Sunday, 11 December 2011

Windows Imaging Format

The Windows Imaging Architecture (WIM) is a file-based deejay angel format. It was developed by Microsoft to arrange Windows Vista and all after Windows operating arrangement releases, which use it as allotment of their accepted accession procedure. It works appropriately able-bodied with earlier versions of Windows however, and is acclimated as allotment of Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs


Like added deejay angel formats, a WIM book contains a set of files and associated filesystem metadata. However, clashing sector-based formats (such as .ISO, .CUE/.BIN acclimated for CD and DVD images), WIM is file-based, which agency that the aboriginal assemblage of advice is a file. The primary advantages of it actuality file-based accommodate accouterments ability and single-instance accumulator of a book referenced assorted times in the filesystem tree.

Although the architectonics is file-based, the files are stored central a distinct WIM database, abbreviation the SMB aerial of aperture and closing abounding alone files at that end of the abstracts transfer. The amount of account or autograph abounding bags of alone files on the bounded deejay is negated by accouterments and software-based deejay caching as able-bodied as consecutive account and autograph of the data.

WIM images charge to be deployed to an absolute aggregate or allotment as the toolset does not actualize low-level deejay structures such as partitions, nor does it architecture them. Microsoft provides a command-line apparatus alleged diskpart for creating and formatting fresh volumes.

WIM files can accommodate assorted deejay images, which are referenced either by their after basis or by their different name. Due to the use of distinct instance storage, the added anniversary alternating deejay angel has in accepted with antecedent images added to the WIM file, the beneath fresh abstracts will be added. A WIM can additionally be breach (spanned) into assorted parts, which accept the .swm extension


ImageX is the command-line apparatus acclimated to create, adapt and arrange Windows deejay images in the Windows Imaging Format. It is broadcast as allotment of the chargeless Windows Automated Accession Kit (WAIK). Starting with Windows Vista, Windows Setup uses the WAIK API to install beginning as able-bodied as cloned accession of Windows.

The aboriginal developed ancestor of ImageX was body 6.0.4007.0 (main.030212-2037). It accustomed Microsoft OEM Partners to agreement with the imaging technology and was developed in alongside with Longhorn alpha prototypes. It was aboriginal alien in Milestone 4 into the Longhorn project, and acclimated in after builds of Longhorn. Body 6.0.5384.4 added cogent advantages over antecedent versions, like read-only and read/write binder ascent capabilities, agreeable to assorted angel files (SWM), a WIM clarify disciplinarian and the most recent LZX compression algorithms. It has been acclimated back pre-RC (release candidates) of Windows Vista.


The Deployment Angel Service and Management Tool is acclimated to retrieve or adapt advice aural an image.

Example usage:

mount image

dism /mount-wim /wimfile:c:\win7\sources\boot.wim /index:1 /mountDir:c:\temp2

which drivers are included?

dism /image:c:\temp2 /get-Drivers

add drivers

dism /image:c:\temp2 /add-driver /driver:C:\dell\drivers\r191214\nvdm.inf

unmount image

dism /unmount-wim /mountdir:c:\temp2 /commit















Customizing images

A WIM angel can additionally be army as a fresh aggregate beneath Windows with a drive letter associated in adjustment to facilitate easier abstraction or afterlight of its contents. (For example, a WIM angel can be adapted into an ISO angel application this approach). A accessory disciplinarian called WimFltr.sys needs to be loaded afore a WIM angel can be army application ImageX however.

A set of accessible APIs for manipulating WIMs accept additionally been released, with the appropriate functionality independent in WIMGAPI.DLL, thereby acceptance developers to address their own accoutrement too. A cardinal of third affair applications accept accordingly included the adequacy to apprehend or address WIM files.

WIM images can be fabricated bootable, as is the case with Windows Vista's bureaucracy DVD. In this case, BOOT.WIM contains a bootable adaptation of Windows PE from which the accession is performed. Other bureaucracy files are independent in the book INSTALL.WIM.