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WIM Witch v2.3.0 – ISO Creation, Upgrade Packages, Optional and Dynamic Updates, Boot.wim updating

This release of WIM Witch adds a feature that has been requested since the initial release of WIM Witch – creating an ISO. While creating an ISO only requires a single executable and a single command line, the underlying process required extensive coding to make the feature usable and valuable within WIM Witch. In addition, these features lay the groundwork for ConfigMgr Upgrade Package management.

Import ISO Binaries

To get started, the binaries for the ISO will need to be imported. On the Import WIM tab, simply put a check mark in the ISO/Upgrade Packaged check box, select a source ISO, and then click import. This will copy all the files in the ISO, except the WIM file which should be imported with the Import WIM function. WIM Witch will determine if the ISO is Windows 10 or Server, and which version.

The ISO import check box enabled

Download Dynamic and Optional Updates

Prior to this release, WIM Witch would only download “Required” updates. These included Servicing Stack, Latest Cumulative, Adobe, and .Net updates. This release now supports Optional and Dynamic updates. Note that in order to download these updates, these check boxes must be checked. This is applicable both to the “Download” button on the Update Catalog tab, as well as the “Check for Updates” option on the Make It So tab.

The new types of updates selected for downloading

Optional Updates

Optional Updates are not needed on every Windows system and it is up to the admin to determine if the optional update should be applied. To download, select the option in the Update Catalog tab window.

Dynamic Updates

Dynamic Updates are intended to update the setup files of the Windows installation media, and these updates are not applied to a WIM. To download these updates, select the option in the Update Catalog tab.

Apply Optional Update

To apply Optional Updates, simply check “Include Optional” under “Enable Updates”. Note that this feature will be greyed out until “Enable Updates” is selected. As these types of updates are applied to a WIM, they will be applied during the normal update function of Make It So.

The Updated “Make It So” tab

Upgrade Packages – A Work in Progress

The Upgrade Package functionality is very limited as of this release. All WIM Witch currently does is stage the files for the package into a specified folder. WIM Witch should have parity feature set for ConfigMgr Upgrade Packages as she does with ConfigMgr Operating System Images at some point soon, but that’s going to take some more work.

If one wishes to leverage the current feature, simply check the box “Upgrade Package Path” and specify the location. Once the package has been created, the admin will need to import the package into ConfigMgr. One should also be able to update an existing package because WIM Witch is set to overwrite the files in the destination path.

Create ISO

To create an ISO, the user will need to specify the source WIM that will serve as the basis for the image, the folder where the ISO is to be created, and the file name for the ISO. These parameters will become available upon clicking the check box labeled “create ISO”.

It must be noted that this feature will not work if Windows ADK -> “Deployment Tools” is not installed in a default folder. WIM Witch is dependent on a small application called OSCDIMG to create the ISO file. WIM Witch will look in the default Program Files location for this file. If OSCDIMG is not in a typical location or not installed, the feature will not work. There will likely be an option to customize this path in a future release.

Where OSCDIMG lives

WIM Witch only supports 64 bit images and UEFI when creating ISOs.

This box will appear when the ISO is being created.

ISO and Upgrade Package Options

The three new check boxes introduced into the Make It So tab are only applicable to ISO file and/or Upgrade Package creation. One of the two options will need to be checked in order to make these options available.

Apply Dynamic Update

To apply Dynamic Updates, simply check the box labeled “Apply Dynamic Updates”. This function does not happen during the normal update process as Dynamic updates are not applied to a WIM file, but to the “Sources” folder of installation media.

Applying Dynamic Updates

Update Boot WIM

The boot.wim file that is part of the upgrade package / ISO can be updated with Servicing Stack and Latest Cumulative Updates. To update this file, simply check the option to “Update Boot WIM”. This process will mount each index of the boot.wim (usually WinPE and Windows Setup indexes) and will apply both of these types of updates to the boot.wim file.

WIM Witch will perform the update to the boot.wim file after the main Windows WIM file is created.

The boot.wim update process

Do Not Create Stand Alone WIM

If one only wishes to create an ISO or an Upgrade Package only, there is an option now to not create a WIM file. In order to leverage this feature, simply enable either the ISO or Upgrade Package option, then select “Do Not Create a stand alone WIM”. It should be noted that when this option is selected, the name and path options for the WIM are greyed out. Further, the name of the WIM file is automatically changed to “install.wim” in the wim file field. This is because the wim file is still needed to create the package, but it will be discarded after Making It So.

Known Bugs

  • A log file is generated and copied to the default WIM location when the “Do Not Create Stand Alone WIM” is selected
  • New check boxes and fields have not been integrated into Save/Load or CM Image info
  • This has not been tested on Windows Server images
  • OSCDIMG is only looked for in default folder. Ensure Deployment Tools from ADK are installed in a default folder to use
  • Dynamic Updates are always deleted when checking for Superseded updates. The update will be re-downloaded.
  • None of the new functionality has been setup for command line usage.
  • Some optional updates are not in a .CAB file format. WIM Witch will generate a warning that an update was not found when applying, but does not specify why. Any optional update in a CAB file format will apply.

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Donna Ryan

Donna Ryan is a Principal Consulting Engineer with CDW Corporation's Integrated Technology Services Mobility practice. She began her formal IT career in 2011 as an Associate Engineer with CDW. Her primary skills are around System Center Configuration Manager, specifically operating system deployment, software update delivery, and application packaging. Having consulted hundreds of clients in a variety of industries, she has also delivered projects in multiple other Microsoft technologies such as Hyper-V and Remote Desktop Services. In 2016, she was awarded CDW’s Coworker of the Month for her leadership and dedication to a large and highly visible Windows 10 deployment project for a school district in the Pacific North West.  In 2018, Donna was invited to participate in Microsoft's Mini Enterprise Mobility MVP Summit, as well as the Microsoft CLIP event for the Windows 10 1809 rollout. Her passion for technology and the tech community is a driving force that keeps her exploring the latest and greatest.

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