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Preinstall Apps Using DISM

Published: February 13, 2014

Updated: December 20, 2013

Applies To: Windows 8, Windows 8.1

Interested in preinstalling Windows Store apps, but you aren’t an OEM? For information about sideloading apps for organizations, see Sideload Apps with DISM.

To pre-install Windows Store apps in your images, you’ll need to use the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK). This section explains the steps involved in preinstalling apps as part of your images.

For offline provisioning of an app into an image, you can use either the Dism.exe tool or the DISM cmdlets in Windows PowerShell to add an app from a folder of unpacked files.

  1. Browse to the folder where you saved the app packages that you downloaded from the Partner Dashboard.

  2. Right-click each .zip folder containing your app package files. Click Extract All and select a location to save the package file folders.

    The folder contains the all of the unpacked files for the package, including a main package, any dependency packages, and the license file.

ImportantImportant
Do not modify the folder once you have extracted the package files. If you change, add, or remove any files in the folder, the app will fail either during installation or launch. Even browsing the folder may cause problems.

You’ll need to use the license file from the package files to test your provisioned image. Creating your own custom data file will not allow you to accurately test an app preinstalled by an OEM.

For offline provisioning of an app into an image, you can use either the Dism.exe tool or the DISM cmdlets in Windows PowerShell to add an app from a folder of unpacked files.

  1. Open the Deployment Tools Command Prompt, installed with the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK), with administrator privileges. From the Windows 8.1 Start screen, type Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment, right-click the icon, and select Run as Administrator from the menu bar at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Mount the offline image for servicing. At the command prompt, type:

    Dism /Mount-Image /ImageFile:c:\images\myimage.wim /Index:1 /mountdir:c:\test\offline

  3. Add the app to the mounted image. Use the /PackagePath option and the /DependencyPackagePath option to specify the location of the folder containing all of the unpacked files and the dependency files from the Store package. /PackagePath should specify the root folder for the extracted folders. The root folder contains the license.xml, AUMIDs.txt, and all of the package files. At the command prompt, type:

    Dism /Image:c:\test\offline /Add-ProvisionedAppxPackage /PackagePath:c:\downloads\appxpackage /DependencyPackagePath:c:\downloads\appxpackagedependency

  4. Save changes and unmount the image. At the command prompt, type:

    Dism /Unmount-Image /mountdir:c:\test\offline /commit

  1. Open Windows PowerShell with administrator privileges. You must be running Windows 8.1 on the host PC or install a supported version of Windows PowerShell. For more information, see How to Use DISM in Windows PowerShell.

  2. Mount the image. At the Windows PowerShell prompt, type:

    Mount-WindowsImage –ImagePath c:\images\myimage.wim –Index 1 –Path c:\test\offline

  3. Use the Add-AppxProvisionedPackage cmdlet in Windows PowerShell to preinstall the app. Use the /PackagePath option and the /DependencyPackagePath option to specify the location of the folder containing all of the unpacked files and the dependency files from the Store package. In Windows PowerShell, type:

    Add-AppxProvisionedPackage –Path c:\test\offline –FolderPath c:\downloads\appxpackage –DependencyPackagePath c:\downloads\appxpackagedependency

  4. Save changes and dismount the image. At the Windows PowerShell prompt, type:

    Dismount-WindowsImage –Path c:\test\offline -Save

noteNote
Windows Store apps don't run in audit mode. To test your deployment, run Windows and create a new user profile. For more information about audit mode, see Understanding Audit mode in the TechNet library.

ImportantImportant
If you are preinstalling a mobile broadband device app, you must insert the SIM card in the PC before you run the specialize phase of Sysprep. For more information about preinstalling a mobile broadband device app, see Preinstall a Windows Store device app or mobile broadband app.

You can remove a preinstalled app, including the license and custom data files, from a Windows image by using the DISM.exe tool or the DISM cmdlets in Windows PowerShell. You should remove the old version of the app before installing a new one.

  1. Open the Deployment Tools Command Prompt, installed with the Windows ADK, with administrator privileges. From the Start screen, type Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment, right-click the icon, and select Run as Administrator.

