Windows 10: DISM - Clone and Deploy using FFU Image

Discus and support DISM - Clone and Deploy using FFU Image in Windows 10 Tutorials to solve the problem; How to: DISM - Clone and Deploy using FFU Image [img] Information Since Windows 10 version 1709, you can use DISM to capture and deploy FFU (Full... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Tutorials' started by Brink, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. Brink Win User

    DISM - Clone and Deploy using FFU Image


    How to: DISM - Clone and Deploy using FFU Image

    DISM - Clone and Deploy using FFU Image [​IMG]
    Information Since Windows 10 version 1709, you can use DISM to capture and deploy FFU (Full Flash Update) images. FFU captures a disk sector by sector to a file container that holds an exact image of the disk. This means that whereas a WIM file can be applied to any size HDD or SSD, an FFU image may only be applied (deployed) to disk which is the same size or larger than the captured disk. How much storage capacity is used or free on that disk is irrelevant, only affecting the size of the captured FFU image file.

    This is the only con I can think of; if your reference machine you used to build an image has a 512 GB disk, that captured FFU image can only be applied to destination machines with 512 GB or larger disks. The smaller the disk on your reference machine therefore, the better; images will be smaller and can be deployed to more destination machines.

    DISM with FFU is also practical if you have to replace an HDD or SSD; just capture an FFU image, replace the disk, and apply image to new disk. FFU images are 100% exact copies of the disk, sector by sector. Capturing and deploying FFU images is fast, in fact much faster than using any third party software.

    In this tutorial I will show how to capture and deploy an FFU image using DISM.




    Contents [/i] Click links to jump to any part

    [table][tr][td]Part One:[/td] [td]Create WinPE ISO or USB[/td] [/tr] [tr][td]Part Two:[/td] [td]Capture FFU Image to a network share[/td] [/tr] [tr][td]Part Three:[/td] [td]Capture FFU Image to local disk[/td] [/tr] [tr][td]Part Four:[/td] [td]Apply FFU Image[/td] [/tr] [tr][td]Part Five:[/td] [td]Sample scenarios[/td] [/tr] [/table]

    Please notice that you can click / tap all screenshots in this tutorial to enlarge them.


    Part One [/i] Create WinPE ISO or USB
    1.1) Although FFU imaging has been possible since version 1709, the native Windows 10 DISM cannot capture nor apply FFU images:

    DISM - Clone and Deploy using FFU Image [​IMG]


    1.2) To capture and apply FFU images, you will need to boot computer or virtual machine from Windows PE media. See this tutorial for creating WinPE: Create a WinPE USB or ISO


    Part Two [/i] Capture FFU Image to network share
    2.1) Boot computer or virtual machine you want to capture from WinPE.

    2.2) Quite often when cloning a disk, it is the only disk present and therefore cannot be used to store the cloned image. In that case, your only option is to use a network share.

    2.3) When WinPE Command Prompt starts, it will run command wpeinit to initialize and enable networking (#1 in screenshot).

    Map a shared network drive or folder with following command (#2):

    net use W: \\PC_Name\ShareName

    Drive letter W: in above command is just a suggestion, you can use any free letter. When prompted, enter username and password to access that share.

    2.4) Enter following command to capture Disk 0 (PhysicalDrive0) to mapped network share as FFU image file Win10.ffu

    dism /capture-ffu /imagefile=W:\DesktopDisk.ffu /capturedrive=\\.\PhysicalDrive0 /nameDISM - Clone and Deploy using FFU Image :DesktopDisk

    DISM - Clone and Deploy using FFU Image [​IMG]


    Name of the captured FFU image can be whatever you'd prefer, but the extension must be .ffu.


    Part Three [/i] Capture FFU Image to local disk
    3.1) Booting to WinPE might show the drive letters differently than what you are used to see when booting normally to Windows. To be sure we know correct drive letter for partition used to save the FFU image, we need DISKPART.

