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Windows SIM User Interface Overview

Updated: October 20, 2013

Applies To: Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2

The Windows® System Image Manager (Windows SIM) user interface contains a series of panes. You can use these panes to open Windows image (.wim) files, create unattended answer files, and then add components and packages to the respective configuration passes in an answer file.

The following screen shot illustrates the Windows SIM user interface.

Windows SIM user interface

The Distribution Share pane displays the currently open distribution share folder in tree view. You can select, create, explore, and close distribution share folders by selecting the top node and then right-clicking in the pane. You can add items in an open distribution share folder to an answer file by right-clicking the item. For more information, see Distribution Shares and Configuration Sets Overview.

The Answer File pane displays the Windows Setup configuration passes, the settings to apply in each pass, and the packages to install. You can open and change an existing answer file, validate the settings in an answer file against a Windows image, or create a new answer file. For more information, see Answer Files Overview.

The Windows Image pane displays the currently open Windows image in tree view. When the tree is expanded, all of the components and packages for the image are visible and available to add to an answer file in the Answer File pane. For more information, see Windows Image Files and Catalog Files Overview.

The Properties pane displays the properties and settings of a selected component or package. You can use the Properties pane to change the settings, and, in the case of packages, Windows feature selections. At the bottom of the Properties pane, Windows SIM displays the name of the setting and the associated Microsoft® .NET type. For more information, see Component Settings and Properties Reference.

The Messages pane consists of three tabs: XML, Validation, and Configuration Set. Clicking a tab in the Messages pane displays the type of message, a description, and the location of the issue.

The types of messages that the Messages pane displays are informational. Messages appear on the Configuration Set tab if a configuration set has been created. For more information, see Distribution Shares and Configuration Sets Overview.

 

Menu command Description

New Answer File

Creates a new answer file.

Open Answer File

Opens an existing answer file.

Close Answer File

Closes the currently open answer file.

Save Answer File

Saves the currently open answer file.

Save Answer File As…

Opens a dialog box to enable naming of the answer file with which you are currently working.

Select Distribution Share

Opens a valid distribution share folder.

Close Distribution Share

Closes the currently open distribution share folder.

Select Windows Image

Browses to and selects a Windows image file.

Close Windows Image

Closes the currently open Windows image file.

Exit

Closes Windows SIM.

 

Menu command Description

Cut

Deletes the highlighted text or tree structure (Unattend and Properties).

Copy

Copies the highlighted text or tree structure (all panes).

Paste

Pastes text or tree structure (Unattend and Properties).

Delete

Deletes the currently selected item or text. (This command may be disabled if the item is not removable.)

Find

Opens a search dialog box to scan a Windows image and answer file, distribution share, or message for a specific item.

Revert Change

Reverts the most recent customization.

Write Image Value

Writes the value of the setting in the currently open Windows image to the answer file.

Add to Answer File

For components, a submenu opens that shows the available passes. The item and its children are added to the Unattend.xml answer file. Packages are automatically added to the packages section of the Unattend.xml answer file.

 

Menu command Description

Synchronous Command

Adds a synchronous command to a configuration pass. You can select the windowsPE, specialize, auditUser, or oobeSystem configuration pass. After you select a configuration pass, a window opens so that you can specify the command line and the order of execution.

Driver Path

Adds a driver path to a configuration pass. You can use Driver Path to select the configuration pass in which to add the driver path. Driver Path then opens a window where you can select a file or folder.

Package(s)

Opens a window where you can browse to the location of a package. Then, it inserts a package from a file or folder into the currently open answer file.

 

Menu command Description

Hide Sensitive Data

Stores local account passwords in an answer file as unreadable text. Domain passwords, product keys, and other sensitive data are not hidden.

Validate Answer File

Validates the XML and other settings in the answer file. Settings are validated against the currently open Windows image.

Create Configuration Set

Generates a new configuration set.

Explore Distribution Share

Opens a distribution share folder in Windows Explorer or File Explorer view.

Create Distribution Share

Creates a distribution share folder and subfolders.

Import Package(s)

Enables you to browse to a folder that contains a package, and then import it into the currently open distribution share. For more information, see Add Packages to a Distribution Share.

Create Catalog

Generates a catalog file. For more information, see Open a Windows Image or Catalog File.

 

Menu command Description

Image Manager Help

Displays the User's Guide.

Unattended Reference

Displays the Unattended Windows Setup Reference.

About

Displays version, copyright, and licensing information.

 

Button name Function

New Answer File

Creates a new answer file.

Open Answer File

Opens an existing answer file.

Close Answer File

Closes the currently selected answer file.

Save Answer File

Saves the currently open answer file.

Cut, Copy, Paste, Delete

Manipulates data.

Find

Enables you to search through a Windows image and answer file, through a distribution share, or within the Messages pane.

Validate Answer File

Validates the answer file against the settings in the opened catalog file.

Create Configuration Set

Creates a configuration set.

Help Contents

Displays the User's Guide.

See Also

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