Ultimate Guide to Fixing DISM Failed Errors in Windows

This article delves into the frustrating world of "dism failed errors windows," providing readers with a thorough understanding and step-by-step solutions to tackle these errors effectively.


By Lori / Updated on February 6, 2024

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Encountering "dism failed errors windows" can feel like hitting a brick wall during your routine system maintenance or troubleshooting. Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool is a Swiss Army knife for Windows administrators and users, aiding in repairing and preparing Windows images, including the Windows Recovery Environment, Windows Setup, and Windows PE.

But when DISM itself fails, it can seem like you're out of options. This guide is designed to navigate through these errors with ease, offering clear, detailed instructions to get your system back on track.

Understanding DISM Failed Errors in Windows

Before diving into the solutions, it's crucial to grasp why these errors occur. DISM relies on Windows Update to download files needed to repair system images. If there's an issue with the Windows Update service or the DISM tool can't access the Microsoft servers, it may fail to perform its duties, resulting in errors. Corrupted system files, an unstable internet connection, or even some malwares can also lead to DISM failures.

Method 1: Running DISM Commands with Specific Steps

Step 1: Launch Command Prompt with Administrative Privileges

Press Windows Key + X and choose "Command Prompt (Admin)" or "Windows PowerShell (Admin)" from the menu. This step is crucial as running DISM requires administrator-level access to make changes to system files.

Step 2: Running the Basic DISM Command

Type the following command and press Enter:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

This command tells DISM to look for corrupted files and replace them using Windows Update as the source.

Step 3: Patience Is a Virtue

The process can be lengthy, especially if your system is significantly corrupted or your internet connection is slow. It's not uncommon for this process to take an hour or more.

Step 4: Restart Your Computer

Once the process completes, restart your computer to ensure all changes take effect properly.

Method 2: Checking System File Integrity with SFC Scan

Sometimes, the issue isn't directly with the DISM tool but with the system files it's trying to repair. Here's where the System File Checker (SFC) tool comes in.

Step 1: Open Command Prompt as Administrator

Repeat the initial step from Method 1 to open Command Prompt with administrative privileges.

Step 2: Initiate the SFC Scan

Enter the following command and hit Enter:

sfc /scannow

This instructs SFC to scan all protected system files and replace corrupted files with a cached copy that is located in a compressed folder at %WinDir%\System32\dllcache.

Step 3: Await the Scan Completion

Similar to the DISM command, this process can take some time depending on the state of your system files. You'll see a progress indicator in the command prompt window.

Step 4: Review the Results and Reboot

Once the scan is complete, you'll receive messages informing you of any actions taken. Reboot your system to apply any fixes.

Method 3: Resetting Windows Update Components Manually

If DISM and SFC scans don't resolve the issue, the problem might lie with the Windows Update components themselves. Resetting these can help clear any blocks for DISM operations.

Step 1: Disable Windows Update Services

Open Command Prompt as an administrator.

Enter the following commands, pressing Enter after each:

net stop wuauserv net stop cryptSvc net stop bits net stop msiserver

These commands stop the Windows Update Services, Cryptographic Services, BITS, and the MSI Installer respectively.

Step 2: Rename the SoftwareDistribution and Catroot2 folders

With the services stopped, you can now rename the SoftwareDistribution and Catroot2 folders. These folders store update files and history, and renaming them can resolve issues. Enter the following commands:

ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 catroot2.old

Step 3: Restart the Services

After renaming the folders, restart the services you stopped earlier with the following commands:

net start wuauserv net start cryptSvc net start bits net start msiserver

Step 4: Attempt DISM Command Again

With the update components reset, try running the DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth command again to see if the issue is resolved.

Method 4: Using Advanced Recovery Tools like MyRecover

When basic troubleshooting fails to resolve DISM errors, turning to advanced recovery tools like MyRecover can be a game-changer. MyRecover is designed to tackle a wide range of Windows issues, including DISM failures, without risking data loss.

Step 1: Downloading and Installing MyRecover

Navigate to the official MyRecover website.

Download the latest version compatible with your Windows system.

Follow the installation prompts to install MyRecover on your system.

Step 2: Running a System Scan with MyRecover

Launch MyRecover and select the "System Scan" option from the main interface.

Allow MyRecover to perform a thorough scan of your system. This process identifies various issues, including those related to DISM errors.

Review the scan results once the process completes.

Step 3: Repairing DISM Errors Using MyRecover

After the scan, MyRecover will display a list of identified issues.

Select the problems related to DISM and click on the "Repair" button.

MyRecover will initiate the repair process, which may involve downloading necessary files from its servers or applying specialized fixes.

Step 4: Restart Your Computer

Once the repair process is complete, restart your computer to ensure all changes take effect.

Method 5: Performing a Clean Boot and Running DISM

Interference from third-party software can sometimes cause DISM to fail. Performing a clean boot starts Windows with a minimal set of drivers and startup programs, eliminating software conflicts.

Step 1: Configuring Windows for a Clean Boot

Press Windows Key + R to open the Run dialog.

Type msconfig and press Enter to open the System Configuration utility.

Go to the Services tab, check "Hide all Microsoft services," and then click "Disable all" to turn off all non-Microsoft services.

Switch to the Startup tab and click on "Open Task Manager." Disable all startup items listed.

Close Task Manager and click OK in the System Configuration window. Restart your computer.

Step 2: Running DISM After a Clean Boot

After your computer starts, follow the steps outlined in Method 1 to run the DISM command again.

Method 6: Using Windows Update Troubleshooter

Windows Update Troubleshooter can resolve issues that affect the functionality of DISM, especially those related to Windows Update.

Step 1: Launching Windows Update Troubleshooter

Go to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Additional troubleshooters.

Select "Windows Update" and click "Run the troubleshooter."

Step 2: Applying Fixes

Follow the on-screen instructions to let the troubleshooter detect and fix problems with Windows Update.

After the troubleshooter completes, attempt to run the DISM command again.


Tackling "dism failed errors windows" can seem daunting, but with a comprehensive approach that includes basic troubleshooting, system file checks, resetting update components, and leveraging advanced tools like MyRecover, most issues can be resolved. Remember, persistence and a systematic approach are key to overcoming these challenges and restoring your system's health.


Can DISM errors prevent Windows from updating?

Yes, DISM errors can sometimes interfere with the Windows Update process, making it crucial to resolve these errors to maintain system security and performance.

How often should I run DISM and SFC scans on my system?

Running these scans once every few months or when you encounter system errors can help maintain the integrity of system files.

Are there any risks associated with using third-party repair tools like MyRecover?

While there's always a degree of risk when using third-party software, sticking to reputable tools like MyRecover and downloading them from official sources minimizes these risks.

What should I do if none of the methods fix the DISM error?

If DISM errors persist, consider seeking professional help or reinstalling Windows as a last resort to ensure system stability and performance.

Can I use these methods on all versions of Windows?

While the focus here is on recent versions like Windows 10 and Windows 11, many of these methods are applicable across various Windows versions with slight adjustments.

Lori · Editor
Lori receives professional technical training since joining AOMEI, and aims at helping users troubleshoot problems on data recovery and protection. She focuses on simple, efficient and practical methods, and provides professional advice. Being able to help readers and users is her ultimate goal.