Top 4 Methods for Fixing Corrupted System Files on Windows 10

Dec. 09, 2019 / Updated by Bessie Shaw to Windows 10

When something goes wrong with your computer it can spell disaster. Whether it’s family photos, important work files or an entire research project, losing anything or having your computer fall to bits is a sure way to ruin your day and make you permanently remain suspicious of technology. However, you should always try and stay positive when something does go wrong, since there is likely a solution to whatever problem it is that you face.

One such problem that can present as dramatic and apocalyptic is “corrupted system files”, an error which has a thousand different faces, since corrupted files can do all sorts of strange things to your system, from blue screen to instability issues. Luckily, there are a few ways to get yourself out of this hole on Windows 10. So, let’s jump in to what those might be.

Method 1. Restore Your System

Using the system restore is a bit of safety net that will help you out pretty much regardless of what’s gone wrong with your computer, but especially if you have a corrupted file somewhere causing real problems. The way it works is by allowing you to restore your system to a previous state. The way you do it is simple. Please follow the steps in this post: How to Use System Restore to Fix Windows 10 Issues.

Method 2. Run the SFC (System File Checker) Command

The SFC tool is a good resource if you’ve got some degree of uncertainty about what is actually wrong with your set up. It scans your computer and assesses what’s going on. Then applies its own fix for the situation straight away. To get it up and running, you need to do as follows:

Step 1. Right click on the Start button and select Windows PowerShell (Admin).

Step 2. Type the “sfc /scannow” command into Windows PowerShell, and hit the Enter key to run the command.

This will start the process for you. It will take some time to do that and you need to wait until the process is finished. If there are no corrupted files, it’ll tell you. If there are then it will replace them with a cached copy located in a compressed folder.

You can check out this post for more details: How to Fix Corrupted System Files with SFC /scannow in Windows.

Method 3. Run the DISM Tool

If the SFC scan doesn’t fix the issue or for some reason can’t be completed, you need to look elsewhere for help. In this case, the DISM tool is a good back up route for you to take. It’s a command line tool that repairs files. Take these steps to access it:

Step 1. Right click on the Start button and select Windows PowerShell (Admin).

Step 2. Type the following command into Windows PowerShell, and hit Enter to run it:

  • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

It will take several minutes to complete the repair. Please be patient. Finally, remember to restart your PC when the process is completed.

The above command relies on the Windows Update service to get the online image for restoration. If the Windows Update service isn’t working, the command cannot be completed properly.

In this case, you need to add an additional “/ Source:” to specify the local file used for repair. Use this command instead:

  • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:C:\RepairSource\Windows /LimitAccess

Note: You need to replace “C:\RepairSource\Windows” in the command with your own local mirror path.

Method 4. Reset Windows 10

This is something of a last-ditch effort and it will result in big changes to your computer. In the process of doing the reset, you will lose all your installed programs and saved files. Therefore, your first step is to work out some sort of a backup for your most important files.

Then you need to enter the Safe Mode. Once you’re in the console, choose Troubleshoot and then Reset this PC. There will be two options: Keep your files or Remove everything. It’s self-explanatory. The first option will keep files and settings after the reset while the second one won’t. Choose what you want and move on. If you need Windows 10 installation media, be sure to have it on a drive in advance. Once you’re through all of that, select your version of Windows and click Reset. Follow the instructions and you will complete the process.

Conclusion

It’s never fun having a corrupted file on your computer. Hopefully, the methods listed in this post will give you some relief from your woes. Please Remember that nothing is foolproof, but there’s almost always another option available to you. To get more solutions to other computer issues like high CPU usage, no WiFi, no audio output device is installed, and more, please visit the Resource section on this site.


This post is contributed by Aimee Laurence who has worked in tech journalism and marketing for the past 3 years at Academic Writing Service and UKWritings. She works mainly on PC and Mac solutions for average users. She also works as a freelance editor at the Boomessays.com portal.

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