Thursday, April 3, 2008

Deploy an image to a computer

Deploy an image to a computer

This is part 6 of a 6 part series that will give you information on capturing and deploying images using ImageX. In this part, you will deploy a captured image.



  1. Boot the system using a bootable disk containing WinPE and ImageX. The bootable disk can be either CD or a USB disk. The boot process will take several minutes.
    Note: If you want access to an external USB drive (such as one that holds the image you want to deploy), plug it in right after the boot process has begun. If you don’t plug it in before WinPE boots, you probably won’t be able to access the drive once WinPE completes the boot process.

  2. When the boot process is complete, you’ll have a command prompt on the X:\ drive where you can enter command-line commands. The following drives may be available. Enter the Drive letter with a colon (C:) to see what you can see. When done, enter X: to return to the X: drive.
    C:\ This is the original C: drive
    D:\ CD/DVD drive
    E:\ If you booted from a USB disk, this is it.
    F:\ Extra drive (such as portable USB drive)
    X:\ This is a RAM disk created by WinPE
    The format of the ImageX command when deploying an image is:
    ImageX /apply “source of .wim file” “image name or image number” target
    · Source of .wim file. This is the full path and name of the file such as F:\Images\Myimage.wim
    · Image name or image number. When an image file is created, it can be named. Addtionally, multiple image files can be contained within an image file and images can be referenced by their number. The first image is 1, the second is 2, and so on. You identify the image name by the image name, or the image number, not both.
    · Target. This is the drive letter where you want the image deployed. It will most commonly be C:\

  3. If you booted from a CD drive and you want to copy an image from a different DVD disk (but have only one CD/DVD disk drive), you first need to copy two files to the X: drive. Use the following two commands from the X: drive:
    Copy d:\imagex.exe x:\
    Copy d:\wimscript.ini x:\

  4. Enter the following command to deploy the first image from a .wim file named MyImage.wim.on the D: drive in a folder named Images.
    Imagex /apply D:\images\Myimage.wim 1 c:

This will take a little time but really not that long. I've deployed imges about 2 GB from a DVD and it's only taken about 10 minutes.

Once you deploy the image, reboot, and answer the setup questions from sysprep's mini-setup program.



  • To get information on images contained within an image file, use the following command:
    Imagex /info “path and name of .wim file”

  • For example, to get information on a file named myimage.wim in a folder named images on the F: drive, enter the following command:
    Imagex /info F:\images\myimage.wim

  • If images are named intuitively you can easily identify them in the Name node ( ) of the output.

This is the end of the 6 part series on using ImageX to creat and deploy images.

Part 1 Download and Install Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK)
Part 2 Prepare the Windows PE Folders
Part 3 Prepare a Bootable CD
Part 4 Prepare a Bootable USB (optional)

Part 5 Run Sysprep and Capture an Image using ImageX
Part 6 Deploy an Image using ImageX

This information is valuable when preparing for the MCITP: Enterprise Support Technician exams.

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