Using this Microsoft Technet guide I'm trying to capture my windows 7 image for future workstations and have an issue that I don't understand. When booted into Windows PE after prepping the image as described in the guide, the process stops and says I don't have enough space on the flash drive. When I check HDD on my reference computer using "dir" it says 444 gb free on 500 gb HDD. On my flash drive, including the files necessary to boot the computer and capture the image, I'm still over 63 gb free according to "dir".

The size of the windows install on the drive is less than 56 gb yet there is not enough space for it on my flash drive. Flash drive is formatted NTFS but is otherwise created according to the instructions in the guide.

What is using up the extra space? Have I made some other error? How much space do I really need to plan on having? Is there an easier way to do this without using removable media?

Sorry, no way to screenshot in Windows PE, but here are some images for evidence:

Space on reference HDD containing Windows: Space on reference HDD containing Windows

Space on flash drive used to boot and capture windows: Space on flash drive used to boot and capture windows

Insufficient space error: Picture of screen showing error

  • 2
    What's the command you are executing exactly?
    – bentek
    Sep 30, 2014 at 22:48
  • G:\imagex /compress fast /check /flags “Professional” /capture D: G:\install.wim “Windows 7 Professional” “Windows 7 Professional Custom”
    – lutze
    Oct 1, 2014 at 13:35

1 Answer 1


Try to reformat the UFD as NTFS again and retry.

format fs=ntfs quick

If you still get the error, try to create the .wim file on D: itself instead of the UFD drive.

G:\imagex /compress fast /check /flags “Professional” /capture D: D:\install.wim “Windows 7 Professional” “Windows 7 Professional Custom”

Then copy the .wim to the UFD.

  • 1
    /facepalm I think had copied the command as it was written in the guide by mistake in the case of D:\install.wim as E:\install.wim which happened to be a 4gb partition called recoverylog. I'm still capturing but I'd wager that was the issue. I'll mark as answer as soon as it's successful. EDIT: At least this will be a valuable lesson in script kiddy, cargo cult copying/pasting of commands the workings of which I don't understand. Never again shall I supply a parameter without knowing what it's doing.
    – lutze
    Oct 1, 2014 at 15:45
  • Sometimes it's the simplest things that we tend to miss. :)
    – bentek
    Oct 1, 2014 at 15:51

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