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A Windows Server 2016 running in Hyper-V has failed and appears to be corrupted (at the time of writing I was able to start it and SOME services are available, but it's showing the spinning circle on blue background with no text and doesn't permit RDP / desktop access).

Since this is a virtual server, I was able to mount the VHDX of this server to attempt repairs. I've ran CHKDSK to fix any NTFS-level issues and then went on to try and fix the OS itself with DISM.

Alas, DISM is failing because it's lacking the required sources. The exact command I attempted was dism /image:f:\ /cleanup-image /restorehealth and I've since tried adding different /source values to it. I've tried it with the official Windows Server 2016 installation ISO (/source:wim:g:\sources\install.wim:2), I've tried it by providing a path to other Windows Server 2016 installations in our network (\\other-windows-server\c$\Windows and the same with Windows\WinSxS) and I've tried downloading numerous different installation ISOs from MS (my.visualstudio.com subscription). In all of these cases DISM failed with the following error:

Error: 0x800f081f
The source files could not be found.

Looking at the DISM.log file the same files seem to be missing:

=================================
Checking System Update Readiness.

(p) CSI Payload Corrupt amd64_microsoft-windows-shell32_31bf3856ad364e35_10.0.14393.1794_none_e1adcedb6cb8eae3\apps.inf
Repair failed: Missing replacement payload.
(p) CSI Payload Corrupt amd64_microsoft-windows-apisetschema-server_31bf3856ad364e35_10.0.14393.1715_none_61379ad2ce2e3654\apisetschema.dll
Repair failed: Missing replacement payload.
(p) CSI Payload Corrupt amd64_microsoft-windows-pnpsysprep_31bf3856ad364e35_10.0.14393.479_none_7b790dc55511835d\sppnp.dll
Repair failed: Missing replacement payload.

Any idea where to get these missing files and how to get DISM to play nice and fix the corrupted installation?

2 Answers 2

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Something to try. Dism restorehealth failures are ultimately resolved by identifying the KB associated with the missing files in the winsxs folder. If you have another VM with an identical build, you could find those corrupted files and copy them over into the corrupted server and re-run the dism command to restore health.

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I've eventually found the exact folders list in the DISM.log in a WinSxS folder on another Windows Server 2016 VM. That has permitted the DISM operation to finish up correctly.

Alas, the server is still messed up, but that's a different issue now...

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