Windows 10 ships with the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) command tool, which has been designed to allow administrators prepare, modify, and repair Windows images, including the Windows Recovery Environment, Windows Setup, and Windows PE. However, you can also use the command-line tool to fix problems with the recovery image included with every installation of the OS.

Usually, when your device is experiencing performance issues, doesn’t start correctly, or you’re dealing with unexpected errors, you can use the System File Checker command tool to scan, detect, and replace any corrupted or missing system files using the recovery image.

The problem is that if SFC can’t fix the issue, it’s likely because it can’t retrieve the replacement files from the Windows 10 image as a result of corruption or other errors. In this particular case, you can use DISM to scan and repair the install.wim image, which you can use with SFC to repair your actual installation.

In this Windows 10 guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to use the DISM command tool with Command Prompt to bring your device back to a healthy system state.

Warning: Although these are non-destructive command-line tools, you’ll be making system changes. As a result, it’s recommended to create a temporary full backup before proceeding.

How to run DISM to repair an image of Windows 10

Using the Deployment Image Servicing and Management command tool you get three main options to repair an image of Windows 10, including CheckHealth, ScanHealth, and RestoreHealth, and you want to run them in that hierarchy. Also, depending on the severity of the issue, there are additional settings to run RestoreHealth option to repair an image using different sources.

Checking issues with DISM using CheckHealth option

You can use the CheckHealth option with DISM to quickly determine if there are any corruptions in the local image. However, this option won’t perform any repairs.

To check 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 and press Enter:

    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth

Once you complete the steps, the command will run and will quickly verify if any corruptions need fixing.

Checking issues with DISM using ScanHealth option

Alternatively, you can also run DISM with the ScanHealth option to perform and more advanced scan to find out if the Windows 10 image has any corruptions.

To perform an advanced scan 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 and press Enter:

    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth

After you complete the steps, the advanced scan will start, and it could take several minutes to determine if the local image has any problems.

Repairing issues with DISM using RestoreHealth option

If there are issues, then you can use DISM with the RestoreHealth option, which will run an advanced scan and repair any problems automatically.

  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 and press Enter:

    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

    Quick note: While the command is running is normal to see the process stuck at 20 or 40 percent, after a few minutes, the process will complete successfully.

Once you complete the steps, the Deployment Image Servicing and Management command tool will connect to the Windows Update servers to download and replace any damaged files in the local image for Windows 10.

Repairing issues with DISM using WIM image

Usually, you won’t experience problems using DISM, but if there are issues with Windows Update, you’ll have to use a different source to repair the files using another image with the Source option.

Before you can specify a different source, you’ll need an install.wim or install.esd file from another computer, bootable installation media, or Windows 10 ISO file. It’s also crucial that the source of the known good files matches the same version, edition, and language of the OS that you’re using.

Download Windows 10 ISO file

The best way to get access to a good image is to use the Media Creation Tool to download an ISO image of Windows 10.

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

  1. Open this Microsoft support website.
  2. Click the Download tool now button.
  3. Double-click the MediaCreationTool1xxxx.exe file to launch the app.
  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.

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

  8. Select the ISO file option.

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

  13. Click the Finish button.
  14. Double-click the Windows.iso file to mount the image.
  15. In File Explorer, note the drive letter for the mounted image.

After you complete the steps, you can use DISM with the Source option to repair the local image of Windows 10.

Fix Windows 10 recovery image

To run DISM specifying a 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 and press Enter:

    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:F:\sources\install.wim

    In the command, make sure to change “F,” for the letter that corresponds to your mount point.

  4. Or 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. Or type the following variant of the previous command to accomplish the same task and press Enter:

    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:wim:F:\sources\install.wim:1 /LimitAccess

Once you complete the steps, the command will scan and repair any issues using the install.wim image that you specified.

Repairing issues with DISM using ESD image

Alternatively, if you have an encrypted install.esd image from a recent upgrade to the latest version of Windows 10, you can use to repair the damaged files.

To run DISM specifying a source (install.esd) 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 and press Enter:

    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:C:\$Windows.~BT\Sources\Install.esd

    In the command, make sure to change “C:\$Windows.~BT\Sources,” for the path that corresponds to the location of the install.esd file (if applicable).

  4. Or type the following command to limit the use of Windows Update and press Enter:

    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:C:\$Windows.~BT\Sources\Install.esd /LimitAccess

  5. Or type the following variant of the previous command to accomplish the same task and press Enter:

    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:esd:C:\$Windows.~BT\Sources\Install.esd:1 /LimitAccess

  6. Or type the following command to use an install.esd file located in another drive and press Enter:

    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:D:\Sources\Install.esd

    In the command, make sure to change “D:\Sources,” for the path that corresponds to the location of the install.esd file.

After you complete the steps, the Deployment Image Servicing and Management command tool will run and repair the damaged files using the files included in the install.esd image. Once the process completes, the log files will be saved on %windir%/Logs/CBS/CBS.log and %windir%\Logs\DISM\dism.log capturing any issues found and fixed.

How to run SFC to repair installation problems on Windows 10

The above instructions outline the steps to repair any issues inside the image that’s part of the installation, but they don’t fix any problems with the actual Windows 10 installation. However, now that you have a good image, you can use the System File Checker to repair common issues preventing Windows 10 from running smoothly.

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 and press Enter:

    SFC /scannow

    Quick tip: If errors were found, you may want to run the command about three times to make sure that everything is fixed correctly.

Once you complete the steps, the System File Checker will scan your device and repair any system files using the good files from the local image to restore the health of Windows 10.

Although the above command should be enough to fix an installation, there are a lot of SFC commands that you can use to repair an installation of Windows 10.

We’re focusing this guide on Windows 10, but you can also use DISM to service images on Windows 8.1 and Windows 7, but the options available will vary depending on the OS.

More Windows 10 resources

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

Mauro recommends all these affordable accessories

Hi, I’m Mauro Huculak, Windows Central’s help and how-to guru. I wrote the post you’re reading now, and I know the Windows OS inside and out. But I’m also a bit of a hardware geek. These are some of the affordable gadgets on my desk today.



Logitech MX Master Wireless Mouse ($72 at Amazon)

I know mice, and this is the one I use every day. The MX Master is a wireless high-precision mouse that’s very comfortable to use and has many great features, including the ability to connect with multiple devices, an infinite scroll wheel, back and forward buttons, all of which you can customize.



Ktrio Extended Gaming Mouse Pad ($12 at Amazon)

If you spend a lot of time typing, your palms and mouse will leave tracks on your desk. My solution was to start using gaming mouse pads, which are big enough for you to use the keyboard and the mouse comfortably. This is the one I use and recommend.



Supernight LED light strip ($20 at Amazon)

You could just use a regular light bulb in your office, but if you want to add some ambient lighting with different colors, an RGB LED strip is the way to go. This one is Mauro-approved.

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.