DISM Error 2 While Attempting to Start the Servicing Process

When you run the DISM utility in Windows to clean up the component store or repair Windows system files, error 2 (0x80070002ERROR_FILE_NOT_FOUND) may appear:

Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool
Version: 10.0.22621.1

Error: 2

An error occurred while attempting to start the servicing process for the image located at C:\.
For more information, review the log file.

The DISM log file can be found at C:\WINDOWS\Logs\DISM\dism.log

80070002 dism error 2

For example, you may get the above error when running the following command:

Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

As the DISM tool is inoperable, you may be unable to install any Feature Update on your computer. For example, the Windows 11 22H2 Feature update setup may throw the error 0x80070002. The error message reads:

We couldn't install this update, but you can try again (0x80070002).

Dism.log

The DISM.log file may show these entries:

Info                  DISM   DISM.EXE: <----- Starting Dism.exe session ----->
Info                  DISM   DISM.EXE: 
Info                  DISM   DISM.EXE: Host machine information: OS Version=10.0.22621, Running architecture=amd64, Number of processors=4
Info                  DISM   DISM.EXE: Dism.exe version: 10.0.22621.1
Info                  DISM   DISM.EXE: Executing command line: Dism  /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth 
Info                  DISM   DISM Manager: PID=13076 TID=12028 physical location path: C:\ - CDISMManager::CreateImageSession
Info                  DISM   DISM Manager: PID=13076 TID=12028 Event name for current DISM session is Global\{2483B0E8-E9E7-45CC-9373-EF4A63CE3DFE} - CDISMManager::CheckSessionAndLock
Info                  DISM   DISM Manager: PID=13076 TID=12028 Create session event 0x21c for current DISM session and event name is Global\{2483B0E8-E9E7-45CC-9373-EF4A63CE3DFE}  - CDISMManager::CheckSessionAndLock
Info                  DISM   DISM Manager: PID=13076 TID=12028 Copying DISM from "C:\WINDOWS\System32\Dism" - CDISMManager::CreateImageSessionFromLocation
Info                  DISM   DISM Manager: PID=13076 TID=12028 No Sandbox was created, DISM running in-place. - CDISMManager::CreateImageSessionFromLocation
Error                 DISM   DismHostLib: Failed to create dismhost.exe servicing process.
Error                 DISM   DISM Manager: PID=13076 TID=12028 Failed to create Dism Image Session in host. - CDISMManager::LoadRemoteImageSession(hr:0x80070002)
Warning               DISM   DISM Manager: PID=13076 TID=12028 A problem ocurred loading the image session. Retrying...  - CDISMManager::CreateImageSession(hr:0x80070002)
Info                  DISM   DISM Manager: PID=13076 TID=12028 Copying DISM from "C:\WINDOWS\System32\Dism" - CDISMManager::CreateImageSessionFromLocation
Info                  DISM   DISM Manager: PID=13076 TID=12028 No Sandbox was created, DISM running in-place. - CDISMManager::CreateImageSessionFromLocation
Error                 DISM   DismHostLib: Failed to create dismhost.exe servicing process.
Error                 DISM   DISM Manager: PID=13076 TID=12028 Failed to create Dism Image Session in host. - CDISMManager::LoadRemoteImageSession(hr:0x80070002)
Error                 DISM   DISM Manager: PID=13076 TID=12028 Failed to load the image session from location: C:\WINDOWS\System32\Dism - CDISMManager::CreateImageSession(hr:0x80070002)
Error                 DISM   DISM.EXE: Could not load the image session. HRESULT=80070002
Error                 DISM   DISM.EXE: Unable to start the servicing process for the image at 'C:\'. HRESULT=80070002
Info                  DISM   DISM.EXE: Image session has been closed. Reboot required=no.
Info                  DISM   DISM.EXE: 
Info                  DISM   DISM.EXE: <----- Ending Dism.exe session ----->

SetupDiagResults.log:

The SetupDiag tool may show the following entry after the Feature Update fails:



Error: SetupDiag reports DISM Image Session failure.
Last Phase: Pre-Finalize 
Last Operation: Add [1] package C:\$WINDOWS.~BT\DUImageSandbox\SSU-22621.378-x64.cab to C:\$WINDOWS.~BT\Sources\SafeOS\SafeOS.Mount
Message = Failed to create Dism Image Session in host.
Function: CDISMManager::LoadRemoteImageSession
Error: 0x80070002
Recommend you re-download the update source files, reboot and try the update again.

Error 2 (0x80070002) means “The system cannot find the file specified.”

Cause

The DISM error 2 occurs if the dismhost.exe is blocked from running by setting a Debugger in the “Image File Execution Options” (IFEO) registry key. The debugger value prevents DismHost.exe and TiWorker.exe from starting.

Solution

To fix DISM Error 2, follow these steps:

  1. Launch regedit.exe
  2. Go to the following branch:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\dismhost.exe

    dismhost.exe debugger *

  3. Right-click dismhost.exe and choose Delete.
  4. Exit the Registry Editor.

Additional Information

This IFEO entry for dismhost.exe was probably set by Malware. Or, if you’ve used tools such as “StopUpdates10” in the past to block Windows Update, the following IFEO → Debugger entry is added.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\dismHost.exe] 
"Debugger"="*"

The wildcard (*) causes DISM to look for dismhost.exe on non-existent locations on your hard drive. It then generates the “Error 2: The system cannot find the file specified.” error.

I hope that helped. Let’s know your comments.


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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded Winhelponline.com in 2005.

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