How to Fix “Windows Resource Protection Could Not Perform the Requested Operation”

The “windows resource protection could not perform the requested operation” error appears when you run the System File Checker (SFC) command in the Command Prompt. The SFC command is generally used to scan and fix various underlying issues within the computer that cause it to crash or not perform certain functions. 

If users are running into this error and cannot perform the SFC program, It will be difficult to point out and recover corrupted system files, responsible for causing system malfunction. And to fix this problem, users will have to perform various troubleshooting steps to fix the problem.

[Solved] Windows Resource Protection Could Not Perform the Requested Operation

What is Windows Resource Protection?

Windows Resource Protection is responsible for keeping the system files intact. In case something tries to modify the system files or registry keys, this feature would replace the modified files with the original file saved in the cache in order to keep the files safe and operational.

System File Checker (SFC) is a vital part of Windows Resource Protection. Sometimes when a user tries to run SFC commands on their computer, the Windows Resource Protection prevents it to avoid running into system errors. 

Causes of Windows Resource Protection Could Not Perform the Requested Operation

There are a lot of moving parts on your computer and any little glitch could lead to this issue. The following are the most common causes that may lead to this problem. 

  • Malware
  • Not Using Elevated Command Prompt
  • Conflicting Applications
  • Corrupt OS Files

Fixes for Windows Resource Protection Could Not Perform the Requested Operation 

This error is easy to troubleshoot and won’t take up much of your time. Try the following fixes and hopefully, you will be able to run a system file checker on your computer. 

Run DISM 

Since the SFC command isn’t working on your computer, using the DISM command is the next best thing. As it will scan the computer and repair any underlying issues on the disk that might be leading to this problem. To use the DISM tool to make the repairs on your computer, perform the following functions:

1- Open Command Prompt (Run as Administrator).

2- Type the command:


DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth


running-dism-command-1

The process will begin and it may take a few minutes to complete. Once it is done, reboot the computer and then try running the SFC command in the CMD. If the error persists, keep on reading. 

Run CHKDSK 

Corrupted OS files may be causing this issue and in such a case, run a disk scan on your computer. This will scan the hard disk for any underlying issues that could be leading to this issue and fix them. To run a disk scan on your computer, follow these instructions:

1- Press start and type ‘CMD’, right-click on it, and press ‘Run as Administrator.’

2- Type this command and press enter:


chkdsk C: /r


running-chkdsk-command

3- Type ‘Y’ to confirm the progress and press Enter.

4- Reboot the computer.

Upon boot up, the computer would scan the drive for bad sectors, errors and recover any of the files on such sectors if possible. This process is quite lengthy and may take up more than an hour. Be patient and let the process run its course. Shutting the computer down during this process could lead to other issues.  

Running System File Checker in Safe Mode 

A simple method that works for many people is to run the system file checker command in safe mode. This is because when you log in through the safe mode, there won’t be any 3rd party conflicting files that could be preventing the command to run. To run the computer in safe mode, perform these steps:

1- Press ‘Windows + R’ and type “msconfig” to open the “System Configuration” menu.

2- Navigate to the ‘Boot’ tab.

3- Check the box for “Safe Mode” and press Apply.


safe-boot

4- Reboot the computer. 

Once the computer has booted in the safe mode, open CMD with admin privileges. 

1- Run this command:


sfc /scannow


running-sfc-command

2- Wait for the process to finish. 

3- Go back to the “System Configuration” menu, click on the boot tab and uncheck the box for safe mode.

4- Restart the computer to normal startup. 

Perform a Clean Boot 

Preventing all the 3rd-party applications to stop and performing a clean boot could also solve the issue for you and fix this error. To perform a clean boot, follow these steps:

1- Press ‘Control + Shift + Esc’ to open task manager

2- Navigate to the ‘Start Up’ tab and disable all the services except Microsoft services. 


disable-third-party-applications

3- Reboot the computer and then try to run the SFC command.

To perform a clean boot on Windows 7, the process is a little different. If you’re a Windows 7 user, follow these steps to disable all the 3rd-party applications on startup:

  1. Press ‘Windows + R’ and type ‘msconfig’ and press Enter.
  2. Go to the ‘Start Up’ tab and uncheck the box for all the 3rd-party applications.
  3. Reboot the computer and run the SFC command through the command prompt. 

