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Last Updated December 10, 2003

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Windows File Protection Service (WFP)

Windows 2000 includes a new feature called Windows File Protection (WFP) that prevents the replacement of certain monitored system files. The Windows File Protection feature runs in the background, and is implemented when it is notified that a file in a protected folder is modified. Once this notification is received, the Windows File Protection feature determines which file was changed. If the file is protected, the Windows File Protection feature looks up the file signature in a catalog file to determine if the new file is the correct Microsoft version. If it is not, the file is replaced from the Dllcache folder (if it is in the Dllcache folder) or the distribution media. The second protection mechanism provided by the Windows File Protection feature is the System File Checker (Sfc.exe) tool. At the end of GUI-mode Setup, the System File Checker tool scans all protected files to ensure they are not modified by programs installed using an unattended installation. 
Where to Start...
Description of the Windows 2000 Windows File Protection Feature
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 222193 - Earlier versions of the Windows operating system do not prevent shared system files from being overwritten by program installations. After these changes are made, the user often experiences unpredictable performance results, ranging from program errors to an unstable operating system. This problem affects several types of files, most commonly dynamic link libraries (DLLs) and executable (EXE) files. 

Description of the Windows 2000 System File Checker Tool
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 222471 - This article describes the System File Checker (Sfc.exe) tool, which is used with the Windows File Protection (WFP) feature. 

HOW TO: Verify That Windows File Protection Is Running in Windows 2000 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 318767 - You can use Windows File Protection (a new feature in Windows 2000) to prevent certain monitored or protected system files from being replaced. If you prevent these system files from being replaced, you can avoid file version mismatches. 

How Windows 2000 Feature, Windows File Protection (WFP), Prevents Replacement of Essential Files
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 254135 - This article explains how a Microsoft Windows 2000 new feature called Windows File Protection (WFP) prevents the replacement of certain monitored system files. 

Windows File Protection
Microsoft Online Support site WebCast This 15 minute presentation is an introduction to the Windows File Protection (WFP) feature of Microsoft Windows 2000. WFP protects the shared system files of Windows 2000 from being overwritten by a user or a program. 

WebCast: Windows File Protection  
Level:200 This presentation is an introduction to the Windows File Protection (WFP) feature of Microsoft Windows 2000. WFP protects the shared system files of Windows 2000 from being overwritten by a user or a program.

Additional Articles worth reading....

Optimizing Windows File Protection Service
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 229656 - To optimize the Windows File Protection service (WFP), you can increase the %SystemRoot%\System32\Dllcache folder to its maximum size to eliminate the need to have media inserted to replace files. 

Policy to Set the Installation Point for Windows File Protection Does Not Exist
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 243516 - A policy to set the installation point for Windows File Protection (WFP) does not exist in a Windows 2000 Group Policy Object (GPO). (updated 12/29/1999)

Registry Settings for Windows File Protection
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 222473 - All registry settings for Windows File Protection/System File Checker are located in the following registry key: (updated 5/26/2000) 

Unable to Run System File Protection Scan Remotely
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 258673 - When you attempt to start a Windows File Protection (WFP) scan of the system files using Sfc.exe, either of the following situations may occur: 

Windows File Protection and Alternative Data Streams
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 286797 - This article describes Windows File Protection (WFP), System File Checker (SFC), and the use of Alternative Data Streams (ADS). 

Troubleshooting WPS: Known Bugs and Issues

Files Manually Copied to the DLLCache Folder Are Not Used Until the Next Reboot
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 236995 - Windows File Protection (WFP) protects operating system files from being replaced by third-party programs or being accidentally deleted. When a file that is protected by this process is deleted or overwritten, WFP automatically replaces the.. 

Hotfixes in Q279207 and Q264268 May Cause a Windows File Protection Error if Computer Is Not Restarted
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 279731 - If you install the hotfixes that are described in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base articles without restarting your computer between installations, you may receive a Windows file-protection error message and neither hotfix may be applied.

Installation of HP 2000c Printer Causes Event ID 64021 for Windows File Protection
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 254280 - After you use the Add Printer Wizard to install the Hewlett-Packard (HP) 2000c or 900c printer, the following event is logged in the System log:

Non-Administrator User Is Not Prompted for Installation Media by Windows File Protection
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 258911 - When a normal user (non-Administrator) is logged on to a Windows 2000 Professional-based computer and Windows File Protection (WFP) prompts the user for an installation CD-ROM to replace a protected file, the user may not receive the prompt

Prompted for CD-ROM When You Run System File Checker While Correct CD-ROM Is in Drive
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 263499 - When you run System File Checker (SFC), you may receive the following error message: 

WFP Error in Webfldrs.msi When You Install Windows 2000 Server SP1 by Using an Integrated Installation
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 266789 - When you install Windows 2000 Server with Service Pack 1 by using the integrated installation method, you may receive a Windows File Protection (WFP) with the Webfldrs.msi file, and the following error message may be logged in the Event Viewer 

Windows File Protection Creates Event Log Entry When Scanning Is Stopped
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 236801 - The Windows File Protection feature (WFP) logs an event if WFP is canceled while it is performing a scan of the system files or attempting to replace an individual file. This information is recorded for later review in the System event log. 

Windows File Protection Does Not Reduce Cache Size Automatically
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 245821 - After you run the sfc /cachesize=xx command to reduce the amount of space allocated to the Windows File Protection (WFP) cache, you are prompted to reboot the computer. After you reboot the computer, you may notice that the amount of space used by the WFP cache (%SystemRoot%\System32\Dllcache) is not reduced to match the cache size you specified. 

Windows File Protection Does Not Protect Cluster-Specific Files
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 295082 - Cluster-specific files are not protected by Windows File Protection (WFP).

Windows File Protection Logs an Event ID: 64021 When You Run the SFC Utility
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 816838 - When you run the System File Checker utility (Sfc.exe) to scan and check the versions of protected operating system files, the following 3 events may appear in the Event Viewer System log: Date: <date> Source: Windows File Protection Time: <time>...

Windows File Protection May Not Copy Word Breaker Files
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 263311 - When you install Windows 2000, the Setup program may not copy word breaker files from the I386\Lang folder to the dynamic-link library (DLL) cache. In addition, the first time you run System File Checker, it may not add these files to the DLL cache. 

Windows File Protection May Not Start
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 296241 - When you log on to a Windows 2000-based computer, you may receive the following message from Windows File Protection: 

Windows File Protection Error Messages Generated During Windows 2000 Service Pack 1 Installation
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 263566 - During the installation of Windows 2000 Service Pack 1 (SP1), Event Viewer may log numerous Windows File Protection (WFP) error messages that are similar to:

Windows File Protection Event ID 64021 When You Install Hotfix
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 262004 - After you install a hotfix that contains files that need to be renamed on the target computer, the following message is displayed in the system event log: 

Windows File Protection Prompts RIS Client for Installation Media
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 258955 - When a Windows 2000 system file is deleted or overwritten, Windows File Protection (WFP) attempts to repair the file using the local %SystemRoot%\System32\DLLCache folder or the %SystemRoot%\Driver Cache\I386\Drivers.cab file. 

You Are Prompted for User Credential When You Run the SFC Utility
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 285152 - When you run the System File Checker (SFC) utility (Sfc.exe) to scan for changes on the computer, you are prompted for logon credentials to access the i386 share even though you are currently logged on to the computer. 

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