"sfc /scannow" doesn't run

barleysinger

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Sep 27, 2013
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My XP PRO SP3 machine tends to slow down, and I get issues with explorer.

Here is the "winver" information :

Microsoft Windows
Version 5.1 , build 2600.xpsp_sp3_qfe.130704-1421 :Service Pack 3

With the PC acting odd (slowing down, occasionally freezing for a bit) I have scanned for malware, adware, virus issues (including root kits) "to death and beyond". I even got some help at BLEEPINGCOMPUTER. No dice. I wanted to make sure all my system files were good, and "sfc" is a good starting point.

At first I got an error message because the RPC service wasn't 'available' (here is it) :

--------- begin
C:\WINDOWS>sfc /scannow
Windows File Protection could not initiate a scan of protected system files.

The specific error code is 0x000006ba [The RPC server is unavailable.
].

C:\WINDOWS>

--------- end

I fixed that. The service was set to "manual" (thank you Microsoft for leaving services set up in useless ways).

After fixing that error, I got a new error (and yes I am doing this as admin). Here is the error:

------- begin ---------------------------
C:\>sfc /scannow
Windows File Protection could not initiate a scan of protected system files.

The specific error code is 0x000004dd [The operation being requested was not per
formed because the user has not logged on to the network.
The specified service does not exist.
].

C:\>
------- end ---------------------------


*** WHICH*** "specified service does not exist." ???

Incidentally, I have searched online and other people *have* had this issue - but none of their questions have been resolved. This remains a mystery. The error message dos not say anything useful.

*** SFC ANNOYANCES **

This whole "sfc" issue and the fact that there are no official tools that KNOW about system dependencies in a way that honors all of your OS updates, really ticks me off. It is an ongoing problem with MicroSlop operating systems.

It completely escapes me as to WHY Microsoft has ever made any OS, that is not intelligent enough to know which files are needed for which other programs, services, dlls (etc)....and how you must have your services set up for normal function. This is a serious "no brainer" as a basic necessity.

When you install parts of the OS (pick one of them) the default setting for the services are WRONG. For instance if you want to add in uPnp support, after you do so you must MANUALLY go in and change the settings on your services...why? DO they think you wanted it ABLE to run but you did not ever want it to REALLY RUN?

*** WHY NO SMART APPLICATIONS? ***

The OS also does not have a program that makes certain that all the service dependencies (and dll/ocx dependencies) are all sorted out - with proper versions installed and in the right places. If they did then RPC would not be set to MANUAL by default...and there would be an OS application that did all of this for you.

This is the SENSIBLE thing to do.

They also don't warn "tampering users" they are about to delete a resource that has dependencies. You ought to get a warning : "DEPENDENCY WARNING - "widget A" can't run without the presence of "thing B" so it's deletion will cause problems". That sort of info is WHY there is a registry.

Also *NOBODY* seems to have an application (one that isn't a scam) that fixes these sorts of "service settings", "service dependency" and "system resource dependency" issues - and does it all for you. The user should never have to know this much about the OS to get it to run. I don't need to know what a differential is, how it works & how to fic it - just to drive my car.

Even "sfc" is seriously flawed. It doesn't honor the existence of "Service packs", or other official updates. You can wind up crippling your machine by using it, and getting a bunch of seriously deprecated system resources that are incompatible with parts of your OS (ie, you HAD "Service pack 3" and about 15 "Microsoft Knowledge Base" installs on your machine, with half a dozen "Security Packs" - then you ran "sfc /scannow" and have roughly HALF of "Service Pack 3", none of the security pack updates function anymore, and you have a seriously unstable system.




-------end

running so I fixed that.

After fixing that error, I got a new error (and yes I am doing this as admin). Here is the error:

------- begin ---------------------------
C:\>sfc /scannow
Windows File Protection could not initiate a scan of protected system files.

The specific error code is 0x000004dd [The operation being requested was not per
formed because the user has not logged on to the network.
The specified service does not exist.
].

C:\>
------- end ---------------------------


*** WHAT "specified service" does not exist? When RPC was the issue the error message told me the *name* of the service

So I went looking one, for where one person has an issue - many other have too. Having searched online, I did indeed find that a few other people *have* had this issue. No useful suggestion existed on those sites (ie not one of the people found an answer)


This whole "sfc" issue and the fact that there are no official tools that KNOW about system dependencies in a way that honors all of your OS updates, really ticks me off. It is an ongoing problem with MicroSlop operating systems.

It completely escapes me as to WHY Microsoft has ever made any OS, that is not intelligent enough to know which files are needed for which other programs, services, dlls (etc)....and how you must have your services set up for normal function. This is a serious "no brainer" as a basic necessity.

When you install parts of the OS (pick one of them) the default setting for the services are WRONG. For instance if you want to add in uPnp support, after you do so you must MANUALLY go in and change the settings on your services...why? DO they think you wanted it ABLE to run but you did not ever want it to REALLY RUN?

