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How to fix ‘DISM The source files could not be found’ on Windows 10

Windows 10 is prone to bugs. It’s gotten more stable over time but the bugs are far from gone. Each new feature update brings its own set of problems. Some of these problems are easy to fix while others aren’t. In either case, Windows 10 has a few tools built-in that users can use to fix their system.

Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM)

The Deployment Image Servicing and Management or DISM tool is a tool that can be used to fix problems with a Windows installation. Its primary purpose isn’t to troubleshoot bugs but it does have a dedicated set of commands that can help repair broken system components.

The command that’s commonly used to activate the DISM tool to repair problems accesses online files to do so. This command can fail, and when it does, you have to use a local disc image of Windows 10 to run the fix.

Fix ‘DISM The source files could not be found’

To fix the ‘DISM The source files could not be found’ error, and use a local disc image of Windows 10, you need to first download the Windows 10 image. You can get it from Microsoft.

Download Windows 10 ISO

  1. Visit the official Microsoft Windows 10 download page.
  2. Click the ‘Download tool now’ button under the ‘Create installation media’ section.
  3. Run the tool. Accept the agreement, and select the ‘Create installation media’ option.
  4. On the ‘Choose which media to use’ screen, select ISO file.
  5. Allow the file to download.

Run DISM Restore health

Now that you’ve got the Windows 10 ISO image, you can run a restore health command.

  1. Open File Explorer and navigate to where the ISO file has been downloaded.
  2. Right-click the file, and select ‘Mount’ from the context menu.
  3. Navigate to This PC in File Explorer.
  4. You will see a new virtual DVD drive has been mounted.
  5. Open the drive.
  6. Go to the Sources folder.
  7. Look for either the install.esd file, or the install.wim file. Only one of these files will be present and they will determine the command that is going to run.
  8. Copy the path to the install.esd or the install.wim file.
  9. Open Command Prompt with admin rights and run the following command. Update the path to the install.esd/install.wim file before you run it.
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:"path to install.esd/install.wim' file"

Example

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:E:\Sources\install.wim
  1. Allow the command to finish, and problems with your Windows 10 installation should be resolved.

Conclusion

This command may not work if you’re running the Creators Update. It broke in that particular version which is why it’s imperative that you’re running a new version of Windows 10 to fix the problem. If you’re on an older version, resetting your PC may be the only option.

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