Deploying Windows 7 - Part 2: Using DISM

by [Published on 2 June 2009 / Last Updated on 2 June 2009]

Windows 7 deployment; continuing by examining how to use the Deployment Image Servicing and Management(DISM)Tool.

If you would like to read the first part in this article series please go to

Understanding DISM

DISM.exe is a new command-line tool that is included both in a default install of the Windows 7 operating system and also as part of version 2.0 of the Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK).

Note:
Support for VHD files as bootable Windows images is new in Windows 7 and is described in a later article of this series.

You can use DISM.exe service Windows images, including both Windows image (WIM) files and virtual hard disk (VHD) files. While DISM.exe is primarily intended for servicing offline (not running) Windows images, some of its functionality can also be utilized to service online (running) Windows operating systems. By servicing an image we mean doing things like adding or removing device drivers, adding or removing operating system packages, adding hotfixes, configuring international settings, and performing similar types of actions on the image. DISM can also be used to upgrade a Windows image to a different edition (for example, to upgrade from Business to Ultimate) and to prepare a Windows PE image for use.

You can use DISM.exe to service images of the following Windows versions:

  • Windows Vista SP1 or later
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2008 R2

Using DISM

In Windows Vista (or using the Windows AIK 1.1) servicing an image required using several different tools. For example, let us say you wanted to install an out-of-box device driver on an image you captured previously from a master installation. To do this in Vista, you had to:

  1. Mount the image using ImageX
  2. Add the device driver using Package Manager (Pkgmgr.exe)
  3. Unmount the image using ImageX

In addition, if your image was a Windows PE image then you also need to use the Windows Preinstallation Environment (PEimg.exe) tool to prepare the image. And finally, if you needed to modify the language and locate settings of the image, you had to use the International Settings Configuration Tool (Intlcfg.exe).

Beginning with Windows 7 however, DISM.exe now replaces the Pkgmgr.exe, Intlcfg.exe and PEimg.exe tools found in the earlier 1.1 version of the Windows AIK. In addition, DISM also includes functionality for mounting and unmounting images so you can service them.

A typical use for DISM might be to add a device driver to an offline Windows image prior to deploying the image onto hardware that requires that driver. Let's walk through such a scenario to learn how to use DISM from the command-line.

First, in the C:\Images folder on our Windows AIK 2.0 technician computer is a Windows install image (install.wim file) for Windows 7:

C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools>dir C:\Images

 Volume in drive C has no label.

 Volume Serial Number is 1C9A-D699

 

 Directory of C:\Images

 

05/03/2009  12:46 PM    <DIR>          .

05/03/2009  12:46 PM    <DIR>          ..

04/22/2009  07:28 AM     2,218,242,699 install.wim

               1 File(s)  2,218,242,699 bytes

               2 Dir(s)  180,411,486,208 bytes free

Note:
Remember from article 17 of my Deploying Vista series that there are two types of Windows images: boot and install images :)

Next, in the C:\Drivers folder are the Windows 7 beta drivers (version 2.91) for Microsoft LifeCam hardware:

C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools>dir C:\Drivers

 Volume in drive C has no label.

 Volume Serial Number is 1C9A-D699

 

 Directory of C:\Drivers

 

05/03/2009  01:19 PM    <DIR>          .

05/03/2009  01:19 PM    <DIR>          ..

05/03/2009  01:19 PM    <DIR>          VX6000

               0 File(s)              0 bytes

               3 Dir(s)  180,411,486,208 bytes free

We will be mounting our image to an empty folder named C:\Servicing. Let's begin by using the DISM.exe command with the /get-wiminfo parameter to display a list of all the Windows images contained in the install.wim file. Remember that an install image can contain more than one Windows image.

C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools>dism /get-wiminfo /wimfile:C:\Images\install.wim

 

Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool

Version: 6.1.7100.0

 

Details for image : C:\Images\install.wim

 

Index : 1

Name : Windows 7 STARTER

Description : Windows 7 STARTER

Size : 7,927,317,234 bytes

 

Index : 2

Name : Windows 7 HOMEBASIC

Description : Windows 7 HOMEBASIC

Size : 7,983,232,406 bytes

 

Index : 3

Name : Windows 7 HOMEPREMIUM

Description : Windows 7 HOMEPREMIUM

Size : 8,422,988,972 bytes

 

Index : 4

Name : Windows 7 PROFESSIONAL

Description : Windows 7 PROFESSIONAL

Size : 8,303,245,818 bytes

 

Index : 5

Name : Windows 7 ULTIMATE

Description : Windows 7 ULTIMATE

Size : 8,461,373,562 bytes

 

The operation completed successfully.

