Split a Windows Image (WIM) File to Span Across Multiple DVDs

Applies To: Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2

If a .wim file is too large for your selected media, you can split the file into smaller files for spanning across multiple media. For example, if your .wim file is too large to fit on a single DVD, you can split the .wim file so that it spans several DVD-ROMs. To do this, use the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool.

By default, the /Split-Image option creates new split .wim files, with a new .swm extension. The first file name is based on the specified file name, and each of the following files receives a number after it.

Example: Specifying the /SWMfile as "Install.wim" creates the new split files: "Install.swm", "Install2.swm", "Install3.swm", and so on.


In Windows 8.1 and Windows 8, Windows Setup does not support installing a split .wim file.
For earlier versions of Windows®, if you want to use Windows Setup to install a split .wim file by using the /installfrom command line parameter, you must name the split .wim file "install.swm", "install2.swm", and so on. Windows Setup specifically searches for split wim files named install*.swm. If you use a different file name, Windows Setup will not install the split Windows image.

To split an image

  1. Determine the size of media required for the image.

  2. Click Start, and type deployment. Right-click Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment and then select Run as administrator.

  3. Split the image into a specific directory. For example, at the command prompt, type:

    Dism /Split-Image /ImageFile:C:\data.wim /SWMFile:D:\imaging\install.swm /FileSize:600


    • C:\data.wim is the name and the location of the image file that you want to split.

    • D:\imaging\install.swm is the destination name and the location for the split .wim files.

    • 600 is the maximum size in MB for each of the split .wim files to be created.

    In this example, the /split option creates an install.swm file, an install2.swm file, an install3.swm file, and so on, in the D:\Imaging directory.


You cannot modify a split .wim file. You can apply the file to your destination computers only by using the /Apply-Image option in the DISM tool.

To create a spanned media on DVD

  1. Determine how many .swm files were created, and create new folders for each file. For example, if two .swm files were created, you would create the following directories:

    mkdir C:\span\DVD1\source 
    mkdir C:\span\DVD2\source
  2. Copy Install1.swm into c:\span\DVD1\source\ and Install2.swm into c:\span\dvd2\source\.

  3. Create an image (.iso) file for each subfolder, and burn each one to an individual DVD-ROM.

    To make the first DVD-ROM bootable, use the Oscdimg tool and the appropriate boot sector file. For example, for x86-based computers running Windows 8.1 and using the Windows 8.1 version of the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK):

    oscdimg -n -m –b"C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.1\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Deployment Tools\x86\Oscdimg\etfsboot.com" C:\span\DVD1\source C:\span\DVD1\DVD1.iso

    Or, for x86-based computers running Windows 8 and using the Windows 8 version of the Windows ADK:

    oscdimg -n -m –b"C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.0\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Deployment Tools\x86\Oscdimg\etfsboot.com" C:\span\DVD1\source C:\span\DVD1\DVD1.iso

    For subsequent non-bootable images, you can omit the boot command-line option (-b). For example:

    oscdimg -n C:\span\DVD2\source C:\span\DVD2\DVD2.iso

    To build an AMD-EFI .iso file, use the following command:

    oscdimg.exe -bC:\winpe-x64-efi\efisys.bin -pEF -u1 -udfver102 C:\winpe-x64-efi\ISO x64-efi-winpe.iso

See Also


DISM Image Management Command-Line Options