DISM source files could not be found? Try these 3 solutions

Vladimir Popescu
by Vladimir Popescu
Windows & Software Expert
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  • If the DISM process has failed to run optimally, this implies that you are not able to start the repair and recovery process for your Windows OS.
  • In order to rectify this issue, you will need to use the Windows Repair Upgrade app, clean the WinSXS folder, and also use an alternative repair source file.
  • To make sure you will always be able to fix an issue like this one, check our comprehensive DISM Fix hub.
  • Because it is imperative that you have access to detailed guides when encountering an error, don't hesitate to bookmark our Windows Fix webpage.
DISM The source files could not be found

Some users have reported that their DISM process has failed with the error message The source files could not be found after they used the DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth command inside Command Prompt/PowerShell.

Even though the main body of this error message is the same, the code for the error might differ: Here are the few possible options:

  • 0x800f081f
  • 0x800f0906
  • 0x800f0907

This issue is most commonly caused by the DISM service not being able to connect to the internet, a compromised install.wim file, or having multiple versions of the file mentioned previously in the same location on your hard-drive.

In today’s fix article we will discuss some of the best methods to solve this issue once and for all. Make sure to follow the described steps closely to avoid any complications.


What can I do if source files could not be found in DISM?

1. Use Windows Repair Upgrade to fix the issue

laptop on desk with coffee cup - dism failed the source files could not be found

To download the Windows Repair tool:

  1. Download the Windows Media Creation tool.
  2. Run the installer and accept the License Terms.
  3. Click the Upgrade this PC now option and then press Next.
  4. Wait for the process to be completed.

To start the Windows repair process:

  1. Press the Win+X keys and select either the Command Prompt (Admin) or PowerShell (Admin) option.
  2. Run the following commands in order inside the Command Prompt window:
  • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup
  • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
  • sfc /scannow

If your administrator account is disabled in Windows 10, find out how you can enable it in this useful guide.

 


2. Clean and perform analysis of the WinSXS folder

  1. Press the Win+X keys and select Windows PowerShell(Admin) or Command Prompt(Admin).Windows PowerShell - dism failed the source files could not be found
  2. Copy-paste and run the following commands (in the same order), and then restart your PC:
  • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup
  • sfc /scannow
  • DISM /Online  /Cleanup-Image /AnalyzeComponentStore
  • sfc /scannow

After the above-mentioned processes are completed, try running the DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth command again, and see if the process can be completed successfully.


Can’t run Command Prompt as admin? Check out this simple guide


3. Use an alternative repair source in DISM

User with laptop - dism failed the source files could not be found

Note: To be able to try this method out, you will need the install.wim, or the install.esd file from a Windows installation media (USB, ISO, or DVD). The Windows installation media needs to have the same Windows version, edition, and language as the operating system you’re using at the moment.

To  find out the Index value of your Windows OS:

  1. Connect the USB device containing the Windows installation (or mount the ISO image) to your PC.
  2. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the drive that you just mounted.
  3. Open the Sources folder and check if an install.wim or install.esd file is present at that location.
  4. Press the Win+X keys and choose Command Prompt (Admin), or Windows PowerShell (Admin) to open it.
  5. Copy-paste the following command:

dism /Get-WimInfo /WimFile:X:sourcesinstall.wim or dism /Get-WimInfo /WimFile:X:sourcesinstall.esd (depending on the file format found inside the Sources folder).

Note: After the process is completed, note the Index value from the results.

To start the repair process for Windows:

Depending on what file you’re using (install.wim, or an install.esd) run the following command taking the Note mentioned below into consideration:

  • For an install.wim file: DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:WIM:X:sourcesinstall.wim:IndexNumber /LimitAccess
  • For an install.esd file: DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:ESD:X:sourcesinstall.esd:IndexNumber /LimitAccess

Note: Replace the X inside the above-mentioned commands with the letter corresponding to the drive, and also replace IndexNumber with the results of the process completed earlier.

After the process is done, and you see the Operation is completed successfully message, and also run the following command inside the Command Prompt window: sfc /scannow

If you can’t run the /sfc runnow command successfully inside Command Prompt, find out how to fix it by checking out this useful guide.


In today’s guide, we compiled the best methods available that should solve your issue once and for all. We made the choice to present the methods in such a way that allows you to try out the least invasive actions first, and the most complicated/invasive at the end.

We hope that the methods presented in this fix guide have solved your Source files could not be found error inside Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM).

If you would like to share your experience with us, don’t hesitate to get into contact with our team. You can do so by using the comment section below.

FAQ: Learn more about DISM

  • What is DISM?

DISM is an acronym for Deployment Image Servicing and Management, and it allows you to clean, backup, and restore your Windows OS in case you encounter a severe problem with your system.

  • What does the dism online cleanup-image RestoreHealth do?

The /RestoreHealth command automatically searches and fixes any system file corruption found on your PC. It works by using the Windows Update services and replaces any files with new and updated versions.

  • What happens if SFC Scannow fails?

If for some reason your SFC Scannow command has failed, you will need to check your system for any corrupted files. For more details, you can visit this useful guide.

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