Howto – Slipstream SP2 into XP

HOWTO – Slipstreaming SP2 into Windows XP and create a bootable CD

Slipstreaming a Service Pack, is the process to integrate the Service Pack into the installation so that with every new installation the Operating System and Service Pack are installed at the same time.

Slipstreaming is usually done on network shares on corporate systems. But with the advent of CD burners, it does actually make some sense for the home user or small business user to do the same.

Microsoft added the ability to Slipstream a Service Pack to Windows 2000 and Windows XP. It not only has the advantage that when you (re)install your OS, you don’t have to apply the Service Pack later, also if you update any Windows component later, you’ll be sure that you get the correct installation files if Windows needs any.

Step 1: Copying your XP CDROM contents to your hard drive.

First, you need to find your Windows XP CD-ROM (any bootable and/or retail version; including Full and Upgrade versions; XP Home or Pro) and copy the contents of the CD to your hard drive. Create a folder in the root of your C: drive called xp (C:\xp) and use My Computer to simply drag and drop the files between the two locations.

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Step 2: Get Windows XP SP2 and extract it

Download the (full) “Network Install” of the Service Pack (English version [266 MB]), and save it to a directory (folder) on your hard drive (in my case C:\XP-SP2). Other languages can be downloaded from the Microsoft Download Web site.

Now, you need to extract the SP2 files. To do so, open up a command line window by navigating to Start, and then Run, and typing “cmd” (no quotes); then hit ENTER. Then, using the following commands; navigate to that folder and extract the files (Note that the text [ENTER] means hit the ENTER key):

[code lang=”bash”]
cd \ [ENTER]
cd XP-SP2 [ENTER]
WindowsXP-KB835935-SP2-ENU.exe -x:c:\XP-SP2 [ENTER]
[/code]

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Your computer will seem to pause for a bit, and then an Extracting Files dialog will come up and display the progress.
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When the extraction is done, the following dialog will appear. Press OK to continue.

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Step 3: Combining XP and SP2

Now, type the following in the command line window (where [ENTER] means hit the ENTER key):

[code lang=”bash”]
cd \ [ENTER]
cd XP-SP2 [ENTER]
cd i386 [ENTER]
cd update [ENTER]
update -s:c:\xp [ENTER]
[/code]

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After a short pause, XP SP2 Setup will combine, or slipstream, the SP2 files into the XP install, as shown in this figure:

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When it’s completed, you’ll see this dialog box. Click OK, and then close the command line window. If you don’t see this dialog, you’ve done something wrong. Ensure that the command line entries you’ve used are correct.

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Step 4: Extract a file needed to make your new CD bootable

Create a folder in the root of your C: drive called XP-Boot (C:\XP-Boot).What you need to do now is extract the boot loader from the CD; this can be done using a piece of software called “Barts Boot Image Extractor” which you can download from here, extract the files and put them into your newly created (C:\XP-Boot) folder.

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Now, type the following in the command line window (where [ENTER] means hit the ENTER key):

[code lang=”bash”]
cd \ [ENTER]
cd XP-Boot [ENTER]
[/code]

This will take you to the directory where the bbie program resides, put the XP installation CD into your CD-Drive. My CD-Drive is located on the e: drive, yours however may not be. If your CD-drive is on d: for instance then you would type (bbie d:)

[code lang=”bash”]
bbie e: [ENTER]
[/code]

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As you can see, the program has extracted the boot record, that’s the file called image1.bin. We will now use Nero 7 to create the boot-able XP installation CD.

First, start Nero Burning ROM and choose CD-ROM (Boot) from the New Compilation’s Boot page:

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Then, under “Source of boot image data,” choose “Image file” and select C:\XP-Boot \image1.bin by clicking the Browse button. Remember to select All files (*.*) under file of type, otherwise you will not be able to see the file when browsing to it.

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Then, select the option titled “Enable expert settings (for advanced users only)” and change “Kind of emulation” to No Emulation, and change “Number of loaded sectors” to 4. The “Load segment of sectors” option should remain at its default value of 07C0. When this step is completed, the Nero Burning ROM application should resemble the following:

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The ISO tab should be configured correctly as shown below:

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You can configure the Label tab to your liking; I would however recommend that you keep the Volume Label the same as on your original Windows XP CD. Here are some (English) Labels:

Windows XP Professional: WXPCCP_EN
Windows XP Home: WXHCCP_EN
Windows XP Professional Volume Licence: WXPVOL_EN
Windows XP Home Volume Licence: WXHVOL_EN
Windows XP Professional OEM: WXPOEM_EN
Windows XP Home OEM: WXHOEM_EN

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Next press New, and from the File Browser window, select the files and folders from your slipstreamed location (in my case C:\XP). Now drag & drop the selected files in the ISO1 window.

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Next, Burn your new CD

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You now have a Boot-able, Slipstreamed Windows XP Service Pack 2 CD!