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What Is Deployment Image Servicing and Management?

Published: October 22, 2009

Updated: October 22, 2009

Applies To: Windows 7

noteNote
This content applies to Windows 7. For Windows 8 content, see Windows Deployment with the Windows ADK.

Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM.exe) is a command-line tool that can be used to service a Windows® image or to prepare a Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) image. It replaces Package Manager (Pkgmgr.exe), PEimg, and Intlcfg that were included in Windows Vista®. The functionality that was included in these tools is now consolidated in one tool (DISM.exe), and new functionality has been added to improve the experience for offline servicing.

Benefits

DISM can be used to service Windows Vista with Service Pack 2 (SP2), Windows Vista with SP1 and Windows Server® 2008. It provides the same functionality that Package Manager provided. DISM provides additional functionality when used with Windows® 7 and Windows Server® 2008 R2.

You can use DISM to:

  • Add, remove, and enumerate packages.

  • Add, remove, and enumerate drivers.

  • Enable or disable Windows features.

  • Apply changes based on the offlineServicing section of an Unattend.xml answer file.

  • Configure international settings.

  • Upgrade a Windows image to a different edition.

  • Prepare a Windows PE 3.0 image.

  • Take advantage of better logging.

  • Service earlier versions of Windows such as Windows Vista with SP2, Windows Vista with SP1 and Windows Server 2008.

  • Service all platforms (32-bit, 64-bit, and Itanium).

  • Service a 32-bit image from a 64-bit host, and service a 64-bit image from a 32-bit host. For more information, see the "Limitations" section later this topic.

  • Make use of old Package Manager scripts.

Common Servicing and Management Scenarios

Image servicing and management solutions fall into two main categories:

  • Managing the data or information included in the Windows image, such as enumerating or taking an inventory of the components, updates, drivers, or applications contained in an image.

  • Servicing the image itself, including adding or removing driver packages and drivers, modifying language settings, enabling or disabling Windows features, and upgrading to a higher edition of Windows.

The following table outlines the common scenarios for servicing and management.

 

Task Management Servicing

List all images within a .wim file.

X

 

Prepare a Windows PE 3.0 image.

 

X

List information about a Windows PE 3.0 image.

X

 

List specific information about a mounted image, including where it is mounted, the index of each image in a .wim file, and the mount status.

X

 

List all drivers in an image or information about a specific driver.

X

 

Add out-of-box or boot-critical drivers to support new hardware.

 

X

Add operating-system updates such as hotfixes and Windows features.

 

X

Add or remove a language pack, and configure international settings.

 

X

List all international settings and languages in an image.

X

 

Troubleshooting through integrated status and logging.

X

X

Manage multiple image versions.

X

X

List all features in a package or specific information about a Windows feature.

X

 

Check the applicability of a Windows® Installer.msp file.

X

 

Update multiple Windows editions by updating a single image.

 

X

Upgrade to a higher edition of Windows.

 

X

List all of the Windows editions that an image can be upgraded to.

X

 

Apply settings in an Unattend.xml answer file.

 

X

Limitations

Remote installation. Installing packages to a remote computer over a network is not supported. The Windows image must be present on the local system. DISM can access packages on a network share, but it must copy them to a temporary, writable directory (called a scratch directory). We recommend using a unique scratch directory on a local drive for each package you install. The contents of the scratch directory can be deleted after installation.

Answer files. When you specify an answer file (Unattend.xml) for an image, only the settings specified in the offlineServicing configuration pass are applied. All other settings in the answer file are ignored. For more information, see Unattended Servicing Command-Line Options

Version compatibility. DISM can be used with older Windows image files (.wim), but not with Windows images that are more recent than the installed version of the Windows OEM Preinstallation Kit (Windows OPK) or Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK) in which DISM is distributed.

File types. DISM can install only .cab files, .msu files, and .inf files. Microsoft System Installer system .msi files must be installed online by using OCSetup.

Service Packs. Service packs must be installed online with the Windows Update Standalone installer. For more information about Windows Update Standalone Installer, see the white paper, "Description of the Windows Update Stand-alone Installer (Wusa.exe) and of .msu Files in Windows Vista," at this Microsoft Web site.

