Beware of Dism++ with Windows customizations

[German]A brief note for fans of the software tool Dism ++. You can get into a lot of trouble with this tool when customizing Windows installations. Here a few things I became aware of.


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What is Dism++?

The tool Dism++ is nothing else than a graphical user interface, with which the Windows command dism can be handled better. The tool is quite powerful, because it offers functions to:

  • Start management – i.e. everything that is started automatically under Windows.
  • App management – i.e. uninstalling apps
  • Toolbox – with various tools for system administration
  • System optimization – functions to optimize the system (more caution required)
  • Driver management – all drivers installed via Windows Update can be deactivated
  • Feature management – you can deactivate functions from the ‘Programs and Features’ section of Windows.
  • Update management – updates can be selected and managed.
  • Deployment – all functions to customize an installation image
  • Sysprep commands – manages the commands during system deployment

This site contains additional information an a download link for Dism ++.

Dism++

The tool itself is portable, so there is no need to install it. However, Dism++ must be run with administrator privileges. The website chuyu.me doesn’t exist anymore (08/13/2019), and Dism++ is now in Chinese hands.

Issues caused by Dism++

The use of Dism++ does involve certain risks, which can lead to problems with Windows. In recent years I have occasionally seen forum posts where feature updates or updates terminates with installation errors and due to installation image altered with Dism++. Furthermore, blog reader Xaver H. contacted me by e-mail. He writes me the following:


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I just noticing that when using Dism++ (current version) in W7 the update process is not added. I have just done all updates (except the red ones) in W7. But the update process is at 2016.

So if you work with customized image files and have used Dism++, you should always think about this cause of error. Final question: Anyone else who has run into problems with Dism++?

Addendum: The development of the tool has been stopped, the developer decided to put that project in maintenance mode – so only bug fixes will apply in future. But there is a successor – see Dism++: Switch to maintenance mode, and a new project.


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8 Responses to Beware of Dism++ with Windows customizations

  1. Eric says:

    The website chuyu.me doesn’t exist anymore (08/13/2019), and Dism++ is now in Chinese hands.

    Interesting. The software author is Chinese.

  2. JiriBergman says:

    i prefer NTLite
    https://www.ntlite.com/

  3. Dan S says:

    Dism++ war superior on some aspects, plus, it was totally free. NTLite full version is totally overpriced!

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  5. Bob says:

    I think he means the government, the author was clear that the spirit of the project was open source..

    The following message was displayed to me when attempting to access areas of the site. (Translated)
    “Site is temporarily unavailable
    The website has not been filed in accordance with the relevant legal rules of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
    May be due to the following reasons:
    Reason one: The website has not completed the filing according to the requirements of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

    How to conduct website filing?

    Reason 2: The website has obtained the record number, but has not yet completed the access record in Tencent Cloud.

    The filing information needs to be associated with the access service provider. Please complete the access record in Tencent Cloud.

    How to access the record?

    Reason three: The website may have inappropriate content to spread

    More filing help, can contact customer service”

    • guenni says:

      Bot: Thx your comment. The time, I was writing the obove article, this message wasn’t available. Later on I wrote a follow up article mentions that the tool won’t bee developed further – see my addendum at the articles end with my reference to the 2nd article. There the explanations you are given, are mentioned.

  6. Bob says:

    Also to the author of the article, DISM is a Windows 8+ feature (8, 8.1, 10)

    It is not meant for use in Windows 7 but the tool does have some limited functionality that will work in Win 7. It seems your only critique is that it doesnt work in an unsupported system?

    The product works as intended.

    • guenni says:

      Concerning your 2nd comment: It’s up to a user to decide whether to use DISM++ or not. What I address within the article: There is a risk, that your use of dism++ bears the risk, that you damage your Windows Update servicing stack.

      1. If dism++ allows a customization of Win 7 images, this part is obviously supported (I know the fact, that dism isn’t fully supported in W7, where checksur is the tool to check and repair a servicing stack or do a system file repair).
      2. As a long time community moderator at Microsoft Answers forum I’ve seen several cases of Windows 10 users, who ended in serious issues during feature updates after customization of their images with dism++.

      But at the end of the day: It’s just a warning to be careful and keep that information in mind. There is no ‘smoking gun’ – so it’s up to the user.

  7. The new “author” (who pretends being Japanese) is actually a Chinese one working for Tencent and the central government of PR China.
    The issue seems directly tied to the political situation in Hing Kong, being seized now agressively by the central Chinese government (the PR China is reinforcing its Great Wall and extending it now to Hong Kong).
    And the new leader has new violated my own copyright and banned me from their (partly opensourced) project that they are closing without saying it clearly.
    Don’t trust the new “Nit” project created under a new name by the new leader of the “Dism++” tool that he is now destroying step by step.
    Anyway GitHub (Microsoft) is informed of the issue, and will probably close “Nit” and will ban the new pseudo-Japanese leader for abuses (privacy, repeated insults, copyright). In my opinion the new leader never received any actual transfer of ownership of the project: if it was the case the former leader would have informed us publicly, but visibly he cannot do that (and will not do that before years). I suspect he was arrested by the PR China governement and is in jail, and was forced to transfer the rights to another puppet that has immediately erased the website and is now trying to rebuild an other tool that is likely to be very intrusive.
    Note that the author insists now in forcing users to join QQ/Tencent (which is already banned in all my apps) to discuss it exclusively in standard Chinese. He does not want to hear anything else in English or even in other Chinese languages (like Hakka mostly spoken in Taiwan). He does not want anyone else to inspect what he does and does not want to discuss any issue (that’s why he is closing them all massively).
    With these issues I think that the tool is now abusing the Microsoft terms of service for GitHub and for Windows Update. Most probably Microsoft will publish a “killbit” in Windows Defender and Windows Update to purge the tool which is now to be considers a trojan malware with its new “leader” since several weeks.

    Good lesson to learn: don’t trust any thing coming and managed in China, if it’s not fully open sourced and only controled from mainland China, without any external backup (e.g. in Taiwan, Japan or US). Any proprietary things are in sever danger of being seized and controled by malware giant companies (like Baidu, Tencent or Huawei) under the orders of the RP China governement that constantly want to spy us and steal our data and privacy. Slowly, China is becoming an island in the Internet and the Internet seen from PR China is not the Internet (and so it is also abusing the whole internet right). May be PR China should be banned from ICANN and disconnected (it will be bad for the millions Chinese users, but at least they will know that the Chinese internet is a government instrument and not a space of freedom, they will be more prudent). China actually no longer needs the worldwide Internet beause it has decided to build its own separate one (and at the same time violating many copyrights). China should have been excluded from the WTO since long or severely fined and taxed for their exported products violating many international laws that China pretends respecting but does not want to enforce, by creating a protecting heaven for malware authors and spiers.

    We must learn to better cooperate with its neighbours, notably India, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Burma, Vietnam, Mongolia, Uzbekistan. China should be isolated and we must stop making business with them (and terminate all transfers of technologies controlled at >50% by China) and forbid China taking significant shares in other international companies (anything owned over 49% by China should be seized again and given back to a public company): this should apply in Americas, Europe, but also in Africa, Oceania that China is now severely threatening and abusing.

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