The Windows Servicing Guy

Tips and tricks from a Windows support engineer on issues related to servicing

The coolest new DISM command (to me at least)

The coolest new DISM command (to me at least)

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Since I spoke about DISM in the last post, I wanted to highlight my personal favorite new DISM command.

DISM.exe /Image:C:\test\offline /Cleanup-Image /RevertPendingActions

Where this is handy is in situations where you have installed an update on an installation and the machine gets stuck applying "Stage 3 of 3".  You can boot into WinRE in Windows 7, run this command against the installation from the command prompt and it should allow you to rollback the changes that the update was attempting to apply.  When you enable this command and reboot, you should see a blue splash screen that shows the updates being reverted.

So, something cool for everyone running RC to play with while we finish up Windows 7.  More DISM stuff to come soon.

Comments
  • 1. In general as a user, I also hate how Vista/Windows 7 have the "Please wait while Windows configures updates" screen with 3 steps that slows down logoff and the next logon after installing any update/hotfix. If XP doesn't have it, for any reason whatsoever (stability/reliable servicing), I see no reason why the "upgraded" OSes should make users wait and I don't care why. Why can't it do whatever I/O operations it does using low priority I/O introduced with Vista? After service packs or bigger updates like feature pack for wireless, TV pack the waiting time increases even more.

    2. Installing updates/small hotfixes is also slow because after double-clicking the MSU, it "searches" for quite a long time before applying the update.

    3. The error given when an update does not apply and when it is already installed is the same (...."does not apply to your system") ??! when it should be different and clear (you can't install this again as this is already installed or it does not apply only when it does not apply).

    4. Windows Vista and Server 2008 updates are numbered the same way (Windows6.0___). I understand the 2 OSes are serviced simultaneously and share the same kernel etc but updates' numbering should be differentiated so users can figure out what to install on what.

    5. Some updates (especially Ultimate Extras) are delivered as CAB files making it extremely difficult for end users to install them. (WUSA or PkgMgr).

    6. Sometimes after installing some updates using PkgMgr to install updates to Windows components (especially 2 updates that require reboots one after the other without rebooting), my Windows Installation and Servicing Store gets corrupt and Add or Remove Windows components list becomes empty. I've to use System Restore to revert and then if I install again, it succeeds without any error.

    7. Give me back my /nobackup switch to save disk space as I never uninstall updates.

    As a customer I (and several other users I know) are extremely unhappy with the reworked Windows servicing architecture and how it affects the responsiveness and performance of the OS.

  • do you have any solutions to make dism.exe faster?  driver injection is horribly slow for me when utilizing via sccm driver injection.

  • A very useful command.

    Someone said:

    "4. Windows Vista and Server 2008 updates are numbered the same way (Windows6.0___). I understand the 2 OSes are serviced simultaneously and share the same kernel etc but updates' numbering should be differentiated so users can figure out what to install on what."

    Perhaps it would be better if WindowsVersion identifiers were used.

    msdn.microsoft.com/.../ff547089(v=vs.85).aspx

    Example:

    Server2008_X64-KB954768.msu

  • Apart from when a system gets stuck applying "Stage X of Y", what would be the simplest method of determining if pending actions exist? Is it to look for the pending.xml file? How useful might a command like this be?:

    DISM.exe /Image:C:\test\offline /Get-PendingActions

  • Yes Drew, checking ofr the existence of a pending.xml would be your best bet.  I like the idea of the command though.  I'll bring it up in meetings.

  • That would be much appreciated. Thanks Joseph.