The OS also does not have a program that makes certain that all the service dependencies (and dll/ocx dependencies) are all sorted out - with proper versions installed and in the right places. If they did then RPC would not be set to MANUAL by default...and there would be an OS application that did all of this for you.

This is the SENSIBLE thing to do.

They also don't warn "tampering users" they are about to delete a resource that has dependencies. You ought to get a warning : "DEPENDENCY WARNING - "widget A" can't run without the presence of "thing B" so it's deletion will cause problems". That sort of info is WHY there is a registry.

Also *NOBODY* seems to have an application (one that isn't a scam) that fixes these sorts of "service settings", "service dependency" and "system resource dependency" issues, so that your OS runs properly. The user should never have to know this much about the OS to get it to run. I don't need to know what a differential is, how it works & how to fix or install one - just to drive my car. When i buy my car they do not give me a differntial that isn't hooked into the transmission (but microsoft does the equivalent).

Even "sfc" is seriously flawed. It doesn't honor the existence of official changes to the OS, like "Service packs", "Security Updates", Knowledge Base downloads, and such. These things are needed for the machine to work, yet "sfc" acts like they are invisible. It uses on your original OS cabs, or your install disk. This means that using it can wind up crippling your machine, with "sfc" lodaing a bunch of seriously deprecated system resources over the top of your CORRECT ones. That leaves once part of your OS incompatible with another (ie, you HAD "Service pack 3" and about 15 "Microsoft Knowledge Base" installs on your machine, with half a dozen "Security Packs" - then you ran "sfc /scannow" and now you have 'unknown fragments' of these left behind. You can wind up having a seriously unstable system.


I want a better answer; an application that knows about the inter-dependencies of the OS, makes certain all of your services are installed and in the right 'run states', and which also makes sure you have the right versions of all of the system files based on what YOU installed.
 

Saga Lout

Titan
Moderator
I'm not sure where sMc comes into it but are you running the sfc /scannow command from an XP CD in Repair mode? If not, the possibility is it can't run while the system is in use. Using the CD means the system is inactive and might have a better chance of running. It might also help if the protected system files and folders are unhidden in the Tools>Folder Options>View menu before you restart and boot from a CD.
 

barleysinger

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Sep 27, 2013
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* First : sorry for the typo in the title, and the repeated text later on. Apparently you can't change content once you have a reply (or it looks that way to me). Once I got a reply I was stuck with things "as is". Too many times hitting PASTE (I think)

* second : I always 'unhide' the system files and I see no real point in hiding them in the first place (do you hide the tires on your car... or the headlights).

* third : As for "sfc", I don't know if I can run it from a CD. My internal CD drive is dead. This is an old machine, and I will have to see if it is even possible to boot to an external USB CD drive on this old OPTIPLEX. I'll have to try it. Why they don't just let us use a 'safe boot' to the repair console to do this is beyond me.

* fourth : I **SERIOUSLY** wish I had an well made application (not "sfc") to do all of this. Why? Because "sfc" can seriously screw up a PC. Every single OS update you make (everything past your initial install) is ignored by "sfc". It uses the CABS on your disk, or those on you CD. So, if you installed "Service Pack", or "Knowledge Base" fixes, or "Security Updates", various bug fixes...say goodbye to them (except the fragments that will be left behind, since "sfc" has no idea they even exist). You can wind up with a hodgepodge of system files, and you will need to reinstall every update you have made to your OS (best to go to "Control Panel->Add remove" and make a list of the installed components, before you run the thing).

Microsoft has never managed to use the registry for what it is intended to do - to keep track of EVERYTHING, including ALL dependencies (even service dependencies). When when you need to use a thing like sfc, it ought to actually honor all of the official OS changes you made, or at least have a mode that does.
 

Saga Lout

Titan
Moderator
First off, your post has grown considerably in an edit two hours after I responded to the original.

Secondly, in view of Microsoft's end of XP support date, slated for April 8th this year looming fast, and of all your problems with XP I think your best bet is to rescue all your personal files and some settings and wipe the hard disk clean to install Windows 7 or 8. You might even be quick enough to beat 9 to the finishing line. :D

Thirdly - the Registry doesn't follow the system around fixing things - it leads the system around.

You might try running Checkdisk using the repair switch (syntax is chkdsk /r) because one cause of extreme slowness is bad sectors on the hard disk.
 

barleysinger

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Sep 27, 2013
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I did explain that I was trying to fix the original post. About half of that length was the result of a copy/paste error and I could no longer make changes for some reason. Sorry about that.



I don't want to come of as rude here, but ...

"hmm - so you haven't a clue what to do either"

comes to mind as a response to your recommendation that I drop XP to fix the problem.

People don't recommend a new OS as as solution to an OS problem, unless they have no idea how to fix what is wrong. That's like a mechanic telling a person to buy a new car because they don't know how to replace a headlight.

