Capture and Apply Windows Images

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2


This content applies to Windows 7. For Windows 8 content, see Windows Deployment with the Windows ADK.

This section describes how to capture images from your reference computer and then deploy them to multiple destination computers. This process is sometimes called build-to-plan.


In This Section

The topics in this section describe the following processes:

  1. Prepare to capture an image by generalizing the computer and setting the Windows activation clock.

  2. Capture images of the Windows hard disk partition, and other partitions as needed, by using image-capturing tools.

  3. Copy the images to a network share.

  4. Apply images to the hard drive by using image-capturing tools.

You can modify this process to automate various steps. For example, you can write a Windows PE script to automatically connect to a network and then apply an image.

The following diagram shows how the fictitious OEM, Fabrikam, captures a customized Windows image as a file on their reference computer and then applies the image to multiple destination computers:


The default image file (Install.wim) included with the Windows product DVD functions only with Windows Setup (Setup.exe). Do not apply this default image directly to a partition.

Walkthrough: Deploy an Image from a Network Share

Capture and deploy a single-partition Windows image from a network share.

Capture Images

Capture and modify images using image-capture tools.

Apply Images by Using ImageX

Apply images using image-capture tools.

See Also


Work with Windows PE
Deployment Tools Walkthroughs