A utility to help you with management of your Windows images

  1.    #1

    A utility to help you with management of your Windows images


    Edit: Updated on April 23, 2019
    Update to Version 1.1.1


    Fixes:


    Added a lot of error checking for invalid user input. Previously, this was spotty but it's much better now. If you run into situations I'm not catching, please let me know.
    Cleaned up a lot of code internally.

    Features:

    For the process of injecting Windows updates or drivers into ISO images, we print a message at the start of each file being processed to let the user know which file we are working on. For example, file #1 of 5, along with the file name. The problem is that this message can scroll off the screen, especially when the user chooses to display detailed status. Since the process can take a very long time, the user is left with no clue as to what file is currently being processed. The program will now also show this status on the title bar where it will always be visible.

    Eliminated the help file - Help is now integrated directly into the program.



    Edit: Updated on April 20, 2019

    Update to version 1.1.0, April 20, 2019

    Fixes:

    Removed informational message that might be confused for an error message.

    Made program self-elevating: If a user does not right-click and choose to run as admin, the program will automatically re-launch itself in an elevated state and terminate the original instance. There is no longer a need to tell the user to re-run the program as admin.

    Added new features:

    When injecting the Windows updates or drivers into an ISO image, the program tacks on a time and date stamp to the original file name. If you have a bunch of these files and want to remove that part of the file name, the program can do this for you now. It's helpful if you have a whole folder full of these files.

    Injecting updates and drivers can be a lengthy process. If a user gets impatient and terminates the process or something else happens to interrupt the process, it may not be possible to delete files or folders from the working directory even after a reboot. This can happen if DISM still has files locked. The option to "cleanup files and folders" will try to correct this. Note that sometimes this process will only work after a reboot. The program will inform you if this is the case. Note that the option to inject updates or drivers into an ISO image will automatically check for this condition and try to correct it, but I've broken it out as a seperate option to make cleanup easy.

    --------------------
    A few months ago I began working extensivly with a number of the excellent tutorials on this forum for creating unattended setup images, injecting Windows drivers into a Windows image, injecting Windows updates into a Windows image, and more.

    Many of these processes require a very long and tedious series of commands to be run. I decided that I would write a program that would automate all these steps for me.

    I thought that I would share my work with everyone as I'm sure that this could be a HUGE time saver for many.

    I would still encourage you to follow the tutorials on this forum to learn how to accomplish all these tasks first. Having that knowledge is invalable, and it will only give you a greater appreciation for how much labor this tool can save you.

    In particular, I would like to single out the amazing tutorials by Kari and Brink. It is only because of their work that I was able to put all the pieces together.

    What this tool can do:

    1) Inject Windows updates into your Windows ISO images - This tool began life for the sole purpose of being able to add Windows updates into all my ISO images. I found that I have quite a few ISO images. I have my plain, unmodified retail Windows image, I have my unattended install image for BIOS systems, another for UEFI based systems, then I finally have full sysprep installations for both BIOS and UEFI based systems. Every month, when the new Windows updates are released on patch Tuesday, I like to make new images with those upgrades integrated into them. That would be a huge task if I didn't have a way to automate this. This routine will update an unlimited number of images all automatically.

    2) Automatically create a Windows bootable thumb drive from any of your ISO images - In addition to creating a bootable windows thumb drive, this routine can create additional partitions on your thumb drive so you can store other data on the same thumb drive. It can even automatically bitlocker encrypt those partititions for you if you wish.

    3) Create a bootable ISO image from files on a drive - Working on a project where you have created an unattended installation or a sysprep installation and now you need to package it all up into an ISO image? This option will let you do that.

    4) Export drivers - Want to save all the drivers from your system to a folder and then inject them into a Windows image? This routine will do that for you.

    5) Inject drivers into a Windows image - A companion to #4 above, this will allow you to take your exported drivers, or other drivers, and inject them into your Windows image(s). Again, this can operate on an unlimited number of Windows images, updating all of them.

    6) Expand drivers supplied as a .CAB file - You may get some drivers as a .CAB file, especially from the Microsoft update catalog. This will expand those drivers for you so that you can then inject them into your image(s). This can operate on an unlimited number of drivers.

    7) Create a Virtual Disk (VHDX) - Some operations, such as injecting updates, requires a fixed disk. This is because some the utilities used, such as DISM, require a fixed disk to operate on. As a workaround, you can create a Virtual Disk on a removable drive and use it as if it were a fixed disk. There are also other times where having a Virtual Disk can just be handy so this routine provides a really quick way to create one.

    8) Create a generic ISO file - When I'm working on a project, I sometimes like to simply take all the files for the project and bundle them together. You could create a ZIP or other archive file, but I find an ISO super handy because I can simply mount it as another drive letter. Creating an ISO is also really fast. This routine will take the contents of any folder and create an ISO image out of everything in that folder.

    Feedback Welcome

    Please be aware that I am not a professional programmer. This may not be the most elegant program, but it works for me. When I created it, I was intending for it only to be an aid to me, but it's become useful enough that I thought others might benefit from it as well. If you encounter any difficulties with it, I welcome any comments. Likewise, if you have any ideas for added functionality, please do let me know.

    Please find attached WIM 1.0.0.ZIP

    - Hannes
    A utility to help you with management of your Windows images Attached Files
    Last edited by hsehestedt; 4 Weeks Ago at 13:51.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    #2

    The problem with 10 is there isnt a lot of point doing images unless its role out to lots of pcs as every 6 months there is a new version so any image is out of date and you can get the new o/s for free
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    #3

    Samuria said: View Post
    The problem with 10 is there isnt a lot of point doing images unless its role out to lots of pcs as every 6 months there is a new version so any image is out of date and you can get the new o/s for free
    Unless you are running LTSC. It's locked at version 1809 for the next 3 years.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    #4

    Samuria said: View Post
    The problem with 10 is there isnt a lot of point doing images unless its role out to lots of pcs as every 6 months there is a new version so any image is out of date and you can get the new o/s for free
    I understand what you are saying, but not everyone has the same usage patterns. For example, I probably install Windows 5 to 10 times a week on various systems and virtual machines so having multiple different updated images is extraordinarily valuable to me. Plus, it literally takes me 3 minutes to queue up all the updates and let the utility do the work so it takes no effort whatsoever.

    As you noted, this may well be more helpful for people who roll out lots of installs. It can also be helpful to those who create customized unattended or sysprep installations.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 15,898
    Windows 10 Pro
       #5

    hsehestedt said: View Post
    It can also be helpful to those who create customized unattended or sysprep installations.
    About unattended installations and sysprepping / capturing a custom image, take a look at this tutorial: Microsoft Deployment Toolkit - Easy and Fast Windows Deployment | Tutorials

    Kari
    Last edited by Kari; 09 Apr 2019 at 14:35. Reason: Unnecessary question removed
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. Ztruker's Avatar
    Posts : 7,815
    Windows 10 Pro X64 1809 17763.437
       #6

    @hsehestedt. thank you for your work and sharing it with us. I definitely want to play with it a bit. I'll provide some feedback after I've had time to try it.

    Comment #1: When I run WIM.exe, I get the following:

    The Windows ADK also needs to be installed. Only the "Deployment Tools" component needs to be installed.

    I thought this was an error message so clicked the X to close the window. Only after 3 attempts did I press Enter to continue and then I got the menu. You should remove that warning and move it into the .txt file. When I run WIM.exe, unless it's not being run as Administrator it should go directly to the menu.

    Provide the link in the txt file to where the ADK can be download from too.

    1809 is here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/win...ed/adk-install
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  7.    #7

    Ztrucker,

    Thanks for the feedback. I'll make the change. As for the issue of checking whether the app is being run as admin, I'm still trying to figure out how to do that. I know how to do this in a batch file, but not in the program that I wrote. I will research it and incorporate the change if I can.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8. Ztruker's Avatar
    Posts : 7,815
    Windows 10 Pro X64 1809 17763.437
       #8

    Launch a batch file that checks then launches your program????
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  9.    #9

    Yeah, I tried that but when I launch a batch file I have no control over how it is launched and it does not seem to launch in an elevated state even if the main program is being run elevated.

    I'll figure it out eventually
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10. Ztruker's Avatar
    Posts : 7,815
    Windows 10 Pro X64 1809 17763.437
       #10

    Look at the Beta log collection tool in the BSOD forum written by @Spectrum. It's self elevating I believe. Uses Powershell but that shouldn't be a problem.

    Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) Posting Instructions
      My ComputersSystem Spec


 

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