Windows resource protection could not perform the requested operation

By: Andrew Wafer
3 minute read
Windows resource protection SFC error

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Windows resource protection could not perform the requested operation’ is an error message displayed while SFC is running on your Windows 10 computer. Since SFC is a troubleshooting process itself, it’s imperative to find a quick fix for this system bug.

We all know that it’s impossible to find the perfect operating system that can run smoothly all the time. There will always be problems and malfunctions that will stop us from completing our daily tasks. What’s important is to have the right troubleshooting tools at our disposal.

And, on Windows 10 the built-in software that can help us repair most of the system glitches is the System File Checker, or simply SFC. Thus, when SFC isn’t working as it should, we must find a way to quickly solve any possible errors.

SFC is a dedicated system scan feature. This process will look for system issues and will automatically repair the most common Windows soft-related problems. But, in some situations, SFC itself might experience malfunctions – while the scan runs you might get the following error message: ‘Windows resource protection could not perform the requested operation’. So, in that situation we need to find punctual solutions that can fix the System File Checker feature, as explained during this step by step guide.

How to fix the ‘Windows resource protection could not perform the requested operation’ SFC error

Run SFC from Safe Mode

When you cannot complete the SFC scan normally, you should initiate the same process from Safe Mode. When the Windows 10 OS runs in Safe Mode all third party apps, and the processes associated to such software, will be stopped or deactivated. Thus, if the SFC error was somehow related with a third party software, now you will be able to successfully perform the system scan. Here is how you can reboot your device into Safe Mode right away:

  1. Launch the Run engine on your Windows 10 device: press the Win+R keyboard keys together.
  2. In the Run box type msconfig and click on OK.msconfig windows 10
  3. From System Configuration switch to Boot tab.
  4. Under Boot options select the Safe mode checkbox and also check Minimal from underneath.
  5. Click OK and Apply.reboot safe mode windows 10
  6. When prompted choose Restart.
  7. Now your device will be automatically restarted into Safe Mode.
  8. From there run the sfc /scannow command.

Make some security changes

SFC might be interrupted if the winsxs folder cannot be accessed for some reason. You can change that by modifying security descriptors for this folder – just use the next steps:

  1. Right click on the Windows Start icon and from the displayed list click on Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. In cmd type ICACLS C:Windowswinsxs and press Enter in the end.winsxs
  3. Close the command prompt window.
  4. Restart your Windows 10 system.
  5. Run SFC as the problem should have been fixed.

Run CHKDSK from Command Prompt

Another reason why SFC might crash is related to hard disk errors. Now, similar with SFC there is a troubleshooting process featured by default on Windows 10 that let you scan and repair hard disk errors automatically – the CHKDSK feature. So, let’s learn how to do this:

  1. Open elevated cmd on your device – right-click on the Windows Start icon and choose Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. In the cmd window enter chkdsk /r and press Enter.
  3. You will be asked when to perform the disk check; enter ‘y’ and press Enter.
  4. Close the cmd window and restart your computer.
  5. The scan will be automatically initiated.
  6. Afterwards, try to run the SFC scan.

Final thoughts

The two methods detailed in this tutorial should help you solve the ‘Windows resource protection could not perform the requested operation’ error on Windows 10. It means that now you can run the SFC scan without any sort of problems.

In order to initiate a SFC scan, you must run the sfc /scannow command within an elevated cmd window – this process was also explained in the guidelines from above.

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