Sunday, October 17, 2010

Changing system file checker's source media on Windows XP

Often after a virus infection gets cleaned up you'll want to run the built-in sfc utility to verify Windows files. I know I've had to run it a lot of times on other people computers. The problem with that is the Windows CD may have been lost, damaged beyond salvation, or plain never existed. And since there's more than one edition of Windows (thanks a lot Microsoft) the CD I have on hand may not always be the "correct" disc.

Fortunately, there's a way around that. And who better to provide the info than Microsoft themselves? The KB article is simple enough to follow. I'll just reproduce the gist of it here:
  1. Backup the Fp40ext.inf and Ims.inf files. They're located in the C:\Windows\inf folder.
  2. Find the string referencing the Windows edition in a section labeled with [Strings].
  3. Edit the string to the edition of Windows on your CD.
All done. Save changes and run sfc /scannow. Then just sit back to your cup of coffee while waiting for the process to take its course.