When I read the definition of ImageX:

ImageX is a command-line tool that allows an administrator to capture an image of an entire hard disk drive and its files and folders in a single Windows Imaging Format (WIM) file.

I can understand the its files and folders, but I don't know the an entire hard disk drive, what's the meaning of it?


We know the an entire hard disk drive means an entire physical disk with its contents and filesystem in it.

But how to understand ImageX capture an entire hard disk drive and xxx?

How can ImageX can capture a an entire hard disk drive? is it mean ImageX only capture the contents and filesystem of an entire hard disk drive?

Or contain other information?

  • In this context it means "a partition" or "a filesystem" . – gronostaj Jul 26 at 9:26
  • do you mean a partition with the filesystem in it? – aircraft Jul 26 at 9:38
  • can't it be multi partitions of a physical disk, right ? only can be one partition of a disk? – aircraft Jul 26 at 9:41

I agree that the description is confusing.

On the one hand it contains a link to image, and qualifies this with the mention of entire hard disk drive, then in the same sentence also talks about files and folders, which belong inside one or more file-systems inside one or more partitions.

The clue comes from the fact that its result is stored in a Windows Imaging Format (WIM) file, which it defines as:

WIM is file-based rather than sector-based, allowing a single file package to contain all of the package contents, deduplicate multiple instances of the same components, and also boot and install faster on a wider range of disk hardware. In addition, a single WIM file can contain multiple disk images, allowing users to install some or all of the images depending on what is being distributed. For example, a single WIM file may be created with several different versions of Windows 7. WIM also supports spanning, so large WIM files can be broken into two or more parts denoted with an .SWM extension.

Therefore my conclusion is that ImageX can only capture one partition with its files, and probably not even the Master File Table (MFT), and certainly not the partition table or multiple partitions. A single WIM file can contain images of multiple partitions, each separate, but not of an entire hard disk.


It means a complete physical drive, as opposed to just individual partitions which themselves contain file systems upon which a user stores files.

You will usually store files within a partition rather than an actual drive. That we call it the "C drive" is a simplification, it is actually the "partition that has been allocated the drive letter C".

They are saying that they will copy all the information on a drive, including partition boundaries, boot sectors and potentially the Host Protected Area (HPA).

  • Thanks your response, can you take a look at my Edit-01? – aircraft Jul 26 at 9:35
  • @Mokubai: Unfortunately, one cannot store a disk-image in a WIM file (Windows image and not disk image), but only partition contents (meaning only files). I think that the above description of ImageX is a big mess, using terms the writer didn't understand. Your above text is correct, just not for ImageX. – harrymc Jul 26 at 10:42
  • @harrymc I am technically correct. The best kind of correct. – Mokubai Jul 26 at 10:52
  • That's a good way of resolving the issue. – harrymc Jul 26 at 10:55

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