ImageX for Windows 7 – new command-line options

Michael PietroforteMVP By Michael Pietroforte - Thu, February 5, 2009 - 5 comments google+ icon

Michael Pietroforte is the founder and editor of 4sysops. He is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) with more than 30 years of experience in system administration.

Articles in this series

Windows 7 imageX

  1. ImageX for Windows 7 – new features
  2. ImageX for Windows 7 – new command-line options

In my last post, I discussed some of the new features in imageX for Windows 7. Today, I want to talk about the new switches in imageX

I copied the imageX help file entries of the new command-line options and added some comments.

imagex /cleanup
imagex-windows-7-help
Deletes all the resources associated with a mounted image that has been abandoned. This command will not unmount currently mounted images, nor will it delete images that can be recovered via the imagex /remount command.

This cleanup process also runs when you unmount an image. It is probably the reason why it takes much longer to unmount an unmodified image. In my test environment, it took imageX 55 seconds to unmount the original install.wim of Windows 7.

imagex /commit {/append image name}
Saves changes to a mounted .wim file without unmounting the .wim file. You can also set the following option:
/append Appends the mounted image to the existing .wim file. If you use this option, you must specify a name for the new image. For example,
imagex /commit C:\mounted_images
imagex /commit /append C:\mounted_images new_image

I think that this is an important enhancement of imageX. In the Vista version, it was only possible to save the changes to images by unmounting it. If you forgot to add the /commit switch to the unmount command, then you would lose all changes . The append switch is useful, too. It allows you to pack up multiple images in one wim file easily.

imagex-windows-7-logfileimagex /command_line option /logfile
/logfile filename.log
A plain text file that stores ImageX command events.

Most of the imageX command line options allow you now to log all events. This can be helpful if problems occur.

imagex /command_line option /temp
Specifies the path where temporary files are stored.

I am not 100% sure about the temp switch that most imageX commands have now. The temp folder is on the host and not in the image. So, I guess, it is just the place where imageX stores temporary data. ImageX probably will use the directory that has been specified in the temp environment variable, If you don’t add this parameter.

imagex /remount image_path {/logfile filename.log}
Recovers an orphaned mount path. This option is not supported from a rebooted Windows PE environment.
image_path The path to be remounted. If not specified, lists all images. For example,
imagex /remount C:\mounted_images

imagex /cleanup
Deletes all the resources associated with a mounted image that has been abandoned. This command will not unmount currently mounted images, nor will it delete images that can be recovered via the imagex /remount command. For example,
imagex /remount C:\mounted_images

I would never be so cruel as to abandon an image to make it an orphan. So I am uncertain about the purpose of these two new switches. ;-) As far as I understand, these options can be used if you didn’t unmount an image before you restarted the computer.

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5 Comments- Leave a Reply

  1. Claus Valca says:

    Michael – been loving your deeper looks into Windows 7! Please keep ‘em coming.

    I use ImageX a lot for wim imaging. I really am intrigued by all the changes documented in the new W7 Beta WAIK install help file. Looks like while it may take longer in some areas, it is more powerful in others.

    Anyway. I do so much work now with them that I have moved from the command-line work in ImageX to a freeware GUI wrapper for it.

    GImageX – http://www.autoitscript.com/gimagex/

    From developer Jonathan Bennett.

    I mention it on this post in particular as he now has just released a beta version v2.0.15 BETA for the Windows 7 beta WAIK!

    http://www.autoitscript.com/gimagex/#DownloadsBeta

    Don’t know if you are familiar with it at all, and I haven’t had the chance yet to play with this beta version with my W7 Beta WAIK load, but if it is as useful and cool as the release version of GImageX, it will be a winner.

    You might want to do a post on this utility. I’m sure folks would find it useful as I have.

    –Cheers!

    Claus V.

  2. Claus, thanks for the compliments and for link. GImageX looks nice. I didn’t know it before and I think I will review it soon.

  3. Yordan Yordanov says:

    Very interesting, I was thinking whether it is possible to commit changes in a Vista WIM file as a new image, so that e.g. I can keep multiple images in the WIM, each with different set of drivers for different hardware configurations using a base image without drivers as a starting point. I asked in several forums, but nobody seems to have any idea about this. Will the /commit /append options work with the Vista ImageX?

  4. Stephen Hall says:

    I came here to learn about imagex for win7, not vista. How do I deploy imagex to retrieve some important files from gthe dvd where they where stored during the backup process?

    Thank you. Steve

  5. Stephen check out my article about Dism.

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