How Deployment Image Servicing and Management Works

Applies To: Windows 7


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

Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) is a command-line tool that combines separate Windows® platform technologies into a single, cohesive tool for servicing Windows images.

These platform technologies operate within the DISM framework and add functionality to it through the use of servicing command-line options. The servicing command-line options are typically associated with updating or configuring an offline Windows image, and in some case an online image (or running operating system). The functionality provided by the servicing command-line options is tied to DISM command-line options with a standard syntax model and a common logging engine that is used by DISM and all platform technologies. For more information, see Deployment Image Servicing and Management Command-Line Options.

The DISM command-line options are global and can be used with most servicing command-line options. The servicing command-line options work individually and cannot be used in combination with other servicing command-line options because only one platform technology can be called at a time. A Windows image is made available by mounting the image or specifying an online image. When an action is specified by a servicing command-line option, the action is completed by the appropriate platform technology against the target image.

The following table describes the purpose of various platform technologies that operate within the DISM framework.

Purpose Technology

To add, remove, or enumerate driver .inf files

Device Management and Installation (DMI)

To add, remove or enumerate packages that are .cab or .msu files

CAB files use Component Based Servicing (CBS) technology and the .msu file-name extension is associated with the Windows Update Stand-Alone Installer technology.

To apply settings in an unattended answer file

Settings Management Infrastructure (SMI)

Device Management and Installation (DMI)

Component Based Servicing (CBS)

To modify Windows image .wim files

Windows Image File Format (WIM)

For more information, see Windows Imaging File Format (WIM)

To create and modify Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) images

PEimg technology (a deprecated Windows Vista® command-line tool)

To change the language, locale, fonts, and input settings in a Windows image

Intlcfg technology (a deprecated Windows Vista command-line tool)

To upgrade the edition of Windows to a higher edition

Component Based Servicing (CBS)

Windows Anytime Upgrade

To check the applicability of an application update

Microsoft® Windows® Installer

Windows Anytime Upgrade

System Requirements

DISM can be used to update a mounted Windows image or, in some cases, a running operating system. It can be used with older Windows image files (.wim files). It cannot, however, be used with Windows images that are more recent than the installed version of the Windows OEM Preinstallation Kit (Windows OPK) or Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK) in which DISM is distributed. DISM is also installed with the Windows® 7 operating system.

DISM can be used to service the following operating systems:

  • Windows 7

  • Windows Vista® with Service Pack 2 (SP2)

  • Windows Vista® with Service Pack 1 (SP1)

  • Windows Server® 2008 R2

  • Windows Server® 2008

  • Windows PE 3.0

For a list of the supported platforms and architecture types, see Deployment Tools Supported Platforms.

See Also


Deployment Image Servicing and Management Technical Reference
What Is Deployment Image Servicing and Management?
Deployment Image Servicing and Management Command-Line Options