Resolve the DISM error: “The source files could not be found”

If you encounter the error message “Could not find source files” after running the DISM command “DISM / Online / Cleanup-Image / Restore Health”, you are in the right place, because today we will look at how to fix this problem. The error indicates that the DISM tool cannot find the source files to restore the Windows image.

There are several reasons why Windows can’t find the source file, for example, the DISM tool can’t find online files in Windows Update or WSUS, or the most common problem is that you have specified the wrong Windows image file (install.wim) as the recovery source, etc. So, without wasting any time, let’s see how to fix the DISM source file error with the troubleshooting guide below.

What causes DISM “Source files can’t be found” error

What causes DISM "Source files can't be found" error

The “Source files cannot be found” error in the DISM tool often occurs for the following reasons.

  • The DISM tool fails to find the files you need to restore online (in Windows Update or WSUS) when you use this command: “DISM / Online / Cleanup-Image / Restore Health”.
  • You specified the wrong Windows image file (install.wim) as the restore source when using this command: “DISM / Online / Cleanup-Image / Restore Health /Source”.
  • The install.wim or install.esd file you use as the recovery source contains several install.wim files.
  • The Windows.ISO file you are using as the recovery source may be corrupted or incorrect {it does not match the version, edition, and architecture (32 or 64 bit) of your installed Windows}.

To fix the DISM error “Source files cannot be found”

To fix the DISM error "Source files cannot be found"

Clean and analyze the WinSXS folder

  1. Press Win+X and select Windows PowerShell(Admin) or Command Prompt(Admin).
  2. Copy and execute the following commands (in the same order), then reboot the computer:
  • DISM / Online / Cleanup-Image / Start Component Cleanup
  • Sfc / scan now
  • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /AnalyzeComponentStore
  • Sfc / scan now

After completing the above processes, try running the DISM / Online / Cleanup-Image / Restore Health command again and make sure that the process is completed successfully.

Using another repair source in DISM

To try this method, you will need an install.wim or install.esd file from the Windows install media (USB, ISO, or DVD). The Windows installation media must have the same version, edition, and language as the operating system you are currently using.

  1. Connect the USB device containing the Windows installation to your computer (or mount the ISO image).
  2. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the drive you just mounted.
  3. Open the Sources folder and check to see if install.wim or install.esd is there.
  4. Press Win+X and select Command Prompt (Admin) or Windows PowerShell (Admin) to open it.
  5. Copy and paste the following command:
  • Dism / Get-WimInfo / WimFile: X :source install.wim
  • Dism / Get-WimInfo / WimFile: X: source install.esd

Use Windows Repair Upgrade to fix the problem

To download the Windows Repair Upgrade tool

  1. Download the Windows Media Creation Tool.
  2. Run the installer and accept the license terms and conditions.
  3. Select the “Upgrade this PC now” option, then click “Next”.
  4. Wait for the process to complete.

To start the Windows restore process

  1. Press Win+X and select Command Prompt (Admin) or PowerShell (Admin).
  2. Execute the following commands one at a time in the Command Prompt window:
  • DISM / Online / Cleanup-Image / StartComponentCleanup
  • Dism / Online / Cleanup-Image / RestoreHealth
  • Sfc / scan now

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Press the Windows button.
  2. Type Gpedit.
  3. In the Group Policy Editor (left), go to Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System.
  4. In the right pane, open the "Specify options for installing and restoring optional components" option.
  5. Apply the following settings.

  1. Open Start.
  2. Find Command Prompt, right-click on the first result and select the "Run as administrator" option.
  3. Enter the following command to restore the Windows 10 image and press Enter: DISM / Online / Cleanup-Image / Restore Health.

  1. Download the Windows installation media in ISO format. From the links below, run the Media Builder according to your version of Windows. Download the Windows 10 Media Builder.
  2. Unzip the install.wim file from the installation.
  3. Run the DISM tool to restore your Windows image. Important. Follow all the steps exactly as described.

If a DISM failed error occurs on your computer, you should disable any anti-virus or security software. If possible, temporarily remove them. Then, run the DISM command again. This may solve your problem.


  1. J.P. Vermaas Reply

    Did you try the commands in step 2?
    The first command should be:
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup
    DISM / Online / Cleanup-Image / Start Component Cleanup

  2. Markmaus Reply

    The order of the two commands in the Part “Sfc / scan now” doesn’t really make sense:

    DISM / Online / Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup
    Sfc / scan now
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /AnalyzeComponentStore
    Sfc / scan now

    Usually you use /AnalyzeComponentStore to get infos about the current status and a recomandation to StartComponentCleanup or not.

    /AnalyzeComponentStore doesn’t repair or remove anything as far as I know, so the second “Sfc / scan now” is also obsolete.

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