Fix: DISM ‘restorehealth’ error 0x800f081f

All versions of the Windows Operating System come with an abundance of different tools and utilities that are at the service of Windows users should Windows ever require repairs of any kind. One such tool is the Deployment Imaging and Servicing Management (DISM) tool. The DISM tool can be used through any Command Prompt (with the right privileges) and can be used to check the status of an online or offline Windows image and fix a Windows image that has become corrupt or needs any other kinds of repairs. The following is one of the most commonly used DISM command lines:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

This particular command line is used to repair an online Windows image. The RestoreHealth part of this command primarily instructs DISM to repair the online Windows image but also opens the gate for the user to specify additional repair source locations which DISM can search for the files required to repair the online Windows image. When running this command line on Windows 10, however, some Windows users may face failure and the following error message.

Error: 0x800f081f The source files could not be found.

This error message basically states that DISM was unable to find the files required to fix the online Windows image in their default location. To resolve this issue, you have to either run a component clean up and then an SFC Scan or provide DISM with a location that contains the files it needs to attempt the image repair. You can also fix this by upgrading Windows via the media creation tool on the Microsoft website.

Method 1: Performing a Component Cleanup

By using DISM component cleanup switch, you can clean up the image and get everything running properly again. Here’s how to get it done.

  1. Open the Start Menu, type cmd, right-click and Run as Administrator.
  2. In the elevated command prompt, type the following commands in the same order:
    dism.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup
    sfc /scannow

  1. Wait for these commands run and when they’re done, run:Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

At this point, Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth should work again.

Method 2: Getting Source from Windows Image

With a fresh Windows 10 image, you can run the DISM command with a location that contains the files it needs to attempt the image repair.

  1. Since MS removed tech bench iso’s there aren’t much sources available. You can however get image dumps from here.
  2. Once the Windows 10 ISO has been downloaded, you need to mount it on your computer in order to have your computer extract it and then be able to access it. To mount an ISO file in Windows, go here and follow the steps pertaining to the version of Windows that you are using.
  3. Open the Start Menu, type cmd, right-click and Run as Administrator.
  4. In the elevated command prompt, type the following command, replacing X with the directory where the Windows 10 ISO file you downloaded earlier is mounted:
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /source:WIM:X:\Sources\Install.wim:1 /LimitAccess
  5. Wait for the command to be executed, and DISM should be successful at repairing your Windows image this time.

Please make sure that you download the Windows 10 ISO file from the Tech Bench dump link provided above as doing so will result in you ending up with an ISO containing the Install.wim file, which is what you need. Downloading a Windows 10 ISO from the Microsoft Media Creation Tool will result in you ending up with an ISO containing an Install.esd file, which is pretty much useless for the purposes of fixing error 0x800f081f.

Method 3: Upgrading Windows

Though this is a long process, it solves the problem by reinstalling the entire Windows core with the latest image from Microsoft, hence fixing the issue. This tool will work on Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10.

  1. Get the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool from here.
  2. Run the executable from your PC. You need to run this as an Administrator.
  3. Accept the license terms and select Upgrade this PC now on the What do you want to do? and then click Next.
  4. The tool will start downloading and then installing Windows 10. Follow the prompts carefully to complete the upgrade.
  5. Upon completion, you should have a fresh copy of Windows with your file still intact. There’s no need to run Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth but you can run it to see if your issue has been solved.

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.