How to Remove a Windows File Protection Error

Written by ray padgett
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How to Remove a Windows File Protection Error
The Windows File Protection error is caused by a bug known as "VX2." (computer virus image by Marina Bartel from

The Windows File Protection error message reads "Windows File Protection: Files that are required for windows to run properly have been replaced by unknown versions; Windows needs to restore these files to function properly." If you get such a message when you start your computer, you likely have a version of Microsoft's VX2 bug. The vague message is somewhat unhelpful, but the problem is simply that the error disables Windows Update. Microsoft offers a fix.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Anti-virus program

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  1. 1

    Start your computer in Safe Mode. Do this by hitting the F8 key repeatedly as you turn it on.

  2. 2

    Run an antivirus program. Windows comes with a tool known as the Malicious Software Removal Tool, which you can find by going to Start -> Run and typing "MRT." Third-party antivirus software like Norton or McAfee will work as well.

  3. 3

    Restart your computer normally. Go to the Run dialogue in the Start menu. Type "regsvr32 initpki.dll" (no quotes) and hit "OK." This will reset the registry file(s) affected by the bug. Restart your computer again.

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