How to repair your system files using DISM and SFC /Scannow (Build: 10041)

I've managed to repair my system files on Windows 10 TP build 10041. This is how to do it for those interested in it. Note: you will need the ISO for build 10041. If you don't know how to get it, see Andre's thread: Instructions: Create a bootable ISO file using ESD Image for Windows 10 Build 10041

Now follow the next steps:

1. Mount the .ISO file by double clicking on it.

2. Open 'Windows Powershell' or 'Command Prompt' with Admin privileges (right click -> Run as Administrator)

3. Let's check the System Health first, by running these commands:

  3.1 dism /online /cleanup-image /scanhealth

  3.2 dism /online /cleanup-image /checkhealth

  3.3 dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth

4. I'm sure that 3.3 will give you an error stating that it could not perform the task. And now it's when the mounted ISO comes into play. Let's specify the file from the ISO so that we can fix it. Run the following command: (Notice that X must be the drive letter on which your system has mounted the ISO)

  4.1 DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /source:WIM:X:\Sources\Install.wim:1 /LimitAccess

5. Now let's repair any damage in the system files, shall we?

  5.1 sfc /scannow

Now it should work for you, guys! I hope this will help. My system seems more responsive since then. Please report if you encounter any problems following these instructions.

Regards,

Luis.

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You might call Microsoft here for free Tech Support.

Microsoft Store Sales and Customer Support: Call 1-877-696-7786

You also have 30 days to revert back to 8.1. If so, I'd call the number above to confirm the process will put your PC back exactly like it was with no reinstallation of printer, MS Office, etc. They should be able to walk you through the recovery if desired.

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I let Microsoft do the automatic upgrade thing from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 on several PCs.  All of the upgraded PCs have serious issues: hangs when waking from sleep, weird taskbar behavior, weird Cortana behavior (inability to access Cortana settings, inability to activate Cortana, etc.), weird Visual Studio 2015 problems.  No idea if any of these problems are related to Windows Component corruption, but SFC and WIM both complain about uncorrectable corruption, so....

I have similar multiple issues and know that these issues should be fixed by using sfc and/or dism,  but they appear to be unfixable due to file corruption.

Doing a clean install of windows 10 by using the Media Creation Tool will create an iso in order to create installation media from the files that get downloaded.  I have both $Windows,~WS and $WINDOWS,~BT hidden folders in the root of my clean windows 10 install C: (One is downloaded by the media creation tool and the other is downloaded by windows updates).

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows-10/media-creation-tool-install

Using that tool will save you guessing which ISO you download as the iso is created from the files on your machine and are totally separate from the files used by windows updates to upgrade though an iso is easily created from that folder also.

It would be great if somebody could expand on troubleshooting and fixing what you describe Bob.at.SBS as i am sure this detected yet unfixable file corruption is preventing me from installing proprietary drivers from vendors's websites.   i.e.  i can not install the latest and greatest graphics driver for my machine from AMD website.

Suggesting to call Microsoft Store Sales and Customer Support is just a waste of time as i am sure that could cost a small fortune due to the time in explaining and re explaining what you have already just described very well.

I personally can not recommend upgrading to windows 10 to anybody until these major issues are resolved and all features in windows 10 are working.  Flash and HTML5 video content do not play in Edge browser as well as both DX 12 and the new wddm not being supported by the graphics driver windows updates FORCES on my machine are the main reasons i found sfc reporting file corruption that it can not fix.   I then see exactly what Bob.at.SBS describes in attempting to use dism to fix that corruption i.e. sources can not be found.

I have deferred updates, disabled auto install of updates, hidden specific updates using wushowhide.diagcab, disabled signed drivers and tried installing proprietary drivers from amd website in safe mode all unsuccessfully in an effort to simply install a driver from the manufacturer of that hardware. 

Use dxdiag or msinfo32 to confirm what version and build of windows you currently have.

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In Microsoft's infinite wisdom

They have even corrupted my win7 files on a seperate partition with their hybrid fast-boot BS even though its turned off. file corruption on win10 has happened too.

this is ALL such a big mess!

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For me I have found STOP trying to work Windows 10,  since all the forced updates are 99% failure to install, and constant popups (annoying ****) reminds me get your updates. even bought a Genuine KEY. still makes Win 10 ****, so

clean install of Windows 8.1 get activated and work something that I have almost no issues. 

fast boot, is ****, messes up everthing, so go back to what ever your system defaults to.  corruption can be fixed on Win 8.1 at 90% by DISM.

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GE Said: "Suggesting to call Microsoft Store Sales and Customer Support is just a waste of time as i am sure that could cost a small fortune due to the time in explaining and re explaining what you have already just described very well."

