Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit
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|Initial release||13 February 2007|
3.0 / 18 February 2011
|Development status||Discontinued; replaced with Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (WADK)|
|Platform||IBM PC Compatible|
|Available in||English, Arabic, Chinese,[which?] Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish|
Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK), formerly Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK or WAIK), is a collection of tools and technologies produced by Microsoft designed to help deploy Microsoft Windows operating system images to target computers or to a VHD (Virtual Hard Disk). It was first introduced with Windows Vista. WAIK is a required component of Microsoft Deployment Toolkit.
Windows AIK Version 1.0 was released with Windows Vista. New or redesigned tools and technologies included Windows System Image Manager (Windows SIM), SysPrep, ImageX, and Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) v2.0.
Windows AIK Version 1.1 was released with Windows Vista SP1 (and Windows Server 2008). A number of new tools were introduced, including PostReflect and VSP1Cln. WinPE 2.1 could be more customized. Supported operating systems include Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows Vista SP1, Windows Server 2003 SP1, Windows Server 2003 SP2 and Windows XP SP2.
Windows AIK Version 2.0 was released with Windows 7 beta. Significantly, a single new tool, DISM, replaced several earlier tools including PEImg and IntlCfg, which were deprecated. WinPE 3.0 has AeroSnaps—a Windows 7 feature. User State Migration Tool (USMT) was added to this version of WAIK. Supported operating systems include Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2, Windows Vista SP1, Windows Server 2008 family, Windows 7 family and Windows Server 2008 R2 family of operating systems.
Windows AIK version 3.0 is exactly the same as 2.0. The version number has only been updated to correspond with the release of Service Pack 1 for Windows 7. Microsoft has also released a WAIK supplement for Windows 7 SP1. WAIK readme references the WAIK supplement, which optionally adds WinPE v3.1 to a previously installed, compatible WAIK.
AIK has been renamed The Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 8 and includes Windows OEM Preinstallation Kit. 
Sysprep is not included with WAIK, but is instead included with the operating system.
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ImageX is the command-line tool used to create, edit and deploy Windows disk images in the Windows Imaging Format. It is distributed as part of the free Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK). Starting with Windows Vista, Windows Setup uses the WAIK API to install Windows.
The first distributed prototype of ImageX was build 6.0.4007.0 (main.030212-2037). It allowed Microsoft OEM partners to experiment with the imaging technology and was developed in parallel with Longhorn alpha prototypes. It was first introduced in Milestone 4 into the Longhorn project, and used in later builds of Longhorn. Build 6.0.5384.4 added significant advantages over previous versions, like read-only and read/write folder mounting capabilities, splitting to multiple image files (SWM), a WIM filter driver and the latest LZX compression algorithms. It has been used since pre-RC (release candidates) of Windows Vista.
Deployment Image Service and Management Tool (DISM) is a tool introduced in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 that can perform servicing tasks on a Windows installation image, be it an online image (i.e. the one the user is running) or an offline image within a folder or WIM file. Its features include mounting and unmounting images, querying installed device drivers in an offline image, and adding a device driver to an offline image.
Before Window Server 2012 and Windows 8, DISM had incorporated the majority of ImageX functions but not all; ImageX was still needed for image capture. However, DISM deprecated ImageX in Windows 8.
WAIK includes Windows Preinstallation Environment, a lightweight version of Windows that can be booted via PXE, CD-ROM, USB flash drive or external hard disk drive and is used to deploy, troubleshoot or recover Windows environments. It replaces MS-DOS boot disks, Emergency Repair Disk, Recovery Console and Automated System Recovery boot disks. Traditionally used by large corporations and OEMs (to preinstall 1 Windows client operating systems to PCs during manufacturing), WinPE is now available free of charge via WAIK.
User state migration
WAIK for Windows 7 includes User State Migration Tool v4.0, a command-line interface tool for transferring Windows user settings from one installation to another as part of an operating system upgrade or wipe-and-reload recovery, for example, to clean out a rootkit. USMT v4.0 can transfer the settings from Microsoft Windows XP or later to Microsoft Windows Vista and later.
There are many commercially available solutions for migration, including Laplink, Tranxition, and Zinstall.
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