Capture a Windows 7 Image using ImageX

Following on from the previous post on building a Windows PE USB drive with ImageX, this post is about capturing a Windows 7 image using the ImageX tool. As for the destination where the .wim image file will be stored I’ll cover both local drives and network share storage methods.

What you will need

  • A reference computer with a Sysprep’ed Windows 7 installation
  • A Windows PE boot disk with access to the Imagex tool, such as the one created in the previous post
  • A local drive or a network share to store your image

Instructions

1) Boot your reference computer with the Windows PE boot disk 

See my previous post on how to build a Windows PE boot disk 

2) Work out the drive letter of the Windows 7 volume to capture

You can work this out very easily with the diskpart command. Type the following commands at the WinPE command prompt

diskpart
list volume

This will present a table of all volumes and the drive letter associated with it. Identify the Windows 7 volume you want to capture and make a note of its drive letter which you will need later when capturing an image.

Exit diskpart by typing exit at the command prompt before moving onto using imagex.

3) Work out the drive letter of the destination where the image file will be stored

3.1) Storing image on a local drive

If you are using a local hard drive or a USB drive to store your image file then you will need to use diskpart as above to work out the drive letter associated with your local drive or partition before moving onto the actual capture process.

Once the destination drive letter is identified make a note of it. Make sure you don’t confuse it with the drive letter of the Windows 7 volume you want to capture.

3.2) Storing image on a network share

You will need to map your network share to a drive letter to be able to use it in the imagex capture command later on. Here’s the basic format of the net use command to map your network share:

net use n: \\ServerName\ShareName * /user:Username

Use your own network share and a user account which has write permissions to the share. Enter the password when prompted for the user account.

Make a note of the drive letter which you will need when capturing the image using imagex.

4) Capturing the Image

At the Windows PE command prompt type

imagex /capture D:\ F:\ref-win7-image.wim “Windows 7 Enterprise 64bit” /check

In the above example:

D:\ is the source Windows 7 volume to capture
F:\ is the destination where the image file will be stored
ref-win7-image.wim is the filename the .wim image file will be saved as
“Windows 7 Enterprise 64bit” is the description
/check is an optional but highly recommended switch to ensure the integrity of the .wim image

That’s it. Capturing an image is quite straightforward really.

In the next post I will move on to adding drivers to an offline Windows 7 image.

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7 thoughts on “Capture a Windows 7 Image using ImageX

  1. Thanks for this info, but one question. I’m trying these steps to capture a HyperV VHD and save as a WIM. Newer Windows installs have two partitions–the first being the 100mb-300mb system reserved partition Windows uses when it needs to boot into recovery mode. Is it necessary to imagex that as well?

  2. Hey emeneye, i used ur guide to create a winpe live cd, now i have the syspreped pc but i cant start working. My DISKPART does not show any drives nor volumes so I can’t figure out what will be source and Destination. But it is a normal W7E legacy install on a HP820G3 (nvme SSD)

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