March 10, 2003, 12:00 AM — Windows File Protection (WFP) is a service that constantly monitors
protected system files in a Windows 2000/XP or Windows Server 2003
environment. If an application or user inadvertently attempts to replace
a protected system file, WFP is activated to prevent it from occurring.
WFP captures the attempt and then looks inside of its cache of protected
system files to find the approved version of the file.
WFP protects all .sys, .exe, .dll, and .ocx files that ship with Windows
2000/XP or are upgraded as part of a system update and/or service pack
released by Microsoft. The protected file will be replaced by the file
stored in the DLLCache folder, CD-ROM, or a network share.
To take control of the WFP service, you can run the System File Checker
(sfc.exe) utility. The SFC utility is part of the Windows 2000/XP and
Server 2003 platform and must be used in conjunction with the Windows
File Protection service. This command line utility allows you to scan
your system files, update your protected system files, and update the
For example, to force a scan, you can run the following command:
This will cause SFC to scan all of your files immediately and prompt you
to update any files that it finds that do not match the ones that SFC
expects to find.
If you want SFC to scan the system every time you reboot, then you would
use the following command:
Now SFC will run every time you reboot your machine. If you don