Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Graphical ImageX

While using WDS, the imagex binary is at the forefront of WIM creation. Apparently, there is a graphical front end, GImageX! This is fun, and exciting. An intuitive tabbed interface immediately enables you to hone in on imaging process you're about to undertake.

While I was playing with ImageX this summer at RIT, I was injecting large VMDKs into a mounted, writeable WIM. When I unmounted and committed changes, it would take an incredibly long amount of time to unmount. So long so that, at times, it appeared like the utility 'froze' because there was no significant resource usage displayed in the Windows Resource Monitor or Task Manager. So, I launched process explorer and filtered events related to imagex. Sure enough, there are a ton of events occuring that relate directly to imagex; therefore, it's not 'frozen.'' It was definitely annoying that there is no progress bar or good indication that the utility is still running successfully.

One of the first things I wanted to discover about GImageX was how the utility handled these unmount commit scenarios. Well, the good news is, there was a significant amount of disk usage directly from gimagex.exe throughout the few minute unmount. Further, there is a little cursor inside the dialog showing that the program is indeed still working. Since this is a GUI, you can tell that the application has still responding because you can move its windows.

First impressions of this utility are very high. I'm happy that I bumped into it from Ulli's latest post about the ESX Bandit.

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