In this tutorial, we will show you how to convert ESD to WIM file from the Command prompt using the DISM tool. ESD file is a new highly compressed file-based disk format developed by Microsoft. The ESD (Electronic Software Download) image files used to deploy Windows operating system instead of the classical WIM (Windows Imaging Format) image. Unlike WIM files, you cannot open or mount an ESD file in Windows (unless you’re converting them). Instead, Windows uses them internally during the clean install or update process. The problem is that many admins using WDS/MDT/SCCM to deploy Windows 10 over the network and usually need to make the same changes to the Windows Image file. So today we will show you can easily convert ESD to WIM image.
First of all, we’ll figure out what the install.wim and install.esd files are and how they differ.
Install.esd and install.wim are archives containing compressed operating system files, and they can include several Windows editions (Professional, Home, Enterprise, etc.). During the installation of Windows, all files are extracted from the install.wim/esd image to the system drive of the computer.
If you compare the size of the wim and esd file, you can notice that the file size with the esd extension is smaller, because it is compressed more strongly (a new type of compression is used – Recovery). This compression type packs the Windows installation files even more and, as a result, the size of the install.esd file becomes less than the install.wim file by 30%.
Hint. To compress ESD files, a more efficient LZMS compression algorithm is used, instead of LZX compression used for WIM files.
Microsoft distributes the last Windows 10 builds in the install.esd format. It helps users to save network traffic during upgrading Windows 10 build.
The inconvenience of using the install.esd file is that DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) tool refuses to mount this Windows image. Accordingly, in such an image it is impossible to inject drivers, security updates, or modify some Windows deployment options. Therefore, in this situation, the easiest way is to convert the install.esd file into install.wim and then just work with the install.wim file.
Extracting Install.esd file from the Windows 10 Install ISO
You can create Windows 10 installation ISO image using the Media Creation tool or the Windows 10 Upgrade assistant.
The first thing you need to do is to open your File Explorer. Right click your Windows 10 ISO image and select Mount.
Go to C: drive and create a folder Win10 and copy all files from Windows 10 ISO image into it.
When you copied all files, go to Sources, find install.esd and make a copy of this file.
Now create another folder on your C: drive – name it ESD. Paste install.esd file into this folder.
Converting .ESD to .WIM File on Windows 10 using DISM
The next thing you need to do is to open Command Prompt as Administrator. We need to get into the folder we have just created. Type in:
As we said above, the install.wim or install.esd file can contain several Windows Editions. Each edition of the OS is stored in the file install.esd and has an assigned an index (index 1, 2, 3, 4 ..). You can get the list of Windows edition in your install.esd file using the DISM tool. Run the following command to list all Windows editions in your image:
dism /Get-WimInfo /WimFile:install.esd
As you can see, in the install.esd file there is an image of 4 versions of Windows 10 with the indexes: 1, 2, 3, 4.
Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool
Details for image: install.esd
Name: Windows 10 Pro
Description: Windows 10 Pro
Size: 15,103,101,178 bytes
Name: Windows 10 Home
Description: Windows 10 Home
Size: 14,917,903,101 bytes
Name: Windows 10 Home Single Language
Description: Windows 10 Home Single Language
Size: 14,917,646,651 bytes
Name: Windows 10 Education
Description: Windows 10 Education
Size: 14,320,369,327 bytes
The operation completed successfully.
Find the index number of Windows 10 edition that you need (we are choosing Index 1, since we are using the Windows 10 Pro edition).
The next command allows you to extract the specified Windows edition installation image from the esd file and convert it to the WIM file format:
dism /export-image /SourceImageFile:install.esd /SourceIndex:1 /DestinationImageFile:install.wim /Compress:max /CheckIntegrity
Image exporting is started and this process can take a long time. Conversion is quite a resource-intensive task, during which the processor and memory of your computer will be heavily loaded. Depending on your computer hardware, it takes about 10-30 minutes to complete.
Hint. You can extract several Windows editions from the esd to the install.wim file. For example, in order to create a WIM image file with Home (index:2) and Pro (index:1) Windows 10 edition, you can use the following commands:
dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:install.esd /SourceIndex:1 /DestinationImageFile:install.wim /DestinationName:"W10 PRO version 1909" /Compress:max /CheckIntegrity Dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:install.esd /SourceIndex:2 /DestinationImageFile:install.wim /DestinationName:"Win10 Home version 1909"
The same way you can add other Windows edition to your wim file.
Once ESD conversion is completed, you can copy your new WIM image file and then go to Win10 original folder, then to Sources and replace install.esd file.
Convert ESD to Install.WIM with PowerShell
Also, you can use the PowerShell cmdlets to convert your ESD file to the WIM image format.
Run the elevated PowerShell console and execute the following command to get the Windows editions from the install.esd file:
Get-WindowsImage -ImagePath "f:sourcesinstall.esd"
Now you can use the Export-WindowsImage cmdlet to convert Install.ESD to Install.WIM with PowerShell:
Export-WindowsImage -SourceImagePath F:sourcesinstall.esd -SourceIndex 10 -DestinationImagePath C:esdinstall.wim -CheckIntegrity
Convert ESD to ISO Using DISM++ (GUI)
If you don’t like using command line tools, you can use the graphical third-party tool Dism++ to convert your ESD file. This is a simple and free utility for convenient work with Windows image and WIM/ESD files. Download and run the Dism++ tool (www.chuyu.me/en/).
- Select File > WIM > ESD/SWM file;
- Select your source esd file and target wim image path;
- Press Finish and wait until the converting process ends.
The resulting install.wim file can be mounted using the DISM utility, and you can use it to create your own Windows installation images.