Fix: The Extended Attributes Are Inconsistent error in Windows 10

One of the most critical errors of Windows, “The Extended Attributes Are Inconsistent” error is a sign that your computer’s operating system has become corrupted. This error causes a host of annoying troubles like response time lags, crashes and freezing of system when running multiple applications, and delay in opening programs other than the error appearing itself and hindering any operation of your computer.

The Extended Attributes Are Inconsistent

The Extended Attributes Are Inconsistent

The error can result from some issues that include registry errors, fragmented files, excessive startup entries, hardware/RAM decline or redundant program installations – and it could happen when opening regedit or Task Scheduler, CMD, Driver installs, SSCM, etc.

If you are going through the ordeal caused by this issue, the only possible solution to get rid of this error may seem to be re-installation of Windows, which means loss of most of the critical alterations to your computer’s settings that you did and in some cases, loss of important data. But before you do that, here is a guide on how to fix The Extended Attributes Are Inconsistent error.

1] Perform a System Restore

Whenever something goes wrong on your computer due to a corrupted software or a driver that broke something vital, System Restore provides a convenient solution by taking your computer’s operating system back to the state where it was not facing any issues.

To perform a System Restore, follow the steps below:

  1. Hit Start and then type “System Restore” in the Search Box. Select “Recovery” among the options and choose the option for ‘System Restore’. Once the System Restore appears in the Programs list, hit it.
  2. Once the System Restore dialog box appears, click on Choose a Different Restore Point and then hit Next.
  3. Now you’ll see a list of restore points. Choose the restore point that was formed before you started getting the Extended Attributes Are Inconsistent error. Now click Next.
  4. To complete the process, click Finish.

2] Perform an SFC Scan on the Computer

The System File Checker scan feature inspects the important protected Windows files on your system and replaces them in case any file is corrupt. To perform a  System File Checker scan, do the following:

  1. Open the Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator usually referred to as opening an elevated Command Prompt.
  2. Click on Continue or provide the Administrator credentials if the system asks for it.
  3. Once the Command Prompt appears, type the following command and then hit Enter: sfc /scannow.

You will see the following messages appear on the screen:

  1. Beginning the system scan. This process will take some time.
  2. Beginning verification phase of system scan.
  3. Verification % complete.

Once the System File Checker verifies the integrity of every protected operating system file on the computer, you’ll see one of the following messages:

  1. Found no integrity violations.
  2. Found corruption but repaired it.
  3. Found corruption that it could not repair.
  4. Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them
  5. System File Checker SFC cannot repair corrupted member file
  6. System File Checker not working, will not run or could not repair
  7. Windows Resource Protection could not start the repair service

If SFC was able to find corruptions, restart the computer and allow it to repair the files; else you may need to troubleshoot further by following the above-mentioned links.

If you need to, you may run System File Checker at Boot Time. This is one option which may help you as it will run System File Checker before Windows loads.

3] Repair System Image

Run DISM to repair a corrupted system image. Open an elevated command prompt and run the following command and hit Enter:

Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

This command checks for component store corruption records the corruption and FIXES the corruption. It may take a while though! Useful if System File Checker is not working.

4] Reset Desktop Theme 7 Sound Scheme to defaults

Reports on the Internet also mention that this error can be cause due to an inconsistent Desktop Theme or Sound scheme. Reset your theme as well as your sound scheme to use the default theme and sounds and see if that helps. In Windows 10, you will get the settings via Settings > Personalization.

5] Repair the OS

On Windows 10, try Reset This PC or  Fresh Start. On Windows 8, carry out a Refresh or a Reset operation. An Automatic Repair is also an option you may want to consider if you think it applies in your situation.  On Windows 7, carry out a Startup Repair or Repair Install or an In-place Upgrade as you think may best suit your situation.

Hope something helps!

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Karan Khanna is a passionate Windows 10 user who loves troubleshooting Windows problems in specific and writing about Microsoft technologies in general.