  2. Mount the offline image for servicing. At the command prompt, type:

    Dism /Mount-Image /ImageFile:c:\images\myimage.wim /Index:1 /mountdir:c:\test\offline

  3. Find the full package name of the app that you want to remove. At the command prompt, type:

    Dism /Image:C:\test\offline /Get-ProvisionedAppxPackages

  4. Remove the app from the mounted image. For example, at the command prompt, type:

    Dism /Image:c:\test\offline /Remove-ProvisionedAppxPackage /PackageName:microsoft.devx.appx.app1_1.0.0.0_neutral_en-us_ac4zc6fex2zjp

    noteNote
    If the app isn't registered to a user profile in the image—for example if the image is generalized and hasn't been deployed—it's removed from the image. If the Windows image has been booted and a user profile has been created, the provisioned app is registered for that user and must be removed by using the Remove-AppxPackage cmdlets after you remove the provisioning for the app.

  5. If you want to update the app, you can preinstall the updated version of the Store-signed app. At a command prompt, type:

    Dism /Image:c:\test\offline /Add-ProvisionedAppxPackage/FolderPath:c:\downloads\appxpackage

  6. Save changes and unmount the image. At the command prompt, type:

    Dism /Unmount-Image /mountdir:c:\test\offline /commit

  1. Open Windows PowerShell with administrator privileges. You must be running Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 on the host PC or install a supported version of Windows PowerShell. For more information, see How to Use DISM in Windows PowerShell.

  2. Mount the image. At the Windows PowerShell prompt, type:

    Mount-WindowsImage –ImagePath c:\images\myimage.wim –Index 1 –Path c:\test\offline

  3. Find the full package name of the app you want to remove. At the Windows PowerShell prompt, type:

    Get-AppxProvisionedPackage –Path c:\test\offline

  4. Use the Add-AppxProvisionedPackage cmdlet in Windows PowerShell to remove the app. In Windows PowerShell, type:

    Remove-AppxProvisionedPackage –Path c:\test\offline –PackageName microsoft.devx.appx.app1_1.0.0.0_neutral_en-us_ac4zc6fex2zjp

noteNote
If the app isn't registered to a user profile in the image—for example if the image is generalized and hasn't been deployed—it's removed from the image. If the Windows image has been booted and a user profile has been created, the provisioned app is registered for that user and must be removed by using the Remove-AppxPackage cmdlets after you remove the provisioning for the app.

  1. If you want to update the app, you can preinstall the updated version of the Store-signed app. At the Windows PowerShell prompt, type:

    Add- AppxProvisionedPackage –Path c:\test\offline –FolderPath c:\downloads\appxpackage

  2. Save changes and dismount the image. At the Windows PowerShell prompt, type:

    Dismount-WindowsImage –Path c:\test\offline -Save

Apps that are preinstalled on a PC can access custom data specific to the installation. This custom data is added to the app during preinstallation and becomes available at runtime. Custom data enables developers to customize an app's features and functionality, including providing reporting capabilities.

You must specify the custom data file when you preinstall the app by using the DISM tool and through Windows PowerShell using the Add-AppxProvisionedPackage cmdlet. The following command shows how to do this using the DISM tool:

Dism /Image:C:\test\offline /Add-ProvisionedAppxPackage / FolderPath:f:\Apps\Fabrikam_KnowMyPC /CustomDataPath:f:\Contoso_Promotion.xml

If a custom data file already exists in the data store for an app—for example, if the package has already been added to the image—the existing file is overwritten. If the installation fails, the file isn't restored.

noteNote
You can release updates to an app through the Store without losing the custom data file. However, if a user deletes the app, the custom data file is no longer available, even if the user reinstalls the app.

Apps that are preinstalled on a PC can access custom data specific to the installation. This custom data is added to the app during preinstallation and becomes available to the app at runtime. Custom data enables developers to customize an app's features and functionality, including providing reporting capabilities.

The Custom.data file appears at the app's installed location. The name Custom.data is hard-coded and can't be modified. Your app can check for the existence of this file to determine if the app was preinstalled on the PC. Here's an example of how to access the Custom.data file.

var outputDiv = document.getElementById("CustomData");
Windows.ApplicationModel.Package.current.installedLocation.getFileAsync
     ("microsoft.system.package.metadata\\Custom.data").then(function (file) {
         // Read the file
         Windows.Storage.FileIO.readTextAsync(file).done(function (fileContent) {
            outputDiv.innerHTML = 
                 "App is preinstalled. CustomData contains:<br /><br />"
                 + fileContent;
         },
         function (error) {
             outputDiv.innerText = "Error reading CustomData " + error;
         });
     },
     function (error) {
         outputDiv.innerText = "CustomData was not available. App not preinstalled";
     });

Your Custom.data file can include any content and be in any format your app requires. The preinstallation process simply makes it available to your app. Developers can supply the data file to the preinstallation partner, or you can agree to a format that enables the partner to generate the content.

