Trying to run DISM from bootable USB to repair Windows Installation...

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  1. Darkstrike's Avatar
    Posts : 174
    Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
       #1

    Trying to run DISM from bootable USB to repair Windows Installation...


    Hi all!

    Quick explanation. I've been given a laptop by a tech-illiterate lady that belonged to her late husband who just passed from cancer. It's running Win10 Home. Supposedly the Windows Updates were failing for a LONG time now (months, years?) Something is seriously messed up with the Windows Update system as no updates will go through and something is now messed up with Windows, itself (when booting normally to Windows, nothing network-related works, right clicking on anything crashes Explorer.exe, etc, etc).

    I ran an SFC /scannow from a Windows 10 bootable (it wouldn't work from booted Windows) and it said it found things that were corrupt but were not fixable. (I only ran SFC once)

    I'm now trying to run DISM from said bootable USB in the command line to fix the Windows image on the hard drive, but can't seem to get the command right.

    This is a freshly created Windows 10 bootable USB. I want to run DISM command from there to fix the install on hard drive using the files on the USB. Is there anybody who could tell me the exact command I would need? I've poured over MS TechNet articles and still can't seem to get it to work...help would be very much appreciated! The Windows install drive on the hard drive when booted from the USB is drive is drive E, and the USB is drive X.

    I tried the command:
    Code:
    dism /Image:E:\offline /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:X:\windows /limitaccess
    ...and get a "Unable to access Image' error.

    I REALLY don't want to have to reinstall if I can help it because her husband was apparently using a lot of cracked software (which I don't condone at all), but if I have to do a reinstall she will lose access to things like her emails in Outlook 2007 because I refuse to find and reinstall a cracked version of Office. She also can't afford to go purchase a legitimate version of Office either....

    Thanks for any assistance!
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  2. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 30,045
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #2

    Umm, sorry to hear of the difficulty- however forum policy is to have nothing to do with cracked software...

    There may be an argument about getting Windows fixed if Windows itself is licensed legitimately, but I leave that to our admins.. @essenbe ?
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  3. Darkstrike's Avatar
    Posts : 174
    Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
    Thread Starter
       #3

    dalchina said:
    Umm, sorry to hear of the difficulty- however forum policy is to have nothing to do with cracked software...

    There may be an argument about getting Windows fixed if Windows itself is licensed legitimately, but I leave that to our admins.. @essenbe ?
    I'm not asking for help with the cracked software. As I said, I personally won't touch it. In this case, I'm still not touching it...I merely want to leave it there if it is already there. If I DO have to reformat and reinstall Windows, I won't be putting it back as I don't agree with running any. But if it's already on her machine, I am just leaving it as it was the trouble with Windows Update (and now Windows) she was having that she brought the laptop to me for. The software had been on it for a LONG time now, so it's not the software that caused the problem. She said the Update errors started after another Windows update a long time ago and she just never did anything about it.

    I would just like help trying to get Windows to reinstall because, whether there was cracked software there or not, that is the issue I am having, short of wiping everything...

    I can understand your point of view though, and I really do agree with you.

    Oh, I should also mention, I'm not even sure if it IS cracked software...may be legit, but she claims she doesn't have any disks for it, or at least doesn't know where the disks are, that is why I assumed it may be cracked. Her late husband was the one that installed it and she is incredibly tech illiterate (she only knows how to do email and *facepalm* Facebook...)
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  4. essenbe's Avatar
    Posts : 12,511
    Windows 10 Pro 1903
       #4

    @darkside, it is forum rules that no one will be helped who has pirated software. If you would like to read the forum rules, they can be found here. Forum Rules - Windows 10 Help Forums
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  5. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 15,515
    Windows 10 Pro
       #5

    Darkstrike said:
    she is incredibly tech illiterate (she only knows how to do email and *facepalm* Facebook...)
    Email should be stored on the email server that Outlook is connecting to - unless it was set up to download to a local file and be deleted from the server, which is very highly unlikely. If she only does email and Facebook, then there should be no need for cracked software. Windows built-in email client works great with just about every brand of email widely in use.

