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How to Fix Corrupted Windows 10 Installation using SFC and DISM commands

Windows 10 is a robust and reliable operating system, but sometimes it can encounter problems that affect its performance and stability. For example, you may experience blue screen errors, application crashes, or missing or corrupted system files. These issues can be caused by malware infections, hardware failures, power outages, or improper updates.

Fortunately, Windows 10 has some built-in tools that can help you fix these problems and restore your system to a normal state. In this article, we will show you how to use the System File Checker (SFC) and the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) commands to repair corrupted Windows 10 system files and images.

How to Fix Corrupted Windows 10 Installation using SFC and DISM commands

What are SFC and DISM?

SFC and DISM are command-line tools that are designed to scan and repair various aspects of your Windows 10 installation. They are both accessible from the Command Prompt or PowerShell with administrative privileges.


SFC stands for System File Checker. It is a tool that scans your Windows system files for corruption or any other changes. If it finds any damaged or modified files, it automatically replaces them with the correct versions from a local cache or a source specified by the user.

SFC is useful for fixing problems caused by corrupted or missing system files, such as DLL errors, registry errors, or boot failures. It can also verify the integrity of your system files and report any issues that it cannot fix.


DISM stands for Deployment Image Servicing and Management. It is a tool that can service and manage Windows images, such as the Windows Recovery Environment, Windows Setup, and Windows PE. It can also repair the underlying Windows system image that supports the recovery options.

DISM is useful for fixing problems caused by corrupted or damaged Windows images, such as startup errors, update failures, or component store corruption. It can also scan and restore the health of your Windows image using different sources, such as a local installation media, a network share, or an online repository.

How to Use SFC and DISM to Repair Windows 10?

To use SFC and DISM to repair your Windows 10 installation, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Open Command Prompt or PowerShell as administrator by right-clicking the Start button and selecting Command Prompt (Admin) or Windows Terminal (Admin).
  2. Type the following command to perform a quick check of your system files and press Enter:
    SFC /scannow

    This command will scan all protected system files and replace any corrupted or modified ones with the correct versions from a local cache. It may take several minutes to complete depending on the size of your system.

  3. If SFC reports that it found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them, you need to use DISM to repair the Windows image. Type the following command and press Enter:
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

    This command will scan the Windows image for any corruption and attempt to restore its health using the default source, which is usually an online repository hosted by Microsoft. It may take longer than SFC to complete depending on your internet connection speed and the extent of the damage.

  4. If DISM reports that it successfully repaired the Windows image, you need to run SFC again to fix any remaining issues with the system files. Type the following command and press Enter:
    SFC /scannow

    This command will scan and repair any system files that were affected by the corrupted Windows image. It should report that it found no integrity violations after completing the process.

  5. Restart your computer to apply the changes and check if your Windows 10 installation is working properly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: What if SFC or DISM fails to run or reports an error?

Answer: If you encounter any problems while running SFC or DISM, such as access denied errors, parameter errors, or source errors, you can try some troubleshooting steps to resolve them. For example, you can:

  • Run SFC or DISM in Safe Mode or Recovery Environment.
  • Specify a different source for DISM using the /Source option.
  • Use the /LimitAccess option to prevent DISM from contacting Windows Update.
  • Use the /ScanHealth or /CheckHealth options to perform different levels of scans with DISM.
  • Check the log files of SFC (%windir%\Logs\CBS\CBS.log) or DISM (%windir%\Logs\DISM\dism.log) for more details.

Question: How often should I run SFC or DISM?

Answer: There is no definitive answer to how often you should run SFC or DISM, as it depends on your usage and maintenance habits. However, some general guidelines are:

  • Run SFC or DISM whenever you encounter a problem that may be related to corrupted or missing system files or images, such as blue screen errors, application crashes, or update failures.
  • Run SFC or DISM after performing a major system change, such as installing or uninstalling a software, hardware, or driver, or applying a Windows update or feature upgrade.
  • Run SFC or DISM periodically as part of your regular system maintenance routine, such as once a month or once a quarter, to ensure the integrity and health of your Windows 10 installation.

Question: Are there any alternatives to SFC or DISM?

Answer: SFC and DISM are the most reliable and comprehensive tools for repairing Windows 10 system files and images. However, there are some other options that you can try if SFC or DISM fail to fix your problem or are not available. For example, you can:

  • Use the Startup Repair tool to fix problems that prevent Windows from starting.
  • Use the System Restore tool to restore your system to a previous state when it was working properly.
  • Use the Reset this PC tool to reinstall Windows 10 without affecting your personal files and settings.
  • Use the Fresh Start tool to reinstall Windows 10 with the latest version and remove any preinstalled apps that may cause problems.
  • Use the Media Creation Tool to perform an in-place upgrade or a clean install of Windows 10.


In this article, we have shown you how to use the SFC and DISM commands to repair corrupted Windows 10 system files and images. These tools can help you fix various problems that affect your Windows 10 performance and stability, such as blue screen errors, application crashes, or update failures. By following the steps in this article, you can restore your Windows 10 installation to a normal state without having to reinstall it.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. You should always consult a qualified technician before attempting any repairs on your computer. We are not responsible for any damage or data loss that may occur as a result of following this article.

Alex Lim is a certified IT Technical Support Architect with over 15 years of experience in designing, implementing, and troubleshooting complex IT systems and networks. He has worked for leading IT companies, such as Microsoft, IBM, and Cisco, providing technical support and solutions to clients across various industries and sectors. Alex has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the National University of Singapore and a master’s degree in information security from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also the author of several best-selling books on IT technical support, such as The IT Technical Support Handbook and Troubleshooting IT Systems and Networks. Alex lives in Bandar, Johore, Malaysia with his wife and two chilrdren. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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