When you're building and debugging your app in Microsoft Visual Studio, you can't access the Custom.data file from the app's installed location because the app isn't preinstalled yet. You can simulate using your Custom.data file by putting a test Custom.data file in the app itself, and then loading and testing the app local file. To do this, modify the code sample from ("microsoft.system.package.metadata\\Custom.data").then(function (file) {

to

("Custom.data").then(function (file) {

After you have verified your file format and content, you can change the location of the Custom.data file to the final location, as shown in the original example above.

  1. Open the DISM.exe tool from an elevated command prompt:

    dism /online /Add-ProvisionedAppxPackage /PackagePath:.\CustomData_1.0.0.1_AnyCPU_Debug.appx /CustomDataPath:.\Test.txt /SkipLicense

  2. Where /PackagePath:.\CustomData_1.0.0.1_AnyCPU_Debug.appx points to your local app test package, and where /CustomDataPath:.\Test.txt points to your Custom.data file. Be aware that the file name you provide here isn't used after the data is installed in your app.

    The app now has a tile on the Start screen of the PC used to test the app. The app should be able to access the Custom.data file. If additional debugging is needed, attach a debugger after starting the app from the Start screen.

    noteNote
    You might be required to sign out and sign in again to see the app on the Start screen.

  3. After you're done testing your app, you must remove the preinstalled package to continue using your Dev environment. To remove the preinstalled package using Windows PowerShell, you can use the Get-AppxPackage cmdlet to provide the full app package name through the pipeline to the Remove-ProvisionedAppxPackage cmdlet:

    Get-AppxPackage *CustomData* | Remove-ProvisionedAppxPackage

    Where *CustomData* is the known part of your app's name

You can preinstall the necessary components for a Windows Store device app or a mobile broadband app using the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) platform.

noteNote
This article is intended for OEMs, who will be supporting a Windows Store device app or the mobile broadband app on their devices.

For each type of app, two things should be preinstalled to provide the correct Windows Store device app or mobile broadband app:

  • Windows Store device app, preinstall:

    1. The device metadata package

    2. The app

  • Windows Store mobile broadband app, preinstall:

    1. The service metadata package

    2. The app

ImportantImportant
Although metadata packages and the corresponding apps are parsed immediately after the OOBE process completes, a user might be able to launch the app before the metadata package is parsed. In this case, the user will see an access denied error. To avoid this, apply both the metadata package and the app to the system image.

  1. If you are preinstalling a Windows Store device app then you should have acquired the device metadata package. If you are preinstalling a mobile broadband app then you should have acquired the service metadata package.

    noteNote
    Device metadata packages and service metadata packages use the same file name extension (.devicemetadata-ms).

  2. Copy the device metadata or service metadata package (devicemetadata-ms file) to your system image in the %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\DeviceMetadataStore folder. You can do this in one of the following ways:

    • Online before running Sysprep

    • Offline after running Sysprep by using DISM. To do this:

      1. Mount the offline image for servicing. For example, to mount a Windows image file, myimage.wim to the C:\test\offline directory, type: Dism /Mount-Image /ImageFile:C:\test\images\myimage.wim /index:1 /MountDir:C:\test\offline.

      2. Copy the metadata package files to the device metadata store of the mounted image. For example, to copy the 0ECF2029-2C6A-41AE-9E0A-63FFC9EAD877.devicemetadata-ms metadata package file to the device metadata store, ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\DeviceMetadataStore, type: copy 0ECF2029-2C6A-41AE-9E0A-63FFC9EAD877.devicemetadata-ms C:\test\offline\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\DeviceMetadataStore

      3. Save the changes and unmount the image. For example, to save and unmount the changes to the image mounted at c:\test\offline, type: dism /Unmount-Image /mountdir: c:\test\offline /commit.

      For more info about offline image servicing, see DISM Overview.

For more info about service metadata, see Service metadata.

  1. Type dism /Mount-Image /ImageFile:<wim path> /Index:<index number> /mountdir:<mounted folder> to mount the offline image for servicing.

  2. Type dism /Image:<mounted folder> /Add-ProvisionedAppxPackage /FolderPath:<appxpackage path> to add the Windows Store device app or mobile broadband app to the image.

  3. Type dism /Unmount-Image /mountdir:<mounted folder> /commit to save and unmount the image.

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