- DISM.exe (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) is a useful command-line tool for Windows images and Windows Recovery Environment. It also works on virtual hard disks and .wim files.
- Used as a backup when sfc /scannow doesn't do the job, DISM issues are usually solved by locating or fixing the Install.wim file. Resetting Windows Update services is also a good option.
- DISM comes installed with Windows and commonly used to repair Windows images as part of good backup and restore and maintenance best practices.
- Most issues don't require a complete redeployment of Windows. See our Windows 10 errors hub for different ways to tackle the problems you encountered.
Sometimes DISM process can fail, and today we’re going to show you what to do in case that happens.
DISM failed, what to do?
DISM scan can fix many problems on your PC, but many users reported that DISM scan failed to complete or to run. Speaking of DISM issues, here are some related issues reported by users:
- DISM failed no operation was performed – This is a relatively common problem with DISM. However, you might be able to fix the problem by performing the DISM can using the Windows 10 ISO file.
- DISM failed to load the provider, to unload offline registry, to flush file buffers, to set the windows directory, mount the image – These are some common problems that you can encounter with DISM scan. However, you should be able to fix most of them using our solutions.
- DISM failed 0x8000ffff, 0x800f0954, 0x800f081f – If you’re getting any of these errors, try copying the install.wim file from Windows 10 ISO and use it to perform a DISM scan.
- DISM failed while processing command cleanup-image, add-package – These are some common problems with DISM, but they can be solved using one of our solutions.
- DISM failure when attempting to copy boot files – This is another common problem with DISM, but you might be able to fix it by cleaning up system image components.
- Dism.exe failed validating command line, to load wim manager – If you’re having any of these problems, restart Windows update components and check if that helps.
Solution 1 – Check your antivirus
In some rare instances, this problem can be caused by your antivirus. Your antivirus can interfere with your system and cause this problem.
If DISM failed on your system, you might be able to fix the problem simply by disabling certain antivirus features or by disabling your antivirus altogether.
If that doesn’t help, you can try removing your antivirus. Once you remove your antivirus, repeat the DISM scan again.
If removing the antivirus solves your problem, you should consider switching to a different antivirus software.
There are many great antivirus applications on the market, but if you’re looking for an antivirus that won’t interfere with your system, we suggest that you try Bitdefender.
Solution 2 – Enter the correct location of Install.wim file
If DISM is giving you “Can’t find source files” message, you need to mount Windows 10 ISO file and specify the location of the Install.wim file.
To specify the location of the file, just enter the DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /source:WIM:X:SourcesInstall.wim:1 /LimitAccess command in Command Prompt.
Bear in mind that you need to replace X with the letter that matches the drive where Windows 10 ISO file is mounted.
Solution 3 – Copy Install.wim from to your hard drive
Few users suggested that you can fix this problem by copying the Install.wim to the root directory of your hard drive.
To get Install.wim file, just download Windows 10 ISO, mount it and locate Install.wim file.
After copying the Install.wim file, be sure to enter the correct location of the Install.wim file before running the DISM scan.
Also keep in mind that DISM command is case sensitive, and users reported that entering install.wim instead of Install.wim caused the DISM to fail, therefore be sure to enter the correct file name before starting DISM scan.
Few users also reported that DISM doesn’t support spaces in source location, so be sure to that the containing folder doesn’t have any spaces in its name.
Solution 4 – Clean up system image components
If you’re having problems with DISM, you might be able to fix those problems by cleaning up the system image components. This is a pretty simple process and you can do it by following these steps:
- Open Command Prompt as administrator.
- When Command Prompt opens, enter Dism.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup and press Enter.
- Wait for the process to finish
In addition, you can also run the following commands:
- DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup
- DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /AnalyzeComponentStore
After running these commands try to perform DISM scan again. A couple of users reported that running the following commands fixed the problem:
- Dism.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup
- Dism.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup /ResetBase
Solution 5 – Run Windows Update troubleshooter
According to users, sometimes DISM problems can occur due to Windows Update issues.
