SFC and DISM aren't working to repair my Windows 10, can I please get some direction?

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Windows Central Question

SFC and DISM aren't working to repair my Windows 10

New install of 10586.164 . . . all updates, for some reason SFC finds corruption. Logs for CBS are mostly:

Error - Overlap: Duplicate ownership for directory

So I tried DISM, DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /restorehealth.

DISM Failed with

"Error: 0x800f081f

The source files could not be found.
Use the "Source" option to specify the location of the files that are required to restore the feature. For more information on specifying a source location, see article . . .

For some reason I cannot get the files online. So I try to point to an ISO I mounted.

Almost all the articles I find say point DISM to Sources\install.wim. (All I have is just install.esd) I don't have that file there, what the articles are assuming is that I converted it or captured an image of my computer, however why would I want to capture something that is corrupt?

Can someone point me to an article that shows me how to do this step by step? Thanks!


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Apr 15, 2013
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Re: SFC and DISM aren't working to repair my Windows 10

You have two issues here, I'm betting. Forget online guidance, there is a bug at play that is mentioned nowhere but luckily I can help and all that directing to am image stuff will fail due to this bug. If you don't have the bug, then an image is not needed anyway. Firstly, I assume you have a clean install but that SFC error looks a bit odd. If you don't have a clean install you really should do one. That will solve your SFC problem of course, but so will the rest of this post as a by product of solving your DISM problem. When you do, make sure you do NOT restore your settings from a cloud save from your old W8 install. Even if that save has been passed through a W10 install. Otherwise an awful but hidden problem ensues (this can also happen when transferring W8 saves between different W8 PCs, but I digress). The symptoms are that DISM cannot be restored, and that once your PC gets round to running Windows Defender cache maintenance, a system maintenance scheduled task (an idle thing, once in a while), it will get into a loop where it cannot complete, but it runs the PC hot so makes your laptop fan roar and the drive run constantly. Until you stop it being idle, then it calms down. But because it failed to complete, it will ramp up again when idle. It will never complete and so this cycle will constantly happen. This is, in reality, a symptom of the same thing that causes the DISM failure. I know, weird, but true. It is repeatable. Noticed (and a big power drain) on a laptop of course, but easily missed on a desktop PC until you need DISM.

Now, solutions. There are two. First, a clean install with no cloud save applied (personally, I'd delete them from your Onedrive online before installing from here https://onedrive.live.com/Options/DeviceBackups to be sure). Best if you've got a fairly fresh install anyway, and essential if you have an upgrade install from W7 or W8. If you did a clean install and really can't face going back, the only solution is to burn an install disc (may as well get the latest release ISO) and use it as if doing an upgrade install over your clean W10 install (don't boot with it, run it up from within Windows). This is what happens when a new build is released anyway, so no biggie. W10 to W10 does not seem to result in upgrade install hell. I'd still go clean if it's easily done, but if not this is pretty OK. That'll not disturb anything on your system beyond the essential system files, but you will want to run Windows Update afterwards. Needless to say, delete those cloud saved setting before the 'upgrade' trick as well to avoid picking up the bug again. This is the worst bug, because if you have many PCs they can all 'catch' it, and it seems to defy a low level format and jumps air gaps. It feels like an extremely (almost supernaturally) advanced virus, but it is just an illusion.

Now, from an elevated command prompt, you can run DISM /ONLINE /CLEANUP-IMAGE /RESTOREHEALTH so long as you are online and no need for any images. This will work in future to correct issues ready for SFC /SCANNOW so you won't come a cropper again.

An SFC /SCANNOW should now fix any remaining issues. You sometimes need to run it several times if at first it errors, but it usually works first time.

You will find this info nowhere. Yet it is repeatable. If you happen to have this issue, you've lucked out as I've seen your post.
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