ImageX Tool in Windows® 7
The newest operating system from Microsoft, Windows 7, has introduced an easy to-use command line tool, ImageX, that can be used to work with .wim image files. ImageX can be used to create and manage .wim images files, capture images and use them on any other computer's hard disk. You can also mount .wim image files as folders and thereby edit images offline.
Image X addresses the challenges that organizations faced while using sector based imaging formats or the MS-DOS (Disk Operating System) Xcopy command to copy an installation of Windows onto new hardware. For instance, sector-based imaging:
Duplicates the hard drive exactly, therefore, the image can deploy only to partitions that are the same type and at least as large as the sourceÂ partition on the master computer.
Does not allow for direct modification of image file contents.
Destroys the existing contents of the destination computer’s hard drive, complicating migration scenarios.
Due to limitations of sector based imaging Microsoft developed Image X and the accompanying .wim image file format. This tool can be very useful while creating an image, modifying the image without going through the extraction and recreation process, and deploying the image to your environment.
As Image X works at the file level, it has many advantages. It gives more flexibility and control over your images. For instance, you can mount an image onto a folder and then add files to, copy files from, and delete files from the image using a file-management tool same as Windows Explorer.
It allows faster deployment of images and more rapid installations. With the help of file based image format, you can also deploy images. It also supports highly compressed images.
You can use the Image X command with the /FLAGS parameter to grasp an image of the system. Then burn the image onto a DVD, import it into a deployment share, or leave it on the system for use on the next system start.