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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.

42 Comments

  1. First correct solution I found for Error: 0x800f081f The source files could not be found.
    The instructions were clear and the process succeeded, where all other instructions I found were not working.
    One last step was to go back to sfc /scannow, which was then able to repair corrupt files.

  2. Hi Kevin

    I’ve upgraded my windows 7 Ultimate and already deleted the “windows old”. Will it work in this case also?

  3. BEST SOLUTION FOUND ON THE INTERNET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK KEVIN.. THANK YOU SO MUCH MAN!!!

  4. Got this error message.

    “Error: 87

    An error occurred while processing WIM:E:SourcesInstall.wim:1/LimitAccess. The specified path was not found.

    Ensure that the argument is valid and that the path exists.”

    The iso file just automatically mounts after download.
    do I need to click setup.exe in the iso file?
    I followed every step, I dunno what did I do wrong ;(

  5. Thank you for your reply, but I don’t get it. I have Windows 10 and the iso does appear as drive E.
    How to mount the iso image of my os?

  6. Actually, I have the same issue.

    My command prompt is C:Windowssystem32>
    NOT C:Users> as in your example.

    I copied the command syntax exactly as provided (substituting the proper drive location of the ISO.

    All I get (for the past 10″ now) is the image # followed by a blinking cursor.

  7. DISM is global. Doesn’t matter if its the same prompt or not, what you’re getting means dism command is working. watch our for the final results.

  8. Appreciate the clarification.

    But I stared at the blinking cursor for 20+ minutes with no obvious activity … how long does this process usually take?

  9. It should have finished by now, but let it run if it is running for 1-2 hours more and see what happens? The – should start moving.. and the progress will be indicated by a percentage.

  10. EUREKA!
    Ran it again … took 44 minutes (half of it stuck on 20%) but got a “completed successfully” message.

    Now, I was undertaking all this because WinExplorer keeps crapping out on me, failing to update changes. I recently noticed that, after a restart, I could modify items on the desktop but as soon as I opened File Explorer, the problem resumed.

    This time I ran the DISM RestoreHealth after a restart but WITHOUT opening File Explorer at all and it was successful.

    Does this make any sense?

  11. IT’S REALLY FIXED. THANKS MAN! I thought that I can use my iso (not the one he provides, sorry) but it’s always failed. After I download the one he provides, boom, it’s fixed.

    For those who had trouble with dism, just download the iso form techbench

  12. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! Best help right here! Sure enough, as he state, the esd version of ISO files doesn’t work. The WIM does!

  13. WOW! It worked! I have been messing around searching for an understandable article, and I found this to be the best. Thanks a lot!

  14. My windows 10 start button is not working, also Cortana and some apps. When I executed the RestoreHealth I got this error, hoping that this will work, I’m downloading the link right now . Thanks in Advance!:-)

  15. I’ve tried that before and didn’t work, the error still there. I need the right ISO as is write in the Note.

  16. you can convert an esd to a wim using dism, as the iso, at least from what I could find, no longer contains a wim

  17. “We are sorry, the page you requested cannot be found.”
    Also the original link in your article worked for about a minute and I managed to click ‘Confirm’ but then it said “Your request encountered error” or something like that… after refreshing the website the original message “We are sorry, the page you requested cannot be found.” showed up…
    And what’s the wierdest, when I open Microsoft homepage this message shows up again.
    What’s the problem here?

  18. After extensive searching on google, reading about the error, seems like simple cache deleting did the job. Really unusual, everything opens smoothly and such credible website like Microsoft had problems…

  19. I can add that method to this guide so it can help others. Can you tell me where did you see this method or if possible send me the link to it? Thanks

  20. Hi. Actually I think there is a small issue in your command. There must be a space after the wim:1 and the forward slash preceding the LimitAccess.

  21. I used the ISO from MediaCreationTool.exe, turned the install.esd into install.wim and tried a handful of commands in different order but in the end using capitalization it seemed to work. Maybe it’ll work for you?

    I don’t think the other commands I did mattered, but try running the `Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:WIM:C:UsersTylerDesktopinstall.wim:1 /LimitAccess` command with WIM capitalized. Also, not sure if it mattered but I also extracted the sources folder along with the install.wim file because the error I kept getting was it couldn’t find sources and to define it via command line.

    Let me know if that helps, I’ll post the other commands if it doesn’t – this was the other forum post I was trying (commands in there somewhere, very similar): http://www.eightforums.com/performance-maintenance/58764-dism-source-files-could-not-befound-when-trying-restore.html

    Thanks

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Fix: DISM ‘restorehealth’ error 0x800f081f

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