Enable/Restart Windows Modules Installer

Windows Modules Installer must be enabled to run specific commands like SFC on your computer. But if it is not enabled or working properly, you’re likely to run into  ‘windows resource protection could not perform the requested operation’ error. To solve this problem, make sure that Windows Modules Installer is working properly. Follow these steps to be sure:

1- Press ‘Windows + R’ and type ‘Services.msc


Note: In case the Services menu isn’t opening with this method, open CMD with administrator privileges and run this command: 

Services.msc

2- Find ‘Windows Modules Installer’ from the list.

3- Double-click on it and press ‘start’ if it is not running. 

4- Click on ‘Start-Up type’ and select ‘Automatic’ from the drop-down list and reboot the computer.


windows-module-installer-startup-type-automatic

5- In case it was already running, right-click on ‘Windows Modules Installer‘ and press ‘Restart’.

6- Now open Command Prompt and run it as administrator and then try running SFC command again. Hopefully, enabling/restarting the Windows Modules Installer has fixed the issue for you.  

Resetting Security Descriptors WinSXS Folder 

The SFC utility must have access to the WinSXS folder where many important OS commands are stored. If any conflicting application could be preventing the SFC tool to reach the folder, users could run into this error. Fortunately, resetting the security descriptors for the WinSXS folder could solve the problem for you. To do so, perform these functions: 

1- Press start and type ‘Command Prompt.’

2- Right-click on it and select “Run it as Administrator.”

3- The CMD will appear, afterward, type this command and press enter:


ICACLS C:\Windows\winsxs


running-icalcls-command

4- Wait for the process to finish.

5- Type ‘Exit

6- Reboot the computer and then start the command prompt with admin privileges and then try running the SFC command

Perform a System Restore 

Windows’ built-in troubleshooter and tools let you scan and fix various errors users run into every day. Similarly, if nothing works out for you, this fix is likely to sort the error for once and all.

System restore reverts all the major configuration changes made into your computer from a certain time. At the time stamp, configuration and system file details are kept as backup images. To perform a system restore, perform these steps:

1- Go to Settings.

2- Click on ‘Updates and Security.’

3- Go to the ‘Recovery’ tab and click on ‘Restart Now’ under the ‘Advanced Startup’ section.


Recovery-restart-now

4- Now the computer will boot into the Windows Recovery Environment. 

5- From the options given on the screen, choose ‘Troubleshoot.’

6- Click on ‘Advanced Option.’


advanced-options

7- Press ‘System Restore’ and the process will begin.


System-restore

8- Once the process is completed, try running the SFC scan in the command prompt.

Run SFC in Command Prompt Accessed Via WinRE

Windows Recovery Environment lets you access the command prompt and you can run the SFC scan there as well. If nothing has worked out for you so far, try running the scan through the Windows Recovery Environment. Follow these steps below to see how to do so:

1- Firstly, you have to turn off your PC, keep pressing the power button for a few seconds until the computer is turned off.  

2- Reboot and then again press the power button and turn it off.

3- Repeat this process 3 times.

4- Boot up the computer and it will load into Windows Recovery Environment.

5- From WinRE, navigate to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt


advanced-options-command-propmt

6- Type the SFC Command and wait for it to finish.

7- Reboot the computer. 

Perform a System Reset

The last resort is to perform a system reset of your Windows. It will renew the Windows and will restore all the OS files and the error would be resolved. To perform a system reset, perform these steps:

1- Go to Settings.

2- Click on ‘Update & Security.’

3- Go to ‘Recovery’ and click on ‘Get Started’ under the ‘Reset This PC’ section.


reset-this-pc-get-started

4- Follow the on-screen instructions to perform a system reset.

Mohamed SAKHRI
Mohamed SAKHRI

My name is Mohamed, and I'm the creator and editor-in-chief of Tech To Geek. Through this little blog, I share with you my passion for technology. I specialize in various operating systems such as Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android, focusing on providing practical and valuable guides.

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