Creating a WIM file from VM Image to go into an SCCM deployment


I've built a Windows 2012 image in VMware 5.5 and need to make/create a .WIM image from this, in order for this image to be used for general deployment from SCCM 2012.

Hope that makes sense

Thanks in advanced for your help
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Make sure the VM is not on the Domain, put it in workgroup.
From SCCM create a BOOT MEDIA CD.  It will be created as an .ISO.  
You can mount that ISO into your VM.
Run the executable. and follow the prompts.
It will create a WIM file and ask you where to put it.
nico-Author Commented:
Thanks for the reply.
I see. I thought that most of the work that had to be done was on the windows server side, rather than from SCCM. In that case, could you give me some more details about the method :-

1. Create the VM and configure Windows 2012 (in a workgroup).
2. Should I be running anything that generalises the image and what commands would I use exactly
3. From SCCM - could you expand on the following ?
a) Create a Boot Media image which creates an ISO - mount this to the VM
b) run the executable which creates the wim file

is 3 ) a task wizard that runs from within SCCM or are they separate steps ?

Thank you for your advice
Nagendra Pratap SinghDesktop Applications SpecialistCommented:
SCCM has wizards, there is no need of generalize/specialize etc.

In fact I don't see the need of capturing an image.
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From SCCM:
Basically you would create a Task Sequence Media
Capture Media
Specify the path of the iso \\server\path\SCCMBoot.iso
Choose a boot image and Distribution Point

Copy that ISO to a Datastore

From Virtual Machine that you want to image:
Point the CD/DVD drive to the ISO
Run the Executeable from ISO.
This will go through the a wizard to place the WIM file somewhere and give it a filename/description.
nico-Author Commented:

I'm familiar with VMware and win2012 but not SCCM so with you as far as "the executable"  .. what is the executable ?

thanks !
nico-Author Commented:

I forgot to ask about the generalisation/sysprep element ?

where does this fit in?  is this a manual step / does there need be a version of sysprep (which version) on the reference 2012 vm machine ?

Thank you
Nagendra Pratap SinghDesktop Applications SpecialistCommented:
There is absolutely no need to capture a windows 2012 image. It comes as an image.

If you want to add AV etc then you can do it in a task sequence. Updates are also done via task sequence. Any features can be enabled on the fly via answer files . And if using forefront, this is installed as part of the SCCM client.
nico-Author Commented:
Hi Nagrenda

Interesting.  Why would a reference computer be used instead of using the server.wim and an answer file ?

Reading in the 2012 SCCM unleashed book (maybe it's old) it mentioned to use the Abaraham's method to create a custom image to avoid it being deployed to the D drive - which hopefully would be fixed in a future service pack.
You don't have to run sysprep.  It is done during the "image capture wizard"
Nagendra Pratap SinghDesktop Applications SpecialistCommented:
Reference computer is not needed. Most of the customizations on a server can be done via GPO and powershell/dism etc.

If you want to install Office and Adobe on your server then it is a different story.

Windows vista and later all come pre captured.
nico-Author Commented:

this is an interesting point.  I've read that the reason for using a reference computer and not taking the WIM from the OS Media is that there is a "known issue" in SCCM which means that the OS will be deployed to the D drive unless a reference computer is used.  I haven't "labbed" this to check the validity, but I'm going on the SCCM 2012 Unleashed book. If this is not the case, can you send a link to the contrary ?

Thanks for your help
Mike TLeading EngineerCommented:

It's a bit more complicated than that. The original bug was that Vista and W7 WIMs being captured as "D". This was then confused with SCCM's behaviour. If you used MDT it was easily fixed. A really good explanation is here:

and Keith also details why to bother creating a custom WIM rather than just the WIM from the ISO. The answer of custom vs native WIM depends on just how much customisation you want to do. For servers you can indeed script the vast majority and just use the native WIM.

That being said, if you want to install SQL etc then the method recommended is
Create image in MDT
Build in VM
Import "reference" WIM into SCCM


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nico-Author Commented:

I've built and configured the VM and ideally would like MDT to capture that image to a .wim file.

Is this possible ?

Nagendra Pratap SinghDesktop Applications SpecialistCommented:
Yes. Even a data drive can be captured.
nico-Author Commented:
created using MDT
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Windows Server 2012

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