FIX: DISM error 2 in Windows 10/11 PC

by Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • DISM is built into the Windows operating system and is available as a command-line tool to mount Windows images from files and to update a running system as well.
  • Sometimes, errors can occur when running the tool. Fix them quickly by disabling antivirus, updating the tool, and by doing some general cleanup.
  • More articles about this tool can be found in the DISM section.
  • Nobody likes errors. That's why we have a comprehensive Windows 10 Errors Troubleshooting Hub with clear instructions on how to deal with any issue.
DISM error 2

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The DISM or Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool, also known as the System Update Readiness tool, helps fix some Windows corruption errors that may cause updates and service packs not to install, like if a file is damaged.

This tool can be used to service a Windows image or prepare a WinRE (Windows Recovery Environment) and/or WinPE (Windows Preinstallation Environment) image, but, it can also be used to service .wim (Windows image) or .vhd/.vhdx (virtual hard disk).

Whenever you try to use the DISM command line and get the DISM error 2 displayed as a message, you may not know the first thing to do in such a case, but there are solutions you can try as outlined below, to fix the error.

How to fix DISM error 2

  1. Temporarily disable or uninstall your antivirus
  2. Check your DISM version
  3. Refresh the DISM tool
  4. Reset your PC with Keep my files option
  5. Use Disk Cleanup tool

1. Temporarily disable or uninstall your antivirus

Sometimes your security software can get in the way of some of the processes on your computer, so in the case of a DISM error 2 issues, you can temporarily disable the antivirus, or uninstall it, and if the issue persists, you can unmount the image and check the result again.

Remember to reinstall or enable your antivirus once you’re done.

2. Check your DISM version

Ensure you’re using the correct version of DISM that is installed with the Windows ADK. Also, do not mount images to protected folders like the UserDocuments folder.

If DISM processes are interrupted, temporarily disconnect from the network, and consider running commands from WinPE instead.

3. Refresh the DISM tool

  • Right click Start and then select Command Prompt (Admin)
dism error 2
  • Type this command: exe/image:C /cleanup-image /revertpendingactions. This will revert pending tasks, and this includes any Windows updates that are pending
  • Boot your computer and then run in recovery command prompt
  • Execute this command: exe /online/Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup. This cleans up the component store and helps everything to run properly again

Restart and then run an SFC scan in Safe Mode by doing the following:

  • Click Start and then go to the search field box and type CMD
  • Go to Command Prompt on the search results
  • Right click and select Run as Administrator
dism error 2
  • Type sfc/scannow
dism error 2
  • Press Enter
  • Restart your computer and then run this command: dism.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

If this doesn’t help, try the next solution.

4. Reset your PC with Keep my files option

If you’ve tried the system restore and it doesn’t work, reset your PC with Keep my files option.

Performing a reset allows you to choose which files you want to keep, or remove, and then reinstalls Windows, so follow the steps below:

  • Click Start
  • Click Settings
dism error 2
  • Click Update & Security
dism error 2
  • Click Recovery on the left pane
dism error 2
  • Click Reset this PC
dism error 2
  • Click Get started
dism error 2
  • Select Keep my files option

Note: all your personal files will be deleted and settings reset. Any apps you installed will be removed, and only pre-installed apps that came with your PC will be reinstalled.

5. Use Disk Cleanup tool

Since DISM tool won’t work or brings up DISM error 2, and Disk Cleanup can’t release much space, use the Disk Defragmenter to rearrange fragmented data on the system by doing the following:

  • Log in as Administrator
  • Click Start and select File Explorer
  • Expand This PC
  • Right click on Local Disk (C:) and click Properties
  • Go to Tools tab
dism error 2
  • Under Optimize and defragment drive, select Optimize
dism error 2
  • Click Apply and then press enter or click OK

Have you managed to fix DISM error 2 on your computer using any of these solutions? Let us know by leaving a comment in the section below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Many Windows issues can be fixed by running the dism command. Here’s a full guide for DISM.

  • It is a command-line tool to prepare Windows images or to service .wim files or virtual disks such as .vhd.

  • In case of serious file corruption, the process could take a couple of hours. So be patient. Otherwise, DISM finishes the procedure in around 10 minutes. In case it fails, read this guide.

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