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SFC not accepting Microsoft SP3 update cd.


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#1 M332

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 03:49 PM

I have some unknown corrupted system files and SFC says the SP3 update cd I got from Microsoft is the "wrong cd" and will not replace the corrupted files. Is there a way to get SFC to accept the cd?

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#2 Allan

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 03:51 PM

I assume the installed OS is also sp3? If so, and if the cd is an XP SP3 cd you can do a repair install. Boot to the XP CD and choose the SECOND repair option. Done properly, all apps and preferences will remain intact. You'll have to go to Windows Update and re-download / install all updates after the installation is complete. Here's a detailed walk-through: http://www.geekstogo.com/forum/topic/138-how-to-repair-windows-xp/

A repair installation accomplishes the same thing as sfc /scannow and is clearly more comprehensive. But it will only work if you are currently running with service pack 3 installed.

Edited by Allan, 05 February 2011 - 03:53 PM.


#3 hamluis

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 05:30 PM

The SP3 update CD...is of no value when trying to run sfc /scannow. It's the XP install CD, which includes SP3 (if your system reflects SP3) which is required to run the sfc /scannow command.

With some problems, you can simply run the SP3 install again...and it will correct what is wrong.

Louis

#4 Allan

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 05:34 PM

Sorry - I mistook "update disk" for an "updated OS disk". Indeed, for either sfc /scannow or the repair install you need an actual XP CD

#5 M332

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 06:47 PM

SP2 was the install and I have no OS disk, only the system recovery disk which installs SP2. I recently used the system recovery disk to reinstall windows and updated with the SP3 disk today but I still have some corrupted system files.

If I buy a win7 OS disk and install that system on my computer will it work ok since I have 4gb ram? Someone told me that they think win7 requires at least 8gb.

#6 hamluis

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 07:54 PM

Well...that depends on what the problem is.

Installing a new O/S...won't overcome hardware problems.

And...if you install Win 7, it will be a clean install, so it won't have any attachment whatever to your XP install.

If you have recovery disks and they won't work properly...I guess that I would not be so sure that a clean install of Win 7 on the same hardware...would solve anything. At the minimum, I would run a diagnostic on the hard drive before assuming that I have properly determined the source of whatever problems I might have.

As for RAM...Win 7 runs fine with 4GB...I have it installed on 2 systems, each with 4GB of RAM.

Louis

#7 M332

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 09:05 PM

The hd is the same as it's always been and so is everything else according to everything that's shown.

I don't know know how system recovery works but the recovery appeared to work properly without any problems cited during the install but it did not replace some corrupted files so I'm guessing it copied corrupted files from the computer backup files to use on the replace install instead of taking them from the disk. Maybe the disk didn't have all the needed files or it didn't want to replace the sp3 files on the computer with the sp2 files from the disk?

#8 joseibarra

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 08:11 AM

Can you give us some clues as to the nature of what these corrupted files are?

If you are seeing error messages, what do you see exactly and when do you see it?

Running sfc /scannow only checks for missing or corrupted files in the following folder:

%Systemroot%\system32\dllcache

There are 3498 files that the System File Checker looks after for you.

Running sfc /scannow will not update any missing or corrupted file in any other folders - especially not %Systemroot%\system or %Systemroot%\system32

I know that is hard to believe sometimes, but I can describe a method to confirm and see for yourself what it really does and what it absolutely does not do.

Unless it is your desire to verify/update your dllcache folder, running sfc /scannow is a waste of time, however if you have all the right parts and pieces, it should work (and hopefully find nothing to do when you run it) and you can make it work and it "feels good" when it works, but it is generally not going to be something that will help you with system problems - unless your dllcache folder needs updating.

Edited by joseibarra, 06 February 2011 - 08:14 AM.

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#9 hamluis

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 10:20 AM

Hi, Jose :).

I just read your post and I think that you omitted some pertinent info.

In the first place, you are correct when sfc /scannow is run...minus the XP CD.

That is why the command prompts for the XP CD...when system files need to be replaced. Those files can only be replaced from the Windows CD, if they truly are missing or damaged...since there is no store of a complete backup of all Windows system files...stored on the hard drive of the Windows install.

However, I don't believe that those who suggest running the sfc /scannow command...intend for it to be run minus the XP CD. Since the cache of system files is on the CD, running it minus the CD leads to a situation which you have described.

That may seem like a minor point to you...but I believe it is major in determining the efficacy of the sfc /scannow command :). The value of the command does not...and, IMO, has seldom been construed to reside in its ability...to function properly without an XP install CD, which contains the files needed to replace any missing/damaged system files.

http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/xpperformance/thread/ae835ec5-9867-4592-9bc3-2c87f96040bb , see comments by Rob Brown.

I understand the some users may think that the command is useful without the XP CD...but I believe that they are in the minority of users and they do not understand at all...just why the command prompts for the XP CD.

Reminds me of those users who state that they need to install Windows...but they have neither media nor the ability to invoke a restore mechanism. It's not going to happen. System files (aside from the few you focused on) cannot be replaced...without the XP CD.

Anyone running the command...ought to realize this, as they watch the screens/progress.

Louis

Apologies to all for being somewhat off-topic re this thread, but I felt that this is a significant point that needed clarification for all those who have any need to ever employ the sfc /scannow command.

Edited by hamluis, 06 February 2011 - 10:26 AM.


