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How to Slipstream a Service Pack into a Windows OS Install CD

Created: 12 Nov 2007 • Updated: 12 Nov 2007 | 14 comments
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CondorMan's picture
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To slipstream a Service Pack into a Windows OS Install means taking a Service Pack installer and applying it to the Windows Install Files so that the Windows Install is now pre-loaded with the Service Pack. This means that you will no longer need to install that service pack after installing the OS. It also means that Windows will take less disk space and be much cleaner because there will not be any backup files, etc.

This document will describe the process of slipstreaming a Service Pack into the Windows XP or Windows 2003 Install.

This document will describe the four steps to slipstreaming a Windows Install:

  1. Copy the install files from the CD-ROM to your Hard Drive
  2. Download and extract the Service Pack
  3. Apply the Service Pack to the install files
  4. Optionally, make a Bootable CD with the Slipstreamed Windows Install

We will specifically be creating a slipstreamed Windows Server 2003 x86 Service Pack 2 install. To slipstream another service pack or OS, you will merely need to substitute the service pack file and appropriate source CD for the ones mentioned. For reference, here are the Service Packs released to date and their filenames.

Windows XP x86 SP1 xpsp1a_en_x86.exe
Windows XP x86 SP2 WindowsXP-KB835935-SP2-ENU.exe
Windows XP x64 SP2 WindowsServer2003.WindowsXP-KB914961-SP2-x64-ENU.exe
Windows Server 2003 x86 SP1 WindowsServer2003-KB889101-SP1-x86-ENU.exe
Windows Server 2003 x86 SP2 WindowsServer2003-KB914961-SP2-x86-ENU.exe
Windows Server 2003 x64 SP2 WindowsServer2003.WindowsXP-KB914961-SP2-x64-ENU.exe

Step 1: Copy the install files from the CD-ROM to your Hard Drive

In order to update the install files, they will need to be in a writable location. You can use any location you want, but this document will demonstrate the Slipstream Installation using the directory C:\TempOS.

  1. Create a Temporary Directory on your hard drive, we will call it C:\TempOS
  2. Copy the contents of your Windows Install CD to the C:\TempOS

Step 2: Download and extract the Service Pack

By default, the Service Pack executable will attempt to install the service pack to your operating system. To work with the service pack in other ways, such as using it to slipstream an OS install, you will need to extract the contents of the Service Pack installer to a temporary directory. We will use the directory "C:\TempSP".

  1. Go to http://www.microsoft.com/downloads
  2. Search for the Network Install version of the Service Pack you want to apply.
    1. If the file size is less than 5MB, then it is probably not the Network Install version.
    2. If you are searching for one of the Service Packs listed at the beginning of this document, you can save some time by searching for the file name.
  3. Download the Service Pack to a location on your hard drive, such as C:\
  4. Click Start>Run, type "C:\WindowsServer2003-KB914961-SP2-x86-ENU.exe -x:C:\TempSP" (without quotes), and press Enter. This will extract the contents of the file.
  5. When the extraction is complete, click OK.

Step 3: Apply the Service Pack to the install files

Now that the OS Install files are in a writeable location and the Service Pack install files have been extracted, we can now instruct the Service Pack installer to slipstream your OS Install files.

  1. Click Start>Run, type "C:\TempSP\i386\update\update.exe -s:C:\TempOS" (without quotes), and press Enter. This will integrate the Service Pack files into the Windows Install files.
  2. When the integration is complete, click OK.
  3. You can now copy the install files to any location you like. You can use it for unattended installs or to supply the HAL files during the HII Tools setup.
  4. If you would like to make a Bootable Install CD, follow the instructions in the next step.

Step 4: Optionally, make a Bootable CD with the Slipstreamed Windows Install

If you were to burn the slipstreamed OS Install files to a CD right now, the CD would not be a bootable CD and so it would not be very useful. In order to make a bootable CD, we will need to extract the boot image from your original OS Install CD and burn the new files to a CD using that boot image. In the end, you will have a full-featured bootable OS Install CD that has the latest Service Pack built-in.

