Excluding files when an image is captured using MDT 2010

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 5 April 2012 / Last Updated on 4 Aug. 2011]

How to exclude files when a Windows operating system image is captured from a reference computer using MDT 2010.

When MDT captures an image of a reference computer, it uses the ImageX command-line utility under the hood to do this.  When capturing an image, ImageX excludes any files listed in the WimScript.ini file.  To exclude files from being captured, the WimScript.ini file should be located in the same directory as the ImageX utility since ImageX will automatically detect the WimScript.ini file only if it is saved to the same location as ImageX itself.

MDT includes a default WimScript.ini file found in DeploymentShare$\tools\x86\WimScript.ini which excludes the following files from being captured:

    • $ntfs.log


  • hiberfil.sys


  • pagefile.sys
  • winpepge.sys
  • "System Volume Information"
  • UserMan.ini
  • LLU_Admin.Local.db
  • LLU_Admin.Network.db

The WimScript.ini file also excludes a number of folders such as \sources, \Windows\CSC, \Windows.old, \Windows\Panther and \MININT from being captured.  You can edit the default WimScript.ini file to exclude additional files and folders if desired.

Because capturing an image of a computer using ImageX can fail if certain files are locked, it's a good idea to use WimScript.ini to exclude such files from the capture process.

Mitch Tulloch is a seven-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award and widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. For more tips by Mitch you can follow him on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.


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The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch is a well-known expert on Windows Server administration and cloud computing technologies. He has published over a thousand articles on information technology topics and has written, contributed to or been series editor for over 50 books.

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