Instruction to prepare your Windows ISO for your Windows Deployment Services Server

The Windows Deployment Services (short: WDS) requires a specific file, namely “install.wim” but the issue is that this file is no longer available in the ISO since Windows 8.

It was replaced with “install.esd” which is another format, containing many different distributions of Windows (e.g.: Pro, Home, Education…).

It has to be extracted first, in order to be useable for your WDS

In the following, I am going to explain how to achieve that:


Download the Official Microsoft Media Creation Tool, at the following URL:


Run it as Admin, accept the terms of condition and continue as shown in the screenshot


Now you can choose between the 32bit and 64bit architecture, as well as select your desired language


Choose whether you want your installation media on an USB-Drive, burned on a DVD or as an ISO file. I recommend the ISO file, since it is more convenient for this scenario.

Click on next and let the program continue


After it has finished, open the ISO with an archive program such as WinRAR or 7-zip and navigate to the “install.esd” file located in the “source” folder.


Create a new folder somewhere on your hard disk, I chose “Win10esd” directly on my C:// drive.

Now copy the “install.esd” for the ISO and paste it here.


Now open up the command prompt as an admin and change the directory with:

“cd C:\Win10esd“


Now enter the command: „dism /Get-WimInfo /WimFile:install.esd“ to display all the available Windows distributions.


Choose your desired distribution


Extract it with the command: “dism /export-image /SourceImageFile:install.esd /SourceIndex:7 /DestinationImageFile:install.wim /Compress:max /CheckIntegrity“. The 7 stands for the index of the distribution, in my case Windows 10 Pro.


Wait a bit till the install.wim file is exported.

It now resides in your “Win10esd“ folder, where we put the install.esd a few steps ago.

You can now bind the .wim file in your WDS-Server and install the latest version of Windows.

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