Can DISM work offline?
“I have a machine running Win10 that was fine. But it would not boot one day. I tried my normal steps (eg: safe mode, system restore, sfc, bootrec) without success.” And then, I tried DISM in the offline mode and failed again. The command I used was:
DISM.exe /Image:d:\ /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth /Source:d:\w10\install.wim /LimitAccess /scratchdir:d:\scratch
I wonder if the syntax is wrong or how to use DISM offline repair Windows 10."
The DISM offers users a \ offline switch to perform DISM offline repair in Windows 10. You need to add it to your command and try again. If it still not working, the DISM.exe may not detect the image. To solve it, you need to mount the Windows ISO first and then try again. And this article will introduce you to two effective methods below in detail.
What is DISM?
DISM, short for Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM.exe), is a command-line tool that can be used to service and prepare Windows images (with .wim or .vhd or vhdx format), including those used for Windows PE, Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) and Windows Setup.
In general, it will download necessary files from Windows Update to replace the bad file. But if there are problems or you are not connected to the internet, DISM may fail to repair the corrupted image.
In this case, you can try DISM offline command line with the source option. You can use an "install.wim" or "install.esd" file from another computer, bootable install media, or Windows 10 ISO file. Please be sure these files must be of the same version, edition as well as language of the operating system you are using.
DISM /Online vs DISM /Image
/Online switch: It's used to target the current running operating system. There are two requirements: first, the computer is booted into the operating system. Second, the backup image is recaptured and the DISM.exe can detect it.
\Image switch: It's used to target offline Windows image, and it's usually a WIM, VHD or VHDX file.
As the switch meaning suggests, it seems that you need to use DISM \offline to repair Windows 10. And some users report that DISM says it can’t find source files while using DISM /Online.
But that's not exactly the case. you still can use DISM /Online to complete the offline image repair if you mount these offline images first.
How to use DISM offline repair Windows 10
Here you will use DISM with /Online switch and \offline switch to perform DISM repair Windows 10 offline. If you have an offline backup image, directly try Method 2. If not, try Method 1 to mount backup image first and then perform DISM offline repair.
Method 1: Perform DISM repair Windows 10 offline using DISM /Online
◆ You need to make sure that the install.wim file is not in read-only mode, or DISM will fail to repair image.
◆ DISM is case-sensitive, thus please be careful with the parameters or syntax. Any minor mistake could possibly cause irreversible losses. For example: if you type Install.win as install.wim, DISM will fail.
Part 1: Mount offline image for preparation
Step 1. Download Windows 10 1809 ISO from Microsoft support website.
Step 2. Open the MediaCreationToolxxx.exe file to access its setup window, and click Accept to agree with license terms.
Step 3. In the "What do you want to do?" window, select "Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD or ISO file) for another PC". Then, click Next.
Step 4. Tick Use the recommended options for this PC or select language, architecture, and edition manually. Then click Next.
Step 5. In the "choose which media to use" window, select ISO file and click Next.
Step 6. Then, select a backup destination to store the ISO file and click Save.
Step 7. In the last window, you will be asked to burn the ISO file to a DVD. Click the link below to open the file location with File Explorer, right-click the ISO file and select Mount to recapture the image.
Step 8. Confirm the drive letter for the recaptured image and remember it. It saves the install.wim file you will use to repair offline image to the source folder. If the drive letter is F, you need to set the source path as F:\source.
Part 2: Perform DISM offline repair in Windows 10
Step 1. Press WIN + X and select Command Prompt(Admin) in the search result list.
Step 2 (optional). Type the following commands to clean up the component store and analyze its size. Please remember to hit Enter after each command.
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /AnalyzeComponentStore
Step 3. Type the following command to repair Windows image with the known good files from install.wim file. Hit Enter is required.
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /source:F:\Sources\Install.wim:1 /LimitAccess
Note: The parameter /LimitAccess is to restrict the use of Windows Update.
Method 2: Perform DISM offline repair in Windows 10 with DISM /Image
Except for DISM /online, you can directly use DISM /offline to perform DISM offline repair in Windows 10. This process requires the offline backup path to the root directory. Below are the steps:
Step 1. Run command prompt with priority.
Step 2. Type the following command and hit Enter to execute DISM offline repair Windows 10 using an ISO file.
Dism /Image: C:\offline /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source: c:\test\mount\windows
Create a system image after DISM offline repair Windows 10
Windows image is essential for a computer to boot properly, if there is any error, your computer may fail to boot and you will lose all the data on it. You may not want to see this, and the repair process is quite complicated for many users, especially novices.
To prevent system failure or other serious problems, it's suggested to create a system image after DISM offline repair Windows 10. The best backup freeware beforehand - AOMEI Backupper Standard helps you create a system image including the operating system, system files, drivers, custom settings, personal data, etc.
So you don't need to reinstall programs or worry about data loss no matter what happens. And you can enjoy the following advantages during the backup process:
- It allows you to schedule backup system on a regular basis, such as, daily, weekly, or monthly, so as to keep all changes made later. By default, it
- By default, it will enable incremental backup to backup only changed files after the first full backup. At the same time, it will enable normal compression, intelligent sector backup etc to greatly reduce backup image size.
- You can choose to backup Windows 10 to external hard drive, USB disk, cloud drive, network share/NAS, etc.
Download AOMEI Backupper Standard, install and run it.
(PS: The free edition of AOMEI Backupper only supports Windows 10, 11, 8, 7, XP, and Vista. For server users, try AOMEI Backupper Server. )
Step 1. Launch this software. Then, click Backup and System Backup in order.
Step 2. By default, the system partition and all the boot partitions will be selected. You just need to select a backup destination to store everything on the system partition. If you want to backup to external disk or USB drive, please insert it into your computer.
Step 3. Click "Options", "Schedule Backup" and "Backup Scheme" to customize backup settings. Then, confirm everything is ok and click Start Backup to create a system image after DISM offline repair Windows 10.
◆ Option: You can comment on a task, set compression level, enable email notification, etc.
◆ Schedule Backup: It includes Daily/Weekly/Monthly in Standard edition of AOMEI Backupper. And you can also enjoy Event Triggers and USB plug in on the Professional edition if you upgrade now.
◆ Backup Scheme (advanced edition): It enables you to change default backup method to differential backup, and delete old backups automatically with By quantity, By time, By daily/weekly/monthly, or By space cleanup method.
✎... How to repair Windows 10 image with a backup image:
After creating a system image, you can use it to restore Windows image to new hard drive when something bad happens, for example, the Windows image is corrupted and DISM unluckily fails to repair Windows 10.
Launch this software again, find the backup task on the Home tab or go to Restore tab, locate the system image and follow the wizard to complete the operation.
You can also use it to restore system to a new computer with dissimilar hardware. More supporting, its Technician or Tech Plus edition allows you to create a portable version of this software to a removable device and use it on multiple Windows computers without installing it again.
Reading here, you may already know how to use DISM offline to repair Windows 10 image when your computer does not work properly. But the repair process is not easy to follow, or it is not working. Thus, it's suggested to create a system image backup after repairing this image. With it, you can restore system image from external hard drive and get your computer back quickly.
AOMEI Backupper Standard is not only a free backup software but also disk cloning software. So you can replace laptop HDD with SSD, clone NVMe to NVMe SSD, clone HDD to Samsung SSD, migrate OS to SSD, etc, and directly boot from it after cloning. For more features, please download it to explore yourself.