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Windows 7 SP1 Sysprep'd image ISO

Posted on 2011-03-01
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I am new to creating a custom Windows 7 image. I used the Windows AIK to create an unattend.xml file, winpe disk and sysprep'd custom image. The problem I am having is I captured my image which gives me a 4.2GB WIM file, which does me no good as its not something I can Boot a PC with to install my image. I need to create and capture a custom image that I can deploy using DVD or USB. I though of possibly ghosting the image, but I don't believe ghost can handle windows 7. I do not have the luxury of distributing over the network. Any ideas?
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Question by:ritch578
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10 Comments
 
LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 35014280
Why not just use a larger DVD? A dual layer dis should support 8.5 GB
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 35014287
And you can get 8,16, or 32 GB flash drives.
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Author Comment

by:ritch578
ID: 35021848
The size not the issue or question. I am wondering how I convert the WIM file to an ISO?
 The WIM file is basically worthless to me as I am not using SCCM or the like for a pxe boot and install.
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:Ivano Viola
ID: 35023842
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Author Comment

by:ritch578
ID: 35024017
Thanks, but please read the question. I have already sysprep'd and completed everything listed in the link. When you finish and capture the image, you end up with WIM file as stated previously.

I am looking for a way to convert the WIM image to a bootable ISO, if that is possible.
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Expert Comment

by:Ivano Viola
ID: 35028553
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Author Comment

by:ritch578
ID: 35033407

I thought I was home free trying that one earlier in the week, but its no good either. The WIM does not incorporate all the files you would find in the standard MS windows disk. I ended up with basically an ISO that is still looking for WinPE to boot.  

Looks like Microsoft is pushing thier network based PXE type solution using either SCCM or WDS. I actually like both and WDS is free with server 2008, but sometimes the old school boot for a disk approach works better.

I have reserched this a bunch and it seems that everyone who has tried to get an ISO based image ends up giving up with windows 7 or go the Ghost route.

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Expert Comment

by:transystems
ID: 35142034
ritch578:

Sysprep does not create a WIM file.
A wim file is captured with DISM, a part of the Windows Advanced Installation Kit.

You also use WAIK to create your bootable image: LINK

Once you have a bootable disk (I use a USB key) you can copy the WIM to the drive and use DISM to restore the image to other systems.
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Accepted Solution

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sb1920alk earned 500 total points
ID: 35218711
WinPE can be saved as a bootable ISO. It's boot image is also a .wim file, so it can be customized. For example, add imagex.exe to system32 in the WinPE boot image. I typically boot WinPE as a ram disk, so I wouldn't put the deployment wim inside WinPE's boot.wim, but it can still go on the DVD. My WinPE's are 120-170 MB. If your deployment wim is 4.2 GB, it should all fit on a standard DVD. Once you've booted to it, format the disk and use imagex to apply the deployment image. If you're doing a lot of them, edit Startnet.cmd in WinPE to call a custom deployment script to perform all of these tasks. Lastly, avoid shutting down WinPE ungracefully after applying the image. It seems to cause the PC to be unbootable and you have to re-apply the image. Use wpeutil shutdown to shutdown, or close the cmd window with the mouse or Exit command to reboot.
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