.WIM vs .GHO

June 12th, 2009 | Tags: ,

Ever wondered what the differences are between “Windows Imaging” and other “sector based” formats?

During an internal workshop we were discussing plans for our shiny new Configuration Manager 2007 R2 server and ways to backup user data, in view of a vanilla system retore with an approved configurations. One of the questions was around the disk space required for backing up user data, as you can imagine not all companies have mass amounts of storage to throw at this type of problem.

What we discovered is that unlike other sector based imaging formats i.e. Symantec Ghost, Windows imaging is file based and does not contain partition data (therefore able to be deployed without disrupting data on existing partitions).

Additional functionality includes:

  • Single instance storage
  • Hardware independence
  • Separate partitioning via “diskpart”
  • File splitting and ISO conversion
  • Mounting with drive letter
  • Capability to be made bootable using ImageX