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Is there a tool that can capture a live Server WIM image? Without having to boot the server into WinPE and use imageX. A free or commercial tool would be OK.


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Sure, free solution: you can use volume shadow copy and ImageX to do this on your own.

vssadmin create shadow /for=C:
vssadmin list shadows

Then grab the shadow copy's volume ID. (Usually looks like \\?\GLOBALROOT\Device\HarddiskVolumeShadowCopyXX.)

imagex /capture \\?\GLOBALROOT\Device\HarddiskVolumeShadowCopy10\\ image.wim "Server Image"

Then get rid of the shadow copy.

vssadmin delete shadows /for=C:

Might want to use an exact shadow ID to delete (see the /shadow=XXX switch.)

For a solid enterprise-style solution, see SmartDeploy.

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SmartDeploy is great! Highly recommended. – Mar 10 '13 at 21:53
You can do this in Windows 7 as well, although vssadmin create doesn't exist. It can be done with a bit of VBScript, though. See: – Aaron Mason Apr 1 '15 at 0:06

This question is fairly open ended, but you need backup software that supports Shadow Copy operations. Targeting the .WIM format as your ultimate goal may be narrowing your options tremendously.

I have not used it for these purposes but I believe Acronis makes some products that can perform this (TrueImage). Your final image output is not likely to be in WIM format, however

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Ghost has this functionality but for GHO not WIM images -

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This is a protected blogpost ... It would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. – j0k Dec 13 '12 at 10:43

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