Use ImageX without installing WAIK

I’ve heard a few people actually say ImageX.exe is included with Vista.  That’s not technically accurate.  ImageX is most certainly a value add to Vista but it is packaged separately in a download called “WAIK” or Windows Automated Installation Kit.  So let’s say you want to use ImageX but don’t want to run the full WAIK install.  You copy imagex to a separate machine and run it.  Works, but certain things fail, why?  There are a number of other files you’ll want to copy in addition to the EXE.  To mount a WIM read/write and do other interesting things copy these files (everything in the same folder).  Combine their total size is 1.01 MB.


Ok, now you attempt to mount read/write and you receive an error that imagex was unable to find the file?  That’s because it needs to load the filter to be able to mount an image stored within the WIM.  WIM supports single instance storage and allows appending a new image to an existing file.  This considerably saves file size and disk space but does mean you need to install the wimfltr.inf file.

Simply open the folder in Windows Explorer, right click on wimfltr.inf and click “install”.  Approve the UAC prompt.  Done.  If you need to script the install or want to run it from the command line, by using the context menu you actually executed the following command.

%SystemRoot%\System32\rundll32.exe setupapi,InstallHinfSection DefaultInstall 132 <filename.inf>

Comments (11)

  1. Anonymous says:

    From Michael Greene&rsquo;s TechNet blog. Source . Use ImageX without installing WAIK I’ve heard a few

  2. ...1 says:

    Si [URL=] orecchino dal [/URL] persone.

  3. Idiots says:

    What tool at M$ thought bundling a useful 1Mb utility in with a 1Gb download was a good idea??

    And while I’m at it, what equal dumb **** thought that making the Vista install DVD wholly dependent on one enormous flaky file was ‘the way to go’.

    What was wrong with the i386 directory and a re-copy-all-files-if-the-OS-gets-corrupted huh? Oh that’s right, no-one at M$ thinks their software ever goes wrong. Read the forums numbnuts, it’s full of legitimate people with install.wim errors.


  4. 0sten says:

    Thank you for this note.

    ImageX is a great tool, but I lost two days to find out why I can’t mount any wim file while all other works well.

    Combined with GimageX GUI it’s almost perfect.

  5. AndyR says:

    Thanks for this I was tearing my hair out tring to work out why my command was not working!

    How simple the solution is!

  6. Jean-Yves says:

    Thanks for this useful tip.

    In your post you gave the command line installation of the "Windows Image File Filter Driver" .

    I want to script the unstallation regarding this driver .

    How can I do that ?

    Thanks in advance.

  7. Marco says:

    graet! Thank you for your help

  8. Steve says:

    You can download imagex directly from the WAIK ISO – see site – Tutorial 83

  9. Jason says:

    And god forbid you add a zip file with all those for our use…

  10. Pissed@Microsoft says:

    leave it to microsoft to do everything BLOATED and INEFFICIENT. Dually noted that they also sent out copyright infringment notices to all sites hosting just the executable. Way to go microsoft, this crap doesn’t happen on my mac.

  11. InterestedReader says:

    I would say Pissed@Microsoft that you should be used to bloated and inefficient software as your running Linux (hidden behind Macs look I’m pretty interface) which is full of things users never know is there or use. Maybe learning about IT rather than
    just trying to appear smart would be a good move. But then again you purchased a Mac. Enough said.