The problems between install.wim and install.esd and Installing

To be brief, check your ISO for \sources\install.esd if:

Whilst using setup.exe from your install media from within WIndows.

If so, you can convert from ESD to WIM using:

ESD2WIM-WIM2ESD-wimlib.7z

  File: ESD2WIM-WIM2ESD-wimlib.7z
CRC-32: e5d50b2d
   MD4: 9d2bfb41f73931cbe78c6e204c1e7279
   MD5: ff1b69777fdf9699214a952aa7b7943c
 SHA-1: 694a430711300c21413c424d

Windows 10 TP has both WIM and ESD install.xxx files for their installation. For example my Build 9841 had install.wim the later build, Windows10_TechnicalPreview_x64_EN-GB_10041 has install.esd. This change may be the reason behind some fails.

Not all ESD files can be Decrypted by decrypt.cmd tool. This maybe becuase the ESD doesn't contain a Boot Image, just files. Possibly, I'm not sure. So some ESD updates that have failed to decrypt to ISO may not be Boot type.

The fails may not be limited to running install from within a previous build or version of Windows.

For info. I'm testing from Windows 8.1 after having a good run of updates from 9841 to 10041 and installing clean with 10049. HP DV7 hardware no issues.

So if having boot fails using Boot Media, just check against ealier successful boots if WIM or ESD and note if your PC is BIOS or UEFI and if UEFI whether, MBR or GPT.

After conversion from ESD to WIM install completed from Windows 8.1 to 10049.

WiFi off as to ensure install was locally sourced.

No other files were altered. Setup accessed install.wim automatically regardless of extension and file format change.

ESD file with boot:

This ESD file show in the above ESD<>WIM converter shows 4 indexes. This ESD file will create a bootable ISO.

ESD file without boot:

With only 1 index, this ESD file will not create a bootable ISO. It will also create an error if used with decrypt

Here, the install.esd file only had 1 index and couldn't create a bootable ISO.

Meaning, not all install,esd contain boot information.

Other install.xxx locations include:

C:\$Windows.~BT\Sources

C:\RecoveryImage

As always, testing may result in data loss - So backup everything you don't want to loose.

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Thought I'd hide in this thread. Just got 10074 as an ISO from a well know site. Quite hard to find!

http://iso.esd.microsoft.com/W10IP/E0F85BFCD0F6BA607BF1528926371D21F8F6B6BF/Windows10_InsiderPreview_x64_EN-GB_10074.iso

Anyway, Windows 7 Download tool didn'y make a Boot USB of UEFI standard. Rufus booted but failed at the same time, can't remember the text but something along the lines of "no boot media found".

After Rufus at least got the stick to show as EFI in the UEFI Boot menu I've just used Windows 7 Download Tool again to transfer the ISO. I've also grabbed the install.wim file from the ISO.

10074 using WIM, backward step but hay ho! None boot though as no Setup Media Index (I guess).

Well better try again...

....Used DISKPART:
>>>
Microsoft Windows [Version 6.3.9600]
(c) 2013 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

C:\Windows\system32>diskpart

Microsoft DiskPart version 6.3.9600

Copyright (C) 1999-2013 Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: WIN8HPDV7

DISKPART> list disk

  Disk ###  Status         Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
  --------  -------------  -------  -------  ---  ---
  Disk 0    Online          232 GB      0 B        *
  Disk 1    Online          931 GB      0 B
  Disk 2    Online         7634 MB      0 B        

DISKPART> select disk 2

Disk 2 is now the selected disk.

DISKPART> clean

DiskPart succeeded in cleaning the disk.

DISKPART> create partition primary

DiskPart succeeded in creating the specified partition.

DISKPART> active

DiskPart marked the current partition as active.

DISKPART> format fs=fat32 label="WIN10_10072" quick

  100 percent completed

DiskPart successfully formatted the volume.

DISKPART>
<<<

Then copied mounted 10074 ISO content to USB stick. This created an EFI Boot USB stick.

Eric Ible ABC DE FGH IJK etc...
Amerture at work - Please mind the steps!

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"Windows 10 TP has both WIM and ESD install.xxx files for their installation. For example my Build 9841 had install.wim the later build,Windows10_TechnicalPreview_x64_EN-GB_10041 has install.esd. This change may be the reason behind some fails.

Not all ESD files can be Decrypted by decrypt.cmd tool. This maybe becuase the ESD doesn't contain a Boot Image, just files. Possibly, I'm not sure. So some ESD updates that have failed to decrypt to ISO may not be Boot type."


ESD images are not encrypted, however it's been repeated so often that ESD's are, most now believe they are encrypted.  ESD is an acronym for Electronic Software Download, with ESD using a far better compression algorithm in comparison to WIM.