    3.2) When WinPE Command Prompt is shown, enter following command to start Windows Disk Partitioning Utility (#1 in screenshot):

    diskpart

    3.3) Enter following command to check disk numbers for all connected internal and external hard disks (#2):

    list disk

    Note the disk numbers for both the disk you want to capture to FFU image, and disk used to store the image file. In this example I will capture disk 0 and save image on disk 1 (#3)

    3.4) Select the disk where image will be saved with following command, replacing # with actual disk number (#4):

    sel disk #

    3.5) Check available partitions on selected disk with following command (#5):

    list part

    3.6) In this example case, I will save to Partition 4 (#6). I will select it with following command (#7):

    sel part 4

    3.7) To get its drive letter, I'll check partition details with following command (#8):

    det part

    I note the drive letter under Ltr column. In my case now, I will store the captured FFU image to drive F: (#9)

    3.8) Quit DISKPART with following command (#10):

    exit

    DISM - Clone and Deploy using FFU Image [​IMG]


    3.9) Capture disk to FFU image with following command:

    dism /capture-ffu /imagefile=F:\DesktopDisk.ffu /capturedrive=\\.\PhysicalDrive0 /nameDISM - Clone and Deploy using FFU Image :DesktopDisk

    DISM - Clone and Deploy using FFU Image [​IMG]


    In this example, above command captures disk 0 (PhysicalDrive0) to drive F: as DesktopDisk.ffu image file.


    Part Four [/i] Apply FFU image
    4.1) Boot from WinPE

    4.2) Check the disk number for disk you want to apply image to. If image will be applied from local disk, also check the partition letter for partition where image is saved. See steps 3.2 though 3.9 for how to use DISKPART for this (#1& #2 in next screenshot).

    4.3) In this example case, I will apply an image from network share, which contains the image file. I map that share as shown in step 2.3 (#3).

    4.4) I will apply the FFU image DesktopDisk.ffu from mapped share W: to disk 0 with following command (#4):

    dism /apply-ffu /ImageFile=W:\DesktopDisk.ffu /ApplyDrive:\\.\PhysicalDrive0

    DISM - Clone and Deploy using FFU Image [​IMG]


    DISM - Clone and Deploy using FFU Image [​IMG]
    Note Remember that as the FFU image is an exact, sector by sector copy of a certain disk, it can only be applied to same type of disk.

    A captured FFU image from a UEFI system and GPT disk cannot be applied to a BIOS system with MBR disk, and vice versa,
    That's it! A sector by sector identical clone image has been applied to your disk. Booting PC from that disk, Windows will be exactly the same than it was when image was captured, apart from Windows needing to be re-activated if image was applied to different machine than from which it was captured, and that new machine does not have an existing digital license.


    Part Five [/i] Sample scenarios
    FFU imaging is a very practical way to deploy Windows 10. Build your deployment image in Audit Mode on a virtual machine, sysprep and generalize it making it hardware independent, boot VM from WinPE and capture it to an FFU image.

    Image can now be deployed to any computer, to a disk same size or bigger than the VHD on the reference VM.

    Another scenario is to use FFU imaging as backup tool. Capture an FFU image from your current Windows disk, apply it to "restore backup". The speed of both capturing an FFU image and applying it will amaze you!

    And, of course, it's practical to have a recent FFU image in case your HDD / SSD dies, or you for any reason want to replace it.

    Once again something that can be done in Windows 10 with no third party tools. Clone disks with WinPE and DISM.

    Happy imaging, geeks!

    Kari

    :)
     
    Brink, Jun 21, 2018
    #1
  2. Kari Win User

    DISM - Clone and Deploy using FFU Image  

    As I told, I got to login screen only when I first removed EFI, MSR and Recovery partitions from VHD using a third party tool.

    Before writing this off as a bug, I really would like to see the link to official documentation stating the FFU can be applied to a VHDX file.


