Now we know that DISM doesn't have a problem with superfloppy images, it's obvious that ImDisk is exposing some difference in the mounted partition of the HDD image, as compared to the superfloppy image.
At least you have not specified if in all cases you set IMDISK to expose the "same" kind of device.
In IMDISK control panel you have these settings:
- Hard disk volume
- + "removable media"
With a "superfloppy" image the "Auto" should correspond to "Floppy" , whilst with a partition it should correspond to "hardisk volume".
Logically, since the small image worked in both ways, the different behaviour must be *somehow* connected to either the "full size" of the image or to some peculiarity of the "real" .wim.
ISO = 2.83GiB, WIM = 2.55GiB, final expanded size of Index 2 from WIM = 6.7GB
Which is not really-really an answer to the questions asked:
How big is size is this test image (the volume) you are currently experimenting the apply with?
How big in size was the one that failed originally?
You tried with a "minimal" image (like 20 Mb or so) which worked BOTH when "superfloppy" AND when "volume on hard disk" and with a "full sized" partition (that failed) and later with another "full sized" superfloppy (which succeeded).
How big are these "full size" test images? (not the source you apply or the size of the source once applied, the size of the volume to which you apply the .wim)
If we put size of the images in a scale of 1 to 100, we know that "size 1" works in both ways and "size 100" works only as "superfloppy" (at least this is what you reported).
It would make sense to try a "size 25" and a "size 75" image to see if there is any connection with the size.
Maybe you can delete a number of files from the volume to which you applied the .wim and re-capture it (thys making a smaller .wim) to try applying it to a smaller image (it doesn't matter if the result will be bootable or not, here we are just troubleshooting the applying process).
Try running Winobj:
and/or Olof's dosdev:
with the one and the other images and see if you can spot any difference in the way they are enumerated in the OS.
Check also (possibly related):