Extract the .wim image in Windows 10, Windows 8x & Windows 7

Converting the .esd to .wim is fairly straight forward, using the inbuilt Microsoft Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) Command-Line.

There are more than a few uses for the DISM command, and I’ll cover more command options, as I get to use the command more often. This post is intended to provide the indication of extracting a .wim file from the .esd file provided within Win8x & Win10. The DISM command can also be used in Win7. I recently used the DISM command to extract the .wim file so that I could repair a corrupt installation on a friends computer. So this post is based upon a lesson learnt, after resorting to the books, following a head banging session 😦 in total frustration. I hope it helps you

Many Thanks .. Arfs

There are those who know me quite well, and will agree that I do not like downloading software just because it may be needed; and I certainly do not like paying for software that achieves the same function as the inbuilt command-line functionalities. But each to their own. Some people just don’t want to learn.

OKay, back to the .esd & .wim issue.

A little history

Prior to 2006 the operating system that we wanted was purchased as an individual disc. Then in 2006 Windows Vista introduced the ‘Windows Image Format’ (.wim). This meant that all future incarnations of Windows would be provided on a single DVD, or .iso file, and the installation would be dictated by the license key entered.

The .wim file introduced the provision for a true ‘hardware agnostic’ build that significantly improved the initial build time, from 45 minutes for Win XP Pro to 15 minutes for Win Vista Ultimate. The .wim file was also bootable.

Windows 8 introduced the Electronic Software Delivery file (.esd) which allowed for an inline upgrade. Now many e-commerce websites are using .esd files to deliver their software.

There are some websites out there who will tell you that in order to manage, and manipulate, the .esd file that is found within the ‘..\sources\’ directory, but you don’t need to download any software, (e.g. WinReducer Wim Converter – others are available); just use the command-line tools.

For this posting I’m going to use a Win 8.1×64 .iso image that has been ‘mounted’ as a virtual image within Windows File Explorer as F:\ (You just need to change F:\ to the drive that you have mounted) and the inbuilt Microsoft Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) Command-Line utility (https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj980032(v=winembedded.81).aspx).

Once the drive has been mounted navigate to ‘f:\sources\install.esd’

Now open the command prompt with admin privileges (command prompt (admin))



  • WinKey + X, or Right-click the Windows Symbol – which will open the ‘Context Menu’


  • Left-click ‘Command Prompt (Admin)‘ & agree to UAC – ‘Yes’
  • Type the command “C:\>dism /export-image /sourceimagefile:”F:\sources\install.esd” /sourceindex:1 /destinationimagefile:”D:\Wim_Extract\Install.wim” /compress:recovery” – or /compress:maximum .. Without the quotations


  • The resulting .wim file

The following article has been posted on the TenForums website, and explains how to repair a corrupted Windows 10 image using the DISM command within PowerShell .. http://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/7808-dism-repair-windows-10-image.html .. I have read the article, and will give the link rather than republish the information, and give credit to the author ‘Brink’