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103. Accessing Files On Your Vista Install CD

Contributor: Bruce Ogden

Please Note

The steps outlined below are somewhat complex and are more suited to the advanced user than that of the beginner.

The Windows Vista files are included on a single install.wim file located on your Windows Vista DVD.

In order to access the WIM file you need to first download a copy of the Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK for short).

The AIK contains a utility called Imagex, which enables you to mount a WIM file so that its contents can easily be accessed via a command prompt or Windows Explorer.

As the AIK is downloaded as a large .img file (approx 993MB) you will require an application to either burn or open the file ready for installing.

Any CD/DVD recording software capable of burning a .img file such as Nero or a freeware application such as BurnOn CD/DVD can be used to burn the contents of the file to DVD.

Once you have opened the file, install it to your computer

Once the Windows AIK is installed, navigate to your C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\x86 folder, and right-click on wimfltr.inf . From the menu select Install. (at this point Windows User Account Control will ask permission to execute the command.) This will activate wimfltr.sys and install the WIM File System Filter which is necessary for WIM file management, enabling browsing and editing of WIM file contents.

Once the WIM file system filter has been installed, you will be able to mount the WIM file. To do this proceed as follows:

1/ Create a folder on your hard drive to store the WIM file. This can be something like: D:\Mountvista, depending upon the drive or partition you wish to store the file on.

2/ Next click Start>All Programs>Accessories. From the Accessories menu, Right Click on the Command Prompt option and select Run As Administrator.

3/ The User Account Control window will open. If you are the administrator then simply click the Continue button. If you are not the administrator then you will need the administrator user name and password before you can continue.

4/ In the Command Prompt window type: cd C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\x86 (assuming you're running on an x86 architecture box) to navigate to the folder containing Imagex.

5/ Now insert your Windows Vista DVD into your DVD-ROM

6/ Mount the Imagex file using the following syntax from the command prompt window: imagex < /mount or mountrw > (for read and write abilities)for example: C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\x86>imagex /mount E:\Sources\install.wim 1 d:mountvista (where E: is the drive letter of your DVD drive)

7/ Modification of the WIM file can be made via the command prompt window or Windows Explorer.

8/ Once you have completed editing the file, use the /Unmount switch. If you wish to save your alterations you also need to add the /Commit switch, i.e., C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\x86>imagex /unmount /commit D:Mountvista