How can I retrieve core Windows files that I've deleted?

A. Although you can manually copy the files from the Windows installation media, you're probably better off using the System File Checker utility that ships with Windows 2000 and later. If you've changed your configuration since you installed Windows and your installation media is now available at another location, you'll need to perform the following steps before you run System File Checker:

  1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
  2. Navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion registry subkey.
  3. Change the Sourcepath value to point to the installation media's new location (e.g., D:\i386).
  4. Navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Setup registry subkey.
  5. If the Sourcepath value is listed, change the value here also to point to the installation media's new location.

To use System File Checker, perform the following steps:

  1. Insert the Windows CD-ROM installation media.
  2. From the Start menu, select Run.
  3. Enter
    sfc /scannow 

to start the System File Checker process and check all core files. The utility will replace any missing core files and make sure all the files are up-to-date.

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