Q. How can I view the content of a Windows Server 2003 Automated Deployment Services (ADS) image file?

A. ADS includes a command, Imgmount, which you can use to mount ADS image files as drives on the server so that you can view and modify the files' contents. Although you can modify an image file's content, you must use caution in doing so; changing just one file could, depending on what the file is used for, render the entire image unusable.

To use Imgmount to mount an image, you need to specify the image file's full name--not its "friendly" name--and the /mount parameter, as the following example shows:

imgmount /mount \{c735398a-2d56-46d1-8fcc-d4395ce41903\}.img  

As you can see, the file's full name consists of its globally unique identifier (GUID) and the .img suffix. When you run the command, you'll see a message on screen similar to this:

Image file mounted as driver letter \[L:\] 

To check an image's GUID, open the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) ADS Management snap-in and open Images. Right-click the image, and select Properties. Click the General tab, and you'll see the image's GUID, as the figure shows.

You can view the mounted image's content as if it were an ordinary physical drive. By default, the image will be mounted as read-only. If you require write access to the image, add the /w switch to the Imgmount command.

To unmount the image, use the /unmount switch and the drive letter that the image mount process assigned to the image file when you mounted it, as this example shows:

imgmount /unmount l:  
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