How to Extract Files from Windows DVD or ISO Disk Image

Sometimes, you need a few individual files from the Windows DVD. For example, in one of the previous how-to articles – how to use Windows 8.1 Calculator in Windows 10 – we needed two files calc.exe and calc.exe.mui from the Windows 8.1 DVD.  It was very easy in the old days of Windows XP (and perhaps even easier before that) to copy the files from the CD/DVD. But starting with the Windows Vista, Microsoft started using a new file format type called WIM that stores all the files needed for Windows installation. Fortunately, the popular open-source archiving tool 7-Zip can make life much easier for you when it comes to extracting files from the Windows DVD.

Here is how you can extract individual files from a Windows DVD (applies to Windows Vista, 7, 8.x and 10):

  1. Install 7-Zip archiving tool in Windows.
  2. If you have  Windows DVD, insert it in your DVD disk drive and wait for it to be identified by Windows. If you have an ISO image, then right-click on it and select Mount. Mounting feature is available in Windows 8.x and 10 only, so if you have an earlier version, do not worry and move on to next step.
  3. Open the DVD drive, then open the sources folder, locate the install.wim file, right-click on it and select 7-ZipOpen archive. In case of the ISO image, if you could not mount the ISO image, you can right-click on the ISO image itself and select 7-ZipOpen archive and then open the sources\install.wim file inside it.Extract Files from Windows DVD or ISO image
  4. If you have a single edition DVD/ISO, then you would see all the folders and files right-away and you can select one or more files and then extract them anywhere you want. But if you have a multiple-edition disk (containing more than one Windows editions like Home, Professional, Ultimate etc.), then you would see many folders named 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and so on. In this case, you have to first extract [1].xml file to your hard disk.Extract Files from Windows DVD or ISO image
  5. Download, extract Ana.exe from it and place both Ana.exe and [1].xml in the same folder. Then double-click on Ana.exe and it will display which folder belongs to which edition of the Windows in the install.wim file.Extract Files from Windows DVD
  6. Go back in 7-Zip where install.wim is opened and open up one the sub-folders for the Windows edition you want to extract files from. Then you can simple select one or more files and then extract them anywhere you want.Extract Files from Windows DVD or ISO image

When extracting files from a 64-bit version of Windows DVD, you would notice that it contains both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of programs. For example, you would find 32-bit version of applications inside the \Windows\SysWOW64\ folder inside the install.wim files.