Posted by: Ed Tittel
I’ve blogged here repeatedly about the benefits — and some gotchas — for the built-in Windows 8 recimg (record image) command. Here’s a list of those items for anyone who might be interested in learning more about this fabulous Windows 8 (only) utility that permits admins to capture and store current Windows 8 system images in .wim (Windows Image) file format, then restore them to refresh their systems as and when they might be needed:
- Create Your Own Refresh Image for Windows 8 (12/7/2012)
- Make DISM Your Go-To Image Management Tool in Win8 (12/10/2012)
- What Gets Lost When Using Win8 Refresh (1/21/2013)
- More Benefits of Win8 Refresh (1/23/2013)
I’ve become a big believer in using the built in recimg command to capture — and when necessary, restore — Windows 8 image files as a way of fixing subtle problems in Windows that might otherwise take weeks to troubleshoot. I learned this lesson the hard way on one of my Windows 8 machines when it wouldn’t let me run the recimg command at the command line (which means RecImgManager couldn’t work either, of course). After running a factory refresh on that machine I was able to start using recimg at the command line and through the RecImgManager program itself.
As depicted in the screen cap at the head of this blog post, you can add image snapshots already captured using recimg at the command line. This works by using the browse button (bottom right) in RecImgManager to find and integrate such captures as “Imported Snapshot” items (you see an image I grabbed in late January as I was working on the “What Gets Lost…” post linked to in item 3 above). As long as you know where to find your images (easy enough to do, using File Manager to search on “*.wim”) you can add them to the items under RecImgManager’s control.
Now that I’ve been able to work with the underlying recimg command and the RecImgManager utility from SlimWare, I’ve really learned to appreciate the latter’s convenience. It doesn’t do anything the command line utility can’t do, but it provides a very nice visual organization to those capabilities, and makes it much easier to capture new images, and especially, to select images to use for a restore operation. It’s always nice when you find a good, free, and capable software tool that makes it easier to manage desktops. This would be one of those.