Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


How to do a custom install.wim of Windows 8?

  1. #1


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    How to do a custom install.wim of Windows 8?


    Good night everyone!

    Well, I'm here trying to dink around in getting a custom image of Windows 8 done. I want to do this as I know later on this year and next year probably, the amount of people asking to upgrade or to do a clean reinstall on an OEM PC will go up. Now, I generally install Windows, pin things to Start, install Decor8; Windows Essentials 2012; configure the Desktop UI so it looks a tad cleaner, download and install updates, install some metro apps, sometimes Office or Photoshop, activate everything properly, and then defrag and do the performance enhancing here and there. Overall, this takes time, about maybe a couple of days or maybe three as I do several passes of wiping the disk down to destroy every literal bit of data (after user data is backed up of course) and a couple of thorough reformats; that takes about 16ish hours. That, along with the software part, along with physically cleaning the PC so EVERYTHING is nice and squeaky clean when I'm done with it.

    So that leads me up to here. I bloody need to make customized system images to deploy quicker. I know with Windows 7, there was sysprep that was used to audit the image and then you boot into a WinPE environment to capture the install.wim image. I'm wondering if there is a better way to do that and/or quicker and/or easier way. I don't know if sysprep is used in Windows 8, I think recimg is used over that... But that is used to make a refresh image I believe.

    Also, there was the WAIK deployment kit that included Imagex, where that is used to deploy the install.wim image to the target drive. That is partly the reason actually why I'm building in external 2.5" hard drive ports so I can do a hard drive to hard drive deployment as it's quicker than USB 2. Has anyone used the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (WADK) with Windows 8 yet?

    That is all. Thank you!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin


    It is the same as you did with 7. Sysprep, capture.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Portsmouth Hants
    Posts : 772
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    You don't need imagex any longer - you can use dism.exe - discussed here - DISM Improvements in Windows 8 - MSFN Forum and Goodbye imageX, hello DISM for Windows 8 Imaging and Deployment — Justworks | Exchange. SharePoint. SQL. Cloud. Virtualization. and Use the PowerShell DISM Cmdlets to Manage Windows 8 - Hey, Scripting Guy! Blog - Site Home - TechNet Blogs

    Installation's just the same as applying a Windows to go image manually and you can script it with powershell cmdlets if wished Windows To Go Step by Step - TechNet Articles - United States (English) - TechNet Wiki apply the image and set up the BCD.

    This means you don't need to use the ADK - you already have all the tools you need and they all can be run within Windows 8 if you wish

    Model system -> Sysprep (generalize)->(DISM) capture image -> (DISM) apply image -> Bcdboot -> (boot new system) -> OOBE (specialize) -> new system
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin


    Dism seemed slower to me - can't be certain as it wasn't a direct comparison.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Portsmouth Hants
    Posts : 772
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    I have found very little difference - the commands with DISM take a little longer to write though Still there is no long download time as with WAIK/ADK


    Hey, my 500th post!!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin


    Not sure why you needed waik before - you have dism with win 7 - all that was needed is a very small thinmg to capture and apply. Imagex, Gimagex, wimtool, wimutil, probably several more. I haven't found the info equivalent in dism - maybe I just missed it.

    imagex /info img_file [img_number | img_name] [new_name] [new_desc] {/boot | /check| /logfile }

    That kind of thing.

    Hey, my 500th post!!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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