#10 M332

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 01:31 PM

Thanks for the explanations.

My problems are:

1. A system cache leak as described in a previous post: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic306958.html

2. System restore does not restore back to previous save points although it is enabled.

3. A file delete & drive stop issue where the files/drives can not be deleted/stopped because the computer thinks they are currently in use when they are not. The only way around those issues is to restart the computer then I can delete the files and shut the drives off. I posted about the drives issue here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic377759.html

#11 joseibarra

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 03:43 PM

Understood :)

If you have some unknown or corrupted system files in the dllcache folder, then sfc /scannow is the thing for you. If XP is complaining about some other corrupted system files, sfc /scannow will not help you.

Most of the time when somebody just says "try sfc /scannow" they never say, forget to say, don't know themselves, or leave out the part that says you will probably need your Windows CD. Since most people either have never seen a Windows CD or the one they have does not match their installation, they will usually not get far with that idea.

Of course I just copied my XP SP3 CD to an external drive and told SFC to look there, so I never need a CD (with all the fooling around we do, this saves time),

Then the person with the problem comes back frustrated (almost every time) and says "It keeps asking me for my CD and I don't have one, or I put in my CD and it still keeps asking me!" Notice the repeatable pattern of messages when it comes up. Well, you should have mentioned that little detail in the first place before suggesting it! Then starts the slipstreaming diversion, blah, blah, blah (there is no blah, blah, blah emoticon or I would use it :lol: ).

It is annoying to see someone have a problem, and a well intended helper just says "try running sfc /scannow". It is frustrating because I know what is going to happen next and that is going to be: "It keeps asking me for a CD...". If you reproduce the problem and then run sfc /acannow you will still have the problem. But, in all fairness, I used to suggest it too, which meant I have no idea what the problem is.

For me, I always think that the poster has never see a genuine bootable XP installation CD in their life and can't produce one, so I would never suggest running sfc /scannow in the first place since 99 times out of 100, they will come back and say they have a problem. The other 1% is covered by the "it only looks after the dllcache folder". I used to suggest it though, as sort of a general purpose thing to do - before I knew what I know now.

Then I learned and can demonstrate (as you read) that even if you have an XP installation CD that matches your installation, sfc /scannow will not replace any file in any other folder besides %Systemroot%\system32\dllcache, and that is not where XP gets files it needs to run. Delete or corrupt them all and XP will still run fine.

Since that is not where XP is looking for files when it is running (except Windows File Protection), running sfc /scannow will not solve any problem involving missing or corrupted file in other folders (unless the dllcache folder needs attention), so it is a waste of time even when it does "work".

I started that thread with the Rob Brown reply (you already know that), and if Rob thinks sfc /scannow will replace any files in any other folder than dllcache, we need to talk and he needs to run that example I provided. If he suggests it as "part of a solution", it is a waste of time part of a non solution and he will shortly be hearing back from whoever he suggested to to that there is a new problem.

I cannot recall a time when even running sfc /scannow successfully resolved a problem. It is always: didn't help, no change, same problem, still doesn't work.

You can read my comments there too and see that even if sfc /scannow does run completely, you will still end up having missing or corrupted system files (even the lowly Task Manager) and it won't fix even a simple missing file problem - unless the problem is in the dllcache folder.

Why suggest something that will just be a frustrating waste of time and will not resolve the problem?

I admit that I used to suggest it a lot, then I got tired of it since nobody seems to have a CD and it doesn't update any files XP needs when it is running, so I sat down to figure out for myself what it really does and doesn't do.

Empty or corrupt your dllcache folder and XP will still run just fine. Run sfc /scannow and it will repopulate your dllcache folder, but that is all it will do.

Yes we are off topic and I talk too much, but it makes my skin crawl to see someone trying to use sfc /scannow to solve a problem that sfc /scannow will not solve, and I'm trying to be helpful by expediting problem resolution with reduced message cycles :grinner:

As always, it is enjoyable to talk to you hamluis :bowdown:

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates.


#12 M332

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 04:51 PM

Thanks Jose. I'll see if I can get around to upgrading to win7 in the near future and be done with it.

#13 M332

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 04:56 PM

Well...that depends on what the problem is.

Installing a new O/S...won't overcome hardware problems............


Btw even though I believe there is nothing wrong with my hardware, just to know for certain is there any site or program that will check my computer hardware for any hidden problems that are not showing up on the computer like a mb flaw that could be causing the cache leak ect?

#14 hamluis

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 05:43 PM

No :).

Each piece of hardware is manufactured by a different company. Some of them have functionality checks, some do not.

The variety of components..and the nature of the components...precludes the use of a program which will test everything that can possibly go wrong.

Example...each major hard drive manufacturer has developed a utility to check the functionality of their products. But those diagnostics do not necessarily work properly on drives manufactured by a different entity.

The hard drive is only one of about 6/7 key components: PSU, motherboard, hard drive, optical drive, RAM modules, CPU, audio/video components. In addition to these, any of the cables or connectors may contribute to system problems (usually the connectors are loose, but can just be damaged/in need of replacement). In addition, there is the CMOS battery, an item worth less than $5, which can cause unusual problems when needing replacement.

I know of no possible test to check all hardware items. If the system works properly, a user has no hardware concerns. But when problems occur, it has to be O/S, software, hardware, or malware. Narrowing it down and finding just what is wrong...is not easy, it's not quick...but it can be done.

Louis




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