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Customizing Windows installers

I felt a need to make a custom installer image of Windows 7 for my desktop. This means including the Intel USB 3 and Pro 1000 ethernet controllers. I had a lot of uh… fun… doing so.

Seems simple enough, right? Mount the iso image, add some files, burn to a DVD? Wrong. While you do need to mount or extract the ISO, you also need to:

That isn’t really that much, when you think about it… Provided all the tools work correctly. So I looked up a guide on how to do it, because I’m a linux guy normally, and I found this guide on superuser. It looked sane enough, so I installed the Windows Automated Installation Kit and went to go through the tools:

C:\Windows\System32> cd C:\Users\izaya\Documents\Windows-7-Universal-x64\sources C:\Users\izaya\Documents\Windows-7-Universal-x64\sources> imagex /mountrw install.wim 3 c:\wim 'imagex' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file. Yeah. The tool wasn’t installed with the WAIK. So, as a guess, I tried to run it from system32 (because every Windows utility is installed in system32 because what’s $PATH?)

C:\Users\izaya\Documents\Windows-7-Universal-x64\sources> C:\Windows\system32\imagex.exe 'C:\Windows\System32\imagex.exe' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

Yup. Not installed.
So I looked it up to find that ImageX had been discontinued in favor of dism.exe.
So I look up the docs for dism and found the syntax:

C:\Users\izaya\Documents\Windows-7-Universal-x64\sources> dism /mount-wim /wimfile:install.wim /index:3 /mountdir:C:\wim Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool Version 6.1.7600.16385 Error: 87 The mount-wim option is unknown. For more information, refer to the help. … Okay, maybe the dism documentation only applies for Windows 10? I’ll check the docs in the WAIK installer…

Dism /Mount-Wim /WimFile:C:\test\images\MyImage.wim /index:1 /MountDir:C:\test\offline That’s fine. The dism tool is just wrong. I’ll reinstall the WAIK.

Nope. So I rebooted. dism /mount-wim worked. Great. Just needed a reboot. Return to the right dir rather than system32…

C:\Users\izaya\Documents\Windows-7-Universal-x64\sources> dism /mount-wim /wimfile:install.wim /index:3 /mountdir:C:\wim Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool Version 6.1.7600.16385 Error: 87 The mount-wim option is unknown. For more information, refer to the help.

Suffice to say that I screwed around for a while until I realised the difference is that one was run from . in system32, so specifying C:\Windows\System32\dism.exe made it work normally.
Now I understand why people complain about the Windows PATH variable being stupid.

By Izaya
2017/07/07 18:18 +1000

Tags: tech software bad-software windows

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