How to Convert ESD to WIM (Install.ESD to Install.WIM) in Windows ISO

Summary: In this article, we will see how to extract or convert install.esd to install.wim file format in the Windows 10 ISO image using DISM or other methods.

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 the Media Creation Tool or the Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant, you may find install.esd instead of install.wim. The install.wim has given way to install.esd, an Electronic Software Download (ESD) file format, due to its high compression ratio.

ESD is a highly compressed format whose file size comes around 80% compared to a 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 deploy it. You’ll need to convert install.esd to install.wim in the Windows source to integrate updates and drivers (a.k.a. slipstream) with the original setup disk.

How to Convert ESD to WIM in Windows 10

Using NTLite

NTLite is an excellent tool that helps you integrate updates, drivers, automate Windows and application setup, speed up the 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 a .esd file)

convert esd to wim using dism or ntlite

Right-click on the source, 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

Note: You can also export an individual index or image (by right-clicking on a specific item) to a WIM file.

The ESD to WIM conversion (or vice versa) 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 effortless using NTLite. If you prefer a native and command-line method, we have the DISM command-line to accomplish the task.


Using ESD2WIM Converter Command Script

The ESD2WIM command script or a batch file can convert the install.wim file to install.esd using DISM.

  1. Download the ESD2WIM-WIM2ESD.cmd file from GitHub.
  2. Right-click ESD2WIM-WIM2ESD.cmd and click Run as administrator.
  3. In the console window, type the path to install.esd
    The next screen will display the number of indexes (with the corresponding editions) in the WIM file.

    esd wim converter command script

    • Export 1st index
    • Export all indexes
    • Export selected single index
    • Export selected range of indexes
  4. Select one of the options based on your requirement. The command script runs the relevant DISM command-line to convert or extract the ESD file(s) to WIM.esd wim converter command script

The output file install.wim is created in the same directory as the ESD2WIM-WIM2ESD.cmd command script file.


Convert ESD to WIM Using DISM or PowerShell in Windows 10

To convert an ESD file to WIM (e.g., install.esd to install.wim) manually 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 for 32 bit, and the 64-bit version is located under the \x64\Sources folder. Maintain the same directory structure in the destination folder.

    #2. If you have the Windows 10 ISO image, mount the ISO by right-clicking it and clicking Mount. Access the mounted drive and copy the entire contents to the 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.
    (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

    Alternately, you can run the following PowerShell command to get the above information. Make sure you run PowerShell as administrator.

    Get-WindowsImage -Imagepath D:\Win10_ISO\install.esd
  3. Note down the index number for the preferred Windows 10 Edition (Home, Pro, etc.).

(You may see “Error 87” if you read an ESD file using DISM in Windows 8 and earlier.)

Step 3: Convert ESD to WIM Using DISM or PowerShell

For 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

    Alternately, you can use the following PowerShell command to accomplish the same task:

    Export-WindowsImage -SourceImagePath D:\Win10_ISO\install.esd -SourceIndex 1 -DestinationImagePath D:\Win10_ISO\install.wim -CheckIntegrity

    Export all indexes to a WIM file?

    To export all the indexes (1-7), you need to run these commands one by one:

    dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:D:\Win10_ISO\install.esd /SourceIndex:1 /DestinationImageFile:D:\Win10_ISO\install.wim /Compress:Max /CheckIntegrity
    dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:D:\Win10_ISO\install.esd /SourceIndex:2 /DestinationImageFile:D:\Win10_ISO\install.wim /Compress:Max /CheckIntegrity
    dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:D:\Win10_ISO\install.esd /SourceIndex:3 /DestinationImageFile:D:\Win10_ISO\install.wim /Compress:Max /CheckIntegrity
    dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:D:\Win10_ISO\install.esd /SourceIndex:4 /DestinationImageFile:D:\Win10_ISO\install.wim /Compress:Max /CheckIntegrity
    dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:D:\Win10_ISO\install.esd /SourceIndex:5 /DestinationImageFile:D:\Win10_ISO\install.wim /Compress:Max /CheckIntegrity
    dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:D:\Win10_ISO\install.esd /SourceIndex:6 /DestinationImageFile:D:\Win10_ISO\install.wim /Compress:Max /CheckIntegrity
    dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:D:\Win10_ISO\install.esd /SourceIndex:7 /DestinationImageFile:D:\Win10_ISO\install.wim /Compress:Max /CheckIntegrity

    The above commands will extract every index/image from the ESD and create a multi-edition WIM file named install.wim.

    As a side note, the PowerISO (trial version) can accomplish the above task easily.

    poweriso esd to wim

    PowerISO’s ESD to WIM or WIM to ESD converter feature (via the Tools menu) runs the DISM command-line in the background.

    poweriso esd to wim

    PowerISO doesn’t have the option to extract a single index/image from a multi-edition ESD file. Also, PowerISO can convert a WIM file into ESD by using DISM in the background.

    Additional Notes:

    The source path in the above command applies if you copied the ESD file from the 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 that 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.

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 NTLite, PowerISO, or any other software.


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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded Winhelponline.com in 2005.

4 thoughts on “How to Convert ESD to WIM (Install.ESD to Install.WIM) in Windows ISO”

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

    Reply
  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!!!

    Reply

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