f you have encountered an error “Windows Resource Protection could not perform the requested operation” while trying to run an SFC scan, this article is for you.

A System File Checker (SFC) scan is a built-in utility that comes with Windows that allows you to fix corrupted system files to make your OS function normally again. However, what do you do when you find a problem with the SFC scan itself? Are there tools to repair that?

There may not be any tools to repair the SFC utility, but there are other ways to fix it nonetheless. Continue reading to learn more about the System File Checker scan and what you can do if you encounter an error message while trying to execute it.

What is System File Checker (SFC) scan and how it works

Windows 10 comes with a built-in tool to fix system files that may have been corrupted. This tool is the System File Checker (SFC) which automatically repairs corrupted system files that may be redundantly available on your PC. Note that it cannot fix files that are not redundantly available.

This tool is run in the Command Prompt that scans your computer for any files that may be corrupted or missing from where they should be. It then fixes/places those files by overwriting them with the ones that may be redundantly available on your own PC, hence allowing your operating system to function normally.

Why this error occurs

The exact reason why the command line throws the error message “Windows Resource Protection could not perform the requested operation” is still unknown. However, there are a few dependencies for the SFC scan that need to be ensured in order for the scan to successfully execute.

This is discussed further in the article on how you can fix the System File Checker utility so that the same error message can be avoided.

Fix “Windows Resource Protection could not perform the requested operation”

Run the SFC scan in safe mode

Windows has a safe mode where you can easily troubleshoot any problems encountered with the normal functionality of the OS. It is also a great place to run the SFC scan in case any other programs or apps were blocking it from running.

To run the SFC scan in safe mode, open the System Configuration window by typing in msconfig in Run. From there, switch to the Boot tab, check the box next to Safe mode, and select Minimal underneath it. Click on Apply and Ok.

safe mode

When prompted to reboot, select Restart. Your PC will now reboot into safe mode automatically. When it does, open up the Command Prompt and try rerunning the sfc /scannow command.

Execute the CHKDSK utility

Like SFC, CHKDSK is another command-line utility that scans for any bad sectors on the hard drive. In this case, you may check the hard drive for any bad sectors that may have critical system files on them, resulting in the SFC being unable to run.

To perform the test, launch the Command Prompt with administrative privileges, and type in the following:

Chkdsk C: /f /r /x

You will then be asked whether you want to perform the test the next time the computer boots up. Enter Y for yes.

chkdsk 1

Now reboot your computer and it will automatically perform a scan on your storage drive. Note that the scan can take some time to complete, in some cases, hours. Please allow the scan ample time to complete.

Change security settings for WinSXS folder

Another reason for encountering the said problem could be that the SFC scan is unable to access the WinSXS folder in the system partition. The WinSXS folder contains most of the critical system files as well as the OS updates that are installed. If the SFC scan cannot access it, it will result in an error message “Windows Resource Protection could not perform the requested operation.”

Therefore, you need to modify the security settings for this folder so that it could be accessed by the utility. To do so, launch the Command Prompt with administrative privileges and enter the following command:

ICACLS C:\Windows\winsxs
cmd

Once done, restart the computer and try rerunning the sfc /scannow command.

Enable Windows Module Installer service

The error can also occur if the Windows Module Installer service isn’t running on your device. This service is used by the TrustedInstaller user account for installation, modification, and removal of Windows updates and its optional components.

To enable this service, launch the Command prompt with administrative privileges and run the following command:

net start trustedinstaller
net start trustedinstaller

Once the service is successfully run again, rerun the SFC scan and check if the problem still persists.

Closing words

The SFC scan can be a critical tool to ensure the stable functioning of a Windows OS. However, when this tool cannot function properly, your OS can be in danger as it loses its ability to repair itself.

If you are encountering issues with the OS which the System File Checker cannot fix, then we suggest you try to update it through Windows Update. If that does not work either, and you are also unable to fix the SFC utility, then we regretfully suggest that you either repair your OS or perform a fresh installation.

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