  1. Download and install IsoBuster. You can download it from http://www.isobuster.com/
  2. Open IsoBuster.
  3. Make sure your Windows Install CD is in the drive.
  4. In the drop-down list, choose the CD drive that the install CD is in.
  5. In the tree-view, select "Bootable Disk"
  6. In the right pane, right-click the .img file (it will probably be called "Microsoft Corporation.img") and select Extract.
  7. Save it to a location on your hard drive, such as C:\.
  8. If you do not have CD burning application that will allow you to create a bootable CD using the .img file you just extracted, download and install ISO Recorder from http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com.
  9. Burn your C:\TempOS directory to CD using the "Microsoft Corporation.img" file to make it bootable. If you are using ISO Recorder, do the following.
    1. Open Windows Explorer and browse to the C: drive.
    2. Right-click TempOS and select "Create ISO image file"
    3. Under Boot Image, make sure that the Include option is enabled.
    4. Under Boot Image, click the browse (" ") button and select the "Microsoft Corporation.img" file.
    5. Click Next.
    6. When the TempOS.iso file has successfully been created click Finish, you can now burn it to a CD.
    7. Insert a blank writeable CD into your CD Burner.
    8. In Windows Explorer, browse to C:\, right-click the TempOS.iso file, and select "Copy image to CD".
    9. In the Recorder drop-down list, select your CD Burner and then click Next.
    10. When the CD recording is complete, click Finish.
  10. You now have a bootable OS Install with the latest Service Pack built-in.
  11. You will probably want to delete all or some of the temporary files placed on your hard drive. Here is a list of the temporary files and folders created during this process that you may want to delete or move to a network share for later use.
    1. "C:\TempOS", the slipstreamed OS Install files.
    2. "C:\WindowsServer2003-KB914961-SP2-x86-ENU.exe", the Service Pack installer.
    3. "C:\TempSP", the extracted Service Pack Install files.
    4. "C:\TempOS.iso", the bootable CD image file of the slipstreamed OS Install.

Comments 14 CommentsJump to latest comment

erikw's picture

Condorman, This is a great way to insert the latest service pack inside a windows OS.
Thanxs for this. I was'nt aware of the fact that this was possible.

Regards
Erik
www.svs4u.nl

Regards Erik www.DinamiQs.com Dinamiqs is the home of VirtualStorm (www.virtualstorm.org)

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riva11's picture

Thanks CondorMan for your article , helpful process descrition how to insert Windows SP in Win install CD.

P.S.
Juicemaster, where is the function "Printer-friendly version" ?

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Admin's picture

Thanks for the nudge, riva11;

We were having a few problems with the Printer-Friendly functionality conflicting with the printing of books.

Thanks to your reminder, we've worked all the kinks out of the system and are happy to report that Printer-Friendly versions of all pages are available once again.

JM

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riva11's picture

Juicemaster, thanks for your efforts, I see Printer-Friendly functionality running again. I find this feature really helpful to produce documentation about interesting posts.

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tausepa's picture

Great post Condorman, short, concise and most important, it works great!

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gbromage's picture

Thanks for the great how-to, CondorMan.

One thing to remember if you're in a highly managed environment is that it still might be worth installing the base OS, then deploying the service pack as a separate package straight after.

That way, if you come across software that doesn't work with with the SP, or you need to restore an old backup tape to a like-for-like server, you can still build a machine without the SP installed.

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Swami's picture

Thanks for providing step-by-step method. By the way, has any one tried Slipstreaming XP SP3 ? If so please post the user experiences and troubles (if you have faced any)

Thanks,
Swami.

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CondorMan's picture

I was able to successfully slipstream SP3 into the Windows XP Install. However, I was unable to create a bootable CD using ISO Recorder.

I did find that using freeware a tool named nLite, I was able to easily slipstream the Service Pack and create a bootable CD.

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nrhudson's picture

No issues here creating slipstreamed RC2 SP3 install CD. OS boots off CD and installs fine. However, I prefer not to use the CD to build computers all the time and prefer using a Altiris Deployment Server Scripted OS install job to build my computers. I can build multiple computers at the same time without having to insert a CD in the system each time. For those of you that prefer using a CD every time, this article is a great learning tool for slipstreaming SPs into a i386 directory and creating a bootable CD rather than waiting for Microsoft to send you the new CD with the SP already integrated into the install.

Nate Hudson
Senior Systems Engineer
West Bend Mutual Insurance

Nate Hudson
Senior Systems Engineer
West Bend Mutual Insurance

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Swami's picture

Scripted OS Install will be of great use only to larger corporate users. But we are individuals helping after friends and relatives PC, which most of them just used for net browsing and playing music and video games. Hence I’m happy with the CD install itself. Any way thanks for your time and tips.

Best regards,
Swami.

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gbromage's picture

Many people, to save time, copy the I386 (or the 64 bit equivalent) directory to their hard disk s they can add and remove windows components and drivers without the CD.

If you are one of these, you should make a point of slipstreaming the service pack into those folders too. If not, you risk installing an unpatched version of a DLL.

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gizmo_3010's picture

Hi, my first post.

I've done this many times before but i use a program called Nlite.
look on the site for it:

http://www.nliteos.com/

Regards
Gizmo_3010

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mszczesniak's picture

If you want to create boot ISO from streamed OS e.g. for testing in VMware there is nice free software to make that - http://www.nu2.nu/bootcd/
That works great and you do not need to buy anything.

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Albion01's picture

What about the updates not included in the Service Packs?  It would be nice if there was a way - say from WSUS - to slip stream an up to date ISO of the OS including the latest patches and service packs.

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