How to convert install.esd to install.wim

In this tutorial I will show you how to convert an install.esd to an install.wim so you can use it to install windows onto a usb external hard drive. You will need to be on Windows to do this as it uses the Windows command prompt.


First you will need to download this. It is the command line tool you will be using.

1. Put your install.esd in C:\ (your C drive)

2. Extract by double clicking on it and extracting it to the same location.(It does not matter where this is placed.)

3. Go into ESD2WIM-WIM2ESD-v2 folder and right click on ESD2WIM-WIM2ESD and run as administrator.

Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 9.53.53 AM

4. The command prompt will ask you to enter the location of where the install.esd file is. It should be C:\install.esd.

Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 9.56.29 AM

At the top it should show Detected ESD File contains x indexes (x being the number of indexes)

The first index should work. In my case there was only one index so we will use that one.

Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 9.56.34 AM

5.Type: 1 and it will start to convert and export the install.wim. You do not need to press enter once you type 1 it will start the conversion.

Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 9.57.04 AM

Once that is done you should see the completed install.wim in the ESD2WIM-WIM2ESD-v2 folder.

  • kevin freels

    Thanks for trying but I’m not having any luck here. double-clicking install.esd simply asks me which program to open with. If I extract it in place it doesn’t place the files into a WIM file, it begins placing them in the windows directories. There is no password on the install.esd file.

    • “2. Extract the esd to wim folder by double clicking”

      You don’t double click the install.esd you double click the ESD2WIM-WIM2ESD-v2.7z and extract it. Then follow the rest of the tutorial exactly. Let me know if you have anymore trouble.

  • How Do install.esd ?
    Or install.wim to install.esd

    • I’m sorry but I don’t understand what you are asking. Could you rephrase what you are asking?

      • oh sorry.
        How to create a install.esd instead of install.wim in Windows 7 using Microsoft AIK.

        • You should be able to use the same program to convert an install.wim to an install.esd. Just do the tutorial the same just switch the install.esd for the install.wim and visa versa.

          Showing you how to do it using Microsoft AIK is out of the scope of this tutorial so I can’t help you there.

  • Noah Lee

    Mark, the problem is I have downloaded various versions of esd-to-wim or esd-to-iso program and they all failed to do the conversion complaining about the esd file. I have tried the original Win 10 Pro file downloaded from Microsoft and also other versions available on the internet. So could you tell me which version of Windows 10 Pro will be compatible with the esd conversion programme you recommended here? Many thanks.

    • I like you have done the same. This one that I show seems to be the only one that works and works well. I use the install.esd from the official Windows 10 pro .iso. Are you having troubles getting this program to work at all?

      • Noah Lee

        Is there any way we could download the version you mentioned? Version number? I need the install.wim to relocate the User profile. Any chance of downloading this install.wim directly somewhere? Given MS is letting everybody to download Win10Pro installation file, the use of the finished product (installed Windows 10) that is restricted. Do you agree with my interpretation?

        • If I understand you correctly. You are asking for the version of Windows 10 that I used. Here is the direct download link to the media creation tool from Microsoft After that is done downloading you can use it to download the iSO. Then you need to mount the iSO and copy the install.esd from that. Then use this tutorial to do the conversion.

          I’m sorry but if you are asking if I will host a download for the install.wim. I cannot.

          • Noah Lee

            Tried and failed. Not surprised. Given MS continues to upgrade the files, the one I just downloaded was probably a few versions newer than the one you last used. Any suggestions. Do you have a version number of the version that you had successfully converted to .wim from .esd?

            Much appreciated for any tips you could afford.

            • oh interesting. I’m going to try the latest version myself and see if I can get it to work. I have the iso so I will also look at the build of Windows 10 that I used previously.

  • martianka

    I think it worked for me, but I couldn’t use the download link for the conversion tool. I googled for it and found it elsewhere. Followed the instructions and got “The operation completed successfully”. I downloaded the ISO using the M$ tool for the purpose. It allows you to choose Regular or Pro. Any language you want and N or standard (N is the EU version).

  • martianka

    It remains to be seen if I can actually run DISM restorehealth from this WIM though. Problem is I’m not too sure whether I originally installed the UK or US version or whether I had “N” (EU version) or the standard….. I suspect DISM only works when you have a perfect match for the build you originally installed. Anyone knows if this is right?

  • Azgorath

    MEGA asks for a decryption key to download the file. what is the key?

    • Fixed it go ahead and try the download again.

      • Azgorath

        WOW very quick answer and very quick fix. I’m impressed. Thanks 😀

        • You are very welcome! If you have any other problems just let me know. I’d be happy to help out.

  • Wei Ong

    Hi can you advise me how to proceed?

    • hmm that’s odd. Do you happen to know what build you are using? and what version of windows? Also try deleting the install.esd and re-copying it from the ISO to make sure that it didn’t corrupt while copying.

    • Pattryck Pereira

      The correctly path is “C:ESDinstall.esd” without quotes
      Sorry for my bad english, i’m brazilian

  • Damien Sturt

    fantastic tool. i have multiple oses in an esd. used this tool to extract the relevant one i want to update, is it possible to use this tool to put that wim ive extracted back into the original esd or is it worth just extracting the entire esd to a wim and do it that way?

    • Sorry for the late reply. I’m sorry but I’m not exactly an expert on esd or wim files. To clarify I didn’t create this tool either. My suggestion would be to extract the entire esd into separate wim files and put them together however you plan to do that. I don’t think this tool can put them back together. It is only for extracting.

  • Mahmood

    Thank you, Mark!

    • You are very welcome! Just wanted to help everyone else with a simple tutorial on doing this as there really isn’t anything else out there that is helpful and most of the tools are fake or paid and also don’t work.

