Creating a custom install.wim for a custom Windows install USB


  1. Posts : 59
    windows10
       #1

    Creating a custom install.wim for a custom Windows install USB


    Kari wrote - "Capturing install.wim from an existing installation only works on computers / virtual machines where all system elements and user accounts are located on Windows system partition C:" - is there a comprehensive list of the 'system elements' of Windows10. Normally when I build a Windows system, I relocate Documents, Pictures, Videos, Downloads, Music, and my Outlook PST on a seperate drive for backup and performance reasons. So, at the very least I would need to place these back onto the "C" drive before doing a DISM "capture-image". Are there any other files/folders that I need to make sure are located on the "C" system volume/partition ?
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  2. Paul Black's Avatar
    Posts : 12,492
    Win 10 Pro 64-bit v1909 - Build 18363 Custom ISO Install
       #2

    Hello @clk1946,

    I assume that you are talking about customising a full Win 10 WITHOUT touching or customising the actual install.wim, is that correct?

    I ask this because I have for many years created a customised ISO [ media ] installation. I know what I want from an OS and I therefore remove anything that I will not use or need from the install.wim. Once the install is complete, I then run .bat, .ps1, and .reg files to further customise the OS.

    I hope this helps.
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  3. Posts : 59
    windows10
    Thread Starter
       #3

    So, I am capturing my current running system, including my installed applications, using DISM (Dism /capture-image /capturedir:C:\ /imagefile\ESDtoWIM\install.wim ..... The process goes like this - I mount the latest Microsoft Windows 10 installation ISO, I delete the install.esd file found in the 'Sources' folder, I move/copy the install.wim file created by DISM into the 'Sources' folder, and now I should have everything I need to either create a custom Windows 10 installation ISO or installation USB. This will allow me to install the latest Windows 10, including all of my installed software applications. What I want to make sure of is that all of the so-called 'system elements' that Kari referred to are included in the image because if any are missed, a subsequent installation attempt will fail - according to Kari. What I am hoping for is a full/comprehensive list naming/identifying all of these 'system elements'.
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  4. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 15,589
    Windows 10 Pro
       #4

    As far as I know you can not replace any files in a mounted ISO file. When you mount an ISO file you are creating a virtual read only drive.
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  5. Posts : 59
    windows10
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Not interested in doing that. I want to create a Windows installation USB containing a 'custom' install.wim file which is larger than 4GB. There is a tutorial on how to do that but I can't remember the title or number at this point. I am using the mounted ISO to copy all the files and folders to a USB, except for the esd or wim file, replacing that with my 'custom' wim file which is about 30 GB large. I have created such an installation USB (containing both a Fat32 and NTFS partitions) which booted just fine, but I happened to stumble on Kari's tutorial showing how to create a 'custom' installation ISO with a wim file smaller than 4GB and he emphasized that creating a custom ISO with 'system elements' missing from the Windows system drive would result in a corrupted installation. So, as I initially stated, I relocated all of the 'system files/elements' (such as the Documents folder) that I could identify and that Kari alluded to onto the Windows boot drive/volume. Now, I am hoping that someone (maybe Kari) can identify all of the 'system elements' and anything else that needs to reside on the boot drive
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  6. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 15,589
    Windows 10 Pro
       #6

    What you posted exactly was:

    clk1946 said:
    The process goes like this - I mount the latest Microsoft Windows 10 installation ISO, I delete the install.esd file found in the 'Sources' folder, I move/copy the install.wim file created by DISM into the 'Sources' folder, and now I should have everything I need to either create a custom Windows 10 installation ISO or installation USB.
    You cannot do exactly what you posted. You cannot mount the ISO file, delete install.esd and replace it with install.wim. So, apparently, you do not plan on doing what you posted.
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  7. Paul Black's Avatar
    Posts : 12,492
    Win 10 Pro 64-bit v1909 - Build 18363 Custom ISO Install
       #7

    Hello @clk1946,

    You can either Download an ISO with an install.wim file already included, or Convert the install.esd to an install.wim file using DISM.

    Is this the Tutorial you were thinking of? . . .

    > Create bootable USB installer if install.wim is greater than 4GB

    I hope this helps.
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  8. Posts : 59
    windows10
    Thread Starter
       #8

    Ok, I should've been more clear. I mount the installation ISO. I then copy all of the files/folders to a harddrive. I then delete the install.esd/wim in the sources folder located physically on the hard drive. Now, can you answer my question ?
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  9. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 15,589
    Windows 10 Pro
       #9

    As long as you don't have anything redirected to another drive, I don't see a problem.
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  10. Posts : 59
    windows10
    Thread Starter
       #10

    Thank you for your help and patience.
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