Differences among GHO, Wim and ESD


This article only introducesCompression formatThe difference is not misunderstood by some individuals“Ghost image = fast installed image with drive”, the actual ESD format and WIM format can also be integrated to drive the image of the quick installation version of the secondary package. So we need to explain the premise, and then look at the following introduction, you won’t be confused.

Text inBackup compression efficiencyBackup modeandRecovery modeDiscuss the differences between GHO, Wim and ESD images in three aspects. Finally, we will list a table to write down the differences between various compression formats in detail.

First, let’s look at the compression efficiency.

Compression efficiency

For the same image, the final volume after compression is ghost > WIM > ESD, that is, the image volume after ESD format compression is the smallest, while the image volume after ghost compression is the largest. The image volume after ghost compression is about 3.6GB, the volume after WIM compression is only about 2.2GB, and the volume after ESD compression is only about 1.6gb.In terms of volume, ESD has natural advantages over WIM and GHO. Of course, there is a cost of time in the middle. ESD compression rate is higher, but compression takes more time, which depends on the performance of the CPU in your computer.

In addition, Wim image has a very practical feature, that is, it supports compressing multiple systems into one image, and only calculates the non duplicate file volume. For example, as like as two peas, I have two systems, but the player software installed in the system is different, the others are exactly the same. When I back up, I can use both systems at the same timeAppend backupTo a WIM image and name them. The compressed volume is only the volume of one system + the size and volume of different player installation packages. It is equivalent to compressing two huge systems into one image file and occupying only one system space.

Backup mode

Familiar people may know that I made a ghost image in the MBR format partition, but I can’t restore it to a hard disk in the GPT format, because the ghost backup will contain partition information, and the sectors, disk information, partition format and other information on the hard disk will be overwritten during recovery. However, Wim and ESD are different. Their backup method is only based on files. The image will not have partition information. When I backup from a hard disk in MBR partition format, I can restore it to a hard disk in GPT partition format, which will not affect the partition information of the hard disk. This is also very practical in the current installed environment.

In addition to the above backup differences, there are also operational differences. Ghost can start ghost application under pure DOS to back up the system. If you want to back up a wim or ESD format image, you can only enter PE, use some tools such as winntsetup to back up the file under a partition into a WIM file, and then convert the WIM into ESD file.

Recovery mode

As mentioned above, since WIM and ESD backup requires at least one pe support, so is the recovery system. Images in WIM and ESD formats can only be restored under PE, while ghost has one more option to restore directly under DOS. Some people must have used some tools for fully automatic recovery system, that is, import a pure DOS system into the system, restart and boot into the DOS system to fully automatically recover the specified ghost image. It can also be achieved by actually using WIM and ESD.


Finally, let’s draw a table to distinguish the differences of various formats in detail. Ghost’s only advantage is that it may be “more convenient” to support recovery under DOS. I quote this more convenient because the so-called convenience includes some factors that technicians don’t want to be progressive and conservative. WIM and ESD have great advantages in terms of volume, convenience and support for new systems, so please give me a reason. Why use ghost to compress images?

Compression efficiency Backup mode Partition information Incremental backup Recovery mode
GHO Low (large volume) DOS or PE With partition information I won’t support it DOS or PE
WIM High (small volume) PE Without partition information support PE
ESD Extremely high (very small volume) PE Without partition information support PE

Original link https://bbs.xiaobanma.net/thread-115-1-1.html , copyright belongs to the restored author

Finally, let me explain to you about the ISO system. ISO is a CD-ROM image format. ISO does not belong to the system image. ISO can be the original pure system or the encapsulated GHO system