Servicing an Image

A Windows image can be serviced offline with Package Manager or on a running Windows operating system with OCSetup, Package Manager, or the Windows Update Standalone Installer (WUSA). All of these are command-line tools that can install and uninstall packages. Package Manager works only with packages, while OCSetup works with Microsoft Windows Installer (system MSI) components, handing off packages to Package Manager to install or remove automatically. Service packs and other updates that are delivered as .msu files must be installed online on a running Windows installation with the Windows Update Standalone Installer.

You can install or remove packages or enable or disable Windows features by using either Package Manager or OCSetup. However, you must be working on a Windows image present on the local computer. No other servicing method is supported. For example, servicing a remote computer over a network is not supported. You cannot add, remove, or replace system files manually.

Both Package Manager and OCSetup can take an unattended installation answer file (for example, Unattend.xml) as input for installation or removal. Package Manager can also take an answer file for enabling or disabling Windows features.

If you are installing a language pack offline, you must also run Intlcfg.exe offline to configure international settings, or configure those setting on the running operating system after the image has been applied or Windows Setup has run. For more information, see Manage Language Packs for Windows.

The following illustrates a basic offline servicing process for mounted images.

Offline Servicing

Package Manager can take an answer file as input to install or to remove a package or to enable or to disable Windows features. It can also configure unattended installation settings included in the windowsPE and offlineServicing configuration passes. All other passes are ignored. For more information, see Add Device Drivers During Windows Setup.

To add drivers with Package Manager, install the packages offline by using an answer file with the driver paths that are specified in the Microsoft-Windows-PnpCustomizationsNonWinPE component. For more information, see Add Device Drivers to an Offline Windows Image.

To enable or to disable Windows features, first create an answer file with the Windows features to enable or disable. For details, see Enable or Disable Windows Features Offline.

For details on installing or removing a package offline see the Install or Remove Packages Offline with Package Manager topic. For step-by-step instructions for using Package Manager to service an offline Windows image, see the Walkthrough: Servicing a Mounted Windows Image Offline topic, and Walkthrough: Servicing an Applied Windows Image Offline.

Online Servicing

OCSetup can be run from a command prompt on a running Windows installation. You can install or remove system MSIs and enable or disable single Windows features. To install or to remove both system MSIs and packages, OCSetup can install and remove the system MSIs and hand off the packages to Package Manager for installation or removal automatically.

If you are adding a package online with OCSetup, you must use an answer file. OCSetup cannot take a path to determine the location of the system MSI or package. The path must be specified in the servicing section of the answer file. For details, see Add a Package to an Answer File.

If you are adding an out-of-box system MSI, it must be staged so that OCSetup can find it.

When you are manually enabling or disabling Windows features from the command line (without an answer file), use the command-line name, rather than the full package name or display name. Command-line names are case-sensitive. For a complete list of command-line names of Windows features, see the Windows-Foundation-Package section of the Unattended Windows Setup Reference.

For details on OCSetup commands, see the OCSetup Command-Line Options.

You can also use the auditUser or auditSystem configuration passes to add drivers while the Windows image is booted to audit mode. For more information, see Add Device Drivers During Windows Setup.

Installing Service Packs

Service packs must be installed on a running Windows installation with Windows Update Standalone Installer (WUSA). For details, see Install Service Packs.


Offline installation of Windows Vista SP1, or any of the update packages included in the service pack, is not supported. Offline installation will cause the Windows image to be corrupt.

See Also


Phase 5: Image Maintenance
Best Practices for Servicing
Maintenance How-To Topics
Package Manager Technical Reference