[Suggestion] Support Streamlined ISO Extraction


Hi, I've noticed a lack of functionality regarding the process necessary to go from an ISO file to loading a WIM.

My current process:
  1. Navigate to folder containing the desired ISO
  2. Right click -> (WinRAR) Extract Files...
  3. Select destination folder (the one NTLite will use to find the WIM)
  4. Extract
  5. Wait for extraction to finish
  6. Open/switch to NTLite
  7. Refresh Source list
  8. Load desired WIM

Suggested process:
  1. NTLite -> Image Tab -> Add -> Image From ISO
  2. Prompt user to select a destination folder. Use OpenFileDialog so user can create new folder in this process if desired.
  3. Check if folder contains any currently mounted WIM files.
    1. If so, ask user to unload first
  4. Provide Delete Contents Before Extraction checkbox to allow user to opt-in to having the contents of the folder deleted before extraction
    1. If Delete Contents Before Extraction is enabled, start deleting the contents of the folder.
      1. If any files are found to be in use, prompt the user to cancel, or try again after closing applications that the file may be open in.
  5. NTLite extracts the contents of the ISO to the selected folder
  6. NTLite refreshes the Source list
And, as a cherry on top, it would be cool if NTLite would remember the edition name for the last mounted edition for that folder (assuming the destination folder is already in the Image History list), and when using this ISO extraction process, there would also be an option available for the user to request that after extraction, if an edition exists that matches the last mounted edition for that folder, then attempt to mount it. This would effectively allow a user to go from ISO -> extraction -> mounted WIM all from one very easy and simple process, without requiring them to leave the NTLite application.

This would be especially useful for users who prefer to utilize golden copies of ISOs as a source when building or troubleshooting new images.


NTLite developer
Staff member
Agreed, also thanks for the extra ideas, will review them in detail when this task is being planned out.
Btw this is so long on my wishlist, promised it a few times, but now specifically it must be done for v1.9, there is some room until next Windows hits and sucks up the time.

You won't believe what the black box of the motivation generator told me why is this being delayed for years (as it's quite logical to ease the entry to the tool).
Because it is like a filter for total beginners to not mess up their systems, if they don't know how to handle the ISO folder extraction, they better not use the tool.
However, that bothers the pros that would like to streamline the process and reduce mistakes - the whole point of this tool.

Usually with this type of topic I also add that the sync/diff to copy only changed files when reverting an image is also nice to have.
Not to mention snapshots, that would be crazy talk.


New Member
There is a small tweak i would make to the existing process- let’s say you have extracted an ISO, and you want a specific pair of editions, let’s say it’s 7 pro and setup 64. ordinarily you have to manually click on each esd or wim and extract the edition to a wim in a different folder, then delete the existing files and replace them with the ones you want, then refresh lists in NTLite. Instead i would like a Wizard called “Get files from ISO” ~> “select editions and files to preserve~> checkbox boot, support, editions, ei.cfg, setup files in sources directory, etc, checkboxes for each edition in each wim ~> finish, ntlite makes a directory and puts the necessary files there.

I wouldn’t change the way images are processed to allow separating the WIM from the other ISO files, but with regards to the exact files used-

EI.cfg can be necessary. can it be created automatically with the correct information for setup?
Put simply does NTLite see the wim and the edition information recorded in the wim the same way SETUP does? currently it does not seem to do so perfectly. Sometimes setup struggles to recognize the monster creations i make, generally unsupported windows editions to be real, but understanding and improving how NTlite extracts edits and commits information about editions such as [1].xml is serious editing power and goes beyond dism’s designed functionality.


If I understand windows setup correctly, if an autounattend.xml file is being used and includes an activation key, the ei.cfg and pid.txt files are ignored. Saw some official microsoft documentation that said that.