  • ESD images are created using the /compress:recovery flag. 

"ESD file without boot:

With only 1 index, this ESD file will not create a bootable ISO. It will also create an error if used with decrypt"

Boot images have no correlation to WIMs or ESD images, as WIM and ESD images are just a compression container created by Microsoft for Windows, albeit an extremely smart and efficient compression container.  Either can be extracted [applied], captured, or exported to the other utilizing DISM.  

Bootable WIM/ESD images must be either WinPE/WinRE images or WIMboot images only and must utilize the /bootable or /WIMboot flag during the capture process.  Either format [WIM or ESD] can contain multiple images, of which are specified by index number.  While the ESD2WIM script shows these indexes in your screenshots, the same can be seen from a command/powershell terminal using DISM.

  • WIM/ESD image info can be viewed with: dism /get-wiminfo /wimfile: or dism /get-imageinfo /imagefile:
    • One can also specify index # for info about a specified index via adding: /index:X  where "x" is the index #
  • It's recommended to utilize the ESD2WIM script because it's written in such a way the export process doesn't consumer 90 - 100% of system resources during the export, however the same can be accomplished using DISM in any admin command/powershell terminal.

"ESD file with boot:

This ESD file show in the above ESD<>WIM converter shows 4 indexes. This ESD file will create a bootable ISO."

All Windows install ESDs contain 4 images [indexes]: Windows Setup, WinPE, and the base Windows image x2 (x86 & x64).  Windows Setup is self explanatory, as is WinPE, with the two base images being the actual OS that's extracted to the system partition depending on the specified architecture. 

  • In order to create a bootable install media, one would need to extract the index for Windows Setup, and if one only needs to update the actual install WIM, the specific base image can be extracted to replace the install.wim in the Sources directory.

WIM/ESD images are efficient, as multiple images can be combined into a single image, with same files only being copied once into the the exported WIM.  This allows the exported WIM to contain 4 images that all utilize the same files, yet only 1 copy of the file would be copied into the exported WIM, thereby severely reducing the size of the exported WIM.

  • For example, I have 3 WIM backups of my system partition, a base image of 32GB, an intermediate backup of 41GB, and a final restore image of 52GB.  By combining all three into a single exported WIM, the final exported WIM size is just over 52GB and contains all three images as Index 1, Index 2, and Index 3.
    • When exporting WIMs, one must ensure all were created using the same compression flag (none, fast, max, or recovery), as you can only combine WIM/ESD images into an exported image if they are all the same compression type.

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For what it is worth, here are instructions that I prepared for myself.   I actually had to use this recently for a simple re-install of 14279.   This is pretty simple on a W10.

Mel

===========================================

CREATE W10 ISO FROM INSTALL.ESD

 

Each Build of W10 should have a Install.esd file that allows the creation of an ISO file for that Build.   This ISO can then be used to re-install or install on another PC.

 

Tools Required    

 

1             A program called Decrypt that should be placed in separate folder of your choice.  My current path is C:\Special\CreateW10ISO.  There should be a supporting Bin file.

2            The Install.esd file.

 

Process                                                

 

The Install.esd file is in a Hidden folder.  Search for Hidden Folders or use View in File Explorer to show Hidden folders.

 

1             The path is C:\$Windows~BT\Sources\Install.esd.

2             Locate Install.esd and do a COPY.

3             Browse to C:\Special\CreateW10ISO and do a PASTE.

4             Browse to C:\Special\CreateW10ISO\Decrypt and highlight.

5             Right click on Decrypt and select Run as Admin.

6             When the menu comes up, select #1.

7             The process should start and continue for about 15 minutes and end with an ISO file named – en_windows_10_”edition”_”Build#” x64_dvd.

8             On a W8 or W10 PC, the install can be done right from Drive C or USB unless you are doing a clean install or other that requires a bootable device.

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Again, ESD's are not encrypted files... if they were, you wouldn't be able to decrypt them.

DISM is what the script uses, and the script's commands can be viewed by opening in a notepad.

To export an ESD to WIM:

  • dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:z:\install.esd /SourceIndex:3 /DestinationImageFile:z:\install.wim /DestinationName:"Windows 10 x64 Install Image" /compress:max /checkintegrity

To export a WIM to ESD:

  • dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:z:\install.wim /SourceIndex:1 /DestinationImageFile:z:\install.esd /DestinationName:"Windows 10 x64 Install Image" /compress:recovery /checkintegrity

Many of the ESD2WIM or vice versa scripts were written after Windows 8 was released, as imagex was depreciated and few knew it's functionality had been folded into DISM.  There's nothing wrong with utilizing one script or another to export the images, however there's a lot of misinformation and mis-conclusions occurring regarding ESDs and WIMs that only make it more difficult for users not familiar with them to garnish the correct info. 