Use an answer file to ensure package dependencies. Some packages require other packages to be installed first. Because of this dependency requirement, you should use an answer file if you are installing multiple packages. By applying an answer file by using DISM, multiple packages can be installed in the correct order. This is the preferred method for installing multiple packages.

Package installation order. Packages are installed in the order that they are listed in the command line. In the following example, 1.inf, 2.inf, and 3.inf will in the order they are listed in the command line.

DISM.exe /image:"c:\images\Image1" /Add-Driver /ForceUnsigned /DriverName:"C:\Drivers\1.inf" /DriverName:"C:\Drivers\2.inf" /DriverName:"C:\Drivers\3.inf"

Supported servicing commands are dynamic. The commands and options that are available for servicing an image depend on which Windows operating system you are servicing (Windows 7, Windows Vista with SP2, Windows Vista with SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, or Windows PE), and whether the image is offline or a currently running operating system.

Multiple unattend files are not supported.You can specify more than one driver or package on a command line. However, multiple Unattend.xml answer files are not supported. Only a single answer file may be specified on any command line.

Multiple servicing commands are not supported. You can specify multiple drivers (1.inf, 2.inf) or packages, but you cannot specify multiple commands (such as /Add-Driver/Remove-Driver or /Add-Driver/Add-Package) on the same command line.

Logging to a network share. When you use a computer that is not joined to a network domain, use net use with domain credentials to set access permissions before you specify the path for the DISM log that is stored on a network share.

Wildcards. Wildcards are not supported in DISM command lines.

Do not install a language pack after an update. If you install an update (hotfix, general distribution release [GDR], or service pack [SP]) that contains language-dependent resources before you install a language pack, the language-specific changes contained in the update are not applied. Always install language packs before installing updates.

Hotfix required for 64-Bit host environments. Before using DISM with the /Add-Package, /Enable-Feature or /Disable-Feature commands from a 64-bit Windows Vista with SP1 host, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2003 R2 host, you must install a hotfix.

The hotfix is available on the Windows OPK and Windows AIK media, in the following locations:

  • For 64-bit Windows Vista with SP1 or Windows Server 2008 host operating system, install the hotfix from \HotFix\KB960037\VistaSP1_WS08

  • For a 64-bit Windows Server 2003 R2 hosts operating system, install the hotfix from \HotFix\KB960037\W2K3

Double-click the appropriate .exe file to install the hotfix.

If you do not install the hotfix, you will receive the following warning message after you run the command:

To service a Windows 7 image from the host environment, you must install hotfix KB960037 on the host computer. The hotfix is available on the Windows OPK and Windows AIK media, in the hotfix <%mediaroot%>\HotFix folder.

Related Technologies

Unattended Installation Answer File

When an answer file is applied by using DISM, the updates that are specified in the answer file are implemented on the Windows image or the running operating system. You can configure default Windows settings, add drivers, packages, software updates, and other applications by using the settings in an answer file.

Windows System Image Manager

Windows System Image Manager (Windows SIM) is used to create unattended answer files that are used with DISM. It is also used to create distribution shares and modify the files contained in a configuration set. For more information on Windows SIM, see the Windows System Image Manager Technical Reference.

ImageX

ImageX is a command-line tool that can be used to mount an image or to apply an image to a drive so that it can be modified with the DISM command-line utility. After the image is modified, you can use ImageX to capture the image, append the image to a WIM or export the image as a separate file. If you do not need to capture, append, or export the image after you modify it, you should use DISM to mount the image instead of using ImageX. For more information, see the ImageX Technical Reference.

OCSetup

OCSetup is a command-line tool that can be used when applying updates to an online Windows image. It installs or removes Component-Based Servicing (CBS) packages online by passing packages to DISM for installation or removal. OCSetup can also be used to install Microsoft System Installer (.msi) files by calling the Windows Installer service (MSIExec.exe) and passing Windows Installer components to it for installation or removal. In addition, OCSetup can be used to install packages that have custom installers such as .exe files. For OCSetup command-line options, see OCSetup Command-Line Options.

See Also

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