Let us say that we are going to deploy Windows 7 Professional, in which case we can see from the above command output that the index number is 4 for this particular image. So, let us mount this particular Windows image to the empty C:\Servicing folder using the /mount-wim parameter of the DISM.exe command:

C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools>dism /mount-wim /wimfile:C:\Images\install.wim /index:4 /mountdir:C:\Servicing

 

Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool

Version: 6.1.7100.0

 

Mounting image

[==========================100.0%==========================]

The operation completed successfully.

To verify whether the image has been mounted successfully we can use the /get-mountedinfo parameter like this:

C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools>dism /get-mountedwiminfo

 

Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool

Version: 6.1.7100.0

 

Mounted images:

 

Mount Dir : C:\Servicing

Image File : C:\Images\install.wim

Image Index : 4

Mounted Read/Write : Yes

Status : Ok

 

The operation completed successfully.

If we examine the contents of the C:\Servicing directory, we can see the files and directories of our mounted image:

C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools>dir C:\Servicing

 Volume in drive C has no label.

 Volume Serial Number is 1C9A-D699

 

 Directory of C:\Servicing

 

04/22/2009  03:36 AM    <DIR>          .

04/22/2009  03:36 AM    <DIR>          ..

03/20/2009  10:42 AM                24 autoexec.bat

03/20/2009  10:42 AM                10 config.sys

04/22/2009  01:17 AM    <DIR>          PerfLogs

04/22/2009  05:26 AM    <DIR>          Program Files

04/22/2009  03:27 AM    <DIR>          Users

04/22/2009  05:29 AM    <DIR>          Windows

               2 File(s)             34 bytes

               6 Dir(s)  180,321,382,400 bytes free

Now let's view what kinds of servicing actions we can perform on our mounted image:

C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools>dism /image:C:\Servicing /?

 

Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool

Version: 6.1.7100.0

 

Image Version: 6.1.7100.0

 

 

The following commands may be used to service the image:

 

WINDOWS EDITION SERVICING COMMANDS:

 

  /Set-ProductKey         - Populates the product key into the offline image.

  /Get-TargetEditions     - Displays a list of Windows editions that an image can be upgraded to.

  /Get-CurrentEdition     - Displays the editions of the specified image.

  /Set-Edition            - Upgrades the Windows image to a higher edition.

 

UNATTEND SERVICING COMMANDS:

 

  /Apply-Unattend         - Applies an unattend file to an image.

 

DRIVER SERVICING COMMANDS:

 

  /Remove-Driver          - Removes driver packages from an offline image.

  /Add-Driver             - Adds driver packages to an offline image.

  /Get-DriverInfo         - Displays information about a specific driver in an offline image or a running operating system.

  /Get-Drivers            - Displays information about all drivers in an offline image or a running operating system.

 

INTERNATIONAL SERVICING COMMANDS:

 

  /Set-LayeredDriver      - Sets keyboard layered driver.

  /Set-UILang             - Sets the default system UI language that is used in the mounted offline image.

  /Set-UILangFallback     - Sets the fallback default language for the system UI in the mounted offline image.

  /Set-UserLocale         - Sets the user locale in the mounted offline image.

  /Set-SysLocale          - Sets the language for non-Unicode programs (also called system locale) and font settings in the mounted offline image.

  /Set-InputLocale        - Sets the input locales and keyboard layouts to use in the mounted offline image.

  /Set-TimeZone           - Sets the default time zone in the mounted offline image.

  /Set-AllIntl            - Sets all international settings in the mounted offline image.

  /Set-SKUIntlDefaults    - Sets all international settings to the default values for the specified SKU language in the mounted offline image.

  /Gen-LangIni            - Generates a new lang.ini file.

  /Set-SetupUILang        - Defines the default language that will be used by setup.

  /Get-Intl               - Displays information about the international settings and languages.

 

APPLICATION SERVICING COMMANDS:

 

  /Check-AppPatch         - Displays information if the MSP patches are applicable to the mounted image.

