SOLVED: SFC says “There is a system repair pending…”
Frequently when I’ve removed a virus, I want or need to run the SFC /scannow repair program. Quite often it seems, in Windows 7 and Vista, the command can’t run an returns an error message of:
“There is a system repair pending which requires reboot to complete. Restart Windows and run sfc again.”
Try as one might and regardless of whether you can boot into Safe Mode or are using the Recovery Console, this error just won’t go away. However, I have found a command finally that overcomes this problem. On a machine that I was working on today, from the Recovery Console command prompt I entered:
dism.exe /image:C:\ /cleanup-image /revertpendingactions
After that, I rebooted the machine into Safe Mode (this particular computer would boot to Safe Mode but is BSODing when booted to normal mode). In Safe Mode, I opened an elevated command prompted and issued the SFC /scannow command and it now runs.
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Update 7 December 2015
This technique still works in Windows 8.1. I needed to use both DISM as described above and then delete the \Windows\winsxs\pending.xml file as described in the first comment below by Icon Era – David. After that, I was able to run the SFC command and do a repair. This machine was getting stuck at 9% sitting on the Asus POST screen saying “Updating System”. Once it gets to 9% it will sit there for a while then reboot. My theory is that it’s a bad Windows Update and this is my last option for fixing it it as there are no restore points (thanks to the a-holes who designed Windows 8 turning that off by default) and no other repairs have succeeded. Honestly, I have my doubts about whether this will fix my problem, my experience with Windows 8 and Windows 10 non-booting problems is that you almost always have to reinstall.