Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

Mounting WIM Images from Windows Explorer

Over the course of my Windows Server 2008 testing, I've had to do a fair amount of work with WIM files. The problem is, that works comes in fits and starts, and I really hate having to keep looking up the syntax for mounting WIM images using ImageX.

This morning, I was preparing to move my web hosting environment yet again, which means I have to build new ISOs with my unattended settings files yet again. So I decided to make life a little bit easier. I'll let the picture explain what it does, then I'll explain what you need to do.

The solution is a pair of registry files, one for x86 and one for x64, that create an File Association for WIM files, and adds Context Menu options to replace the process of using ImageX at the command line, and having to remember what order to specify which arguments to pass.


  • The first image in the WIM file is always used. If you have more than one image per WIM file, you'll still have to use the command-line.
  • The mount path is hard-coded as C:\mounted_wim. You must create a folder there to mount your WIM images. The alternative is to modify the registry files to point to your own custom location.
  • You may need to restart your computer before the icon for the WIM file shows up.

The Files:

That's about it. I've tested it on both platforms, and everything seems to work alright. If you have any problems, post them here.




  • john said:

    is this supposed to work with Vista's UAC?

    I see "ERROR: The current logged on user does not have administrative privileges" wheni I try to mount a WIM and I don't see a way to elevate except to run explorer as admin.

    November 6, 2007 8:57 AM
  • Robert McLaws said:

    Hmmm, I definitely did not test it on Vista, just WS2003. I think the only workaround it to navigate to ImageX.exe, right click it, go to "Properties | Compatibility", and then check "Run as Administrator".

    November 9, 2007 12:03 PM
  • john said:

    took me a while to try it, but your suggestion works perfectly :-)


    November 14, 2007 3:10 AM