The good

The System File Checker is a utility, part of Windows File Protection. It is tool that manually causes WFP to scan all protected files and attempt to restore them if they have been modified. It is very useful, although some would say that it is an imperfect solution for a problem that shouldn't exist in the first place.

The bad

The problem? You must be an administrator running a console session in order to use the Windows File Checker utility.

This is inanely stupid, and a perfect example of the kind of half-assed software "engineering" that MS is famous for. Write to Microsoft and tell them about some of SFC's faults:

  • Regular users can't run it. They should be allowed to do so, being prompted for administrator credentials as necessary (before repairing files). SFC is yet another reason that it is practically impossible to use Windows unless you are logged on as an admin.
  • The tool needs a decent GUI front-end, with the ability to log what files are damaged/replaced.
  • The tool also needs to be able to run in command-line mode (for instance while SSH'd into the server).
  • SFC needs to be automatable, so you can have modified/damaged files replaced automatically. Alas, like Windows Update, SFC has to be run manually.
  • It would be useful if SFC reported just which files need to be replaced. As it is, you have to consult the event viewer after the SFC run is complete.
  • SFC needs to be able to scan (and repair) multiple computers on a network.
  • (worst of all) SFC cannot be run remotely via Terminal Services/Remote Desktop/whatever the nom-du-mois of MS' rather funky remote access software is. You have to visit every computer on your network, manually logging into all of them in order to run the tool.

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