Definition

Microsoft Windows Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM)

Contributor(s): Eddie Lockhart

Microsoft Windows Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) is a software tool that information technology (IT) administrators can access through the command line or PowerShell to mount and service a Windows desktop image or hard disk before deploying it to users. The command line for Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) is DISM.exe.

DISM also provides IT administrators with information about the image files and hard disks. The Windows image can come from a Windows Imaging Format file (.wim), a virtual hard disk file or a Hyper-V virtual hard disk file, as well as a running operating system. IT administrators can capture, manage or split .wim files and use DISM to install or uninstall all three file types.

Administrators can alter or update Windows features, packages, drivers and international settings with DISM, but DISM does not allow administrators to install packages on remote computers. In addition, DISM does not support multiple unattend files or multiple servicing commands.

Starting with Windows 8, DISM comes with the Windows operating system and is distributed as part of the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK). It works on 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and above and Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 and above. DISM is also compatible with the Windows Recovery Environment and Windows Preinstallation Environment.

DISM does work with older image files, but the image cannot be more recent than the version of ADK that IT uses to distribute DISM. It is most common for IT administrators to use DISM on offline images, but certain subsets of the DISM command allow them to use it while the operating system is running.

IT shops can use DISM in place of other image deployment tools, such as PEImg, Intlcfg, ImageX and Package Manager

This was last updated in June 2017

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