As for skipping ahead to the nest OS up...I hate them. VISTA was a dog. Win 7's setup wizards try soooo very hard to be friendly, that they gets in the way and set everything up wrong (and you can't avoid them). as for Win 8 -it is a totally new kind of OS monstrosity...from the ground up

I have set the things up...but I hate them. More and more I am thinking of going back to unix.

Incidentally, as I am also disabled now I have a lot of physical limits - economic ones too. I can't just pop out and buy a new machine (which I would need to do to be able to use Win 7, or 8). Yes Microsoft does claim otherwise, but recall that Microsoft programmers have high end machines to write their 'programs' on and to (minimally) test them on. They are not the ones who have to try and use their bloatware on a small machine. Fat Software is the curse of a lazy generation, and of managers who won't pay for good talent.

I just hate fatware. Assembly isn't hard and it is small, fast and tidy. You can write as a part of your C/C++ code. I was programming in assembly (my third computer language) when I was 15 (born in 63). I learned how from a CPU manual, and by wandering around the code of an operating system.

I hate the fact that operating systems today (aside from the unix kernal and a few drivers her and there) are no longer written in assemble language. That is the part of a computer's software that most NEEDS to be in assembly code. Today's mantra is for the 'quick fix' with code that is slow and huge...which gets to market faster. the mantra is for MORE incremental releases (for more $money$) and so you are constantly going up to the next version of the OS in the desperate hope that the next version will suck a little less.

Essentially, you have to pay extra for the version that WORKS - and with Microsoft that day never comes, and never will. You are forever paying for the privilege of being a beta tester



....sigh...I never said that the registry could fix things. I said it could be USED as a TOOL giving a good programming INFORMATION so that an application could be written to do a far better job than 'sfc' does.

so again ... BECAUSE of the existence of the system registry, and what can be done USING IT - it is entirely possible (not even that hard really) to wander through the registry (with the addition of knowledge of how the OS works) in order to understand the existing system file dependencies on *any* microsoft machine and then make sure it has all of the right files (including ones that are from updates).

However "sfc" does not do this correctly.

'sfc' ignores all of your system OS updates. So if (for instance) you installed IP6 support on you XP machine, and then ran 'sfc', you definitely would lose some of the files needed for IP6 to work right as they would be replaced with files from your install cd. This would screw up your networking because your OS will still think that IP6 is installed.

But then what do you expect from an OS where, when you install uPnp support, or remote desktop control - the install program does not turn on the services needed for it to run! They just make them available (fix it yourself). After all, everyone installs things so they can sit unused and just take up space. Everyone with a car, who gets a new dual fuel system for their car, should EXPECT to have to connect the gas lines for them self, after the mechanic is done.

Microsoft (as a company) was in the best situation for writing a proper application to do all of this, including looking at how your system is installed and making sure all the right services are running. This is true because of how much information they have on the OS and all of its variants (with info on every service pack, security update and knowledge base install ever made).

This was a serious need for this within 2 years of the release of XP. They did nothing. The same situation exists in Win 7, and I expect it exists in Win 8 too.

The fact is that Microsoft was and is sloppy and uninspired when it comes to their operating system. They have no desire to do better because their lack of quality is HELPING them to get more sales - and how? Because desperate people react to OS problems they cannot easily fix, by abandoning their old OS and starting over with the new version (throw money at the problem and hope it goes away)

The truth is that a huge number of pieces of spyware & scamware out there, CLAIM to do what I am talking about - what they ought to have done. Peopel get stung by them because they NEED this ability.

It does not take long to find useless (or dangerous) programs that claim to make sure you have all the right file versions on your windows system. Most of them do not work. A lot of them damage your OS. They are just like the terrible programs that 'claim' to clean and repair your system registry (there are about 4 programs that really do this properly.) and people want these too, (because the OS does not maintain things properly.

The reason they do not fix their OS's (or provide good utiltities) at Microsoft is simple. They make more money from producing junk. Why bother... as long as they keep peopel deperate for a newer better version, they ensure that there will be sales of the next OS. That is their goal.

As Bill Gates said, they are a marketing company not a software company.



Been there, done that, no problems. RAM is good too. I have done a series of full diagnostics on the hardware. I have a dodgy USB port, but all else is good (aside from my dead CD combo drive)

 

Saga Lout

Titan
Moderator
"hmm - so you haven't a clue what to do either"

Neither have you and you've already tried everything! :D I still maintain the best way forward is out of XP why the going is good. Everyone who wants to remain stable online will have to do so at some stage and your trigger is telling you to do it now.

The only way to keep XP going is to take it offline because something mysterious will come out of nowhere and kill it off. Alternatively, a VM within a Linux OS is as safe as it can get and still use the Net.

You summed up Microsoft's corporate strategy quite succinctly so why can you not accept they will do everything in their power to make folks buy a more recent product.
 

barleysinger

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I reinstalled. Windows. Problem solved (*well that one is solved - now the droids can' login as ADMIN as see the entire computer - which they could ... before the reinstall).
 

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