The image types used in Windows Deployment Services are install images and boot images.

  • Install image. The operating system image that you deploy to the client computer. You can use the default install image (Install.wim) located in the \Sources directory on the Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 DVDs. You can also modify the default images or create your own images.

  • Boot image. The Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) image that you boot a client into before you install the install image. In most cases, you should use the default boot image (Boot.wim) that is included in the \Sources directory of the Windows Server 2008 R2 installation DVD. Except in advanced scenarios, you will not need to modify this file unless you want to add drivers to the image (see Add Driver Packages to a Boot Image). To install an operating system, you first boot the computer into the boot image, and then you select the install image to install.

    You can also create two additional types of boot images:

    • Capture image. A type of boot image that you boot a client computer into to capture the operating system as a .wim file. You must first create a capture image in order to create a custom install image.

    • Discover image. A type of boot image that you can use to install an operating system on a computer that is not Pre-Boot Execution Environment (PXE)–enabled. When you boot a computer into a discover image, the Windows Deployment Services client will locate a valid Windows Deployment Services server, and then you can choose the install image you want to install.

    For more information, see Creating Images (