Windows 7 / Getting Started

Using Dism.exe

The new DISM command-line tool (DISM.exe) is included both in a default install of Windows 7 and in the Windows AIK 2.0. DISM.exe can be used to service both online (running) and offline Windows images by adding or removing device drivers, hotfixes, and operating system packages; configuring international settings; and upgrading a Windows installation to a different edition, such as from Business to Ultimate. DISM.exe can be used to service images in the following versions of Windows:

  • Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) or later versions
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2008 R2

To service an offline Windows image using a technician computer on which Windows AIK 2.0 has been installed, you use DISM.exe to do the following:

  1. Mount the image.
  2. Enumerate, add, or remove drivers.
  3. Unmount the image and commit the changes.

Servicing an online Windows image, however, does not require mounting or unmounting the image because the operating system is already running. In addition, any changes made to the driver store (for example, by adding or removing a device driver) are committed immediately when a DISM command is executed to service an online image. To indicate that the current running image is to be serviced, specify the /online parameter in the DISM command.

For example, the following DISM command enumerates a list of installed out-of-box device drivers on a running Windows 7 system.

C:\Windows\system32>dism /online /get-drivers

Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool
Version: 6.1.7100.0

Image Version: 6.1.7100.0

Obtaining list of 3rd party drivers from the driver store...

Driver packages listing:

Published Name : oem0.inf

Original File Name : prnms001.inf
Inbox : No
Class Name : Printer
Provider Name : Microsoft
Date : 6/21/2006
Version : 6.1.7100.0

Published Name : oem1.inf
Original File Name : nvfd6032.inf
Inbox : No
Class Name : Net
Provider Name : NVIDIA
Date : 5/3/2007
Version :

The operation completed successfully.

To get more information about the driver named Oem0.inf, use the /get-driverinfo parameter of DISM, as follows.

C:\Windows\system32>dism /online /get-driverinfo /driver:oem0.inf

Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool
Version: 6.1.7100.0

Image Version: 6.1.7100.0

Driver package information:

Published Name : oem0.inf
Driver Store Path : C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\prnms001.inf_
Class Name : Printer
Class Description : Printers
Class GUID : {4D36E979-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}
Date : 6/21/2006
Version : 6.1.7100.0
Boot Critical : No

Drivers for architecture : x86

    Manufacturer : Microsoft
    Description : Microsoft XPS Document Writer
    Architecture : x86
    Hardware ID : MicrosoftMicrosoft_X00AC
    Service Name :
    Compatible IDs :
    Exclude IDs :

The operation completed successfully.

Out-of-box device drivers can be added to or removed from a running Windows 7 system by using the /add-driver and /remove-driver parameters, respectively. Note that DISM driver servicing commands only support .inf files; you cannot use DISM to add or remove Windows Installer packages (.msi files) or other driver package types (such as .exe files) using DISM. exe. For more information on servicing online images using DISM.exe, see "Driver Servicing Command-Line Options" on Microsoft TechNet at

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In this tutorial:

  1. Managing Devices and Services
  2. Understanding Device Installation and Management
  3. Device Enhancements in Windows 7
  4. Display Enhancements in Windows 7
  5. Understanding Device Installation
  6. Driver Store and Driver Packaging
  7. Driver Staging vs Installation
  8. Driver Staging and Installation Process
  9. Detailed Installation Process
  10. Managing Driver Packages
  11. Using PnPutil.exe
  12. Using Dism.exe
  13. Driver Signing
  14. Driver Ranking
  15. Installing and Using Devices
  16. Enhancements to the Device Installation Experience in Windows 7
  17. Scenario 1: Driver found in Driver Store
  18. Scenario 2: Driver found on Windows Update
  19. Scenario 3: Driver in Driver Store, But Better Driver on Windows Update
  20. Scenario 5: No Driver Can Be Found for the device
  21. Scenario 6: Vendor -supplied media is available
  22. Scenario 7: Additional Device Software is Available For Download from vendor
  23. Configuring Device Installation Settings
  24. Using the Devices And Printers Folder
  25. Understanding Device Stage
  26. Understanding the Device Experience Architecture
  27. Device Containers
  28. Device display object
  29. Device Metadata System
  30. Managing Device Installation Using Group Policy
  31. Managing Device Installation Behavior
  32. Managing Driver Installation Behavior
  33. Blocking Installation of Removable Devices
  34. Managing Device Redirection Behavior
  35. Troubleshooting Device Installation
  36. Using Windows Error Reporting
  37. Using the SetupAPI Log File
  38. Using Driver INF Files
  39. Using Device Manager Error Codes
  40. Using Driver Verifier
  41. Repairing Driver Store Corruption
  42. Repairing Index File Corruption
  43. Understanding Power Management
  44. Power Management Enhancements in Windows 7
  45. New Power Policies in Windows 7
  46. Configuring Power Management Settings
  47. Configuring Power Management Settings Using the Power Options Utility in Control Panel
  48. Configuring Power Management Settings Using Group Policy
  49. Configuring Power Management Settings Using the Powercfg Utility
  50. Understanding Services
  51. Service Enhancements in Windows 7
  52. Managing Services
  53. Managing Services Using Task Manager
  54. Managing Services Using the Sc.exe Command