    It sounds like the computer desperately needs a clean install. In situations like hers, I do an image backup of the computer using Macrium Reflect Free to a temporary external hard drive. Wipe the install hard drive and do a clean install of Windows, and install Macrium Reflect Free. Then I shrink the Windows partition enough to create a new partition to hold the backup image file and copy the image file to the new partition. That way if an important file is missed when backing up data, it can be retrieved from the backup image file using Macrium Reflect and it does not violate the Windows EULA because there is still only 1 instance of Windows actually installed.

    The only downside is the installed hard drive must be large enough to spare the room for the backup image file.
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  6. Darkstrike's Avatar
    Posts : 174
    Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
    Thread Starter
       #6

    NavyLCDR said:
    Email should be stored on the email server that Outlook is connecting to - unless it was set up to download to a local file and be deleted from the server, which is very highly unlikely. If she only does email and Facebook, then there should be no need for cracked software. Windows built-in email client works great with just about every brand of email widely in use.
    It sounds like the computer desperately needs a clean install. In situations like hers, I do an image backup of the computer using Macrium Reflect Free to a temporary external hard drive. Wipe the install hard drive and do a clean install of Windows, and install Macrium Reflect Free. Then I shrink the Windows partition enough to create a new partition to hold the backup image file and copy the image file to the new partition. That way if an important file is missed when backing up data, it can be retrieved from the backup image file using Macrium Reflect and it does not violate the Windows EULA because there is still only 1 instance of Windows actually installed.
    The only downside is the installed hard drive must be large enough to spare the room for the backup image file.
    Yes, but Windows built-in Mail software in Win10 would require her to relearn a different program, which she is barely capable of - Outlook '07 is what she (barely) knows. And yes, email saves to a cloud server IF it is set up using the IMAP protocol. This one has the email set up using the POP protocol, so all her emails are local to Outlook as the setting to delete from server was selected.

    I've, at the moment, got it working enough that I am trying a 'Keep files and apps' upgrade of Win10 from within the OS off a bootable USB. It's at 40%, so I guess I'll see how it goes. It was working a lot better after the registry backup repair, so I think a big part of the problem was a corrupt registry, though Windows Update still wasn't working as intended.

    At any rate, legitimate thanks for the pseudo-help to you all - like I said, I'm with you all on this one, I don't believe in running cracked software either, but in her case with the late husband and the lack of knowledge, I'm going the 'don't ask don't tell' route as computer repair is just my personal side-gig. I tried to convince her to switch to Thunderbird and LibreOffice from the MS Office Suite, but she refused as she didn't want to have to learn anything new. I'll not post in this thread again due to the possibly cracked software.
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  7. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 18,744
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #7

    Darkstrike said:
    I'm not even sure if it IS cracked software...may be legit, but she claims she doesn't have any disks for it, or at least doesn't know where the disks are, that is why I assumed it may be cracked...
    One legitimate route to have ended up with Office 2007 and no install disks is if it was pre-installed by the OEM with the option to purchase after the trial period. I have such a laptop myself (bought second hand) that according to the manufacturer's specs was originally supplied with an OEM Win7+ Office 2007.

    An in-place repair install can fix things that sfc/dism can't. It should retain any legitimately installed software.

    Repair Install Windows 10 with an In-place Upgrade | Tutorials
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  8. EdTittel's Avatar
    Posts : 4,111
    Windows 10
       #8

    Interesting discussion of the error at social.technet.com shows that some users have solved this issue in various ways. One cleaned up all the mountpoints and things worked on another try. Another recopied dism.exe and boot.wim into the same folder where things worked as expected. Check it out at: DISM.EXE Failed to access the image folder or image's windows folder.

    HTH,
    --Ed--
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  9. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 30,045
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #9

    But note that to do an in-place upgrade repair you must use an iso (freely downloadable) of the same base build, language and x32 or x64 as appropriate.
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  10. Darkstrike's Avatar
    Posts : 174
    Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
    Thread Starter
       #10

    dalchina said:
    But note that to do an in-place upgrade repair you must use an iso (freely downloadable) of the same base build, language and x32 or x64 as appropriate.
    Hi - posting again as it's still in the process of trying to upgrade through the Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant at the moment...doubt it will work, but it's at 86% 'Getting My Update Ready' so...

    To your comment - I've figured out that this install of Win10 has NEVER been upgraded! 0_o It's still running build 10240, which from a bit of research seems to be the very first version released to the public officially? That's crazy!

    So you're saying I would have to find an ISO using that exact same build number...?
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