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Image Servicing Facts

Image servicing is necessary when a previously-captured image is no longer up-to-date. Rather than re-installing Windows 7 on a reference computer, making the necessary changes, and recapturing the system image, you can manage and maintain previously-captured images.

Image servicing begins by mounting the previously-captured image, which makes the contents of the image accessible to be viewed or modified. Be aware of the following:

  • Mounting an image does not start the operating system instance in the file.
  • Mounting an image as read-only lets you view the image, but not make changes.
  • To save changes made to a mounted image back to the original image, you must commit the changes before dismounting the image.
  • An online image is the operating system currently running on a computer; whereas, an offline image is a WIM file.

Use the following tools to service an image:

Tool Description
Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) is a command line tool which manages and maintains system images. DISM is part of the Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK). Use DISM to:
  • Apply Windows updates, drivers, and language packs to a WIM file.
  • Upgraded a Windows image to a different edition.
  • Enable or disable Windows features.

Be aware of the following dism command options:

  • /wimfile specifies the location of the WIM file.
  • /mountdir specifies the local directory in which to mount the WIM file.
  • /index specifies the edition if there is more than one edition within a WIM file.
  • /readonly mounts the WIM file as read only.
  • /commit-wim saves the changes to the WIM file.
  • /remount-wim remounts the WIM file if the mount directory is lost or orphaned.
  • /cleanup-wim cleans up any previously used resources from the previous mounts.
  • /get-wiminfo displays information about the editions within a WIM file.
  • /get-mountedwiminfo lists all the currently-mounted images and information about each image, such as the mounted path, index, location and read/write permissions.
  • /unmount-wim dismounts the WIM file.
  • /unmount-wim /discard reverts all changes made since the last changes were committed and dismounts the WIM file.
  • /apply-unattend applies an unattended answer file to an image.
ImageX ImageX is primarily used to capture a Windows 7 installation onto a network share, but it can also mount an image so that it can be modified.
  • After the image is modified, use ImageX to capture the image, append the image to a WIM file, or export the image as a separate file.
  • If you do not need to capture, append, or export the image after you modify it, you should use DISM to mount the image instead of using ImageX.

Be aware of the following imagex command options:

  • /mount mounts a Read-Only version of the image file to the specified directory.
  • /mountrw mounts a Read-Write version of the image file.
  • /unmount dismounts the image file.
  • /commit saves the changes to the image while dismounting.
  • /info displays detailed information about the image file.
  • /export deletes unnecessary resources from the image file, reducing its size.
  • /append appends files to the image. Appended image files must use the same compression type as the initial capture.