How to Edit WIM Files


Windows Imaging Format is a type of disk image format developed by Microsoft. Unlike other disk image formats, WIM has a file-based architecture, which gives it freedom from being dependent on a specific type of hardware. Editing a WIM file is done through the ImageX tool. You can mount an image, modify it in Windows Explorer and then unmount it, saving your changes. ImageX works on most Windows operating systems from Windows XP onward, as long as the operating system has recent service packs installed.

  • Open the command prompt on your computer. In Windows 7, click the "Start" button, type "Command Prompt" in the search box and click "Command Prompt" in the list of results.

  • Open the ImageX directory, which has a path in the format of "C:\Program Files\<version>\Tools\<architecture>," where <version> is either Windows AIK or OPK and <architecture> is x86, ia64 or amd64.

  • Mount your WIM file using the command "imagex /mountrw d:\imaging\data.wim 1 c:\my_mounted_images", replacing "d:\imaging\data.wim" with the location of your WIM file and replacing "1" with the reference number of the volume in your WIM file.

  • Start Windows Explorer and keep the command prompt window open. Navigate to the directory you mounted the WIM file to. Using the previous example, this is "c:\my_mounted_images."

  • Edit the WIM's stored files and folders. You can use Windows Explorer to add, delete or edit the files. Use "shift+delete" to delete files.

  • Switch back to the command prompt window when you are done editing the WIM file.

  • Unmount the image by typing "imagex /unmount /commit c:\my_mounted_images", replacing "C:\my_mounted_images" with the location of your mount directory.

Tips & Warnings

  • To use ImageX you need Windows AIK tools, Windows OPK tools or the three ImageX files, which are "ImageX.exe," "Wimfltr.sys" and "Wimfltr.inf." The tools are free; download them from the Microsoft website. If you are using the three ImageX files, you must install the WIM FS Filter driver by right-clicking "Wimfltr.inf" and clicking "Install."

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