While attempting to run a System File Check (sfc /scannow) on a Windows XP machine today I received the error 0x000006ba – The RPC Server is unavailable. I checked the services console and saw that the RPC service was running. After scratching my head for a few minutes, I decided that the SFC component must have been disabled (as the CD I installed from was a torrented ISO that has the latest updates). I figured the ISO must have been modified to disable the file checker for whatever reason.
Sidenote for the haters: I have a valid license, but I was deploying about 20 refurbished machines for coworkers and didn’t have the time or desire to install all of the Windows updates that were needed to get the machines fully updated.
Anyway, so after scouring the ultranet for a little bit, I came across an nLite setting that was probably employed when creating the Windows disk I downloaded. The settings is a registry entry to disable SFC. It’s located at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon. It’s a DWORD value titled “SfcDisable” and was set to some random hex value. Change this to 0 and restart, and SFC should now work. Note: There was another value called SfcDisabled which was already set to 0. That threw me off for a moment, but then I saw the proper DWORD I was looking for, which was not already zero.