If you have already created and customized your primary deployment image, and discover that you need to apply an update, add a new driver, change the settings, or support multiple languages, these changes can be made without deploying the image and recapturing it. This is known as offline servicing. Offline servicing is an efficient way to manage existing images that are stored on a server, because it eliminates the need for deploying and recapturing the updated image. In addition, when you service an image offline you are not required to run the Sysprep tool, and therefore you are not required to use a rearm.

To start implementing offline servicing, you can:


The following definitions will help you understand the terminology used in this scenario.

Technician computer

The computer on which you install the Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK) and where you create answer files.

Master image

A Windows image that you want to update.

Distribution share

A distribution share is an optional storage location for third-party drivers, language packs, and other update packages.

Process Overview

The following illustration shows the work flow for this scenario.

Workflow diagram to service mounted offline image

When you service an offline image, you use the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) to mount the image, service the image, and then unmount the image and save your changes.

Why use DISM?

In Windows Vista®, you used the ImageX tool to mount or apply images, and the Package Manager tool to service images offline. For Windows® 7, you can use the DISM tool to mount and service images. DISM can also be used to create a report about the state of the drivers, applications, language settings, and packages that are installed.

Scenario Tasks

Before you begin, make sure you have the following:

  • A technician computer with the Windows AIK tools installed, and enough available space on the hard disk drive to mount a Windows image.

  • A Windows image (.wim file) that you want to service.

  • The drivers (.inf files), update packages (.cab or .msu files), and the language packs (.cab files) that you will use to service the image, stored in an accessible location.

Use the following table to find the step-by-step instructions and information that will help you complete this process.



For more information

Gather and store your update packages, drivers, and language packs in an accessible location.

You can create a central location or you can create a distribution share. When you are servicing your offline image, you will point to the location where you have stored the files that will be used to service your offline image.

Create or Open a Distribution Share

Copy an instance of your master image to the technician’s computer.

The image you are servicing must be in a location that you can access when you mount the image. We do not recommend mounting an image from a network share.

Sysprep Technical Reference

Sysprep Command-Line Syntax

Service the image.

Use DISM to mount and service your Windows image. You can also use DISM to verify that drivers and other packages were added and removed from the image. Save your changes and unmount the image.

Service an Offline Image

Take Inventory of an Image or Component

Create scripts for regular maintenance tasks.

If you service your master image on a regular basis, you can create a script using the DISM command line options.

Deployment Image Servicing and Management Command-Line Options

Additional Information

The following list provides additional options to consider as you develop your image management and servicing strategy.

See Also