Understanding and Using DISM for Windows Maintenance

Time to read: 14 mins

A Comprehensive Guide to DISM and its Essential Commands


As a Windows user, you may have encountered various issues with your operating system, ranging from minor glitches to major system errors. When it comes to troubleshooting and repairing Windows, the Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool (DISM) is a powerful utility that can come to your rescue. In this blog post, we will explore what DISM is, how it can be utilized for system maintenance, and demonstrate its essential commands to keep your Windows installation running smoothly.

What is DISM?

DISM, short for Deployment Image Servicing and Management, is a command-line tool provided by Microsoft to service Windows images (WIM, VHD, or VHDX files) and prepare them for deployment. It is commonly used for maintenance tasks, including repairing corrupted system files, checking for health issues, and more. DISM is particularly useful when the traditional System File Checker (SFC) tool is unable to fix certain problems.

Using DISM for Online Image Cleanup

DISM offers several commands that can be used for online image cleanup and system health checking. These commands work directly on the currently running Windows installation.

1. DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth

The /CheckHealth parameter allows DISM to scan the Windows image for any corruption or issues. However, it does not fix the problems automatically; instead, it reports the detected issues. To use this command, open Command Prompt or PowerShell with administrator privileges and enter the following:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth

2. DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth

The /ScanHealth parameter is similar to /CheckHealth but provides a more detailed analysis. It thoroughly scans the Windows image and reports any corruption it finds. To perform a thorough scan, use the following command:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth

3. DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

When issues are detected using /CheckHealth or /ScanHealth, the /RestoreHealth parameter comes into play. It allows DISM to attempt repairing the problems found during the scanning process. To initiate the repair, execute the following command:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Using DISM via ISO

In certain situations, the Windows installation may be severely corrupted, and the online version of DISM may not be sufficient for repairs. In such cases, using an ISO file as the repair source can be more effective. The ISO file acts as a reference for DISM to retrieve healthy files and replace the corrupted ones.

4. DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:E:\Sources\install.wim

To use DISM with an ISO file as the repair source, follow these steps:

  1. Obtain a Windows installation ISO file. You can download it from the official Microsoft website or use a previously obtained ISO.
  2. Mount the ISO by double-clicking on it or using the built-in Windows tools to mount it to a virtual drive. For example, let’s assume the mounted drive letter is “E:\”.
  3. Open Command Prompt or PowerShell with administrator privileges.
  4. Execute the following command to run DISM using the mounted ISO file as the source:
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:E:\Sources\install.wim

DISM will use the “install.wim” file from the mounted ISO as the reference source for repairing the online Windows image.

Note: It is essential to ensure that the ISO file used as the source is from a reliable and official source to avoid potential security risks.


DISM is a powerful tool that every Windows user should be familiar with, as it can save you from reinstalling your entire operating system in many situations. The provided commands, such as /CheckHealth, /ScanHealth, and /RestoreHealth, offer an effective way to diagnose and repair issues with your Windows installation.

Additionally, for more severe cases of corruption, using DISM with an ISO file as the repair source can provide a robust solution. Remember to back up your data regularly and create a system restore point before attempting any major repairs or changes to your system.

We hope this guide has shed light on DISM and its essential commands, helping you maintain a healthy and stable Windows environment. Remember that proper system maintenance can significantly enhance the overall performance and longevity of your operating system.

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