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Slipstreaming Service Packs into your Windows XP Setup Files

This is another handy tech-recipe for XP install geeks. This tutorial explains how to ‘slipstream’ a service pack into your Windows XP Installation and then create a bootable Windows XP with an install CD. This is convenient since the slipstreaming will update your XP installation files to have the service pack applied before you install. That means no more downloading or updating to SP3 on new installs.

This tech-recipe explains how to ‘slipstream’ the new Windows XP Service Pack 3 into your Windows XP installation files. Thus, you will not need to update to SP3 after new XP installations.

-Windows XP Installation CD
-Service Pack 3 (full “Network Install” file)
-Windows 98SE Bootdisk or image of it

Note: I recommend using easy folders to save the files and steps.

Step 1 – Download the Full Windows XP Service Pack 3 File.

a. You can get the service pack file here

Download this file, and save it to your hard drive. (In this example, I will save it to C:\SP2.)

Step 2 – Copying Your XP Installation CD to Your Hard drive

a. Next, insert your Windows XP installation CD into your computer. Now, copy the entire contents of the CD to your hard drive. (In my example, I will save it to C:\XP.)

Step 3 – Extracting the SP3 Files

a. Create a new folder for the extracted files. (In my example, I will create a folder called SP2F, c:\SP2F)

b. Next, extract the files to the new folder, c:\SP2F. You must do this in the command prompt. (DOS prompt)

-Go to Start Menu > Run
-Then at the Run box, type: CMD and hit Enter.

(The following section assumes that you have used my folder locations in the example.)
-At the command prompt, type: C: and the command prompt should change to a: C:\>
-Now, type: CD SP2 and the command prompt should show the following:

Now that you are in the folder where you saved the XP Service Pack 3 .exe file, you need to extract it.
At the command prompt, type the name of the executable with -x after it.
(The -x tells the OS to extract the files, not to update XP.)

Once you hit Enter, a new dialog box will pop up.
It will ask to what location you want to extract the Service Pack 3 files. Click the Browse button, and find the folder you created (in my example, C:\SP2F).

Let it extract the files.

Step 4 – Updating/Slipstreaming SP3 Files into Your XP Installation

Here is a summary of what you have completed so far:
-Downloaded and extracted the SP3 files into C:\SP2F
-Copied the entire Windows XP Installation CD into C:\XP

Finally, to update the XP Installation CD you copied to C:\XP, you need to type this command in the command prompt.

Again, open your command prompt (Start > Run > CMD ). You now need to go to the i386\update folder of Service Pack 3 files you extracted.
In my example, the folder is C:\SP2F\i386\update.
You do this by typing the following:
CD i386

You should now be in the C:\SP2F\i386\Update folder at the command prompt.

Now type: update /s:c:\XP.

(The c:\XP is where I saved my XP installation CD files. Change this if you saved yours to a different location.)

XP will now update the XP Installation CD files with SP2. Let it finish.

Now, in the C:\XP folder, you should have an updated Windows XP installation with SP3. If you use these files to install XP to a new computer, that new computer will have SP3 installed with XP.

Step 5 – Creating a Bootable Windows XP with SP3 Installation CD (optional)

Use my other tech-recipe for creating a Windows XP Bootable CD.

Hope that helps!

Thanks for the comment about the update folder! 🙂

Jimmy S
Jimmy S
Jimmy Selix is an early adopter that loves to be one of the first on the block to have the latest and greatest in technology and gadgets. Another love of his is being able to share his knowledge to others seeking it. Feel free to drop any comments or questions that you may have.


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