If using a script is easier or more convenient to convert the two for a user, they should use the script.  I've never utilized the "decrypter" script (I dislike the name because it implies ESDs are encrypted and they're not, thereby feeding the misinformation), however I have used the ESD2WIM script and I do know that script was written in such a way to ensure no more than 50% of system resources are utilized for the export, as exporting to/from ESD is extremely resource intensive.  My only point is to ensure the correct info is available.
 

  • One can also use the export command to combine multiple WIM files into a single WIM or ESD, with each additional image being assigned an index # in sequential order (1, 2, 3. etc)
    • Due to the efficiency of WIM/ESD, if the same file exists in 2 or more images, it's only copied once into the exported WIM.  This allows for significantly smaller image files.

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Again, ESD's are not encrypted files... if they were, you wouldn't be able to decrypt them.

DISM is what the script uses, and the script's commands can be viewed by opening in a notepad.

To export an ESD to WIM:

  • dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:z:\install.esd /SourceIndex:3 /DestinationImageFile:z:\install.wim /DestinationName:"Windows 10 x64 Install Image" /compress:max /checkintegrity

To export a WIM to ESD:

  • dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:z:\install.wim /SourceIndex:1 /DestinationImageFile:z:\install.esd /DestinationName:"Windows 10 x64 Install Image" /compress:recovery /checkintegrity

Many of the ESD2WIM or vice versa scripts were written after Windows 8 was released, as imagex was depreciated and few knew it's functionality had been folded into DISM.  There's nothing wrong with utilizing one script or another to export the images, however there's a lot of misinformation and mis-conclusions occurring regarding ESDs and WIMs that only make it more difficult for users not familiar with them to garnish the correct info. 

If using a script is easier or more convenient to convert the two for a user, they should use the script.  I've never utilized the "decrypter" script (I dislike the name because it implies ESDs are encrypted and they're not, thereby feeding the misinformation), however I have used the ESD2WIM script and I do know that script was written in such a way to ensure no more than 50% of system resources are utilized for the export, as exporting to/from ESD is extremely resource intensive.  My only point is to ensure the correct info is available.
 

  • One can also use the export command to combine multiple WIM files into a single WIM or ESD, with each additional image being assigned an index # in sequential order (1, 2, 3. etc)
    • Due to the efficiency of WIM/ESD, if the same file exists in 2 or more images, it's only copied once into the exported WIM.  This allows for significantly smaller image files.

Gee, no idea what you are saying.  I went to night school and may not be able to read well in the day time - lol.

All I can say is that I follow my little routine on each release of W10 Pro and Enterprise and I get an ISO that I can use right from Drive C or I can stick it onto a USB stick if for another PC.  The key is to have everything in the same folder.  No fuss, no muss for this purpose.

Cheers,

Mel

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DISM is a command line program included by default within Windows 8/8.1/10.  It's a tool everyone will have to use at some point and therefore is a good idea to become familiar with.  If nothing else, all should know how to use the DISM commands for the /cleanup-image command

  • dism /online /cleanup-image /? will explain what the commands for that flag do.

As to ISOs, I'm a bit confused why one would choose to go the route you're going with Windows 10 images when the media creator tool for Windows 10 downloads the newest ISO and will create a bootable usb drive for you or give you a finalized ISO image.

  • When Windows 10 was RTM, it was a requirement to save the ESD from the temp folders, as the install.wim was not a complete image, preventing the install.wim from being uploaded into such programs as MDT.  This changed several months ago and the install.wim is now a complete image.

Essentially, you're doing twice the amount of work to get to the same result.

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DISM is a command line program included by default within Windows 8/8.1/10.  It's a tool everyone will have to use at some point and therefore is a good idea to become familiar with.  If nothing else, all should know how to use the DISM commands for the /cleanup-image command

  • dism /online /cleanup-image /? will explain what the commands for that flag do.

As to ISOs, I'm a bit confused why one would choose to go the route you're going with Windows 10 images when the media creator tool for Windows 10 downloads the newest ISO and will create a bootable usb drive for you or give you a finalized ISO image. Enterprise ISOs are complete ISOs when downloaded directly through MSDN or other avenues.

  • When Windows 10 was RTM, it was a requirement to save the ESD from the temp folders, as the install.wim was not a complete image, preventing the install.wim from being uploaded into such programs as MDT.  This changed several months ago and the install.wim is now a complete image.

Essentially, you're doing twice the amount of work to get to the same result.

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Last updated February 26, 2021 Views 43,884 Applies to: