install.wim is 7GB, how to make a bootable USB flash drive

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  1. Ztruker's Avatar
    Posts : 13,523
    Windows 10 Pro X64 20H4 19042.928
       #1

    install.wim is 7GB, how to make a bootable USB flash drive


    I finally got WSIM and sysprep to work and have a good ISO of a modified Windows 10 Pro X64 system. It installs on a Oracle VM since it can load directly from the ISO.

    Now I need to create a bootbale USB flash drive that will work on a BIOS/MBR system. As I said in the title, the install.wim is 7GB so won't go on a FAT32 formatted flash drive so I need to use NTFS.

    I've seen comments from several of you about doing this but since I wasn't interested didn't record the info. I need it now so I'm hoping you can give me direction on how to do this.
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  2. Kyhi's Avatar
    Posts : 3,569
    Windows 3.1 to Windows 10
       #2

    I would assume that you are not running Setup.exe to run an Install either....

    If you are Appling the wim then you can split the Install.wim into install.swm
    Code:
    Dism /Split-Image /ImageFile:X:\temp\install.wim /swmfile:X:\install.swm /FileSize:3900
    Code:
    Dism /apply-image /imagefile:X:\temp\install.swm /swmfile:X:\temp\install*.swm /index:1 /applydir:C:\
    This is how I do a clean install with a custom Install.wim...
    Just format the C partition and Apply the Image...
    No need to mess with existing BCD entries...

    Basicly you wipe and rewrite the OS
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  3. Posts : 38,545
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit
       #3

    This is a method to make a ntfs flash drive.

    The trial and error step will be booting using Legacy BIOS...

    Code:
    diskpart
    list disk
    select disk W
    (change W to the disk # for the flash drive)
    clean
    create partition primary
    format fs=ntfs
    assign
    exit

    This is the link:
    Guide: How to Format USB Flash Drive Using Cmd - EaseUS

    The link did not use active so that is why it is a trial and error step.
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  4. Ztruker's Avatar
    Posts : 13,523
    Windows 10 Pro X64 20H4 19042.928
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Kyhi said:
    I would assume that you are not running Setup.exe to run an Install either....

    If you are Appling the wim then you can split the Install.wim into install.swm
    Code:
    Dism /Split-Image /ImageFile:X:\temp\install.wim /swmfile:X:\install.swm /FileSize:3900


    Code:
    Dism /apply-image /imagefile:X:\temp\install.swm /swmfile:X:\temp\install*.swm /index:1 /applydir:C:\
    This is how I do a clean install with a custom Install.wim...
    Just format the C partition and Apply the Image...
    No need to mess with existing BCD entries...

    Basicly you wipe and rewrite the OS
    I have a normal Windows 10 Pro X64 ISO that I replaced the install.wim with a custom syspreped one. It's 7GB in size because it has all the programs already installed that I normally install and several tweaks I always do.

    I ended up doing exactly as Zbook said only I added active and it works perfectly. I needed it for a BIOS/MBR system. Next I need one for a UEFI/GPT system but that will take another WSIM/Sysprerp run to generate a different autounattend.xml file.

    I just booted the flashh drive on my Laptop and it booted and started the install so I'm set.

    Thank you both.
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  5. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 19,179
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #5

    Ztruker said:
    ...the install.wim is 7GB so won't go on a FAT32 formatted flash drive...
    It might shrink enough if you convert it to the more compact .esd format.
    Kyhi said:
    Code:
    Dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:c:\temp\install.wim /SourceIndex:1 /DestinationImageFile:c:\temp\install.esd /Compress:recovery /CheckIntegrity
    Converting the install.wim in install.esd file
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  6. Ztruker's Avatar
    Posts : 13,523
    Windows 10 Pro X64 20H4 19042.928
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Doubt I can compress it by over 3GB but I'm trying it now. Thanks

    Edit: Went from 7.1GB to 6.13GB, not much help.
    Last edited by Ztruker; 04 Aug 2019 at 21:53.
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  7. Kyhi's Avatar
    Posts : 3,569
    Windows 3.1 to Windows 10
       #7

    BIOS/MBR will work (Boot) from NTFS or FAT32 Partition
    UEFI/GPT will work (Boot) Only from FAT32 Partition - So you will need a dual partition USB due to wim size
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  8. shockwaveriderz's Avatar
    Posts : 65
    Windows 10 Pro 1909 18363.959
       #8

    Kyhi said:
    BIOS/MBR will work (Boot) from NTFS or FAT32 Partition
    UEFI/GPT will work (Boot) Only from FAT32 Partition - So you will need a dual partition USB due to wim size
    Yes indeed. My Ultrabook has a 2 partition (Fat32/NTFS) factory reset partition setup where they have split the .wim used for the factory reset. Multiple partition USB Flash drives are only supported on Win 10 1703 and above.
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  9. Ztruker's Avatar
    Posts : 13,523
    Windows 10 Pro X64 20H4 19042.928
    Thread Starter
       #9

    Kyhi said:
    BIOS/MBR will work (Boot) from NTFS or FAT32 Partition
    UEFI/GPT will work (Boot) Only from FAT32 Partition - So you will need a dual partition USB due to wim size
    Once I split install.wim, what do I do with the .swm files? I still need to create a USB flash drive to install from.
    It's a normal Win 10 install ISO with a customized install.wim. Now it would be several installnn.swm files.

    Edit: From your comments and what I can find it looks like I can't use a split install.wim with the normal setup.exe install. Looks like I need to creaate 2 partitions on the USB flash drive, FAT32 for everything except install.wim and NTFS to hold install.wim.

    How do I tell setup.exe to find install.wim on the 2nd NTFS partition.
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  10. Ztruker's Avatar
    Posts : 13,523
    Windows 10 Pro X64 20H4 19042.928
    Thread Starter
       #10

    Found a way, see here: DISM - Split install.wim file Post #9

    Tested on BIOS/MBR. Will text UEFI/GPT next

    Edit: UEFI/GPT works too.
    Last edited by Ztruker; 05 Aug 2019 at 14:55.
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