    I have been using FFU images since it has been possible to create deployment images. I will customize image in Audit Mode on reference Hyper-V virtual machine, generalize it with Sysprep, capture that image to FFU, and apply it to any VM or physical image. It has never failed.

    Being much faster than imaging programs, both capture and applying it, FFU is a really good alternative. To test it, to get piece of mind, use Macrium to create an image backup before applying an FFU image first time.

    You can also test in Hyper-V; capture and apply FFU images from and to virtual machines.


    Disk type is irrelevant. An FFU image, regardless if it was captured from VHD, VHDX, HDD or SSD, can be applied to any SSD or HDD.



    Some interesting but totally trivial, off topic background info
    FFU imaging was originally used to deploy Windows Mobile images, and brought to Insiders early 2015 in Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer (WICD):

    DISM - Clone and Deploy using FFU Image [​IMG]


    In fact, in March 2015 I was making a video about using WICD, to show how to create WIM or FFU deployment images from scratch. Screenshot from that video:

    DISM - Clone and Deploy using FFU Image [​IMG]

    (Click to enlarge.)

    You could create various image types:

    DISM - Clone and Deploy using FFU Image [​IMG]


    However, before getting my video ready, Microsoft removed the imaging part of WICD, and it was renamed to Windows Configuration Designer (WCD), dropping the word Imaging. I never published that video, as it became useless.

    We had to wait almost two and a half years, until version 1709 brought FFU imaging back.

    Microsoft has been a bit sloppy regarding the name of the tool. Although imaging is no longer included in tool and its official name, building images is not possible with it, its Start menu entry still uses old name (WICD). Also, although application titlebar today shows the current name, everywhere else you can still see references to old name and acronym:

    DISM - Clone and Deploy using FFU Image [​IMG]


    Windows Configuration Designer is part of Windows 10 ADK: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/win...ed/adk-install
     
  3. Kari Win User
    DISM - Clone and Deploy using FFU Image  

    OK, I tested now to capture FFU image to VHD, then removed EFI, MSR and Recovery partitions with MiniTool Partition Wizard, leaving only the Windows partition.

    After adding Windows on VHDX file to boot menu, I was able to boot it to login screen, but after signing in, it does not work. Desktop is black, only showing a blinking Taskbar. Click the animated GIF:


    DISM - Clone and Deploy using FFU Image [​IMG]


    Don't know what to try next.
     
  4. Kari Win User

    DISM - Clone and Deploy using FFU Image

    DISM - Clone and Deploy using FFU Image  

    Martin, could you please link to any MS documentation mentioning that FFU image can be deployed to a virtual hard disk file. I do not find nor have I ever seen that being mentioned.

    Documentation: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/win...sh-update--ffu

    Under same main article, clicking navigation pane item Boot to a virtual hard disk: Add a VHDX or VHD to the boot menu, you are told the following:

    Anyway, as I have tested the same than you, my point was to tell it won't work. I do not know why. One thing I have not tested yet is to remove EFI, MSR and Recovery partitions from FFU image captured to VHDX, add remaining Windows partition to boot menu and boot to it. Theoretically, it might just work.


    That might be the explanation.

    This article is an interesting read about what FFU image is: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/win...u-image-format
     
  5. lx07 Win User
    DISM - Clone and Deploy using FFU Image  

    Will this copy everything on the disk even if Windows doesn't understand it? For example of you dualboot Linux and have a ext4 partition? It is a sector copy so it should right?

    The bit about servicing sort of implies it should
    Capture and apply Windows Full Flash Update (FFU) images

    It isn't clear to me what it is supposed to do if you are dualbooting Windows (which installation would servicing pick?) let alone if you are dual booting with a file system Windows doesn't understand.
     
  6. Kari Win User
    cloning (not imaging) speed -- Macrium vs DD

    Have you tried Full Flash Update (FFU) imaging? For me, it is clearly faster to clone a disk with FFU than using Macrium.

    DISM - Clone and Deploy using FFU Image
     
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