System File Checker (SFC) is a utility in Microsoft Windows that allows users to scan for and restore corruptions in Windows system files. Microsoft ships this utility with Windows 98, Windows 2000 and all subsequent versions of the Windows NT family of operating systems. In Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 10, System File Checker is integrated with Windows Resource Protection (WRP), which protects registry keys and folders as well as critical system files. Under Windows Vista, sfc.exe can be used to check specific folder paths, including the Windows folder and the boot folder.
Windows File Protection (WFP) works by registering for notification of file changes in Winlogon. If any changes are detected to a protected system file, the modified file is restored from a cached copy located in a compressed folder at %WinDir%\System32\dllcache. Windows Resource Protection works by setting discretionary access-control lists (DACLs) and access control lists (ACLs) defined for protected resources. Permission for full access to modify WRP-protected resources is restricted to the processes using the Windows Modules Installer service (TrustedInstaller.exe). Administrators no longer have full rights to system files.