” command. Mostly restarting the service can help resolve any issues or conflicts that may be preventing the SFC utility from working properly.
- Press Windows key + R, type “services.msc” and press Enter to open the Services console.
- Scroll down to locate the “Windows Module Installer” or “trustedinstaller” service.
- Right-click on the service and select “Restart” from the context menu.
- If the service not running, right-click on it select properties, change the startup type automatic and start the service next to service status.
- Wait for the service to restart, click apply and ok to save changes.
- Now open the command prompt as administrator and run the sfc /scannow command on Windows 11.
Checking Windows Update
Outdated system files can cause conflicts when running the SFC utility. Installing the latest updates provides a more stable and reliable environment for the SFC command to function properly.
- Press Windows key + X and select settings
- Go to windows update and hit Check for updates
- If Windows updates are pending there, allow them to download and install on your computer
- Once done reboot your computer to apply the changes.
Running SFC in Safe Mode
Running the SFC utility in Safe Mode allows for a more thorough scan since it only loads essential services and drivers. By eliminating potential conflicts from third-party software or drivers, you can increase the chances of successfully repairing the system files.
- Hold the Shift key on the keyboard and reboot Windows 11
- When your PC restarts, choose Troubleshoot > Advanced options
- Select the Startup Settings then restart and press F4 to start your computer in safe mode.
Running DISM Command
The Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool can help repair system files that the SFC utility may not be able to fix. By using the DISM command, you can restore the health of the Windows image and resolve any underlying issues that may be impacting the SFC utility.
- Press Windows key + S, type cmd, and select run as administrator,
- Now run the command DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
- The above command Scans Windows image for issues and attempts to repair any found problems using Windows Update as a source.
Disabling Antivirus and Firewall
Disabling third-party antivirus software and the Windows Firewall temporarily can help prevent any interference with the SFC process. These security applications sometimes misinterpret the SFC utility as a threat or block its access to system files, hindering its ability to repair them.
In addition, If there are errors on your computer’s hard drive or storage device, such as bad sectors or file system corruption, it can impact the ability of the SFC utility to scan and repair system files. Run CHKDSK command to repair disk drive errors on Windows 11.
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