In this section I will show you how to use the MS-DOS Prompt (or CLI: Command Line Interface as it used to be called) to scan Windows 7 system files for problems. MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System) was the programming langauge used to operate a computer, back in the 1980s and 1990s, before Graphically User Interfaces (GUIs or Windows to you and me) replaced it.....but not completely. Forget the technicals though. In todays age it is only used, if at all, in rare cases such as fixing the operating system called Windows.

In this example I am going to show you how to use the DOS Command sfc and more precisely sfc /scannow which tells DOS to check Windows 7 for file corruptions and so on. In order run (execute) a DOS Command you first need the DOS Prompt (DOS Window) open which is done by double clicking on its desktop Shortcut Icon - The desktop shortcut icon you are now going to create!

First you need to locate the executable file called cmd.exe, which lives inside the SYSTEM32 folder. So you need to double click on the COMPUTER folder first and then on the C:\ Hard Drive. From there, double click on the WINDOWS folder and then on the SYSTEM32 folder. Now you are inside the SYSTEM32 folder locate the execute file called cmd.exe. Right click on it, to bring up its Options menu, and then select the DESKTOP (CREATE SHORTCUT) sub-menu menu-item to place a shortcut icon on the desktop.

Fig 1.0  Inside the SYSTEM32 folder - Right click on the cmd.exe file to create a Shortcut Icon on the desktop

Fig 1.1  The shortcut icon has been created on the desktop

With the shortcut icon created, on the desktop as cmd.exe, you may then want to rename it for the sake of knowing what it is (i.e. rename it Command, DOS or whatever.....if you want to). In this example I have renamed it to CMD. Anyway! From there you need to right click over that shortcut icon and select the RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR menu-item in order to bring up the actual DOS Window (Command Line Interface). It is from this DOS Window that you execute a DOS Command.

Fig 1.2  Right click on the desktop shortcut icon and select the RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR menu-item to continue

Fig 1.3  Type in the DOS Command: sfc /scannow and then press the ENTER keyboard key to continue

When the DOS Window appears type the following DOS Command into it - sfc /scannow - and then press the ENTER keyboard key. This will execute that dos command which will then scan the Windows 7 system files for corruption. System files that relate to Windows 7 starting properly and running properly. Hence the reason for showing you this dos command. It is useful when Windows 7 is playing about, showing you system errors, programs not working correctly and so on.

Fig 1.4  2% of the system files scan has been carried out - Hopefully no file corruption yet!

Fig 1.5  The system files have been scanned for corruption - No file corruption found

The above scan results show that my computer has no file corruption on its system files. However. You have to take those results with a pinch of salt (Rock Salt or Table Salt.....your choice!). Meaning. You may of had noticeable problems on your computer before the scan and no problems after the scan, which means the scan was successful at clearing up those noticeable problems even though the sfc dos command reported no problems (Integrity Violations) found.

A good time to use sfc /scannow is when Windows Update for example has just messed up Windows 7, for whatever reason(s) - Normally due to Windows Update wrongly guessing which updates Windows 7 needs, therefore giving Windows 7 incompatibility issues/problems for example.

There are plenty of DOS Commands for Windows that relate to shutting down Windows, Formatting a disc, Renaming a folder, Scanning a disc and so on. Most of which are carried out by Windows 7 and more precisely by its Menus and Buttons (GUI: Graphical User Interface), therefore making DOS Commands redundant for most users (which is a good thing as DOS Commands are quite powerful in the right (or wrong) hands). However. If you are interested in DOS Commands search the internet for "DOS Commands" or "Command-Line Reference" for example. Click Here for an example website - Scroll down its page slightly or click on the ALL MS-DOS COMMANDS link.