How to slipstream SP2 into your XP CD

Slipstreaming a service pack, or updates is the process of integrating service packs and updates into an install in such a manner that new installations include the service pack and patches. Slipstreaming is usually done on corporate networks, but because of CD/DVD burners and large inexpensive hard drives it is now appealing to small businesses and enthusiast. Windows 2000 and Windows XP and later Microsoft Operating Systems along with later version of Microsoft Office are able to be slipstreamed. This has the advantage that installs, repairs, reinstalls don’t have to have the service packs and patches reapplied. If you add a component later, not installed initially, you will not have to reapply the service pack and patches. Many of you already know how to do this, so this post is not for you, but some don’t so this is an introduction. For those of you who wish to know more there are many “How To” guides with graphics available on web, is one such site.

Slipstreaming Windows XP Service Pack 2 into a bootable XP disk.

Locate and download from, when available, the administrative install version of Windows XP Service Pack 2, yes the whole 266.01 megs. When the web version (RTW) is released this week, (August 9, 2004), it might be a slightly different size, due to the fact that the release notes and license agreement might be different. Let’s just assume that the downloaded SP2 file name will be XPSP2.exe. You might also wish to locate a program called cdimage.exe, about 108k. It’s available on the web and places like: Look in the “Using…CDImage Tool to create the ISO” section. It’s also on many other “windows enthusiast” or “freak” sites. You will also need to download or extract the 2048 byte XP boot loader from your CD. Some may call it the “boot sector,” but for the record, it’s 4 x 512 byte sectors making it 2048 bytes. Isobuster will extract the boot loader from your CD. Also be aware that all WINtel X86 computers start executing code at location 07C0h.

Now, the procedure!
1.) Make a subdirectory on your hard drive and call it XP-SP2.
2.) Copy the contents of your XP disk into that subdirectory, write down your Volume Label.
3.) If XPSP2.exe is in your root directory (C:), make an administrative (network) install of the service pack by typing:“XPSP2.exe /integrate:C:\XP-SP2” either from a command prompt or using start->run in Windows.

This one command expands the service pack to a temporary directory and updates the contents of the C:\XP-SP2 subdirectory to SP2. Believe it or not it’s really done now and it’s just a matter of simply making a bootable CD with the files from C:\XP-SP2\ . Now would be a good time to add any files that you want to included on your disk by making an additional subdirectory containing your files in C:\XP-SP2. However, keep in mind that the end product will have to be small enough to fit on a CD, unless your really make a pig of yourself and make a bootable DVD. There are two ways to go from here. The easy way and the hard way.

You may wish to clear the read only and hidden attributes in C:\XP-SP2 subdirectory by typing from a command prompt: attrib -R -H C:\XP-SP2 /S /D . This somewhat optional.

First the easy way:

4e.) Put cdimage.exe and the xpboot.img (you may have to rename it) file that you extracted or downloaded in your root (C:) directory and type from a command prompt:
CDIMAGE.EXE -lWXPFPP_EN -h -j1 -m -o -bxpboot.img C:\XP-SP2 C:\WINXPSP2.ISO.

5e.) Burn the ISO image in C:\ with the appropriate software; done!

Step 4e.) assumes that your volume label that you wrote down in step 2 was WXPFPP_EN for Windows XP Professional English. You will have to change this statement to reflect your actual volume label, such as WXPVOL_EN for Windows XP Professional Corporate (VLK) edition, WXHFPP_EN is XP Home English edition, etc. It is advisable that you type: cdimage.exe >cdimage.txt from a command prompt and then read the cdimage.txt file for the various options available in the cdimage.exe program. For example the -o option may not be necessary if you are not short of space.

The hard way:
04h.) Use a burning program such as Nero and select “Make Bootable Disc.”
05h.) Under the boot tab in Nero select image file and point to the boot loader file xpboot.img.
06h.) Under the boot tab select “Enable Expert settings.”
07h.) Kind of Emulation select “No Emulation.”
08h.) Boot Message: (whatever you want, or make it blank.)
09h.) Load segment of sectors (hex): 07C0 (true for all WINtel X86 computers).
10h.) Number of loaded sectors: 4 (remember the boot loader is 4 X 512 byte sectors).
11h.) Under the Label tab type in your correct Volume Label.
12h.) Under the Burn tab, select write, finalize CD (no further writing possible!)
13h.) Select New, add the files from the C:\XP-SP2 subdirectory and burn the CD, done!

Also notice that administrative patches and updates can be downloaded and slipstreamed just as a service pack. The procedure is very similar for versions of Microsoft Office, but not quite the same. The disk doesn’t have to be bootable, making that part it a lot easier. But sometimes size is a problem so a slightly different approach is needed.

I’m sure that I’ve made many typos, I hope none are critical since I probably won’t be able to edit this post. Please post any corrections or additional suggestions below.

Have anyone tried nLite (, it is GREAT…

Great work Blackwolf … :slight_smile: U 've got everything covered in this guide .
Many thanks .

I vote this be stickied for a while :slight_smile:

Great tutorials here, SP1 has same instructions as SP2

Scroll Down to autostreamer. Make slip streaming painless and easy
This is alot easier, it works for both home and pro.

what’s the wrong with update.exe /s:c:\winxpcd ??

this does the whole ball of wax to include creating the bootable ISO, not everyone is so computer savy, don’t like the tool don’t use it.

I got a riddle for you guys. I am fairly experienced with the slipstreaming/bootable CD thing since I have been doing it since 2k SP1. However I never tried to make a bootable DVD. I have tried twice now with WindowsXP SP2 and I get an error saying “line 1 of txtsetup.sif has an error”. The same process through Nero makes a perfect CDRom. A DVD with all the same files (700MB worth and no extras) boots fine. But if I add any stuff that goes beyond the size of a CD, then I get the “press any key to boot” but it goes to the txtsetup.sif error right after that. I figure something about the size of the disk changes where the boot sectors are since I though they were stored on the outside. Anybody have a solution here?

The file update.exe is not yet present at the time the slipstreaming command is given so that you would get an error, where typing :“XPSP2.exe /integrate:C:\XP-SP2” without the quotes of course, causes XPSP2.exe to be expanded to a temporary directory and the slipstream is then performed and the temporary directory deleted. This is just a one step method. This method just save the steps of expanding the files to a temporary directory, performing the slipstream using update.exe, then deleting the temporary directory. This is literally a one step process. :slight_smile:

Dint find any typos! - nobbad! :bigsmile:
Thanks for this - great job!

Very nice, and easy to use. Thanks for the tip. :bigsmile:


this is a fantastic tutorial mate

thank you

I didn’t see this thread. Bugger. I also put one together here.

I have the same Problem! Line 1 of txtsetup.sif has an error… but the file is there, and I can open it manually in windows… every file is on the DVD, but it won’t start… the same Image file without the extra program-files in $OEM$ on a CD doesn’t bring that error?!

I hope you can help me / us…


I believe the problem might be the driver (or XPboot.bin) booting the CD/DVD - looks like it is limited to support CDs (sizes) only - not yet DVD sizes!

my thoughts…

Yes, I love how you can customize the cd. :slight_smile:

…where,exactly, is the administrative install version of Windows XP Service Pack 2 located?..I searched and didnt find it…thanks…:>)

Windows XP Service Pack 2 Network Installation Package for IT Professionals and Developers
If you want a language other than English be sure to select the appropriate language.