      • Mahmood

        Your help is very much appreciated! You’re right it’s really difficult to find something that is actually useful and not fake!
        Best regards,

  • Lancelot Hishpahl

    Hi mark
    when I type the path and press enter, nothing happened, instead the command prompt closes automatically

    • I’m assuming you are talking about step 4. Make sure your install.esd is in the “C:” directory. Otherwise specify the path that it is in and double check that it is right.

  • Papa Bear

    Finding your site after hours of research and other failing programs that just did not work. I swear I have been at wits on this mission. What breath of simple fresh air Mark! Thank you so much for the assist.

    • I’m glad it helped!

  • Thank you for this tool! Really helped me out!

  • Brandon Takuto

    keeps running into this error after inputting C:install.esd program usually closes immediately after but this is what comes up.

    • Where are you getting the install.esd from(what version of Windows)? Make sure to put the install.esd in C: at the top of the directory. Make sure to run the program as administrator.

  • Darkfox2012

    Pretty sure you can use a “install.esd” fie in DISM by using.

    Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:esd:Your ESD path here:1

    Or if you don’t have Internet access use.

    Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:esd:Your ESD path here:1 /limitaccess

    This will tell DISM not to try to use Windows Update…

    Anyways Cheers for the Tutorial mark helped me out immensely 🙂

  • steve6375

    This script is great!
    If you added an option to split the wim file into files less than 4GB, it would be even better!
    i.e. split the wim.

    • Some time in the future, I hope to recreate this script myself. I actually am not the developer of it. I have tried to track down the developer, but I cannot find him/her.

  • is this will only create a new “instal.wim” file to put it in the old “.iso” file or i will have to create new “.iso” file?

    • I have not tried putting it back into the .iso or creating one from it. I use this specifically for imaging windows onto an external hard drive, so I can boot from it on my Mac. This way I don’t have to use any of the 128gb SSD I have on my Mac.

      • oh i see
        Then i will try to return the “install.wim” on the old “.iso” and modify it on to the old “install.esp” then i will tell if it work or not
        and Thank you for the “info”

  • Jami Kellosalo

    Hmm, here’s a bit improved version. Well, patched it as new W10 doesn’t play nice with old one.

    – x86 / x64 support.
    – Identifying the wim -> matching machine architecture.
    – Where to save final.
    – Windows 10 – Anniversary (1607) support.
    MD5: 2f32d4e39e483f3acb0708c959615902 *

    • Do you know the developer of the original or is this you’re work? I’ve been trying to find who originally made it.

      • Jami Kellosalo

        Dunno, about original devel, but the v4 from v2 changes listed above are my writing/scripting.

        Basically, wrote it since integrating language packs and these huge kb updates needs the 14363 dism to be applyable figures might as well patch esd2wim a bit and seem it’s even a bit faster.

  • Jami Kellosalo

    btw, since the original devel has designed menu + the script actually just:

    1. Will mount ESD / Export WIM
    2. Capture + append WIM OR compress ESD.

    My addition to it simply was to use correct arch x86/x64 dism while saving changes
    (this was an issue at Vista/7/8.1 days, if an x64 dism was used to x86 image there was huge lag present at installation) and of course updated version of dism.

    My suggestion for someone who understands a bit cmd/dism and scripting:

    It would be extremely welcome, if someone would figure how to install Microsoft Deployment Tools from ADKSetup.exe only coming with WIM2ESD-ESD2WIM, so basically only installer/downloader from Microsoft would be with the script not Deployment Tools themself. So, it would work like:

    1. Ask user can ADKSetup.exe download needed Deployment Tools.
    2. Download needed updated Deployment Tools from Microsoft.
    (I am having issues with this otherwise I would of write it in. Basically you can use /quiet, /layout or /installpath parameters, but if Deployment Tools is already installed you will have nag of “already installed” and it never gets downloaded and even with sysinternals strings I couldn’t find any switch from ADKSetup.exe to simply download and ignore anything installed to online system.)
    3. Display ‘Lisence Agreement’
    4. Build in 3-4 features:
    a. Add-Package: Parameter: drive:path and/or drive:pathfilename.msu/.cab/.ext
    b. Remove Package + Search partial name.
    ### parameter: “ru-RU” would translate to:
    ### “Microsoft-Windows-Client-LanguagePack-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~x86~ru-RU~10.0.14393.0” from for loop + dism /Get-Packages with findstr ru-RU.
    + Which would then remove language Russian language package saved from findstr at mounted image.
    c-Z. MAYBE even usage of Oscdimg to build DVD or USB which would be extremely easy with media path and .WIM path or even directly install to any drive with dism/bootbcd/bootsect and diskpart (similar than WinNTSetup for example is doing).

    I just think it’s too hard currently with any tool from web to do these functions NTlite, etc etc.

    Sorry for novel.

  • Siddhant Dante

    Thank you………………..Mr.

  • Paul B

    Wow!… And I installed WAIK for this conversion… 1.7GB… This command line tool saved my work, my time! So, thank you very much for this! It’s awesome!

  • Chakis

    You are Fu…. Awesome… Thanks…. very very thanks!!!

  • Budi Kusasi

    Mark, what did you do in search so you can get this piecework but is not able to find its creator, this fact is a amazing..!.. just googled around or used other good search tool ?
    So I doubt whom should I ask him or you that the temp folder created for very short awhile and then quickly to be erased along with install.wim altogether

  • James Robinson

    Great job and thanks alot!

  • KD Samir

    thanks for y Mark

  • Ernesto Bernabé

    thank you, works like a charm.

  • Colin Smith

    Great job! Thanks Mark!

  • FT Protocal

    Worked perfectly, thank you very much!

  • Neo

    Thanks for this tool 🙂