How to Fix ‘Windows Resource Protection Could Not Perform the Requested Operation – SFC /Scannow’ Error Message?

Are you wondering how to fix ‘Windows Resource Protection Could Not Perform The Requested Operation ’ error message in command prompt?

How To Fix Windows Resource Protection Could Not Perform The Requested Operation error

Everybody who uses a PC and experiences a function fail on Windows that causes a freeze or crash knows how annoying it can be.

If this happens, the usual recommendation is to run the system file checker.

This is also known as the SFC Scannow Command tool and it will scan your system files in Windows, looking for inconsistences, corruption or damage.

If such issues are found, the tool then fixes the files and usually that’s the end of the problem.

However, if the SFC is not working correctly, you might get this error message: ‘The Windows resource protection could not perform the requested operation’.

Windows Resource Protection Could Not Perform The Requested Operation

What Causes “SFC/Scannow” Error?

There are several reasons why this might be happening, although Microsoft haven’t come forward with a fix. One of these could be the culprit:

  • A Windows server error
  • A malfunctioning SFC Scannow Command tool
  • Something conflicting with or preventing the SFC scan, not letting it complete the check

Basically, the scan can’t be performed because of a disk issue causing it to fail or a problem with the SFC utility tool. There are multiple solutions to try if you are facing this error on your PC.

5 Possible Solutions To Fix The Sfc Scannow Error Message

If you have tried to run the SFC Scannow several times and it still won’t work, there are some solutions you can try to see if they help:

Fix #1: Run A Chkdsk Of The Hard Drive

This is the first thing to try. A CHKDSK scan will look at your hard drive and check for issues. Your disk might be corrupted or damaged, so this is an important thing to do.

This is how to run a CHKDSK scan:

  1. Type ‘Command Prompt’ in the search bar.
  2. Right-click the Command Prompt tool.
  3. Select “Run Command Prompt as an Administrator“.
  4. Type in “chkdsk c:/r” and press “Enter + Y” to confirm (note: replace c with whichever drive contains your Windows system files).
  5. Restart the PC and let CHKDSK run the scan.
  6. Retry the SFC scan to see whether it works now.

Fix #2: Run The Sfc Scannow Tool Using Safe Mode

If the first fix didn’t work or you are still seeing the error ‘Windows resource protection could not perform the requested operation’ you can try this fix next.

  • Type “msconfig” in the search bar and press Enter.
  • Click the boot tab (at the top next to the general tab).
  • Check the ‘safe boot’ box under “Options“.
  • Check ‘minimal’ and press OK and restart the PC.

After restarting PC do following:

  • Search for the Command Prompt tool.
  • Right-click to run it as administrator and open the tool.
  • Type in “SFC/scannow” and press Enter.

Hopefully it will work now, else move on to fix #3.

Fix #3: Modify The Security Descriptions In The Winsxs Folder

Many Windows system files and updates are kept in the WinSXS folder.

If your SFC utility tool is unable to access this location, it is going to fail and then you will see the error message.

One way to fix this is to change the folder’s security descriptors:

  1. Run Command Prompt as administrator
  2. Now type in “ICACLS C:\Windows\winsxs” and press Enter.
  3. Restart the PC and try to run the SFC scan again.

Fix #4: Enable The Windows Module Installer

SFC Scan probably won’t work if you have the Windows Module Installer disabled on your PC.

This tool is responsible for automatically checking and installing all Windows updates.

Disabling the Windows Module Installer might result in system bugs causing a malfunction of the SFC scan. Here is possible fix for this scenario:

  1. Open the “Run Dialog Box” by pressing the “Windows key + R” together.
  2. Type “services.msc” and press OK.
  3. Locate the “Windows Modular Installer” and right-click on it.
  4. Select “Start“.
  5. Try the SFC scan again.

Fix #5: Run Recovery Commands

If you are still seeing the ‘Windows resource protection could not perform the requested operation’ error message on the screen, and you have updated the current boot version of Windows, you can try this fix.

You will boot into recovery mode then enable the SFC scan utility via the command prompt:

Note: If the PC is powered on, restart it.

  • Press F11 when the PC starts to boot up, to enter recovery mode (alternatively you can use a bootable USB drive).
  • Once in recover mode, select the “Command Prompt” and click on “Run“.
  • Type into Command Prompt following:
  • Wait for the scan to execute then exit recovery mode.
  • Boot in like you usually would to the Windows desktop and open Command Prompt.
  • Run the SFC scan as an Administrator.

Still Not Working? Then Try This

If none of the above fixes have worked and you still see the ‘Windows resource protection could not perform the requested operation’ error, then you can run an automatic repair.

If that isn’t successful you might have to do a fresh Windows installation. This is how to run an automatic Windows repair:

  1. You can either use a Windows 10 bootable installation disk or make a Microsoft Media Creation Tool on a blank USB drive or blank disk.
  2. Launch the installation disk.
  3. Select ‘repair your PC’ instead of choosing to install Windows(this is in the bottom left hand corner of the setup window)
  4. Click on the “Troubleshooting” option and then on “Advanced Options“.
  5. On the Advanced Options screen click on “Run Startup Repair” and wait for it to finish.
  6. Restart the PC to see if the error is gone.

In Conclusion

Hopefully one of these solutions can solve the ‘Windows resource protection could not perform the requested operation’ error.

If nothing has worked though, you will need to do a fresh Windows installation.

This can be frustrating and time-consuming but it pretty much guarantees the error will be resolved.