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Identifying Windows Images/Installers/ISO files

The more I dig into the DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) command, the more “good stuff” I keep finding. Today’s gem comes courtesy of Sergey Tkachenko, whose excellent WinAero.com site has come in for kudos from me many times already in this blog. Earlier this week he posted an item entitled “How to see which build and edition of Windows 10 the iso file contains,” but his observations apply equally to bootable UFDs (or even optical media, for those who use them for Windows installation), and also apply to Windows versions as far back as 7 (and possibly even Vista, in which version the .wim, or Windows Image, file format was introduced). The same approach also works for compressed .esd (Electronic Software Download) files as well, like those included in the installer constructed using Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool (.esd . files are of more recent vintage, however, and go back only to Windows 8). In short, you can aim DISM at a .wim or .esd file, and use it to tell you what version of Windows it’s looking at. Here’s some syntax:

For .wim files:
dism /Get-WimInfo
/Wimfile:<dl>:\sources\<wimfile>.wim /index:1

where <dl> is the drive-letter for the volume you’re looking at (perhaps by mounting an ISO) and <wimfile> is the name of the Windows Image file you’re inspecting (usually this will be named install.wim or perhaps boot.wim)

dism-wiminfo

This is the info from the UFD I built to upgrade the en-GB version of Win10 running on my production PC.

For .esd files:
dism /Get-WimInfo
/Wimfile:<dl>:\sources\<wimfile>.esd /index:1

where <dl> is the drive-letter for the volume you’re looking at (perhaps by mounting an ISO) and <wimfile> is the name of the Electronic Software Download file you’re inspecting (usually this will be named install.esd

If, like me, you’ve got numerous bootable installer and repair/recovery UFDs laying around, not all of them labeled — especially now, when we have to make sure we’re using the right version of Windows 10 to match what we want to install or repair — this little technique can come in quite handy. Give it a try!

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