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Mount and Modify an Image

With the ImageX tool, the Windows Imaging File System Filter (WIM FS Filter), and a Windows image (.wim) file, you can map the contents of the image to a directory and perform common file operations, such as copying, pasting, and editing with a file management tool (such as Windows Explorer) without extracting or recreating the image. You can mount an image only from Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2), Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 (SP1), or Windows Vista.

To manipulate an image, you must install the WIM FS Filter driver (Wimfltr.sys) on your computer. Once installed, the driver enables you to mount your image with read-only or read/write permissions, and view the included files and folders from a file management tool, such as Windows Explorer. By default, the WIM FS Filter is installed by Windows OPK and Windows AIK Setup.

ImportantImportant
Mounting an image in Windows PE is not supported. To edit an image in Windows PE, use the /apply option.

Prerequisites

Before you can mount and manipulate an image with ImageX, you must perform the following tasks:

  1. Install Windows OPK tools or Windows AIK tools on your technician computer.
  2. Use ImageX to capture (and, optionally, to compress) your installation to an image (.wim) file.

Mounting an Image

You may mount your image with read-only or read/write permissions to a directory on your technician computer. If you mount an image with read-only permission, you will be unable to modify the image and to save any changes.

To mount an image

  1. On your technician computer, at a command prompt, open the ImageX directory.
    c:\Program Files\<version>\Tools\<architecture>
    
    where <version> can be Windows OPK or Windows AIK and <architecture> can be x86, amd64, or ia64.
  2. Mount the image. For read-only permissions, use
    imagex /mount d:\imaging\data.wim 2 c:\mounted_images
    
    For read/write permissions, use
    imagex /mountrw d:\imaging\data.wim 2 c:\mounted_images
    
    where c:\mounted_images is the location of the mount directory, d:\imaging\data.wim is the name and the location of the .wim file to mount, and 2 is the reference number of the specific volume in the .wim file.

Modifying an Image

Once you mount an image, the directory structure becomes available from a file management tool, such as Windows Explorer. From the file management tool, you can review your file and folder structure and add, edit, and delete files and folders.

To view files and folders

  1. On your technician computer, start Windows Explorer and open the mounted directory. For example,
    c:\mounted_images
    
  2. Review the file and folder structure, including content.

To add files or folders

  1. On your technician computer, start Windows Explorer and open the mounted directory. For example,
    c:\mounted_images
    
  2. Add additional files and folders to the location where they must appear once applied to the destination computer. For example,
    c:\program_files\application_name
    
    ImportantImportant
    If you must add an application or a device, verify that you included all required files. Although you can add application files and folders, you cannot install applications.

To edit files or folders

  1. On your technician computer, start Windows Explorer and open the mounted directory. For example,
    c:\mounted_images
    
  2. Edit the files and the folders. Move the files and the folders within your image, or open the files and view their contents.

To delete files or folders

  1. On your technician computer, start Windows Explorer and open the mounted directory. For example,
    c:\mounted_images
    
  2. To delete a file or a folder, press SHIFT+DELETE.
    noteNote
    You cannot delete an entire .wim file. However, you can delete all the files contained within the image. The DELETE key alone will not delete any files or folders.

Unmounting an Image

After you modify an image, you must unmount it. If you mounted your image with read/write permissions, you can commit your changes, making your modifications a permanent part of the image.

To unmount an image

  1. On your technician computer, at a command prompt, open the ImageX directory.
    c:\Program Files\<version>\Tools\<architecture>
    
    where <version> can be Windows OPK or Windows AIK and <architecture> can be x86, amd64, or ia64.
  2. Unmount the image.
    imagex /unmount /commit c:\mounted_images
    
    where c:\mounted_images is the location of the mount directory. If you do not specify the parameters to unmount, this option lists all mounted images but does not perform the unmount action.
    ImportantImportant
    If you use the /unmount option without the /commit option, your changes will be discarded. To save your changes, you must mount the image by using the /mountrw option and use the /commit option when unmounting the image.

After modifying an image, you can apply the image from a network share or from local media, such as a CD/DVD or a USB flash drive.

To manipulate images on a computer that does not have the Windows OPK or the Windows AIK installed, you must copy ImageX.exe, Wimfltr.sys, and Wimfltr.inf to the new computer. You must then install the driver by right-clicking the Wimfltr.inf file and then clicking Install.

See Also

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