As CLEARLY stated above, Tech Support is FREE for Windows 10 upgrade issues. If you don't believe it, call 877-696-7786 and select option 3. Hold time may be long, so use a speaker phone. They will transfer you to FREE Windows 10 Support. Support is FREE if not Virus related. The number they will transfer you to is either 800-642-7676 or 866-425-8809. I just called and even set up a case number to prove the process works. The Tech confirmed if we roll-back to our previous OS, all programs will be restored just prior to upgrade.

Here's a good Tutorial on the roll-back process, something I'm sure MANY will follow until all the Win10 bugs are fixed.

http://www.cnet.com/how-to/windows-10-how-to-roll-back/

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I had the same issue and finally found a way to fix my corrupted files with DISM.  DISM allows you to refer to a running Windows directory on another PC as the source files.  I thought that perhaps the corrupted files were only in Windows Updates and not in the original install.wim from the Windows 10 ISO.

So I fired up a Hyper-V VM, installed Windows 10 Pro with all Windows Updates and logged-in to Windows on it using my same MSA as my main PC that the VM is running on.  That way I would have file access rights to the entire device.  I then shared the Windows folder on the VM after ensuring that file sharing was enabled on the network.

Then I browsed the network to find my Hyper-V device and it's shared Windows folder in File Explorer to ensure that I could see it.

(I guess this would work if you shut down the Hyper-V VM and mounted it's hard disk VHDX file to browse to the Windows folder also, as long as file access rights were sufficient that way).

With DISM I then pointed to the shared Windows folder on the running Hyper-V device to do the /RestoreHealth.  After this succeeded, I could then confirm that all was well using sfc /scannow.

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=243077

C:\Windows\system32>DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:\\DESKTOP-QM02AH0\Windows

Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool
Version: 10.0.10240.16384

Image Version: 10.0.10240.16384

[==========================100.0%==========================]
The restore operation completed successfully.
The operation completed successfully.

C:\Windows\system32>sfc /scannow

Beginning system scan.  This process will take some time.

Beginning verification phase of system scan.
Verification 100% complete.

Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.

Don

2012 Alienware Aurora R4 ALX
Intel i7-3960X, 32GB RAM, 250GB NVMe SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690

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And the answer is...

Well, my laptop finally got to the point where it wouldn't boot reliably, and I couldn't get the DISM/SFC repair magic to work, so I put in the Windows 10 DVD (burned from the ISO I downloaded from MSDN Subscriber Downloads), ran Setup, and let it do its default thing (reinstall Windows 10, keep all files and settings) and, bada bing, bada boom, the laptop seems to be happy now.  Weird Cortana issues seem to be gone.  SFC/VerifyOnly says it's happy.  I did the same on my equally problem-prone desktop with the same (happy) result.

A few of notes about my long, winding path to happiness:

  • I never did get SFC or DISM to help me
  • I had tried earlier to repair my PC using the Windows 10 DVD, but it just gave me some generic complaint to the effect that this version of Windows would not allow me to repair my computer.  Turns out I had inadvertently downloaded the x86 version, and I was trying to repair an x64 installation.  Dumb Bob, but Windows could have saved me several days of flailing by giving me a clearer error message ("Hey dummy, you can't repair an x64 version of Windows with an x86 image; go get the right DVD and try again.")
  • A thread of replies to my original question suggested and later took pot shots at the free tech support option.  I tried them (several days before I posted to this forum), and my experience, FWIW, was:
    • I waited on hold for like 2 hours and gave up.  Then I used the option to schedule a callback, and that got me to a support engineer in a reasonable amount of time after the scheduled callback.
    • The support engineer was surprisingly knowledgeable, but
    • We got cut off just as he was going to help me deal with the DVD, and I didn't bother to go through the "call tech support" thing again.  (As it turned out, dealing the DVD, once I got the correct DVD, was trivial.)

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I hit user privilege issues when trying to install flash version for activex browsers so you may be onto something here.

I haven't done a file contents comparison on my installed windows 10 sources directory and the sources directory found on the iso it was installed from nor any other machine running windows 10.  They should be the same but as you highlight the permissions/user privileges thing could be causing the "source not found" issue holding back dism to fix the corrupted files sfc detects.

Thanks for the info.

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What is the purpose of running the step 3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 which could take up to 15 - 30 minutes when the 4th step fixed everything. ? 
Everything is energy AND random (string theory is invalid) - Albert Einstein & MaXi32

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You are right.  The first option checks if it has already been flagged as corrupt, the second scans to see if previously un-flagged corruption exists.  Only the third option attempts repair operations.

/Cleanup-Image {/CheckHealth | /ScanHealth | /RestoreHealth}
  Use /CheckHealth to check whether the image has been flagged as corrupted by a failed process and whether the corruption can be repaired.
  Use /ScanHealth to scan the image for component store corruption.
  Use /RestoreHealth to scan the image for component store corruption, and then perform repair operations automatically.

Don

2012 Alienware Aurora R4 ALX
Intel i7-3960X, 32GB RAM, 250GB NVMe SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690

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Last updated June 12, 2021 Views 219,834 Applies to: