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DISM – Deployment Image Servicing and Management Guide

Deployment has a new tool in Windows 7: DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management). DISM is a command line tool which can be used to service a Windows® image or to prepare a Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) image. It replaces Package Manager (pkgmgr.exe), PEimg, and Intlcfg that were included in Windows Vista®.

Hence, Now one tool does it all ! ! !

DISM can be used to service Windows Vista® with Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows Server® 2008 and provides the same functionality that Package Manager provided. DISM provides additional functionality when used with Windows® 7 and Windows Server® 2008 R2.

In addition to replacing three previously released tools, DISM also supports more features and functionality than the other tools (most notably Package Manager) supported in Windows Vista, including logging, inventory commands with parse-able output, detailed help, offline INF driver package installation, direct application of MS update packages, and integration of international settings.

DISM tool is also part of the Windows Automation Installation Kit(AIK) 2.0, which you can freely download and use!

DISM can be used to..,
1. Add, remove, and enumerate packages.
2. Add, remove, and enumerate drivers.
3. Enable or disable Windows features.
4. Apply changes based on the offline servicing section of an unattend.xml answer file.
5. Configure international settings.
6. Upgrade a Windows image to a different edition.
7. Prepare a Windows PE image.
8. Take advantage of better logging.
9. Service down-level operating systems like Windows Vista with SP1 and Windows Server 2008 (
Supports only Vista SP1 and later images)
10. Service all platforms (32-bit, 64-bit and Itanium).
11. Service a 32-bit image from a 64-bit host and service a 64-bit image from a 32-bit host.
12. Make use of old Package Manager scripts.

Running DISM Tool

Run a Command Window with Elevated ContextDISM is a command line utility. To launch this program, run a Command Window in an elevated context (Run As Administrator) and type dism /? This will give you the help file (without image context – The commands which you can perform without loading or mounting an image)

Windows 7: DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management)

Now you type, dism online /? This will give you the help file (with image context – The commands which you can perform an Wim image or a VHD is mounted) – As you see in this below snapshot, you can do a lot of options like, Setting the edition of the image, UI Lang packs, Time Zones, Apps, Drivers etc..

DISM Help file - With Image context

How does DISM Work?

How Deployment Image Servicing & Management (DISM) Works

DISM Providers These providers varies on different Operating Systems.  Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 has DISM providers. Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008 RTM does not contain any DISM providers.  When servicing these downlevel OS images, DISM loads and invokes the Vista PkgMgr from inside the image to execute the operations.  Windows 7 and Windows PE 3.0 may contain DISM service providers that are specific to the OS image, e.g. Transmog provider operates against full OS image and can only be found in a Windows 7 image, and PE provider operates against WinPE image, so can only be found in a Windows PE 3.0 image. You can find a list of providers in the folder C:\Windows\System32\DISM in Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2.

Dism Providers - Windows 7

I would recommend you read the other DISM articles too!

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