Monday, 13 February 2017

Installing Windows: Updating Drivers for Boot.WIM and Install.WIM

We have a number of clients that are going to be on Windows 7 Enterprise 64-bit for the foreseeable future.

Most, if not all, of the laptops we are deploying today require a few BIOS tweaks to turn off uEFI and SecureBoot prior to beginning the setup process.

Once that is done, the laptops we are deploying today have wired and wireless network, chipsets, and USB 3 ports that have no drivers in the Windows 7 Boot.WIM or Install.WIM files. So, we would be left stranded when trying to deploy an operating system (OS) via flash!

Given the amount of application updates most of our clients have we decided to avoid using MDT or other imaging software to deploy a new laptop. The time savings would be negligible since we’d be stuck running all of the application updates or new installs post OS deployment anyway.

Also, when installing an operating system via USB 3 flash drive with decent read speeds it only takes a few minutes to get through the base OS install. Windows 10 can have an entire OS install done in a few minutes.

The following instructions assume the files have already been extracted to a bootable flash drive to use for installing an OS on a new machine.

Here’s a simple step-by-step for updating the drivers for a Windows 7 Professional Install.WIM:

  1. Dism /Get-WimInfo /WimFile:D:\sources\install.wim
    • Where D: = the flash drive letter
  2. Dism /Mount-Wim /WimFile:D:\sources\install.wim /Name:"Windows 7 PROFESSIONAL" /MountDir:C:\Mount
    • Change C: to another drive/partition if required
    • NOTE: Do not browse the contents of this folder!
  3. Dism /Image:L:\mount /Add-Driver /Driver:C:\Mount_Driver /Recurse
    • Again, change C: to the required drive letter
    • We extract all drivers to be installed or updated to this folder
  4. Dism /unmount-Wim /mountdir:L:\mount /commit
    • This step will commit all of the changes to the .WIM file
    • NOTE: Make sure there are _no_ Windows/File Explorer, CMD, or PowerShell sessions sitting in the C:\Mount folder or the dismount will fail!
  5. Dism /unmount-Wim /mountdir:L:\mount /Discard
    1. Run this command to dismount the .WIM

The following is the process for updating the WinPE Boot.WIM:

  1. Dism /Get-WimInfo /WimFile:D:\sources\boot.wim
  2. Dism /Mount-Wim /WimFile:D:\sources\boot.wim /Name:"Microsoft Windows Setup (x64)" /MountDir:C:\Mount
  3. Dism /Image:C:\mount /Add-Driver /Driver:C:\Mount_Driver /Recurse
  4. Dism /unmount-Wim /mountdir:C:\mount /commit

The above process can be used to install the newest RAID driver into a Windows Server Boot.WIM and Install.WIM to facilitate a smoother install via flash drive.

Currently, we are using Kingston DTR3.0 G2 16GB flash drives as they have good read and decent write speeds. Please feel free to comment with your suggestions on reasonably priced 16GB and 32GB USB 3 flash drives that have good read and write speeds.

Good to us is ~75MB/Second read and ~35MB/Second write.

Thanks for reading! :)

Philip Elder
Microsoft High Availability MVP
MPECS Inc.
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book
Our Cloud Service

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