Slipstreamed Windows XP Install CD

How to Make a Windows XP Install CD with Slipstreamed Service Pack

What you need:

  1. Approximately 2GB free hard disk space
  2. Original WinXP CD
  3. Service Pack 2 full (network) install (Download or Order the CD)
  4. Bart’s Boot Image Extractor (Download)
  5. CDRWIN demo (Download)

In short, we’ll be copying the Windows XP installation files to a working directory, patching the SP2 files into the install files, then creating a bootable CD image out of those files.

  1. Start by unzipping BBIE to a directory of your choice. Use it to extract the boot sector from your original Windows XP CD. Assuming you extracted the files to C:\bbie\ and your CD drive is D:, use these commands:

    C:\
    cd bbie
    bbie.exe D:

    That will create a file named image1.bin in C:\bbie\ which contains the boot sector information for the Windows CD.

  2. Next, create a directory to hold the install files while we work on them. We’ll say C:\slipstream\. Copy everything from your Windows CD into that directory. You should end up with a few files like autorun.inf and setup.exe in C:\slipstream\, and some subdirectories like C:\slipstream\docs\ and C:\slipstream\i386\. If you’d like to have the CD’s boot sector information easily available in the future, you can copy the image1.bin file into C:\slipstream\ also (you may wish to rename it to something like cdboot.bin to help you remember what the file is).

  3. Create a directory to hold the files extracted from the Service Pack. We’ll say C:\SPFiles\. Run the service pack program with the -x switch: C:\Downloads\WindowsXP-KB835935-SP2-ENU.exe -x for example. You will be asked where you want to extract the files. Choose the directory you just created, C:\SPFiles\. The program will then proceed to extract all of the SP files to that location.

  4. The next step is installing the SP files into the original Windows files. You will want to run the SP’s update.exe, located in the update directory of the SP files, to do that. You need to use the /s switch to tell it where the original Windows files are. C:\SPFiles\i386\update\update.exe /s:C:\Slipstream will run the SP’s update program on the files you copied from your CD. Once the process has completed, you may delete the SP files (the entire C:\SPFiles\ directory) if you wish.

  5. Note: Service Pack 2 includes an /integrate switch to update an install share without manually extracting the files first. In this case, C:\Downloads\WindowsXP-KB835935-SP2-ENU.exe /integrate:C:\Slipstream would do the same thing as the two previous steps. Either method will give you an updated set of install files in C:\Slipstream.

  6. Now we have to recreate the CD layout using the updated install files. Open CDRWIN and choose the File Backup and Tools button (wrench and screwdriver icon). In the File Backup and Tools window, choose to Build an ISO9660 / UDF image file. Use the Select Directory… button or drag and drop to add C:\slipstream\ to the file list. The options for Include Hidden Files, Long Filenames (Joliet), Include System Files, and Recurse Subdirectories should be enabled. Preserve Full Pathnames and Include Archive Files Only should be disabled. Under ISO options, Check Directory Depth, Generate Raw sectors, and Disable DOS Compatibility should be unchecked, while Disable Version Numbers should be checked. Use ISO9660 Filesystem, and choose a name for the CD image that will be created, like C:\Files\WinXPSP2.iso.

    In Advanced Options… choose a title for the CD in Volume Label. It’s probably best to use the original CD’s volume label with the SP added, such as WINXP32P_US_SP2. That makes it easy to see what the CD is and which Service Pack is included. In the Bootable Disc tab, check Make Bootable Disc to gain access to the other settings.

    • Media Emulation Type: Custom
    • Image File Name: C:\bbie\image1.bin (or C:\slipstream\cdboot.bin if you made a copy to be included on the CD)
    • Developer Name: Microsoft Corporation
    • Load Segment: 07C0
    • Load Sector Count: 4

    Choose OK to return to the main File Backup and Tools window, then press START to create the CD image. Press Continue in the Statistics window to begin actually creating the image.

You now have an ISO disc image of your Windows install with integrated Service Pack. You can burn the image to a CD using your favorite CD recording program (like the ISO Recorder Power Toy or Nero). Using this disc for (re)installs will produce a system with most patches already installed. You’ll still need to download any patches released since the Service Pack, but the majority of patches will be installed already, with much less chance of running into file version problems. Not to mention the time savings of not having to manually install the Service Pack (and possibly redownload part/all of it too).

You may wish to customize your install disc once you’ve mastered this. nLite will allow you to automate the process of slipstreaming a Service Pack and creating an ISO, and it provides many options for removing Windows components (which can cause huge problems with your installation if you don’t understand what you’re removing). http://unattended.msfn.org/ is a great source of information regarding customizing and slipstreaming. Your customizations may be as simple as including some suggested defaults for Windows Setup, or you may wish to add and remove many Windows components and third-party programs.

The latest hotfixes for Windows XP include the /integrate switch also. You can now easily slipstream hotfixes into your install as well. MSFN describes this as the SVCPACK.INF method. Each hotfix is copied to I386\svcpack\ and a line is added to I386\svcpack.inf to run the hotfix. This makes it quite easy to add more hotfixes to an existing custom install image. Simply /integrate the new hotfix(es) to C:\Slipstream and the patch will be added to I386\svcpack\ and a line will be added to I386\svcpack.inf. Reburn the CD with the new files, and you’re all set. Now you can make a truly up-to-date install CD without much effort. I don’t currently have a Win2k system, so I’m not sure if its hotfixes now use the /integrate switch also.

I don’t claim to have discovered or invented any of the techniques seen here. However, this whole document was written from scratch by me. Here are some of the sources I have gained related information from. I may have seen others that I don’t remember. There are plenty of sites with related information that can be found via any search engine.

This guide was written with Windows XP Service Pack 2 in mind, but it should continue to work with newer SPs. SP1 and Windows 2000′s later SPs can be used for this process as well.