How to Convert ESD to WIM Using DISM or NTLite in Windows 10?

The Windows Imaging Format (WIM) is a file-based disk image format developed by Microsoft to help deploy Windows operating system. The DISM tool (Deployment Image Service and Management Tool) can perform servicing tasks on a WIM file. For example, you can add or remove a device driver from an offline image.

However, when you download Windows 10 using Media Creation Tool or the Windows 10 Upgrade assistant, you’ll find install.esd instead of install.wim. The install.wim has given way to install.esd, an Electronic Software Download (ESD) file format, perhaps due to its high compression ratio.

ESD is a highly compressed format whose file size comes around 80% compared to WIM image. But the ESD image format is read-only and thus has drawbacks. For instance, it can’t be deployed using a WDS server. So you need to convert the ESD file to a WIM file to service the image or to deploy it. You’ll need convert the install.esd to install.wim in the Windows source in order to integrate updates and drivers (a.k.a. slipstream) with the original setup disk.

How to Convert ESD to WIM Using NTLite in Windows 10?

NTLite is an excellent tool that helps you integrate updates, drivers, automate Windows and application setup, speed-up Windows deployment process and have it all set for the next time. It can easily convert an .ESD file .WIM format.

Start NTLite and add a source (image directory or point to an .esd file)

convert esd to wim using dism or ntlite

Right-click on the source, and click Convert, and select WIM (standard, editable) from the submenu.

It asks for confirmation. The confirmation window also has a checkbox named Replace source image. Enable the option if you don’t want the source image (.ESD).

convert esd to wim using dism or ntlite

The ESD to WIM conversion (or vice versa) operation may take around 10 minutes to complete, depending upon the Windows 10 version and ESD/WIM file size.



Here you go!

convert esd to wim using dism or ntlite

It’s extremely easy using NTLite. If you prefer a native and command-line method, we have the DISM command-line to accomplish the task.

How to Convert ESD to WIM Using DISM in Windows 10?

To convert an ESD file to WIM format, for example install.esd to install.wim using the Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool (DISM) in Windows 10, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Create a folder named Win10_ISO

  1. Create a folder on your hard disk and name it Win10_ISO [D:\Win10_ISO]
  2. If you already have a Windows 10 installation USB flash drive created using Media Creation Tool, copy X:\Sources\install.esd to D:\Win10_ISO folder, where X:\ is the drive letter of your USB flash drive.

    Additional Notes:

    #1. If you have a dual architecture Windows 10 Setup USB media, copy the install.esd file for correct bitness to D:\Win10_ISO. Windows 32-bit one is found under \x86\Sources folder for 32 bit, and 64-bit version is located under \x64\Sources folder. Maintain same directory structure in the destination folder.

    #2. If you have the Windows 10 ISO image, mount the ISO by right-clicking on it and clicking Mount. Access the mounted drive and copy the entire contents to D:\Win10_ISO folder.

Step 2: Find the Windows Editions & Indexes Info in the ESD file

  1. Open an elevated Command Prompt window.
  2. Type one of the appropriate commands below to find the Windows editions (and their indexes) available in the ESD file.(For more details, check out article Find the Windows version, build and edition from ISO or DVD.)

    (a) If ESD file was copied from USB flash drive to D:\Win10_ISO:

    dism /Get-WimInfo /WimFile:D:\Win10_ISO\install.esd

    (b) If ISO contents were copied to D:\Win10_ISO:

    dism /Get-WimInfo /WimFile:D:\Win10_ISO\Sources\install.esd

    (c) If your ISO is dual-arch, use the appropriate path.

    Windows 32-bit ESD file:

    dism /Get-WimInfo /WimFile:D:\Win10_ISO\x86\Sources\install.esd

    Windows 64-bit ESD file:

    dism /Get-WimInfo /WimFile:D:\Win10_ISO\x64\Sources\install.esd

    dism wimfile esd info index

  3. Note down the index number for the preferred Windows 10 Edition (Home, Pro etc).

Step 3: Convert ESD to WIM Using DISM

For purpose of illustration, we’ll extract the Windows 10 Pro image (Index Number: 1 as in the above screenshot) to a WIM file.

  1. Type the following command to convert ESD to WIM:
    dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:D:\Win10_ISO\install.esd /SourceIndex:1 /DestinationImageFile:D:\Win10_ISO\install.wim /Compress:Max /CheckIntegrity

    dism convert esd to wim format

    Additional Notes:

    The source path in the above command applies if you copied the ESD file from USB flash drive to D:\Win10_ISO.

    Instead, if you copied ISO contents from a single architecture (32 or 64 bit) Media Creation Tool ISO to D:\Win10_ISO folder, use this source path:

    D:\Win10_ISO\Sources\install.esd

    For dual architecture ISO image, the valid paths are below (for x86 and x64 respectively):

    D:\Win10_ISO\x86\Sources\install.esd
    
    or
    
    D:\Win10_ISO\x64\Sources\install.esd

    DISM starts extracting the ESD to WIM format. It’s a resource-intensive task which may take 10 minutes or so to complete.
    dism resource usage taskmgr

    It’s done now. Compare the file sizes of install.esd and install.wim.

    install.esd and install.wim file sizes compression

  2. Copy install.wim to your USB flash drive, and then delete the install.esd file on your USB drive as well as D:\Win10_ISO folder.

    Note:
    If you have a multi-architecture ISO, repeat the process for the other bit version (x86 or x64) in the same way.

That’s it! You’ve now converted the ESD file install.esd to WIM format (install.wim). You can now create an ISO (of D:\Win10_ISO folder contents) using ImgBurn or any other software.


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About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2012.

3 thoughts on “How to Convert ESD to WIM Using DISM or NTLite in Windows 10?”

  1. I am running currently windows 8
    Error 87 is coming after running dism /Get-WimInfo /WimFile:D:\Win10_ISO\Sources\install.esd command

  2. This does NOT work on Server 2012. You must do this from either a workstation or server 2016 and higher. Thanks for the how to!!!

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