  /Get-AppPatchInfo       - Displays information about installed MSP patches.

  /Get-AppPatches         - Displays information about all applied MSP patches for all installed applications.

  /Get-AppInfo            - Displays information about a specific installed MSI application.

  /Get-Apps               - Displays information about all installed MSI applications.

 

PACKAGE SERVICING COMMANDS:

 

  /Add-Package            - Adds packages to the image.

  /Remove-Package         - Removes packages from the image.

  /Enable-Feature         - Enables a specific feature in the image.

  /Disable-Feature        - Disables a specific feature in the image.

  /Get-Packages           - Displays information about all packages in the image.

  /Get-PackageInfo        - Displays information about a specific package.

  /Get-Features           - Displays information about all features in a package.

  /Get-FeatureInfo        - Displays information about a specific feature.

  /Cleanup-Image          - Performs cleanup and recovery operations on the image.

 

For more information about these servicing commands and their arguments,

specify a command immediately before /?.

 

     Examples:

         DISM.exe /Image:C:\test\offline /Apply-Unattend /?

         DISM.exe /Image:C:\test\offline /Get-Features /?

         DISM.exe /Online /Get-Drivers /?

The parameters we want to use are found under DRIVER SERVICING COMMANDS above. Let's use the /get-drivers parameter to display a list of drivers already installed in the mounted image:

C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools>dism /image:C:\Servicing /get-drivers

 

Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool

Version: 6.1.7100.0

 

Image Version: 6.1.7100.0

 

Obtaining list of 3rd party drivers from the driver store...

 

Driver packages listing:

 

Published Name : oem0.inf

Original File Name : prnms001.inf

Inbox : No

Class Name : Printer

Provider Name : Microsoft

Date : 6/21/2006

Version : 6.1.7100.0

 

The operation completed successfully.

Let us now use the /add-driver parameter to add our LifeCam driver to the mounted image:

C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools>dism /image:C:\Servicing /add-driver /driver:C:\Drivers\VX6000\vx6000.inf

 

Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool

Version: 6.1.7100.0

 

Image Version: 6.1.7100.0

 

Found 1 driver package(s) to install.

Installing 1 of 1 - C:\Drivers\VX6000\vx6000.inf: The driver package was successfully installed.

The operation completed successfully.

Let's use /get-drivers again to verify that the LifeCam driver has been successfully added to the mounted image:

C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools>dism /image:C:\Servicing /get-drivers

 

 

Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool

Version: 6.1.7100.0

 

Image Version: 6.1.7100.0

 

Obtaining list of 3rd party drivers from the driver store...

 

Driver packages listing:

 

Published Name : oem0.inf

Original File Name : prnms001.inf

Inbox : No

Class Name : Printer

Provider Name : Microsoft

Date : 6/21/2006

Version : 6.1.7100.0

 

Published Name : oem1.inf

Original File Name : vx6000.inf

Inbox : No

Class Name : Image

Provider Name : Microsoft

Date : 7/18/2008

Version : 5.5.3.74

 

The operation completed successfully.

We now finish servicing the image by unmounting it:

C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools>dism /unmount-wim /mountdir:C:\Servicing /commit

 

Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool

Version: 6.1.7100.0

 

Image File : C:\Images\install.wim

Image Index : 4

Saving image

[==========================100.0%==========================]

Unmounting image

[==========================100.0%==========================]

The operation completed successfully.

Additional Resources

For more information on using DISM.exe, type dism /? in the Deployment Tools Command Prompt on your technician computer. You can also find detailed information concerning DISM.exe in the Deployment Tools Technical Reference section of the Windows Automated Installation Kit User's Guide (WAIK.chm) which can be accessed by clicking Start | All Programs | Microsoft Windows AIK on your technician computer.

Finally, check out the free e-learning Clinic 10077: What's New in Windows 7 for IT Pros on the Windows 7 Learning Portal section of the Microsoft Learning web site. I was the one who developed the content for these three clinics, and the IT Pro clinic has a short video demonstration of using DISM to service an image by adding drivers to the image.

If you would like to read the first part in this article series please go to

The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch avatar

Mitch Tulloch is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, networking, and security. He has been repeatedly awarded Most Valuable Professional (MVP) status by Microsoft for his outstanding contributions in supporting users who deploy and use Microsoft platforms, products and solutions.

Latest Contributions

Featured Links