What’s New in Windows Automated Installation Kit

Applies To: Windows 7

Windows® Automated Installation Kit (AIK) is a collection of tools and documentation that you can use to automate the deployment of Windows 7. Windows AIK is one of several resources that you can use to deploy Windows. Tools and software, such as the Microsoft® Deployment Toolkit and Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager, use components of Windows AIK to create system images and automate operating system installations.

You can use Windows AIK for highly customized environments. The tools in Windows AIK enable you to configure many deployment options, and they provide a high degree of flexibility. Depending on your business needs and resources, you can use all or only parts of the resources available in Windows AIK.

The complete list of new features is available in the Windows AIK documentation. For more information, see New Features in the Windows AIK.

For more Windows 7 resources, articles, demos, and guidance, see the Springboard Series for Windows 7.

Deployment Image Servicing and Management consolidates multiple imaging tools

You can use the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) to customize Windows images in a variety of ways:

  • Add or remove 32-bit and 64-bit device drivers

  • Add or remove language packs

  • Enable or disable Windows features

  • Add and configure updates

New DISM tools replace many of the tools in previous releases of Windows AIK, including Package Manager (Pkgmgr.exe), the International Settings Configuration tool (Intlcfg.exe), and the Windows Preinstallation Environment (PE) command-line tool (PEimg.exe).

For more information about using DISM, see Deployment Image Servicing and Management Technical Reference and the video Deployment Image Servicing and Management.

User State Migration Tool is now part of Windows AIK

Windows User State Migration Tool (USMT) is now installed as part of Windows AIK. You can use USMT 4.0 to streamline and simplify user-profile migration during large deployments of the Windows Vista® and Windows 7. USMT captures user accounts, user files, operating system settings, and application settings, and then migrates them to a new Windows installation. You can use USMT for side-by-side and wipe-and-load migrations.

For more information about USMT, see User State Migration Tool 4.0 User's Guide.

For a demonstration, see User State Migration Tool 4.0.

New Windows default disk partition structure

The default Windows installation now includes support for a separate system partition. In clean default installations, Windows Setup creates two partitions on a hard disk: one partition for recovery tools and Windows BitLocker™ Drive Encryption or other features, the second partition for the operating system.

For more information about the default disk-partition configuration and recommended disk-partition configurations see Windows Automated Installation Kit for Windows 7.

Optimize Windows PE image

You can use the DISM.exe /Apply-Profile option to reduce a Windows PE image to only those files necessary to support a given set of applications. For example, you can use DISM to deploy a Windows PE image to a USB flash drive. You can also use DISM to customize a Windows PE image offline. You can also use DISM to add and remove drivers, Windows PE components, and language packs.

Deploy virtual hard disks with native boot

In Windows 7, you can use a virtual hard disk (VHD) as the running operating system on designated hardware without any other parent operating system, virtual computer, or hypervisor. Windows 7 disk management tools, the DiskPart tool, and the Disk Management snap-in in Microsoft Management Console can be used to create a bootable VHD file. You can then deploy a generalized image file (.wim) to the VHD and copy the VHD file to multiple computers. The Windows 7 boot manager can be configured to boot the WIM file from the VHD.

For more information, see Understanding Virtual Hard Disks with Native Boot in the Windows AIK documentation.