If DISM failed to complete or run on your system, you might be able to fix the problem by running Windows Update troubleshooter.
This is quite simple, and you can do it by following these steps:
- Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
- Navigate to the System & Security section.
- Choose Troubleshoot from the menu on the left. In the right pane, select Windows Update and click Run the troubleshooter.
- Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the troubleshooter.
Once the troubleshooter is finished, try to run DISM scan again and it should be able to complete.
Solution 6 – Reset Windows Update services
As already mentioned, problems with DISM can be caused by Windows Update, and if DISM failed to complete on your PC, the problem might be Windows Update services.
However, you can fix the problem simply by resetting Windows Update services.
This is relatively simple to do, and you can do it by following these steps:
- Open Command Prompt as an administrator.
- When Command Prompt starts, run the following commands:
- net stop wuauserv
- cd %systemroot%SoftwareDistribution
- ren Download Download.old
- net start wuauserv
- net stop bits
- net start bits
- net stop cryptsvc
- cd %systemroot%system32
- ren catroot2 catroot2old
- net start cryptsvc
After these commands are executed, Windows Update components should be restarted and the problem will be resolved.
Solution 7 – Disable proxy
If DISM failed to complete or run on your PC, the problem might be your proxy.
Many users use proxy to protect their privacy online, but sometimes your proxy can interfere with your system and lead to this and other issues.
To fix this problem, it’s advised that you disable your proxy and check if that helps. To do that, you just need to follow these simple steps:
- Open the Settings app and go to the Network & Internet section.
- Select Proxy from the menu on the left. In the right pane, disable all settings.
After disabling your proxy, check if the problem is resolved. Although proxy is a great way to protect your privacy online, many users prefer using VPN over proxy.
If you want to protect your privacy online, and you’re looking for a good VPN, we strongly suggest that you consider CyberGhost VPN.
Solution 8 – Make sure that your .wim isn’t set to read-only
Many users copy the install.wim file from Windows 10 installation ISO in order to run the DISM scan offline.
However, several users reported that DISM failed because the install.wim file was set as a read-only file.
If that happens, your PC won’t be able to write anything to the install.wim file and the DISM scan won’t complete. However, you can fix that by changing the properties of install.wim file.
To do that, follow these steps:
- Locate install.wim file on your hard drive, right-click it and choose Properties.
- When Properties window opens, make sure to uncheck the Read-only option. Now click Apply and OK to save changes.
After making these changes, try to run DISM scan again.
Solution 9 – Perform an in-place upgrade
If DISM scan failed to complete on your PC, your last solution might be an in-place upgrade. This process will reinstall Windows 10 and force it to upgrade to the latest version.
Unlike reinstallation, this process will keep all your files and installed applications, so you can continue where you left off. To perform an in-place upgrade, do the following:
- Download and run Media Creation Tool.
- Now select Upgrade this PC now option.
- The setup will prepare the necessary files, so you’ll need to wait.
- Select Download and install updates (recommended) and click Next.
- Wait while the updates are downloaded.
- Follow the instructions on the screen. On Ready to install screen click Change what to keep option.
- Select Keep personal files and apps and click Next.
- Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the in-place upgrade process.
Once the upgrade process is finished, you’ll have a fresh installation of Windows 10 and your problems should be resolved.
DISM scan can be used to fix corrupted Windows 10 installation, but even DISM scan can sometimes fail, and if that happens, be sure to try some of our solutions.
FAQ: Learn more about DISM
- How do I repair DISM on Windows 10?
- Open Start. Search for Command Prompt and Run as admin
- type DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
- hit enter and wait for the health check results
- Where is Dism exe?
The file, which is signed by Microsoft is located in C:\Windows\System32 folder. It is a core system file.
- Why is DISM failing?
Usually the cause is related to a corrupted file from the automatic repair source. To fix this you need to mount an image of Windows 10 and point DISM to it.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2016 and has been since completely revamped and updated in March 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.