Open a Windows Image or Catalog File

To create an unattended installation answer file, Windows System Image Manager (Windows SIM) must first associate the answer file with a specific Windows image or catalog file.

When Windows SIM opens a Windows image (.wim) file or catalog (.clg) file, all the configurable components and packages inside that image are displayed in the Windows Image pane.

You can then add components and settings to an answer file.

The Windows retail DVD includes pre-generated catalog files for each Windows image inside install.wim. These catalog files are in the Sources directory of the retail DVD and can be used to create an answer file for a Windows image in the default install.wim file. However, if you intend to create a catalog for a custom Windows image, you should use Image Manager to recreate the catalog for that custom Windows image.


Because Windows image files can be opened only by an administrator or one user at any given time, Windows SIM will automatically create a catalog of the Windows image that you open.

To open a Windows image or catalog file

  1. On the File menu, click Select Windows Image.
    - or -
    Right-click anywhere in the Windows Image pane, and then click Select Windows Image.
    The Select a Windows Image dialog box opens.
  2. In the Select a Windows Image dialog box, select the file type in the Files of type drop-down list box, and then navigate to a Windows image (.wim) or catalog (.clg) file.
  3. Click to select the file, and then click Open.
  4. If more than one type of Windows image exists in the file, select a specific Windows image in the Select an Image box.
  5. Click Open. If you have not previously opened that Windows image file or have not refreshed the catalog file recently, Windows SIM prompts you to create or recreate the catalog file. For more information, see Create or Recreate a Catalog.
    The .wim file or .clg file appears in the Windows Image pane.

See Also


Open an Answer File
Add a Component to an Answer File
Customize a Setting in an Answer File
Create or Recreate a Catalog
Use Distribution Shares with Windows SIM