Recently attempting to repair a Windows 8.1 laptop, having trouble running sfc /scannow from a repair cd with this error:

“There is a system repair pending which requires reboot to complete. Restart Windows and run sfc again.”

Doing some searching I managed to find this useful tip and thought it was worth a share:

This error indicates that incorrect arguments were given, or there is a file that needs to be removed or renamed in the \Windows\winsxs\pending.xml path. For this installation, this is D:\Windows\winsxs\pending.xml.

For this particular system, this is the correct command to run based on the output of diskpart above


In the above example, OFFBOOTDIR should be the 100mb boot partition and OFFWINDIR should be your Windows directory.

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Andy has been in IT support in the academic industry for over 7 years now, with an in-depth knowledge of both Windows and Unix based systems.

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  1. FAIL in my case got a windows resource protection could not start the repair service

  2. Thanks Andy, it worked great for me.

  3. Thank you so much for posting this. I have tried 100 different things and this is the one that worked. For me it was:

    sfc /SCANNOW /OFFBOOTDIR=c:\ /OFFWINDIR=c:\Windows

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