Microsoft Technical Support has a new “Windows Self healing tool” (or “Windows Software Repair Tool”) which resets the system configuration, reinstalls main system apps, repairs system files and fixes Windows Update issues.
Here is a detailed report on what the tool does exactly.
The opening screen of the tool reads: Fix Software Problems — Having trouble with your Surface? This tool will make sure it’s up to date and help find and fix software issues.
The tool says it performs the following operations:
1. Repair system components and detect corrupt files
- Create System Restore Point
- Resync System Date and Time
- Reset System Settings
- Reinstall System Applications
2. Repair system corruption
3. Windows Update
I gave this tool a shot in my test machine, and observed what it does.
First, it creates a System Restore point – that’s a good thing. Windows 10 upgrade disable System Restore by default, and this tool enables System Restore for the system drive before attempting to create a restore point.
Note that if a recent restore point exists (created within last 24 hours), no restore point is created — which is the default behavior in Windows 8 and higher.
1. Starts the Windows Time service and syncs the system date and time using (w32tm.exe /resync)
2. Reinstalls *System* App packages using PowerShell.
all the bloatware will be back.
3. Resets Winsock, proxy settings & the firewall settings
4. Resets WSUS cookie/authorization. (wuauclt.exe)
5. Resets Windows Store using wsreset.exe
6. Runs the "WindowsUpdate\Automatic App Update" Scheduled Task.
7. Resets the Security Descriptor for Windows Update and BITS services
8. Stops these 5 system services: Windows Update, BITS, Cryptographic Services, Application Identity, Update Orchestrator service for WU
9. Deletes qmgr*.dat files from “Network\Downloader\” folder
10. Deletes SoftwareDistribution and Catroot2 folders
11. Registers these DLL files:
12. Performs component cleanup using DISM
13. Repairs Windows image using PowerShell/DISM (RestoreHealth)
14. Runs Sfc /Scannow
15. Restores default power schemes.
16. Runs Windows Update after a reboot, and also updates Defender.
That lists most of the things done by this tool – it’s comprehensive and may be a overkill depending upon what you use this tool for. It would have been better if they include checkboxes for each operation so that you can perform a particular or a set of operations to fix a specific issue you may be facing.
Post last revised on 8-21-2016 to make it more accurate. It’s possible that this tool performs additional repairs along with the tasks listed in this post. Hope Microsoft releases a clear documentation on this tool.
About the author
Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.