Source: Windows Central

On Windows 10, the Deployment Image Servicing and Management is a command-line tool designed for administrators to prepare, modify, and repair system images, including Windows Recovery Environment, Windows Setup, and Windows PE (WinPE). However, anyone can also use the tool with the local recovery image to resolve common system problems.

Usually, when you need to troubleshoot a specific error, determine why the device stops booting correctly, or resolve performance issues, you can use the System File Checker command-tool to scan and replace missing or corrupted system files using the recovery image. The caveat using this approach is that if one or more Windows 10 files in the image are damaged, the SFC command won't work. If you are in this scenario, you can use the "install.wim" image with DISM to repair the image and then use the SFC tool to fix the setup without having to reisntall Windows from scractch.

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In this Windows 10 guide, we will walk you through the steps to use the DISM and SFC tools with Command Prompt to bring a computer back to a healthy working state without the need for reinstallation.

Warning: The commands outlined in this guide are non-destructive, but since you will be making system changes is still recommended to create a temporary full backup before proceeding.

How to use DISM to repair image of Windows 10

The DISM command tool for Windows 10 comes with three options to repair an image, including "CheckHealth," "ScanHealth," and "RestoreHealth," which you want to run in order. Depending on the severity of the issue, you can also use the "RestoreHealth" option to fix the locally available image using different source files.

DISM command with CheckHealth option

The CheckHealth option with the Deployment Image Servicing and Management command tool allows you quickly determine if there are any corruptions inside the local Windows 10 image. However, the option does not perform any repairs.

To check the Windows 10 image for issues with DISM, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  3. Type the following command to perform a quick check and press Enter:

    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth

    Source: Windows Central

Once you complete the steps, DISM will run and verify any data corruption that may require fixing.

DISM command with ScanHealth option

The ScanHealth option performs a more advanced scan to determine if the OS image has any problems.

To check problems with the ScanHealth option, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  3. Type the following command to perform an advanced DISM scan and press Enter:

    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth

    Source: Windows Central

After you complete the steps, the advanced scan may take several minutes to check and determine whether the Windows 10 image needs repairing.

DISM command with RestoreHealth option

If there are problems with the system image, you can use DISM with the RestoreHealth option to scan and repair common issues automatically.

To repair Windows 10 image problems with the DISM command tool, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  3. Type the following command to repair the Windows 10 image and press Enter:

    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

    Source: Windows Central

    Quick note: If the command appears stuck at any point, this is normal behavior. After a few minutes, the process will complete successfully.

Once you complete the steps, the Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool will connect to Windows Update online to download and replace damaged files (if applicable).

Fix problems with DISM using install.wim image

The DISM command typically completes without issues, but if there are problems replacing the damaged files or you are not connected to the internet, you will need to provide another image using the Source option to complete the task. Usually, you can use an "install.wim" or "install.esd" file from another computer, bootable install media, or Windows 10 ISO file. However, you have to make sure that the files match the version, edition, and language of the version of Windows 10 you are trying to fix.

Download Windows 10 ISO file

If you need to use a different source for the files, it is recommended to use the Media Creation Tool to download a fresh copy of Windows 10.

To download the ISO file of Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open this Microsoft support website.
  2. Click the Download tool now button.
  3. Double-click the MediaCreationToolxxxx.exe file to launch the setup.
  4. Click the Accept button to agree to the terms.
  5. Select the Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another PC option.

    Source: Windows Central

  6. Click the Next button.
  7. Click the Next button again.

    Source: Windows Central

  8. Select the ISO file option.

    Source: Windows Central

  9. Click the Next button.
  10. Select the destination to store the Windows 10 ISO file.
  11. Click the Save button.
  12. Click the link to open the file location with File Explorer.

    Source: Windows Central

  13. Click the Finish button.
  14. Double-click the Windows.iso file to mount the image.
  15. Under the "This PC" section, confirm the drive letter for the mount in the left pane.

    Source: Windows Central

After you complete the steps, you can continue with the DISM tool using the "Source" option to repair the local image of Windows 10.

Fix Windows 10 recovery image

To run Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool with an alternate source (install.wim) image, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  3. Type the following command to repair the Windows 10 image and press Enter:

    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:E:\Sources\install.wim

    Source: Windows Central

    In the command, replace "F" with the drive letter corresponding to the ISO mount point in File Explorer.

  4. (Optional) Type the following command to limit the use of Windows Update and press Enter:

    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:E\Sources\install.wim /LimitAccess

  5. (Optional) Type the following variant of the previous command to accomplish the same task and press Enter:

    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:wim:E:\Sources\install.wim:1 /LimitAccess

    In the command, change F:\Sources, for the path to the "install.wim" file.

Once you complete the steps, the command will scan and repair the most common problems using the "install.wim" file you specified as the alternative source.

Fix problems with DISM using ESD image

If you have an encrypted "install.esd" image, you can also use it to repair the damaged files on Windows 10.

To use DISM with an "install.esd" image file as the source to repair Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  3. Type the following command to repair the image with an "install.esd" file and press Enter:

    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:C:\ESD\Windows\sources\install.esd

    Source: Windows Central

    In the command, change C:\ESD\Windows\sources with the path that corresponds to the location of the ".esd" file (if applicable).

  4. (Optional) Type the following command to limit the use of Windows Update and press Enter:

    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:C:\ESD\Windows\sources\install.esd /LimitAccess

  5. (Optional) Type the following variant of the previous command to accomplish the same task and press Enter:

    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:esd:C:\ESD\Windows\sources\install.esd:1 /LimitAccess

  6. (Optional) Type the following command to use an install.esd file located in another drive and press Enter:

    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:E:\Sources\install.esd

    In the command, replace F:\Sources with the path to the location of the "install.esd" file.

After you complete the steps, DISM will repair the damaged files using the files included in the "install.esd" image.

How to run SFC to repair problems on Windows 10

The instructions outlined above are meant to fix issues with the system image, not the problems with the actual installation of Windows 10. After the image has been restored to a healthy state, you have to use the System File Checker (SFC) command tool to repair the current setup.

To use the SFC command tool to repair the Windows 10 installation, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  3. Type the following command to repair the installation and press Enter:

    SFC /scannow

    Source: Windows Central

    Quick tip: If errors are found, you may want to run the command around three times to ensure that everything was fixed correctly.

Once you complete the steps, the System File Checker tool will repair the system files using the local image files to fix issues with Windows 10, and the log files will be saved on %windir%/Logs/CBS/CBS.log and %windir%\Logs\DISM\dism.log, which you can view to get more details about the repaired files.

You can use this guide to learn more ways to use the SFC tool to fix problems on Windows 10.

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:

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